I must say this up front: I am unabashedly in love with my iPad. I use it daily for many tasks. I get my news from Reeder (which is the best RSS reader in the App Store bar none), Twitter and Facebook fixes, and of course gaming. When I first got the iPad I gave serious consideration to selling my Macbook. I was sure the iPad could replace it. I was very close to listing the laptop on eBay. When I decided to bring this site back after a two year hiatus, I soon realized I couldn’t simply sever myself from the full desktop computing experience.
The realities of setting up a website, even one as simple as a WordPress blog, still require the investment of time and the use of powerful tools. This is one area where the iPad cannot compete. Tasks such as website administration, managing FTP connections, SQL databases, bulk image uploads, and general CSS code editing and tweaks are not easily done from an iPad. A multitasking OS environment is an absolute must. This may be obvious to some as the iPad is generally known for consumption, not creation. Nevertheless, it was interesting to see my lofty expectations quickly grounded. After having not used my Macbook Pro for a solid fours months, I suddenly needed it more than ever.
The process of migrating this site from Serendipity to WordPress alone was a one and a half week effort (a few hours a night). I was knee deep in SQL databases, choosing themes and plugins, and tweaking code to get exactly what I wanted. My iPad sat on the sidelines. After that experience I’ve landed in a great place. I no longer saddle the iPad with the unrealistically high expectations of replacing a desktop computing experience. I can now truly enjoy it for its intended purpose. I now realize it’s going to be a while before the iPad or something like it can truly replace the desktop.
The iPad is indeed “magical and revolutionary” for its ease of use and media capabilities. It is obviously the beginning of something bigger in the world of computing. I can’t wait to see what happens next. But for now, I’ll be doing all my “real work” from a laptop or desktop. What ever else I can get away with will be done on the iPad.