From: Craig Phillips [] on behalf of Craig Phillips []
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 9:30 AM
Subject: Cocktail Talk - The iPad Experience
Cocktail Talk
Bits and bytes of computer chat-chat
to help you through those dreary Cocktail Parties.
August 2010
Our Topic
The iPad Experience
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Cocktail Talk
Dear Craig,
Cocktail Talk
Welcome to
CN Consulting's "Cocktail Talk".

Cocktail Talk is a casual monthly newsletter intended to arm you with amusing bits and bytes of information on whats happening in the computer world.  Topics sure to break the ice and capture an audience at many a social or business event.

Cocktail Talk is archived on
The iPad Experience
After waiting longer than the required cool-down period for a handgun it was time to buy an iPad. You can't just go to Best Buy and get one on the spot, you have to go to an Apple Store or order online. There are Apple Stores at Water Tower Place and Woodfield Mall. Water Tower would have been nice, Michigan Avenue is dripping with beauty this time of year. Woodfield? Please, we've got badges carding people at the malls out here. You can legally drink at the  bar next to the mall if you're 14, unless of course your parents went to the Mall and you're all alone. But Woodfield doesn't card and I am not going to machette my way through a thousand Thug-Wannabee's and Tweens in Twilight T-Shirts texting each other. I ordered an iPad online and went back to work.
Evaluating an iPad is reason enough to buy one, having the ability to do quick and easy web lookups and use email around the house makes it useful even after evaluation, I hoped it would be a good work tool as well.
iPhone users will find some things missing. Calculator, Compass and Clock to name a few.
iPhone's Calulator is Simple when you hold it upright, Scientific when you turn it sideways. Simple Mode is fine when you're out with the pocket-sized iPhone, Scientific would be nice on the less than pocket-sized iPad. Pocket-sized means it fits, and belongs, in your pocket. OK, purse if you're a girl. Please, iPhone Guys with little belt pouches should go stand in the "No Miller Lite for me I have a Lower Back Tattoo and Man Purse" line. But the Calculators for the iPad just go from clown-size to horizontal clown-size when you rotate the iPad.
Clock is a problem. I would like to hop into bed, iPad some things, read an iBook, set an alarm and toss it on the nightstand. But nooo, it doesn't do that, no clock. Which leaves me in a bad spot. Do I carry the iPad and iPhone both into the bedroom, proving to the little Mrs. that I really am a nerd, or go directly to the "No Miller Lite" line? But enough about my problems. Lets focus on what it does well.
Setting up email wasn't bad. Not using the "preferred" email clients Gmail, Yahoo and Exchange meant a few more taps and some knowledge of Certificates and acronyms like SSL, fine. We use POP Accounts, POP means Post Office Protocol and it is very popular with businesses and people that want a dot-com name in their email address instead of being You can set up multiple accounts, viewing an account's email can be done one email at a time or in a preview mode where they all display in summary on the left and the selected email shows fully on the right. Just turn the iPad sideways.
Microsoft Outlook Contacts and Calendars sync just fine, off by default, but they work just fine when turned on. Not too sure I need two calendars bipping me when it's time to do something, but they sync. 
Surfing the web is all that. The internet is mouse/pointer driven, people are used to notebook Mouse Pads and the iPad is one big Mouse Pad. Swipe-Tap. Tap-Tap. I can hear it coming from the back seat of the family station wagon; "He's tapping me. He's tapping me." "She swiped me first." help.  If you do have to type something the on screen keyboard is nice, and even bigger sideways.
With all that, plus books, movies, music, and pictures you could be pretty happy. But there's more. The iPad is cool, not hot like a notebook. You can set it in your lap until the battery runs out, which is about a day, and it doesn't heat up. It's light, it's also slippery. I bought it a case so I could prop it up, and to keep it from slipping off the sheets onto the floor. I also bought the case because almost everyone that handled it looked afraid they were going to hurt it. Nancy didn't. The girl looks up recipies on it and uses it to cook in the kitchen. I'm not saying she chops carrots on it, but pretty damn close. You know what? It cleans up just fine. Red Sauce, Alfredo, it's glass and metal, all it takes is a damp cloth.
I need it to do work too. It comes with it's own connection (VPN) to office networks, from there you need to buy a Remote Desktop Client (RDC aka RDP) to access specific PCs on a network. "Jaadu RDP" has been fine on the iPhone and is fine on the iPad, but "Jump" looked interesting. Jump has something the others don't. It's cursor arrow is not just an arrow. It is an arrow on a stick on a circle. Like the symbol for the male sex. Put your finger in the circle and you can actually see where the arrow is pointing. None of the others had this. You slid the arrow around the screen guessing what was under your finger, or picking it up to look, and tapping.  
Configured and tested for VPN/RDC to client sites I still hadn't used the iPad in a real-ife situation. Soon enough I did.
I implemented configurations for a client to access their office network remotely and set a calendar  reminder to test from my office at 10 pm. If it worked, fine, if not I make the return commute the next day. Testing from a nearby client, just a ten minute walk away,  could save that commute and free up that day. If it didn't work I could tweak it and still catch the last train. Game on. Setting up my notebook at the remote site probably meant missing the 7 pm train even if it worked. Either way, waiting an hour and a half for the last train is better than the round-trip. Unless, maybe. the iPad. Always on, no wait, tap-tap, swipe, tappity tap-tap-tap, send an email and catch the 7 pm train. It worked, iPad worked, I worked, caught the 7:00 and read a book on the iPad.
It kind of made me want the cellular capable model. It would be nice on the train, or while feeding pidgeons at the park. The screen isn't that easy to read in the bright sun, but better than a notebook. I don't want another AT&T bill, and I'm not going to look like a dork carrying an iPad around with me. I may exrtend the range of my home wireless so I can sit by the pond on the swingset, where nobody can see, and throw crackers at the geese.
The iPad "works" for me. Its just faster doing the little things on the fly. It doesn't replace my Notebook, but it suppliments it.
Maybe the iPad is a toy, maybe it's a tool, maybe its dishwasher safe*, that's your call, and that's Cocktail Talk. 
Thank you for reading,

Craig Phillips
CN Consulting, Inc.
* I'm a professional with a budget for this stuff. Please don't try this at home.
CN Consulting, Inc -
Computer Consulting for Business!

CN Consulting Inc. (CNCI) is an independent consulting company formed in 1990 and located within easy reach of both Chicago and Milwaukee.

CNCI maintains a select client base providing consulting services concerning the  use  of information technology.  We persistently look for advantage to our clients in added value and reduced cost made available by advancing technology.

CNCI does not have financial interest in any given product or product line. We evaluate current and emerging technologies solely based on their benefit to our clients. CNCI implements the solutions it recommends and readily partners with companies that offer products and services to the advantage of our clients. CNCI offers complete client support with singular accountability.

We maximize the benefit of our clients' existing technology, systems, and platforms while integrating the benefits provided by new technology.

Business Continuity and Business Development are our goals with Continuity being  the foundation of  Development.

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