Dad, it's only 2.21 gigabytes, why's it taking so long to download? I looked at my son when he asked me this, and had to reconcile myself to the fact that we are IN the future. I had to stop and think about what he just said... he was expecting to download 1.21 gigabytes quickly!! Really, all that data and he wants it now! Amazing!
'1.21 gigabytes... 1.21gigabytes...!!!' I thought to myself. Perhaps this number has some sort of cosmic significance, or maybe it is just a coincidence, but I felt very much like Doc in Back to the Future when Marty told him the amount of energy required to get him Back to the Future!
It took another moment for me to answer him.
"Bandwidth." I said. He's nine and already knows what bandwith is.
"Yeah, but why's it so slow?"
He looked a bit frustrated. I had to laugh quietly to myself. Slow! Can you imagine!
"The first modem I had would take a few days to download a 1.21 gigabyte file, my son. Now you're downloading in just a few minutes and you think that's slow," I exclaimed.
"Yes, it IS slow," he replied, as if I should know that already.
He clearly wasn't impressed. He looked at me for a few more seconds. "What's a modem?" he asked after a few seconds more. "Is it like a router... or our 5 gigahertz wi-fi network?" he asked.
Boy, haven't we come a long way in such a short space of time!! He knows about wi-fi speeds, but doesn't know what a modem is. I am getting a glimpse of what my grandfather says to me about the amazing changes that have happened in his lifetime. Just a few years ago we were waiting for a modem in to 'dial-up' ... just to connect to the internet!
I told him this.
He looked at me as if I were crazy.
"You used to have to wait just to CONNECT to the internet?! How did you get anything done!?" he replied, incredulous.
I suppose that is almost unthinkable for a kid who's been brought up in a family of web-designers fully immersed in the internet, having had an iPad at his fingertips since it arrived in Australia, and being educated at home-school.
The internet IS an essential part of his life... next to love, water, food, shelter, sun and exercise... his education via the internet is paramount.
It's amazing what we now take for granted, eh? I think it's AMAZING.
iPad is what I've been waiting for since I was HIS age. Full connectivity, creativity, education and entertainment, plus a bit of relaxation, music all packed into a cool hi tech gadget I could take with me wherever I go... that I can TOUCH or TALK TO!?!!?
Well it's here, and it is iPad.
I just carried the shell of my once 'super-cool, super-fast' Windows PC and tossed it into the trash compactor. I had a momentary flashback... thinking I could transplant some of the parts into a new machine... but then I realised that I am well-and-truly an Apple man.
The PC is now so passé!
I couldn't imagine any other way of doing things. iPad (and Mac) makes EVERYTHING easier!
For instance, for a second I almost pressed CTRL+S (which is keyboard for SAVE), but then I realised that I was typing on my iPad in Notes. It just saves it. No need to ask iPad to save the note. It's saved. That's the way it SHOULD be.
Now, everyone in the family can each access anything across the internet simultaneously without really slowing any of us down. How amazing is that! I remember dragging cables around the house just so three PCs could connect to the net... now we just flick on Wi-Fi in our iPad Settings and we're good to go!
Sure, dialup was fun, and even exciting for the first decade, but now, thanks to iPad, the internet is in my hands... the only thing I dial-up is my family on FaceTime!
And look at that, the file is downloaded!
"That didn't take long!" I said.
"Ah, Dad!" he said, and headed off to watch the newly downloaded movie!
"Great scott!" I said in my head, thinking back to the 80's. I laughed, and brought myself back to 2012. 2.21 gigabytes in just a few minutes. Amazing.
Enjoy your iPad. The future is in your hands.
~ iPad Dad