The Loh Life is writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh's weekly take on life, family, and pop culture in early 21st century Southern California.
Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh
Airs Mondays during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

The iPad Chronicles, Part Four: Cloudburst

Sandra Tsing Loh isn't too impressed with her iPad.

I am the stupidest person in the world, or at least I am when it comes to MAC products. Call me a card-carrying member of the Apple Idiot Bar.

I had bought an IPAD as an online LEARNING tool for my tween daughters. Of course, once I had spent 900 dollars on the 64K 3G version, I realized I didn’t want my children HANDLING such a valuable item. It was like when they got gifts of American Girl Dolls and my INSTINCT was to stash the dolls in a safe deposit box to be PAWNED later for college. “Don’t touch those dolls!”

I decided the IPAD would JUST be for mom, so I locked the bedroom door, lifted out my treasure and realized, to my surprise, that it LOOKED just like a really big phone. I could recreate my daily COMMUTER life by reading really big TEXTS on it, or pulling up a really big LA SIGALERT. How depressing!

But no. Since everything you save on the IPAD is automatically backed up in the I-CLOUD, I decided to use it to finish a book I have due. Very well. Where... to begin... typing?

I appear to be the only person in the world to have missed the fact that while you can take photos and edit film and stream movies on an IPAD, except for the feeble little “Notes” function, you can’t really WRITE on it. To do so, you have to download a 10-dollar app called PAGES to help one, quote unquote, “Create beautiful documents.” I don’t WANT to create a BEAUTIFUL document - just one in English.

Which highlights my PC person DISCONNECT with Apple products. It’s reminiscent of that old George Carlin routine comparing football with baseball. In football, you have DOWNS, while in baseball the question is, who’s UP? In football you wear a HELMET, in baseball you wear a cap!

SIMILARLY, with PC’s, you have WORD; with Apple, you have Pages! With Microsoft, you have EXCEL; with Apple, you have Numbers! It’s like no Apple users actually WORK in an OFFICE. What they do is create in a CLOUD!

“Where IS the Cloud?” my daughters asked me.

I point bitterly to the sky. “It’s somewhere up there! In the old days, we understood DATA as being in bits in silicon chips in a metal box. Now everything’s IN THE CLOUD! But I ask you, how longer will we TRUST the cloud? What happens when the cloud breaks and it rains—will all of America’s funny cat photos fall from the sky?”

“Will they?” my kids ask, wide-eyed.

On second thought, maybe we ALL need some online education. I’ll download some after Angry Birds... who hopefully will not poop in our cloud.