The microwave that doesn’t make popcorn

The techno-addict collective has rejected Apple’s iPad. Possibly because the geeks and technophiles are disappointed that the iPad doesn’t meet each and every one of their expectations. I wonder if that’s not just a product of lack of imagination though.

The techies keep complaining about the absence of a physical keyboard and that “you can’t work well”. And I wonder what they mean by “working well”? Are they implying, for example, that all computer users participate in Agatha Christie style novelist marathons? Do people really write 10,000 word phrases every week? Obviously not. The usual daily use of the computer consists of a couple of minutes in the mail and as many minutes on the net. But if the goal is a 10,000-word essay, the iPad probably isn’t the best platform (although I think we’ll see many people typing at length with the optional keyboard). Anyway, the fact that it’s not a ready-to-use typing option doesn’t take away from the iPad’s usefulness. The complaints about the iPad are not only these, but they all end up with the same song.

The microwave that doesn’t make popcorn
The microwave that doesn’t make popcorn

To those techies who are fussy about the iPad, I say this: the iPad is not for you, but for everyone else in the world, the vast majority of non-technophiles who pass on cameras, physical keyboards or closed operating systems .

Imagine this scene:

By the way, Carol is exactly like everyone else in the world who is not techies and who could benefit greatly from the ease and simplicity that the iPad radiates. For this type of profile, the “computer as a device” solution is a respite from the complexities of conventional computers.

Poor and lazy

Technophiles claim that ” we already have the computer we do all these things with, so the iPad is unproductive, silly and useless. Fuck Apple and its little toys with lots of zeros behind! “. Okay, but a smartphone is usually too small and difficult to use (especially for those of us who are already old), while a laptop has, most of the time, too many paraphernalia to perform simple tasks. And I haven’t forgotten about the netbook, which, in my opinion, requires an exercise in commitment and frustration for any user, except for the elder geeks or for the wildly-conventional globetrotter.

This type of rejection is common to the introduction of new devices. Think of the modest microwave. When it first went on sale, many people thought it was expensive and (apparently) useless: “But we already have an oven. Can it brown a chicken? Can it roast? Can it grill? Can it cook dishes, roast a turkey and heat coffee at the same time? I couldn’t do half of these things. It’s not worth its price, it’s expendable and I don’t need it. Not me, not anybody.”

Personally, I think that’s a pretty poor and even lazy conclusion. Still, it’s the same kind of argument that I’ve seen repeated in comments and articles all over the web.

Of course, nowadays nobody questions the well-known usefulness of the microwave. Plumbing, central heating, cars or even the personal computer… All were criticised for their lack of usefulness and, as the saying goes, they were given three strikes. Nor am I saying that the microwave has replaced the traditional oven; in fact, most of us have both appliances in the same room of the house. Having one does not mean that the other falls into disuse. They both have their function, while offering utility and value in the modern home.

The same goes for the iPad, just don’t expect me to make you popcorn.

Translation note: The allusion to “Desperate Housewives” is due to the fact that in the original text they mention the American series “Modern family”, which is not known in Spain. Hence, I have looked for a series, known to the Spanish public, which in May or to a lesser extent fits the intention of the original.

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