A Letter For You…

Well, there was a lot of interest in the iPad discussion I started on Friday, with hundreds of people viewing the post, and several interesting comments either put after the post or sent to me in email. Note taking to the device via handwriting seemed to be a major thing that people are keen on, and I admit that it is also something that, as I said in the Friday post, made me see the device firmly as a primary work tool here on out. But some are unsure, perhaps unconvinced. So, I decided to reply to many of the comments by writing a letter, including a diagram of sorts. I did it on screen, while riding the bus home, using the excellent program Note Taker HD that I told you about in the post, mostly in “edit 2” mode, allowing for compact and relatively neat writing with just my finger. Here it is (just click on an image of a page for a larger view, and be warned that a few full stops (periods) at the end of sentences did not show up so well in the images):

letter_to_readers-2010-08-30-page-1 letter_to_readers-2010-08-30-page-2

(I wrote it on the bus in the early evening, but only got around to writing this post later in the evening.)

I forgot to address other concern. Battery life. Not had a problem… not even close. I’ve used it for a huge amount of a working day each day and get home (or back to my hotel) with charge to spare. That included reading a novel for long stretches at various points.

I hope that answers various questions!


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11 Responses to A Letter For You…

  1. Claver says:

    Very nice! Sounds like pen on paper will become a thing of the past for notetakers. Or other ‘scribes’.
    About 3yrs ago I bought one of those e-pads which you connect to a desktop, it comes with a pen pointy thing, and you have to download software in order to operate it.
    I must say, this seems a lot more elegant. And convenient. Now, to find someone who will buy my netbook!

  2. onymous says:

    This is, seriously, the first thing I’ve ever seen that actually makes me think I might want one of these. Somehow I’d gotten the (clearly wrong!) impression that it was far inferior to tablets for note-taking and sketching, which is the one feature my MacBook lacks that I regularly find myself wishing for. (Pen and paper are great, but hard to email to collaborators….)

  3. rgb says:

    From the launch, I have been trying to find out if one could use the ipad for handwriting (In fact I went to an apple store solely for this purpose), and was left with the impression “huh! you want to do handwriting! …maybe, maybe not, but the ipad is great for … “. Maybe, there have been places online that focussed on this, but I have not paid enough attention. So, thank you for bringing this to the forefront and convincing me that it can be done without too much trouble!

    Let me ask a couple of questions about the iworks part. You mentioned that it has a keynote lite. What kind of capabilities are cut, or what features of presentations did you find broken? And is it possible to to use the handwriting/drawing feature with keynote much in the same way as one would do it on the board?

  4. Clifford says:

    It is not too “lite”. It seems thar it won’t open keynote files made in versions of the software made too long ago, which is surprising, so your existing presentations might have to be opened in a new version of keynote on your desktop and then saved again nefore you import them onto your pad…. Annoying, but not too big a deal in the scheme of things perhaps…? Once imported you will et some warnings about somemfont substations, again not so big a deal perhaps… It does not like animated groups of objects. So if you have built lots of pages where you have grouped objects and then had them involved in various builds and so forth, beware…. You will have to redo those. Also, delicate positioning of various objects might get messed up, so things inside thinge might bleed over the edges and might have to be readjusted, etc. I think this may also have been the result of those objects being groups in my original file, then broken apart and made separate. I used to make word balloons by grouping text boxes into ovals, etc…

    I use handwriting in NoteTaker HD on screen, as I said in the Friday post. I don’t see how you could draw live through a projector using keynote.



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  6. rgb says:

    Thanks a lot. That clearly answers the questions about keynote,and this seems to be good enough for my requirements.

  7. polariton says:

    Hey, this is slightly unrelated to this post…
    Is it just me or does the RSS feed not work?

  8. Clifford says:


    I think it is working… Or at least it was about 8 hours ago…



  9. Andrei says:

    Sorry if you answered already, but how long does it take to write a full page, after you get used to it? For example, how much time did you spend writing the pages above (not counting the time you spent drawing the masterpiece:) )?

  10. Clifford says:

    I write at normal writing speed… So pretty quickly… including the “masterpiece”… 😉

    I was on the bus for a ride that does not take too long… so excluding time it took to get settled…. to answer the usual questions about what I’m doing…. to stop and stare out of the window and think about what I’d saying, etc… could not have been more than 12 or 15 minutes total.


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