Birthday Gift iPads in July 2010

IMG_2095, originally uploaded by dynamicsubspace.

It’s almost Christmas time when there is much cheer and giving of gifts, but I forgot to blog about the most useful gift that Y and I received this past year on our birthdays in July. My folks gave us each an iPad to use with our research and writing. Of course, iPads are good for a great many things ranging the serious scholarly work to drawing messages of encouragement to Y’s sister in Taiwan. Y and I have found our own ways of using our iPads, but there is also a great deal of overlap due to its Internet and media focus.

Over the past five months, Y has used her iPad for reading, email, and browsing mostly. She particularly uses it to keep up with the news back in Taiwan and to stay in touch with her friends. The latest update to iOS 4.2 was a major coup for her engagement of her iPad, because it includes additional language input support for Traditional Chinese. She clued me into the free dictionary available with the free Kindle app for iPad. In her off time, she enjoys reading public domain classics like The Count of Monte Christo. She also enjoys puzzle games, which are very well suited for the touch interface on the iPad, too.

I have likewise used the Internet capabilities of the iPad and I have read most of my dissertation material on the iPad after transferring it–one way or another. It is also very useful for carrying around my syllabi, assignments, and lecture notes when I teach. Free science fiction ebooks and scholarly journal articles in PDF are well suited for the iPad. Reading comics and watching videos are another fun thing that I use my iPad for. As I have already noted on, I occasionally use my iPad for blogging, too. I do have a number of games, usually purchased on sale including Final Fantasy I and II, but I have not had a chance to enjoy these yet.

You can click through the picture to see the whole Flickr set of us unboxing and using our iPads for the first time.

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Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.