The iPad just fit in

I wanted to write something. Something about the iPad 2, my first real Apple purchase since entering college. First, I thought I would give a little background. I bought a PowerBook G4 when I was entering college and it served me well as my only personal machine for eight years… And then, I sold it for over four hundred dollars on ebay; I call that a good investment.  Now, I was lucky. I started working in Information Technology soon after that Powerbook purchase, meaning that I was able to stay current on Apple technologies without spending any of the money I didn’t actually have, but it was time for a change. My wife’s Macbook could do the trick for a home base station, so it was time for the Powerbook to go. The PowerBook, while still a good machine was not cutting it for things that the iPad could do, let alone the iPad 2, so I made the decision and am now a happy owner of Apple’s most recent achievement.

I researched this purchase forever. Basically since the second Kindle came out, I had my mind set on buying something that could become my e-reading device. At the time, I was hoping that Apple would announce something in a tablet form, but the rumors had been around forever, so I wasn’t holding my breath. Each step of the way, I saw new e-readers come out and for one reason or another I was able to explain to myself and others why it wouldn’t fit in in the way the iPad 2 has. Android tablets never crossed my mind, honestly, but Kindles, Nooks and Nook Colors, netbooks, and all the others were a part of the research process.  When the iPad was announced, I explained it away because I still had a full fledged computer on which to do my heavy lifting and my reading. The iPad 2 took care of all the reasons I could explain it away, be it the addition of the cameras or the increase in power.  The fact that the iPad 2 can mirror to a television at 1080P when my PowerBook could barely play back 480P tipped the scale for me even further.  I am not a huge investor in apps, services, or media, but that will all change with a product that can do more than my PowerBook could.

Finally, the purchase process was painless to say the least, all it required was waking up at 4am EST to be one of the first orders and I had it about a week later. Here is one thing that might shock some people: Life with the iPad in my hands hasn’t change anything about the way I do things. That, I think, is part of the point of the iPad. It fit into my everyday use within days. It became my e-reader, my web browser, my email, etc, etc, etc within just a few days use. Once I had everything setup it faded into the background. As it is, I am typing this post on the iPad and I have never looked back to the physical keyboard or the extras” of any of the macs I have owned or used. The iPad has faded into the background of my usage for it, just as it should; it just fit in.

The Digital Reader blog posted an article entitled, Digital Native Diatribe,” in which Andy Woodworth talks about the definition of a Digital Native.  The iPad is one of those technologies that illustrates exactly his point: It doesn’t matter whether you are 5 or 105; if the technology doesn’t interest you, doesn’t fit into your life, or doesn’t mesh with your reality, then you are not going to use it. Even then, there is a normal human learning curve for adoption and use of the technology.”  The point I would like to make to bring these musings back to a general point is simply that the iPad fit into my life because I wanted it to. Technology is something about which I am passionate, something to which I give a lot of thought, and something that I aspire to know deeper each day.  Hence, any decision I would have made in the years leading up to my iPad purchase would have been fine choices.  I could have walked out of a Barnes and Noble with one of their e-readers or bought a Kindle from Amazon and I would have made it work. I am also the type of person who does not care to push people in one direction or another on a subject but instead give them the information that I have found to make their own decision.  However, Apple has created a product that allows any individual to become a Digital Native, someone willing to learn something new no matter the age or predisposition to technology. This sentiment is something I understand and appreciate and I hope more technology companies think like this in the Post-PC” age.


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The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.