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Dept. of You *Are* Kidding, Right?

Pop Quiz

Say you're a professional journalist, one who makes her living by writing stories and taking notes. That's what you do, using your fingers to type all day, using your computer to do research, popping back and forth between screens full of interview notes, web research and the story that you have underway.

Say your company gives you an iPad that you didn't ask for. Say the iPad doesn't easily allow you to switch screens, not unless you can find and use a clunky app. Say it doesn't easily connect to the editorial copy system that your company uses. Say that the keyboard options you have for the iPad are a small rubberized one that your company issued to you, or the electronic one that appears on the screen, shrinking the available screen size even more.

Then say your company issues an edict that you have to return the Macbook laptop it issued you several years ago, which has a keyboard large enough to do regular typing, and a screen and operating system that provides for multiple screens, ease of connectivity to the editorial copy system, etc. etc., yada-yada.

Say company honchos tell you that from now on you have to do all your writing on the iPad. That's not "in an emergency while on the road." That's not "an occasional story." That's forever. No actual computer, like the big kids have.






This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/257090.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.

Comments

( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
jessalrynn
May. 1st, 2013 05:06 pm (UTC)
Write an article on it! *laughs*

Seriously, though, my husband asked me if I wanted to trade my MacBook which was purchased explicitly to the specifications of my writing for an iPad. I told him I'd do it when they had a hologram screen feature so I could see what I was doing while doing it.

If you type 100 words a minute, texting doesn't come easy.
kaffyr
May. 1st, 2013 05:38 pm (UTC)
Write an article on it! *laughs*

Yes, that's pretty much every staffer's reaction thus far. Our problem is that these were mandated by someone at the very top of the food chain, someone whose main interest is to show that his staff has the shiniest new toys — the kind he likes to play with as a non-journalist — even if they were never designed for the job. Gah.

(And feel free to click on through to take the poll. It didn't transfer over when I cross-posted it from Dreamwidth, but you can still take it over there. I'm interested in the kind of monumentally non-scientific responses I'll get. Heh.)
aililinnea
May. 1st, 2013 06:51 pm (UTC)
Oh, ouch. My daughter has an iPad and that's like her first language at this point, but whenever I try to use it, it makes me insane. You have to switch keyboard screens to type an APOSTROPHE, for crying out loud.

Let's see if this Dilbert cartoon about arbitrary management decisions will actually post here:

(nope)

Apparently my html is rusty, but in the cartoon, they tell all the employees that they have to keep their keyboards on the floor, just because.

kaffyr
May. 1st, 2013 06:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, ouch. My daughter has an iPad and that's like her first language at this point,

I'd be interested in knowing what she uses it for, and whether she has a need to store a lot of material (because the iPad forces you to store everything in some cloud or other, or on losable USB memory sticks, since it has no storage capacity of its own.) If she's doing daily writing of any length on that thing, she has my slightly croggled awe and respect.

it makes me insane. You have to switch keyboard screens to type an APOSTROPHE, for crying out loud.

I rest my case. And even without seeing the Dilbert cartoon, I am agreeing with it. Our owners are like that. Gah.
aililinnea
May. 2nd, 2013 01:39 am (UTC)
She seems to spend most of her time on the iPad surfing Tumblr and watching tv shows (what do you want? she's 17), but she also does a lot of her school assignments on it. I asked her about the apostrophe thing, and she said that if you hold down the "," key, an apostrophe key will appear above it. Apparently there are other options on many keys if you hold them down. Who knew? But it sounds like you have to learn a whole different process of typing. I think she has a special word processing app that's designed for the iPad.

She uses Googledocs and pretty much keeps everything in the cloud. Actually I do too, because although I have my own cubicle with my own computer at work, I spend a lot of my time there in various production studios, and it's handy to be able to access scripts and schedules and stuff no matter where I am. The PTB decided it was easier to make sure every room has a computer in it than to get us all laptops. Googledocs is pretty userfriendly once you get used to it.

My daughter got her iPad through her old school (which is, sadly, closed now - long story). They had a grant to do a study about using technology in the classroom. Half the kids got iPads and half got laptops. Before they had gotten very far into the school year, everybody was saying that laptops were better, but now she has this thing and it was free, so that's what she uses.

Long rant about technology: I'm so old, I was really annoyed when computers started having mice. I'm a very fast typist, and I felt like every time I had to take my fingers off the keyboard to click and drag something, it slowed me down. I spent a lot of hours in the 1980's getting really good at WordPerfect, and then I had to give it up in the 90's because every time I had WordPerfect and an internet browser open at the same time, it made my computer crash.

You kids get off my lawn.
kaffyr
May. 2nd, 2013 12:54 pm (UTC)
What you say about your daughter's iPad usage, and her ability to adjust to a different typing format, doesn't surprise me. The story of how she got the thing is more than a little sad; it sounds like a neat school. (It also doesn't surprise me that folks were liking laptops better. Like your daughter, everyone can - if they absolutely must - adjust to work on or with an inferior tool. It doesn't mean they have to like it.)

I love Googledocs and I do all my personal writing there, because it means I am not limited to writing the same thing on one computer only. However, after I've written something, I generally copy it to my home laptop's hard drive. That gives me a permanent record and allows me to continue with something even if (as admittedly is a vanishingly small possibility) the Google cloud is unavailable. And that has happened at least once within the past year.

I spent a lot of hours in the 1980's getting really good at WordPerfect,

Oh, man, another WordPerfect lover! We were completely a WordPerfect household around here, and used to grumble at the perceived inadequacies of Word. Our problem seemed to be that we were in a tiny minority, and WP simply didn't mesh with Word when we wanted to share documents with the rest of the world. Stupid Word. Now I tend to use Office Libre, which feels a bit more like WP to me, and it has the added benefit of having slightly less chilly relations with Word.

marence
May. 2nd, 2013 03:50 pm (UTC)
Aw man, you're IT department sucked.
Didn't anyone ever show you guys the menu item that changed the Word screen to WordPerfect blue? You could even use most of the keyboard shortcuts from WP 5.1.
kaffyr
May. 2nd, 2013 06:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Aw man, you're IT department sucked.
Now someone tells me. Groan.
marence
May. 2nd, 2013 03:48 pm (UTC)
I'm so old, I was really annoyed when computers started having mice. I'm a very fast typist, and I felt like every time I had to take my fingers off the keyboard to click and drag something, it slowed me down.

Back in the aerly 90s, I was doing computer tech/help desk contract work. One of my jobs was rolling out Windows 3.1 machines to a law firm. The secretaries had just finally gotten used to WordPerfect on DOS, and 10% of our help desk calls were complaints about having to use the mouse. One woman called and said she needed a different mouse, because the buttons were too small. I went down to her office, wondering about the size of fingers that would find mouse buttons too small, and found the mouse on the floor under her desk. She had taken off her shoe to feel the buttons better, because she was using it like a sewing machine foot pedal.
aililinnea
May. 2nd, 2013 04:15 pm (UTC)
That is hilarious!
kaffyr
May. 2nd, 2013 06:01 pm (UTC)
*snrk*

My icon says it all.
lost_spook
May. 1st, 2013 07:20 pm (UTC)
!!!

(That was me having no words, probably not completely unlike you trying to write on an iPad.)
kaffyr
May. 2nd, 2013 01:52 am (UTC)
You've put it very well. Sigh.
pitry
May. 1st, 2013 08:32 pm (UTC)
I think I'll just echo your WTF tag.

... of course, you could all miss your deadlines and accuse the iPads and maybe then they'll give you your laptops back?
kaffyr
May. 2nd, 2013 04:05 am (UTC)
That's an excellent tactic. I'm thinking of various ways to publicize this and put pressure on the man who ordered it, things to make him look more than a little foolish. Typewriters may play a part, as may numerous calls to his office. By many union members.
maruad
May. 1st, 2013 09:09 pm (UTC)
Tablets suck for writing. They are fine if all you want to do is play suduko or watch videos but, as someone who is digitally challenged, they are next to useless for writing.

This merely my humble opinion.

I was under the impression that iPads are not very secure. I assume no one on your paper needs to deal with anything that involves confidentiality.
kaffyr
May. 2nd, 2013 04:07 am (UTC)
They are fine if all you want to do is play suduko or watch videos but, as someone who is digitally challenged, they are next to useless for writing.

This. And I say that as someone who likes to think of herself as somewhat digitally ept.

I hadn't heard about the lack of security, but it's something to mention to my particular PTB.
maruad
May. 2nd, 2013 04:51 am (UTC)
Confirm about the security thing with someone who knows something before you make an issue of it. I am notorious for getting things like that wrong and I wouldn't want you to lose credibility by taking my opinion on it too seriously.
kaffyr
May. 2nd, 2013 12:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, don't worry; I've probably lost all credibility with these folks for other reasons. Heh. But I take your point.
a_phoenixdragon
May. 2nd, 2013 01:45 am (UTC)
O. M. G.

I would offer them Death...

*headdesk*
kaffyr
May. 2nd, 2013 04:09 am (UTC)
Oh, aye. (Do click through and have fun with the poll; I'm sorry it didn't cross post properly.)
a_phoenixdragon
May. 2nd, 2013 04:17 am (UTC)
Ahh, yes!! Doing so now!! *Squeals with delight!*
amberfocus
May. 2nd, 2013 06:59 am (UTC)
I would imagine that using an iPad to write an article (let alone research it) is a bit like using a cell phone to text yourself the contents of a 50,000 page novel. And not the type with the Qwerty keyboard, but a flip phone.

A friend of mine posted something today about an iPad. Something along the lines of Dear Customer Service, first be aware that I am typing this with my middle finger...

Edited at 2013-05-02 07:15 am (UTC)
kaffyr
May. 2nd, 2013 12:46 pm (UTC)
*snrk*

I was going to quote your entire response right back to you, because it resonated with me so much, and because it was really quite witty. Thanks for giving me a smile when I needed one!
marence
May. 2nd, 2013 03:38 pm (UTC)
Thoughts:
1. WTF.
2. Yeah, you need a holographic keyboard. ThinkGeek has them, but they're out of stock all the time. No, nevermind, back in stock here: http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/e722/?srp=1
3. Do you know about Dropbox? We've been using it forever for sharing stuff, but I guess people are using it like a cloud drive. And it's more secure, and so far (~4 years) it hasn't been unavailable when needed.
4. Yeah, management.
5. Apps are cool, but they don't work like programs. Unless you have specific production apps, iPads are useless for business.

The husband has an iPad and loves it, but he's an audio/video guy and can actually work on his iPad. Its keyboard is OK for short notes, but anything over a couple of hundred words and I'm looking for paper and a pen.
kaffyr
May. 2nd, 2013 06:05 pm (UTC)
Its keyboard is OK for short notes, but anything over a couple of hundred words and I'm looking for paper and a pen.

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen; it's a great tool for occasional or short work. For length or sustained work? Not so much.

I've heard about Dropbox, but I actually don't have the slightest idea of what it is, except for being a site, or a cloud, where you can store items. I'm not sure what it provides that other clouds don't. Clarification? (I know I should go over and take a look at it myself. Lazy today, me.
(Anonymous)
May. 2nd, 2013 07:05 pm (UTC)
Dropbox is what we use for sharing huge audio and video files. An early cloud storage, I guess - you stick something in your Dropbox and then you can generate a link for [limited] sharing. We've got the free version. I suppose the pay service gives you more space, more sharing, but we've never needed it (and I'm too lazy to go look up anything. I'm going outside while the weather is nice.)
kaffyr
May. 5th, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)
Ah, much obliged. Yeah, I think it's something for me to keep in the back of my mind, but it's not necessarily of an immediate interest.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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