Sunday, January 20, 2013

ipads and the writer

ipads and the Writer

Last week I saw a post for a free writing course called Creative Writing, Learning from the Masters. The six featured writers included Norman Mailer. I quickly went to have a look at it on Apple’s itunes U. I successfully download the ibook of the course onto my computer but could not open it as I did not have an iphone or ipad. Rotten Apple.

But then I thought, maybe I could buy an ipad. Apart from allowing me to get advice on how to write from Norman Mailer, buying an ipad would allow me to download from the ibookstore. And if I downloaded a wordprocessing app, I could use the ipad to write with when my laptop got sick.

I went online and found that ipads ranged in price from a mini-ipad at just under $400 to fourth-generation ipads at just under $800. My eyesight’s not too great, so I wanted the biggest screen possible, which cut out the mini version. The cheapest full sized fourth-generation version was $500. That version only had wi-fi, which is what I wanted as there was no way that I was going to shell out money for a 3G mobile type plan.

After I found my wallet, dusted it off and carefully pried its compartments open, I found I did have enough money to buy an ipad. So I dashed off down the street, excited at the prospect of getting a new tech toy. First stop Dicksmiths, but they didn’t sell them, that left Harvey Norman. They didn’t sell them either. Was this to be another case of Wangaratta retailers not having what I wanted?

I often joke that Wangaratta is a great place to save as its shops never have what I want. Recently I had to travel to Albury (an hour’s drive away) to get a pair of thongs that didn’t make me look like a complete bogan and a decent towel for the pool (hence the need to find and dust off my wallet).

But when asked, a salesperson in Harvey Norman told me that Big W might sell ipads. Big W??? But they just sell crap. They don’t even sell decent thongs or pool towels. But then again, how could they stuff up an ipad? They are all mass produced in Chinese sweat shops. So I walked around to Big W. They had four mini-ipads and one (just one) fourth generation wi-fi only ipad. I bought it.

I have spent the last few days fiddling with it. I have signed up and read the first bits of the Creative Writing, Learning from the Masters course. The ibook is full of videos of the authors talking. I will let you know what I think of the course when I am further into it.

I downloaded a free word-processing app, and learnt that I could send its documents through email to word on my laptop. I then purchased a Bluetooth keyboard that I can use to write those documents. The keyboard also acts as a stand for the ipad, so it is like having another laptop. So I have a back-up computer.    

Comparison of ipad to a Kindle.

·         I changed the ipad’s screen to sepia, but I still much prefer the sepia look of a Kindle screen.
·         I prefer the page number system for ibooks on an ipad to the percentage system used by the Kindle.
·         A Kindle is much lighter than an ipad.
·         It is much easier to return to the table of contents in an ibook than in the Kindle.

Overall, I prefer to read ebooks on a Kindle because of the look of the page and the ipad starts to cramp up my hands after holding it for extended periods.  

Price Comparision Between ibookstore and Amazon.

It has been a long time since I compared prices of Amazon’s ebooks with Apple’s ibooks. I had concluded that Amazon was much cheaper. This time I compared eight books that range from current bestsellers to the classics.

·         Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier – ibook  $12.99, Amazon $13.75
·         The Twelve – Justin Cronin – ibook $19.99, Amazon $21.22
·         1984 – George Orwell – ibook 99c, Amazon 99c
·         Ark – Stephen Baxter – ibook $11.99, Amazon $12.69
·         A Wanted Man – Lee Child – ibook $9.99, Amazon $10.52
·         Fifty Shades of Grey – ibook $8.99, Amazon $8.33
·         War and Peace – ibook free, Amazon 99c
·         The Paradox Resolution – KA Bedford – ibook N/A, Amazon $9.99

So my quick survey shows ibooks are currently generally slightly cheaper than Amazon.

I also discovered a free space invaders game app for my ipad, and I can hear its thrum thrum thrumming. Now if only I could play it and drink coffee at the same time.


Keira McKenzie said...

you've almost convinced me!

Graham Clements said...

Keira, come on over to the darkside

Laurie Gienapp said...

Graham... I got my iPad shortly before Nano... based on experience, you need to look at Dropbox (free)... to transfer files between your laptop and the iPad and Textilus (also free) as the word processor for your iPad.

Anonymous said...
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Graham Clements said...

Thanks Laurie, I will have a look at the apps.

Anthony J. Langford said...

Ohhh Space Invaders - cool.

I think I must be a techno phobe.

Sounds like you'll have lots of fun with it.

I'm still sticking to books.


Magician said...

I second the recommendation of Dropbox ... I use it to copy files between my PCs and my Android phone too ...

... it's a "cloud storage" that creates a duplicate folder on each of your machines, so when you save to the dropbox folder on your home PC, it automatically copies those files into the dropbox folder on your iPad (and vice versa).

The Android dropbox (on my phone) can also be set to automatically sync new photos, so when I take a picture with my phone, it automatically appears in the folder on my home desktop machine. (I have switched this off for the moment, as it isn't something I *need* and it uses up battery!)

Graham Clements said...

Anthony, I used to be the Space Invaders Champion of Menzies College at Latrobe Uni.

Graham Clements said...

Magician, I've downloaded drop box and when I stop playing space invaders I will fiddle with it.

Anthony J. Langford said...

lol that's great Graham. I loved it as a kid in the shop, divided black and white screen.

I use SkyDrive - A basic Cloud - great to basic documents copied.