The iPad Diary episode #1

Professor Manuela Soares, an instructor in the Graduate Publishing program, has allowed us to take a  rare glimpse into her diary. She is the first member of the faculty to bravely accept the iPad challenge. Written in diary format, Professor Soares shares her week long journey of using the iPad as her sole computing device.


It was raining in New York and I was eager to get to the airport and start the trip. iPad in hand, charger in my bag. I know it says 10 hours, but it always feels like less. I had it plugged in yesterday and unplugged when it reached 100%. I’ve been told it’s not good to leave these devices plugged in indefinitely. This morning, the iPad registered 98% – but hadn’t been used at all. Now it’s 96%.

Rain in New York – and  just heard on the news – a tsunami headed to California. Flying directly into trouble. At least I’ll be entertained.

Waiting at the airport, my traveling companion had a copy of New York magazine and I started the crossword puzzle, then hunted for sandwiches for the plane, and used the iPad for about 10-20 minutes to check my messages and download a couple of magazines.

Read a ya novel on the flight, along with the current issue of the New Yorker and Martha Stewart I had downloaded into the iPad earlier.

About 6 hours later – San Francisco

A friend picked us up at the airport  – which is what people do in SF and we rode into town. At Union Square we noticed a very long line of people and wondered why they were waiting in line. Stopped at a light, we analyzed the crowd – all young and hip we decided. What were they waiting for? The line was so long we could see around the block. Then it hit me – the new iPad 2.

The next day we walked to Union Square and sure enough, there was the Apple store that had been out of sight when we stopped the day before.

At the hotel, I decided to read a little before my nap – and needed to download another book – since I had just been reading a sample. I looked at the battery – 13%. I guess that’s about right – but still not the 10 hours everyone thinks it should run. I plugged in the iPad.


The hotel was supposed to have wifi – and it does – for an additional $15.95 A DAY! So forget surfing the web or buying any new books. I can always go to a Starbucks or find wifi elsewhere, but so far we’ve been too busy with family events. Reading a new mystery – Damage — that takes place in SF. OK, but not liking it as much as The Help, which I’d recently finished. I have a few papers downloaded to Dropbox, but without an Internet connection I couldn’t sync those files. Guess I would have had the same problem with my laptop.

Had wanted to download the new blackboard app, but didn’t have a chance before I left. Now can’t download. But wait – somewhere in the hotel someone named John Wright has a wifi connection on his MacBook pro – and I can coattail on his connection. At least for as long as it takes to download the blackboard app. Success! Thanks, John.
But of course, if I wanted to connect to Blackboard or anything else I still need wifi. I would take the iPad with me, but when we go out for the day, I often have my nikon (heavy), and other stuff, so the iPad is usually left at home. Even the new slimmer thinner iPad seemed heavy to me when I tried it at the apple store yesterday. They are sold out; expecting more on Tuesday. My friend was particularly impressed with that magnetic cover.


The Borders store is closing and we stopped by to see if there were any bargains we couldn’t pass up. Sad to say, no. Even the few things we considered meant carrying them around for the rest of the trip, so we didn’t buy anything.


Extremely frustrated by not having wifi, but would have the same problem if I had the laptop instead. Managed to access the Dropbox and sync so I could get my files. Some didn’t sync properly and I can’t access them.


In Napa and wanted to find the names of some restaurants, but no wifi. Used my iPhone; it also has a built-in GPS so we can find our way around town. Too frustrating not having wifi – this hotel charges for wifi access, too. Fifteen $ a day.

I can still read my book and have been able to read a student paper as well, but can’t annotate it.


On our way back to NYC. I managed to do some work; read a lot; played a few games. But next week, on a business trip to Chicago – I’ll take my laptop. Maybe it’s the keyboard that makes it easier to work on. Or just the fact that everything I need is already on the laptop. But, I guess if I used the iPad more, that wouldn’t be an issue.

The iPad does slide snugly into the side pocket of the laptop case, so I can bring both for now.

Will you accept the iPad challenge?  If so, please contact Martina Blackwood at

The iPad Challenge!

If you are currently using your iPad merely as a mobile social device, while reserving serious tasks for your laptop or desktop, then you are not alone. Although many people are still buzzing over the iPads, they have yet to release their firm  grip on their traditional machines. When they need to do more than send a few emails, take notes and browse the app store, they immediately turn to standard desktops and laptops. Have you ever attempted to use your iPad as your main computerized device?  If you are willing to use your iPad only for at least a week, please document your experience and share it with all of us on the iPad blog.Your story may be just the inspiration that we need to see if the iPad can replace our laptops and desktops. You may also help us to discover why we may never fully release our desktops and laptops from our clutches.

Are you willing to take the iPad challenge?