[NTLK] Who here thinks the iPad is a worthy replacement for the Newton?

slashlos slashlos at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 20 08:03:29 EDT 2010

Very interesting... 

Personnally people buy on price and when asked suggest the platform that works for them. I do feel however there's a "herd" tendendency and yes up and comings have seen first hand much of what you wrote about when they were away at school. Macs are the new breed while masking somewhat it's now unix underbelly. 

It's my hope that M$ will truely, not by acquisition, innovate but maintain its user experience (no more vistas) in solving their root issues. SFU or similar  native integration?  

Might once and for all get their 'slashes' right ;-)
/los "I was a teenage net-random"

On Mar 20, 2010, at 6:23 AM, Mark Rollins <mark at mrollins.com> wrote:

Subject: Re: [NTLK] Who here thinks the iPad is a worthy replacement
   for the    Newton?

You've gotta realize, Apple is still stinging from the "egg freckles" cartoons, so the absolute LAST comparison they want in the market is "Newton 3".

Does the on-screen keyboard work well - yes.

Can you type (even me 4-finger hunt & peck) more accurately that HWR - yes.

Will the iPad eventually have HWR - maybe.

Is it sumptuous and quick and amazingly functional - yes

Is this the dawning of a new "tablet era" - yes

Will it have strong competition - sorta

Will it have arguably the best portfolio (Apps, books, movies, music) - of course.

In a semi-related note, I work for a 12B company, who was (with few but notable exceptions) firmly entrenched in Windows. 

I am working with IT to vett the iPhone and by extension (at request of CIO ) the iPad.

I am also typing this on a new company-purchased MacBook Pro, part of testing I am doing based on part of a note I wrote about computer security (excerpt below), sorry for being so long-winded but I am personally jazzed as this is definitely an Apple renaissance. And my last laptop (a MacBook) was personally purchased.

Security Root Cause Analysis
My next suggestion may seem the most heretical, but it is analogous to a "root cause analysis." This is where all the items related to an event are tallied up and analyzed, and the ultimate cause is identified. And XXXX wanted us to be creative after our last conf call.

When we had several minor fires related to reactive chemicals and waste disposal at XXXX, I could have suggested more or better smoke detectors, or better extinguishing systems, or better trashcans. That would have reduced but not eliminated the fires - instead I chose to address the underlying true root cause, and there have not been any fires like this for 6+ months.

The underlying root cause of our security issues with desktop computers, and the reason we spend so much time and money and personnel and meetings on addressing security issues, is THESE COMPUTERS ARE RUNNING THE WINDOWS OS.

I am sure that many have strong opinions on this, but please continue to read. This is a reasonably dispassionate comparison and contrast of some of the real issues that face us, and I am offering a solution that works out equally well on paper or in practice.

I had originally noted in a separate email to XXXX  that the Macintosh OS (OSX) - since it was redone years ago and now based on UNIX - has had none of the issues that affect Windows PCs.  And by "issues" I am referring to the relatively innocuous acts of:
- navigating to a web page (like the ones noted that had the Gumblar virus, which only infects Windows PCs running Acrobat)
- simply reading an infected PDF
- just opening an infected JPG picture file
- merely playing a Sony/BMG music CDs infected with what is called a "rootkit"
these can and have infected Windows PCs but do not - and in many cases simply CANNOT - infect a Macintosh.

OSX Security
Mac OSX has historically been immune to these types of infections/malware. This is also why the FBI's cyber-terror group uses Mac laptops. Now I have heard people say something to the effect that "people don't write viruses for the Mac, as there are too few of them." My reply is usually more or less "That must be why people rob the small local banks, as there are more of them, and not the Federal Reserve branches... or is it that the Fed Reserve banks are better protected?"  People write viruses for systems that are easy to break into.

What Computer Users Need
Along the same line of thinking, many users really just need Office, a web browser and Outlook email, and a way to read/create PDF files.
- Office on the Mac (v 2003 & 2008) is file-transparent to the Windows version. There is only one odd thing; Mac Office 2008 (not 2003 nor the forthcoming 2010) dropped macro support in Excel.
- For email, Office 2008 has Entourage, which is compatible with Microsoft Outlook Server 2003 and 2007. The actual Mail program from Apple now works with Microsoft Outlook Server 2007.
- If someone wants to create PDF files, this is built into OSX. You do not need Acrobat Pro, as you can even do basic editing of PDF files natively on a Mac.

Macs also obviously support SharePoint, any networking protocol, and file share access. They exist quite swimmingly in the Windows world. If one REALLY has to run Windows for say an unusual PC-only software, for $0 a Mac can dual boot (using Apple technology called "BootCamp") into Windows XP, once Windows in installed on the Mac.

Mac Native Encryption Security
For file security, there is a system-wide feature in Mac OSX called "FileVault." Similar to what XP offers, it encrypts the User's ENTIRE home folder. While less granular that XP's option of encrypting individual files, it has the ability to be a "set and forget" method for all file encryption. Mac OS X also has what is termed "secure virtual memory," where particularly security-conscious users can also choose to encrypt the Mac's virtual memory. This is NOT available under Windows XP without a 3rd party add-on. 

Preception and Pricing
A Dell laptop for one of our staff priced at least $200 MORE than a comparable Mac laptop (e.g. RAM, speed hard drive); given the Mac came with more "hardware" in the base price (e.g. BlueTooth, backlit keyboard, faster Wifi) and the Dell needs 2 batteries to equal a Mac's 6+ hour life. Each Mac would also NOT need a PDF creator (i.e Acrobat Pro) nor any special 3rd party encryption software, so the savings in software per machine is at least $200-400. That coupled with less security/crash support means a reduced volume of Help Desk calls per year. Over the useful life of a Mac (3 years) each machine has the potential to save the company an aggregate of at LEAST $500 - $800 over a Windows XP PC.  

No User Training Issues
We have a significant percentage of users that may already have Macs at home, who would be familiar with a Mac for work. For example, those of us in in XXXX are 30% Mac users at home. There would be no retraining needed, and as noted before these users would have a correspondingly far, far fewer incidence of Help Desk calls (except for those related to issues outside the OS, such as slow network, no printing, etc.).

New Employees
I'll close with something to keep in mind when considering the eternal Mac VS Windows debate: Windows may control the workplace, but Macs rule academia. We have a pool of young, talented college grads that to them - having lived a significant percentage of their adult life in the 21st century - the choice of a Mac VS Windows is analogous to "what sort of pen do you use?" And many chose a Mac. 
We as a potential employer do not want to portray ourselves as this stodgy old-fashioned company, lest we fail to attract the best and brightest.

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