So you bought a new iPad (or, From California with Love)

Congratulations! You are now part of the mass-consuming elite.

The first thing you need to do with your newfound status is tell ALL of your friends. Immediately. Hit Facebook with more exclamation marks!!!!!!!!! and cries of “Yessssssss” than your FB friends thought they could ever possibly handle (you might lose a few, actually, but you can tell yourself they were driven mad with jealousy and it had nothing to do with the fact that you were being a monumental tool).

Bragging over, it’s time to enjoy your new toy. Remember when that new laptop was but an overnight wait for the battery to charge away? Ha! Instantly, you’ll be transfixed by that screen. The one boasting the all-new and improved retinal display that squeezes a stupid amount of pixels in the one screen. You didn’t think you’d be that impressed, but you can’t help it. The inner technology nerd you buried a long time ago along with that purple Gameboy Color and the PC version of Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit just wants to sit and look at it. All day. And unless you’re some special kind of yuppie and you have an iPad 2 collecting dust beside your iPhone 4S, you don’t realize the significance of it. It really is the best thing the Apple thinktank have come up with. And it is, as all the envious iPad 2 owners with enough sense or too little funds to not upgrade will tell you, a thousand times better than its predecessor in practically every way.

So you feel pretty awesome.
And it’s not over yet.

The next urge is to protect this thin and wonderful device from the cruel, harsh world you’ve just brought it into. Its life insurance policy must be the next purchase you make.

This sadistically awkward and wholly intimidating piece of ingenuity is known as a Screen Protector. The lack of an instruction manual couples with idiot-proof numbered tags to lull you into a false seems of security, but be warned: you will fail. First you’ll wipe and polish and flick all itty-bitty pieces of dust and debris that have floated like moths to an LCD screen in the whole five minutes it’s been out of the box. And – ten points to you, you tech-savvy thing! – you’ll take a minute to familiarize yourself with the best line of attack before ripping off one side of the adhesive and lining it up.

Soon you’ll rip it off and try again because there is nothing more horrific on God’s green earth than air bubbles.

Thirty minutes and sanity later it occurs to you why there are three Protectors in a packet and you realise it probably should have served as a red flag more than anything. The manufacturer isn’t being generous; they’re avoiding thousands of potential lawsuits.

But look! Your patience has paid off! With a disproportionate amount of happiness and pride you admire the shining, protected screen before you and enjoy the initial sensations of finger-on-multi-touch-sensitive glass during the setup process.

Finally, there it is. Your New iPad is ready to be used – and it even comes with a few nifty little Apps you can start playing with. You oblige. “Hey,” you tell yourself, “these are actually really cool.”

It weighs next to nothing – not nearly enough to complain about – and is thinner than your diary. You could load it up with books and take the virtual library with you all around the world without forking out $15 a kilo extra thanks to Bryce Courtney’s latest. You could take photos with it or put photos on it and earmark the ones Grandma wants you to print her for scrapbooking purposes. You could write emails and essays and sonnets. You could record an original song. Use a virtual map to avoid getting lost. Send a text message. Receive a video call. Make a video call.

The possibilities are endless, you realize, and inevitably, inexplicably, irrevocably, your next thought is, “I wonder what other Apps there are.”

And that’s a whole other post.

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