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Saturday, January 30, 2010

iPad Time ... Not the Right Time

By Silvia Uribe

Whatever the name is, I want one. Let me rephrase that: I want one…now. Actually, this might just be the product that will make me transition from Windows (to which I have been forever loyal) to Apple. In fact, I think I can make the switch even though they decided to call it iPad, as they had threatened - a name which, I think, won't be appealing to most women just by association of ideas - I still want it.

Apple simply seems to be getting ahead of the game, as far as I am concerned, not only in design and technology, but also in security. I have other, more mundane reasons for wanting the iPad; its functionality, its size (9.7 inches), and its weight (only about one pound). Another important consideration is that about every three years, I usually go for a technology update. As a writer, I need the best tools to be able to focus on the creative side of my profession, right? Of course!

I can already visualize myself going with my very lightweight iPad to sit in front of the Santa Barbara Ocean, and write for endless hours (provided that its battery life is as good as the rest of its features) without anyone interrupting me at home with questions such as: What are we going to eat? What groceries do we need to buy? Or when are we taking Pancha to the vet?

What part of "I'm working" is so hard to get?

Unfortunately, in this climate in which business is slow, and income is not anywhere close to where it used to be, we need to analyze any expenditure we want to make. We appear to have moved from what I call "spontaneous" shopping to "scrupulous" shopping.

As much as I fantasize about my iPad and how it could be my ticket to peaceful writing time, it is too bad this "dream product" comes out at a time when I am, like many, almost broke. I cannot spend between $700 and $1,000, simply because I want an upgrade, and for the privacy I long to have.

"This is just the way it is now", my friend Jody (not her real name) told me at a gathering last night, when she shared that her retired husband will have to go back to work to be able to make it. "Everybody, at every level, has felt the heat, and no one is shy about admitting it."

I agree. In fact - and God knows how much I hate to accept it - I believe that what's happening with the economy is making us all finally understand that our lifestyle needed to change. It was already too demanding and too self-indulgent. Just for this reason, this crisis is (ouch!) beneficial.

Now, we can see how much we've splurged, how much debt we've accrued, and in how much greed and competition we were living. The financial pains that we're globally suffering, like any other kind of pain, have sobered us up, and have made us realize that we needed to change our ways.

As certain as the fact is that we need to change our habits, is the fact that I very much want my iPad little toy. Oops! Excuse me, my little working tool. That's why I had to go through the same process I put my children through when they were stubborn about something they wanted: Ask yourself - I used to say - will you die without it? Can you still do what you have to do, even if you don't have it? So, can you then wait for a while before getting it?

The positive thing about not buying the iPad now is, that when I finally do it, in a year or so, it will not be the hot new item that it is right now, and its price will be considerably lower. Not only that, but I will also have one additional benefit - the unavoidable glitches of any first version, will be fixed for the following models.

Waiting has its benefits, after all.

Silvia Uribe is a freelance writer with a Latina perspective.

Cross-posted at

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