Wednesday, April 07, 2010

uCan't Always Get What uWant

Very good news today for fans of schadenfreude, the German concept that leaves you with an extra U you thought you'd need to use but don't, so you can use it wherever else you waunt!* Mere days after a load of Yanky people with a load of money flushed it all down a lovely, ergonomic, shiny, fruit-branded bog, their internet placemats have decided that they're too cool to do anything dorky like interface with wi-fi, instead choosing to lounge around and be pretty but useless, like a barmaid at a trendy pub ignoring the baying and dehydrated customers in order to blankly stare at a Dostoevsky tract they will never absorb.

Too harsh. Way too harsh. I have nothing against Apple. In fact, I want an iPhone more than David "Dave" Cameron wants to puree your immortal soul and use it as body butter. (Allegedly) And I know that these wi-fi glitches are just birthing pains and will surely be sorted out before most users have got to the second level of Peggle. But the iPad? Do. Not. Get.

(Incidentally, if it helps with the rising sense of deja vu you must be feeling reading an opinion piece on the iPad, let's just call this a nostalgia post, or retro-style, or something.)

It's all to do with feeling futuristic, surely? No doubt, it's a sexy old thing to play with. Nothing would make you feel more CTU than swanning about with your sleek flatscreen, manipulating vast swathes of digital information with a stroke of your fingers, even if it's less planning a convoluted counter-terrorism operation against a crack team of seemingly indestructible, vaguely Middle Eastern agents with a dirty bomb and a grudge against Manhattan, and more getting into a convoluted argument with Draperrocks46 on the Guardian messageboards about the latest episode of Mad Men. But it just seems massively impractical. Too big to stick in your pocket and carry around, too valuable to risk flaunting on the top deck of the 44, too uncomfortable to type on... But you can read books on it! Or I could just read a book, which I wouldn't worry about damaging as I fling it merrily around my manbag. But you can watch TV on it! Fine, but you'd have to put it on a flat surface and look down on it, and I don't fancy catching the latest Glee through a reflection of the interior of my own nostrils. But you can slap in on your lap and use it to browse whilst you're watching telly! Hey! Look what I'm doing right now:

That's my diddy netbook, a gadget which Steve Jobs roundly slagged off when introducing the iPad into our lives. Well, stuff it up your applehole, Steve. My diddy netbook has got nice clicky keys which make it lovely to type on, will not constantly take the piss out of my freakishly porky fingers with your oversensitive keyboard ("The fingers you have used to dial are too fat. To order a dialling wand, please smoosh the keypad now.") And it won't seem hopelessly pointless when the novelty wears off, and it sits gathering dust between my desktop computer and my iPhone, looking sadly between them, wishing it was a little bit smaller, wishing it was a baller, wishing it had a girl who looked good, it would call her, only it's too big to be used as a phone...

Anyway: the only amazing futuristic technology I will ever be interested in now is the paper smartphone as seen in Caprica. It's paper, but then internetty stuff appears on it. All this has happened before, so it'll all happen again. Yeah!

* This isn't very good. Should I explain it? OK, I will.**

** You see, I always thought it was "schaUdenfreude", but it's possible I've been pronouncing it wrong all my life, thus making the whole sentence nonsensical. Oh well. This is what happens in daily blogging, I guess.


Nicla said...

I just wrote a pithy and entertaining comment, but blogger weren't 'aving it. And can't be arsed to retype. But gist was:

- good blog post!
- the game weren't bad neither, eh?

Nicla said...


It did work. So now you have three, and I am the fool.