The Anti-iPad

I’m not going to beat around the bush: I despise Apple in many ways, but the most damning has to be their insistence on making all new products a closed system, in which Apple has the ultimate control over what you buy, watch, read, listen to, and consume in general. If consumption is the lowest form of choice, then Apple has put further restrictions on that already crippled platform.

My words shouldn’t be the definitive take, though. Jack Shafer, Jim Stodgill, and Cory Doctorow basically say everything I’d like to. From Stodgill’s “The iPad Isn’t a Computer, It’s a Distribution Channel”:

In this context the iPad isn’t a computing device at all. Jobs is using his knack for design and user experience to build, not a better computer, but a better distribution channel. One that is controlled, constrained, and can re-take distribution as the point of monetization. You aren’t buying a computer when you buy an iPad, you are buying a 16GB Walmart store shelf that fits on your lap – complete with all the supplier beat downs, slotting fees, and exclusive deals that go with it – and Apple got you to pay for the building.

These are just some of the philosophical issues I have with the iPad – I won’t go into my more biased dislike of OSX (or its stripped-down variants).

I was pleased to come across this device, though:

Sporting XP Home and a full physical keyboard, the Asus EeeKeyboard is probably the most effective rebuttal to the iPad I’ve seen. And the best part is that it’s just as open a system as anything else running Windows is. Do with it what you want.

I’ve gotten into adopting the Doctorow mantra: close the back with screws not glue. Let us in.

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