The gift of soon-to-be outdated technology can be free, sort of

Note: This column appears in the 3/10 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/11 issue of the Peoria Times

My brother-in-law, God bless him, gave my wife an iPad. I was actually going to buy her one for her birthday, and was about to approach her with the awkward question of, “Can you help me pay for it?” when we got the news. I was very relieved at being off the hook, and am hoping a $25 iPad accessory will knock her socks off just the same.

My brother-in-law was able to give his sister the best new tech device on the market because he won an iPad at work. My brother-in-law has the type of job where you can win an iPad at work. I bring a sandwich to work every day, so I can’t say I felt too bad, although the gesture remains amazingly kind. It wasn’t as if he didn’t want one for himself, but he a) recognized that she could utilize it more for professional purposes, and b) he preferred to get the latest version when it arrives at a later date—that date being Friday when the iPad 2 arrives.

In fact, it’s those warp-speed advances in technology that amaze me more than anything. For example, we already have an Apple computer, and we only had to hook the iPad up to it to get it started. Easy, right? Well, in doing so we discovered that our operating system was not compatible—we purchased our computer just over three years ago—meaning that two Apple products could not sync because one, from the ancient year of 2007 AD, was so comically outdated. So, I needed to purchase a new operating system so we could use our free iPad. I found myself ordering something called a “snow leopard” and when it arrived we cautiously installed it and watched the progress bar move for 45 minutes with our hearts in our throats as our computer began making many strange noises. My wife was worried the screen was going to go black and flash the message, “You’ve been bit by the snow leopard!” and we would lose all of our stuff.

Thankfully, that did not happen. However, the excitement of successfully installing the new system was tempered by the realization that in about two months it will be outdated, and we’ll have to purchase the “sweaty panther 2.3 OSZ” system in order to keep up ($39.99). Also, I do realize that most of what I’m saying here is not making a lick of sense to many people. I’m sorry. Consider this column for all my tech-geeks out there … what’s up playas? Operating systems are craaaazeeeee, yo! See, I’m down!

Anyway, once that was done my wife was able to hook up the iPad. That evening we both sat at our kitchen table, she on her iPad and I on the Macbook, as she occasionally texted on her Blackberry and I charged my iPod and listened to iTunes. We did not speak directly to each other for over an hour. It was the most romantic evening ever.

Also, the iPad is amazing. A-maz-ing. There is almost no limit to how it will enable her to better interact with the kids she works with on a daily basis. Of course, the first thing she did once she set it up was go on facebook. Still though.

Surely, three years—or, three minutes—from now something newer and better will hit the market, and my fingers are crossed that my brother-in-law will win one at work and give it to us for free. In the meantime, I’m off to buy my wife a sexy new iPad screen protector. Shhhh! Don’t say anything.

You were looking for OSX Tiger? Pfftt, what is this -- 2009? Ha, ha. Seriously though -- I ate him.


Anthony P. said…
Hahaha great stuff Mike. Silence is truly romantic!