AS I stood at the counter, debit card in hand, wondering even at this late stage whether I really, genuinely needed an iPad, I swore to use it for serious purposes: no arcade games like Angry Birds, no simulation games, no hours in the app store in search of diverting gimmicks that would ultimately be a waste of time.
As I watched the money quietly disappear from my account forever, and gazed at the pristine white Apple box as it was tucked into the plastic bag, I thought: right, nothing frivolous from now on. There are lots of provocative news and political comment sites out there waiting to be explored, lots of them with cool video content. There are science websites, environment websites, campaigning websites, arts websites, all begging to be looked at on a portable device with razor-sharp graphics.
Best of all, I thought, the web could even be surfed on the move, whenever there happened to be a wi-fi sticker on the door of the Edinburgh-Glasgow train.
One week later? Naturally, it's all Angry Birds, simulation games, funny photographs and God knows what else. I downloaded an app called GarageBand, which allows you to play virtual instruments and record samples at home and do allegedly creative things with them. I've squandered untold hours on it. I think I may even have recorded my cat's miaow and done something with that.
I'm disappointed I haven't had the strength of character to keep to my original promise. This will surely come, though only if I disable all the frivolous stuff first. But with all its shiny bells and whistles, the iPad is a remarkable device: you can see why it dominates the tablet computer market. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some Angry Birds to attend to.
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