If Moses had an iPad..

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    Nov 22, 2012
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Tablet, noun: A slab of stone or wood suitable for bearing an inscription

The word 'tablet' has been in our vocabulary for centuries. If rumor is true Moses was the earliest recorded user of ‘tablet technology’ when he brought us the Ten Commandments ‘hot off the press’

Through the ages, tablets were used to record great happenings. Early scholars used tablets for their jottings. Indeed, Isaac Newton used a tablet to record and refine his theories for such works of greatness such as his Principia Mathematica, a seminal work at the time. As late as the 1940’s, school children used a tablet and chalk in the class room for their school work.

Tablets, in one form or another, have always been used to gather, refine and store information.

It may surprise people today who are used to Smart Phones and IPads but the earliest patent for a computer based tablet design was posted in 1888 as a handwriting device, although it was 1956 before a commercial demonstration was given using digital technology.

Fast forward to the 90’s and Microsoft™ released a device, primarily aimed at business users, with a nice rugged case for protection. They didn't quite hit the consumer mark due to various problems with Operating Systems, size and weight.

A raft of companies moved to the Smart Phone devices, with Sony Ericsson releasing its very good P900 range, requiring a stylus to operate. Nokia, Palm and Psion all releasing devices that could be loosely termed tablets, although some of them were akin to today’s net-book devices.

Enter Apple ( Isaac Newton again) and the release of the iPad in 2010. At last there was a relatively affordable true, smart tablet device available. Color screen, Wi-Fi, Applications, you name it it has it, plus a large development budget.

The world has embraced the iPad, and it’s relations such as the iPod and the iPhone. Constant redevelopment has seen improvements on chip-sets  screen technology, battery life and the price point makes them affordable for business users, students, and home users alike.

Who would have thought that your medical notes could have been recorded and updated on a handheld touch-screen device, you could watch films, read books, play games, surf the ‘net, order groceries, send and receive e-mails or just simply mess about drawing pictures, all on the one device. Apple had a vision and they have delivered it. It is interesting to note that in Arthur C. Clarke's ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, the astronauts used a ‘NewsPad’ and HAL, the dissident on-board computer could be controlled from a remote tablet. Science Fiction becomes Fact once again.

If you have Apple PC’s then the iPad sits nicely alongside it, but unlike other devices on the market you don’t need to commit to Apple devices across the board. This makes it very attractive to business users who still like the Microsoft suite of software available on their desktop machines.

2012 will see the launch of upward of 80 tablet-type devices mostly all of which will deliver a decent performance, but will any of them erode the Apple market. As a technical user, I am always willing to try out any new device for review but I suggest that the iPad will do anything I want, for the foreseeable future. The release of the new iPad mini brings it to a whole new audience, as it is now a pocket or handbag sized device, looks good design wise and delivers the sort of performance that the world has come to expect.

The future is small light, handheld devices. The technology will continue to improve, the applications will become ‘every-day’ useful. Houses will have smart building controls, which will be managed from anywhere in the world by iPads and other tablet devices. I can see my home-based CCTV installation on my iPad from anywhere else in the world. I can set my TV recording device remotely. I can order anything I want from anywhere in the world, and at the same time I can write, edit and file this article. Some of you may use an iPad or another type of tablet to read it.

If Moses had received the Ten Commandments on an iPad tablet instead of a stone tablet, I wonder if he would have edited them before publishing.

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