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Archive for February 13th, 2013

Out of Stylus

Posted by Dirck on 13 February, 2013

As I went on about vaporous fears yesterday (all: At great length!), I thought I might mention something today I approve of, and while I’m about it, cement my status as a raving hypocrite.


Did I mention that there’s an iPad in the house?  We bought it last summer, to celebrate our son’s official diagnosis of sorta-not-quite-autistic (PDD-NOS, for those seeking specificity).  We’d heard that there were some applications which helped kids of this bent, and the lad kept beating to death the moving-part-reliant portable DVD players we bought to attend longer trips, so one of the just-then outmoded iPad 2 looked like a good idea.

Months later, the investment seems to be sound.  While the autism-specific applications never really proved applicable, he’s having loads of fun learning to read from diverse TV characters, learning to drive trains via simulator (rather better than his Dad, too) and learning some basic Chinese characters because there’s a train-themed game connected to the effort.  The device has survived longer than two DVD players, and shows no signs of ill-use.

Despite having been dunked in a sink and at least twice dropped from the upper story of a bunk bed.

How’s that work?  Well, here we come to the “I approve!” segment of the day, which one might take for a paid commercial.  It’s not, but I would happily repeat the endorsement I’m about to utter in a more publicly-identifiable way.  When we bought the thing, we knew that himself was not gentle with electronics.  We thus prowled the store a little before shaking a salesman until the least commission-producing iPad fell out, and settled upon the most effective looking protective we could find.  The item in question, the Griffin Survivor, claims to live up to a US military specification, and whatever the truth of that claim, it has certainly stood the test of active and inquiring four-year-old.

It’s not perfect.  The primary drawback to the case is that it weights three times what the thing inside it does, which makes holding the iPad at arm’s length for any length of time a challenge.  It’s also not indestructible, as there are several scratches on the clear plate protecting the screen.   The funny thing is, I did that.  My dad got a promotional six-pack of iPad styli through his business, and passed them along; a squishy, rubbery hemisphere on the end of a hexagonal aluminum shaft.  Since it’s pen-shaped, I approached it like a pen.  The squishy thing folded out of the way, and the edge of the shaft dug into the screen.  Or, rather, the screen protector.  Hail the mighty Survivor!

I do, of course, blame the stylus.  To blame myself would be to blame fountain pens, and I’ll never do that, of course.

Where’s the hypocrisy?  That whole thing I was complaining about yesterday– that was, if not invented by Apple, certainly polished to a mirror brightness by them.  And yet, I buy their stuff.

Today’s pen (which one holds at an angle, damn it!): Sheaffer Balance Craftsman
Today’s ink: Skrip semi-vintage blue-black

as a rhetorical aside; it appears from that second paragraph that I’m being paid by the hyphen, doesn’t it?  Also, is it sufficiently clear that I despise the new contraction referring to programs for portable devices?

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