Tech with Tom: Get your iPad while you can

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 29 views 

 

Editor’s note: Tech with Tom Kirkham is intended to provide practical information about a wide range of electronic products, software and communication issues. Tom has promised to use layman terms, where possible, and to avoid geeky acronyms unless using said acronyms are the build up to an off-color joke built largely around sophomoric innuendo. Seriously, this should be good stuff and it will post on Fridays (barring any breaking news from Steve Jobs or elsewhere in the Tech world). Enjoy.

• Apple iPad Available for Pre-order.
At 7:30 Central Standard Time this morning, Apple’s iPad became available for preorder from apple.com. What’s an iPad? Think large iPod Touch or iPhone (sort of) with a 9.7 inch full color screen. It is not a phone, but certain models have AT&T 3G built in, so the device has Internet access wherever AT&T phones work. Apple has designed the device for not only running the World Wide Web and emailing, but also for being a highly capable e-book reader. A Kindle with a larger screen. In color. Faster.

Enlightened newspapers and magazines are also excited about the capabilities that a hand-held, full-color, multi-media device could mean for them, especially in these times of woe and want in the dead tree business.

I think it will be a success and a game changer. Apparently, a number of others think so as well. Stock analysts have forecast tight supplies, rumors are swelling that Apple stores will only stock a limited number of iPads over the amount preordered, and the Apple Web site limits the quantity purchased to 2. That’s how many I bought. If you are thinking about buying a Kindle or a laptop for reading, surfing the web and checking email, do yourself a favor and head over to the Apple site and check out the video. Prices start at $499.
 
• Communities Ga Ga over Google
Cities all over are suddenly in love with Google, especially since the Fiber for Communities announcement. It seems that millions of people are ready to drink Internet through a firehose, and these cities are in competition with each other to be the chosen one(s). No one knows where, when or even how Google is going to bestow their award or awards, but this fact has not prevented these communities from pulling out all the stops.

For the month of March, Topeka is to be called Google, Kansas. Sarasota, Fla., is Google Island. Special Web sites, videos and Facebook pages have been created by these communities to stand out from the crowd. Next week, The City Wire will report on the efforts in our community.
 
• Painting with Spreadsheets
The Google Docs team created a drawing by using nothing but colored squares on a spreadsheet. Four people worked simultaneously and the whole thing has been reduced to a quick 60 second video:

 
Pretty cool — if you have the time and patience. The lazy geek way is to look for a shortcut. Try ExcelArt for free.

Notes on Tom
Tom Kirkham is the publisher and co-owner of The City Wire. Tom also is host of the Tom Kirkham Show on Newstalk KWHN 1320 AM, which airs each Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. He also owns and operates Kirkham Systems, a computer, communication and networking company. Tom has more than 20 years of experience in business and technology, and claims to be a photographer, jazz lover, Cajun food expert and dog rancher.

You can reach Tom at [email protected]