I WON AN iPAD!!
(My apologies to the typesetters and grammar nerds amongst you, but an announcement like that TOTALLY deserves excessive use of capital letters and exclamation marks.)
So first, here's me with my iPad and the biggest, craziest grin I have worn for a long time:
OK, actually that's just the box but the box looks much more impressive than the iPad itself when in a photograph.
So how did this happen?
I entered a competition Jeff Walker ran to think up a tagline for his blog. My entries were nothing special, and almost certainly wouldn't have won if the competition had gone off as planned. Entering internet competitions is not something I go out of my way to do either, but I was right there reading his blog anyway so I entered on a whim with some not-very-inspiring tagline suggestions.
But then it became my lucky day! Half way through reading the competition entries, Jeff thought up his own tagline and decided to use that instead, as none of the entries matched his idea. So instead of awarding the iPad to himself, to be fair he threw everybody's names - all several thousand of them - into a metaphorical hat and pulled one out ... and it was me! He announced it in the "PS" section of his post Powered By Internet Marketing?.
I know that being in internet marketing means his reputation is everything, so he'd hardly announce he was giving me an iPad and then not give me one ... but I must admit I didn't let myself believe it until I had it in my hot little hands! So you've seen the box, here's the real thing:
I told you it looked less impressive than the box! It's remarkably difficult to photograph an iPad and capture what's on the screen, actually.
Photographic merit aside, it works brilliantly and it's so much fun to use and it really does have that elusive quality that, once you hold it and play with it, makes you really badly want one for yourself! I'm pretty sure at least 80% of people who've used mine have said they wanted their own (and the other 20% have mostly been my open source friends who are opposed to it on principle).
I've already loaded the iPad up with disability-relevant applications I'm going to check out for ATMac articles, and started poking it with things resembling mouth-sticks and head-sticks and stylus-sticks to see how it responds. And you know I love you all very much, but I'm sorry I'm just not going to potentially sacrifice it to see how much crash-resistance those cases really give it! I've got it in a a polycarbonate "shell" case plus a wet-suit material-like zip up case which gives a fair bit of support but I'm still a bit terrified I'll drop it and it'll shatter (I've dropped my iPod Touch at least a hundred times a year). The warranty would require me to return it to a USA Apple shop - a bit of a trip from Melbourne, Australia where I live - so please cross your fingers that it's tougher than it looks, and that the good luck fairies stay with me on this one.
So I must give a very huge thank you to Jeff Walker, and also to his PA Betty who was unbelievably helpful in organising its purchase and courier trip to Australia for me. I know that Jeff had no idea how helpful he was being to ATMac when he pulled the name "Ricky Buchanan" out of his competition hat, but I am certainly going to make the most of good fortune both here on ATMac and on my iTalkMagazine blog and, of course, as cognitive assistive technology for myself.
- Ricky Buchanan