This past weekend, I visited my 86 year old mother-in-law, and set her up with the iPad. Ive posted about my plans before, and thought Id just give a quick update in case anyone was curious, for whatever reason Shes been using webTV for a number of years (technically, now MSNTV2). That works OK for e-mail, but is very limited for surfing. Since there is no mouse, you have to use the arrow keys to go from link to link. Plus, the TV screen has very limited resolution, so the formatting of most things is a mess. But, Ill have to say If youre going to use your TV for all your internet needs, MSNTV2 is about as good as you can do, I think. It is easy to use. Shes never used a mouse, so the idea of setting her up with a regular computer would have been problematic. The whole concept of programs, files, folders, etc. was just something that I didnt want to get started with. Plus, we live 2 hours away, so cant be on-site for tech support calls when she clicked on something strange. The iPad promises to overcome both those problems. The touch screen is a lot more intuitive, and the OS is so simple, you cant break things very easily, or get lost. Simple instructions: If you get messed-up, just hit the button and start over. So, it was most of a day to go through the iPad, and show her how it works, and what to press to do what. We started out with a solitare game to get the feel of the touch screen, then checked out a couple other apps so she could see whats possible then moved to e-mail. We got her a keyboard dock, as the typing experience is a lot better on that. Finally, we showed her how to search for things on google, click on links, and use the back button on the browser to go back. It was interesting to see the iPad through her eyes. Some random observations: When you compose an e-mail and the iPad thinks something is misspelled (i.e. if its just some odd word), it underlines the word with a wavy line. She was concerned that the person who got the e-mail would see this wavy red line, or not. She asked about this a few times. No, its just a guide for you This isnt a concept I thought needed explaining, but I guess it does The touchscreen is really sensitive. There were a few times where she was reaching up to touch something, and accidentally hit something else first, and didnt even feel her finger hit the screen. Then, she wondered why it was doing what it was doing This could be a problem, but hopefully, shell get better as time goes. The mail app is way better in landscape vs. portrait. But, if youre using the keyboard dock to do mail, youre kind of stuck with the portrait view. I think she was mostly trying to memorize the different screens and which button did what on which screen. Its like she wanted to know the steps you do to send an e-mail, etc. This is quite a bit different than how most people approach this the steps you take depend on where you are. I was thinking about this most equipment does work with a series of definite steps. If youre going to start the dishwasher, you always hit the same sequence of buttons. But, with a computer, its quite different its more like navigating a series of streets there are many paths to get where you need to go, and how to get there depends on where you currently are. Anyway, it wasnt something Id thought much about previously. One of the bigger challenges was trying to learn the different gestures, and when to do each; swipe, press, pinch, reverse pinch, etc She would often try to swipe when she should press. Plus, with some things when you press-and-hold you get some other function. Being 86, some of her presses are long ones, while she thinks if thats really what she wants to do. If you press and hold an app, when trying to open it, it makes all the icons jiggle so you can move them around and/or delete them. This led to another what happened? Whats it doing? moment When you connect the iPad to the keyboard dock, there is no satisfying clicking feel/sound. The iPad does make a sound, which helps, but sometimes its not clear if the iPad is a little crooked in the dock. I had anticipated that itd take some learning to realize it was a touchscreen, and not a press screen that it doesnt matter how hard you press. But, she figured this out very quickly. We found and printed the gigantic iPad manual. I didnt even know such a thing existed. Im not sure if shell ever need to use it, but its there in case she does. Her neighbor was criticizing the iPad before ever seeing it (why would you want to get that, etc). But then it came out that her neighbor had never actually heard of the iPad, or knew what it was. Funny. She wont have a computer to sync this to. Ill just sync it every now and then when I visit. I dont think this will be a problem. The iPad will be on my iTunes account So, I guess she could go crazy and start downloading apps and music and books Hmm might have to change my password ;-) So, its been a couple days now Things seem so far, so good. She says she thinks the iPad is a keeper. The main problem is that its my iPad that shes borrowing until she decides if shell really give up the WebTV for this. So, Im iPad-less & coping as best I can until we get her one of her own or I get a new one (3G? ;-) Also, it seems Im possibly being volunteered to set up other similarly experienced users with an iPad tutorial & their own iPad. Im not sure how thatll all work, but I guess well see!