Is the ipad a computer? A comment

Discussion in 'iPad' started by yaesumofo, May 1, 2010.

  1. yaesumofo macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2009
    In the early days (80-83) of personal computers I owned an EAGLE PC with a 4.77 Mhz 8088 processor and a 8087 FPU. +am upgraded 640K of ram.
    From my point of view then this was an amazing machine. Kick ass.
    BTW there were no mice, no GUI. everything was text based.
    Hell I could draw a Mandelbrot set image in 3 or 4 days. Sometimes 2 or three days.
    I could easily produce my papers and print them. I could produce basic personal and business workflow.
    Yes I could plug in a printer but B&W only no graphics.

    Jump to the Ipad.
    The ipad does a whole lot more (and less) than my old Eagle. I can't easily Print.
    Producing text was easy. The eagle wouldn't display images, for example...
    OK the question is how do you define computer? What does a computer do?
    The ipad seems to me to be a primary display device. YET I can read and write email, I can easily generate fractal images, I can track my gas mileage, (over a long period)on the Ipad. Really what I can do is only limited by the imagination of developers and the hardware.

    OK So IMHO the Ipad is a computer whose job is to display content and run apps.

    As I have said elsewhere, what is important about the iPad is what it CAN'T do rather than what it can do.
    With Apps the sky seems to be the Limit in terms of what the machine can do.

    What we expect from our computers has changed.
    My reality is that my iPhone is more powerful than my first FEW computers.
    The Ipad is an even more powerful device. Yes it is a computer.
    I suspect we will see devices with more and more powerful computers at their CORE all looking like and acting like something else.

    The cloud will become more and more important. The iPad could become our primary conduit to the cloud...
  2. wombat888 macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2008
    Do we need another thread about this? To give the opinions I've given in the other threads -

    - by a literal definition, your microwave, cell phone, car, stereo, DVR and possibly watch are computers. If you are only concerned about technicalities, we can stop here. The iPad is clearly a computer by technical definitions.

    - however, when people talk about computers, they tend to mean a certain range of things that clearly excludes microwaves, cell phones (even smartphones), cars, stereos, DVRs and watches

    - so in terms of this social definition, is the iPad a computer? I don't think so, although it's closer than all of those other items. There are too many differences in use patterns. The iPad is good for things that computers are bad at, and bad at things that computers are good at.

    - comparing CPU speed etc is meaningless for the social comparison. There is no doubt that your Eagle was a computer and was marketed as a computer. This discussion would have never taken place then, but demonstrably is taking place now, which should tell you something

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