Murdoch has admitted that the Wall Street Journal is working on an iPad version, while Penguin has been demonstrating how the iPad can take content back to 1993. Rupert Murdoch, owner of the WSJ, has been telling people that the newspaper has an iPad in the building, and is already porting content to Apple's latest baby. …
Not really the same at all...
I think likening the iPad to early CD-ROM multimedia PCs is akin to comparing a modern paperback to a book hand written and illuminated by Monks.
VGA resolutions on large clunky CRT displays and underpowered PCs were never going to change the way we read. The content may not be terribly different to that envisaged for the iPad, but the method of delivery is light years ahead.
Similarly, while I could go to the local cathedral to have a look at some of their chained books, it's not very convenient. Or cheap (in terms of getting the content into a readable form -- those early multimedia PCs weren't cheap either). Paperbacks, on the other hand, are pretty cheap, easily portable, can be produced quickly and easily in vast numbers. Even though the actual content is largely the same as the handwritten book.
Accessing interactive books via an iPad, however, is convenient, and can be cheap (hopefully the publishers won't get all greedy on us).
The printed word didn't take off until it could be reproduced and distributed cheaply (thanks Gutenberg and Caxton), and the population sufficiently literate. Similarly, multimedia in this form (and eBooks in general) will not take off until they can be reproduced and distributed cheaply and easily; and the population is sufficiently (technology) literate.
"Accessing interactive books via an iPad, however, is convenient, and can be cheap (hopefully the publishers won't get all greedy on us)."
A hahaha ahahaha hahahaha.
No really, come on. Publishers not getting greedy?
Pride and Prejudice*
If you'd prefer zombies then can I suggest Seth Grahame-Smith's "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"?
Yes, I did a double take when i saw that in a bookshop as well.
...is now being made into a move, starring Natalie Portman, allowing the fantasy to become reality!
Colin Firth and Keira Knightley
Weren't they two different versions of Pride and Prejudice? If Lord of the Rings is a book about walking, Jane Austen definately writes books about talking.
All they seem to do is wonder from one conversation to the next...
@RichyS With a 24 month contract and hideous roaming charges, I doubt it will be cheap.
The iPad will be a good "lounge" device for surving the net (without flash of course).
Reading on it, I just don't see the point. My kindle is far better; the battery lasts for weeks at a time, it has an easy to read screen, doesn't have a contract and doesn't have any roaming charges. When I read, I just want to do exactly that. I want the content. I want the text. I don't want pages "animated" as I go from one to the next.
Multimedia Encylopedia's didn't change the way we read. Wikipedia did. I don't want the content changed, I just want better, easier, quicker access to it.
For everything else I have my netbook. Jobs says "netbooks don't do anything well". Of course sell. They do that pretty well don't they Steve? The reason for that being they have a keyboard, fold away when not in use, are cheap, and have a built in stand so I can watch movies in bed.
ipad, multimedia pc, etc.
So, first of, I think the ipad is stuipd; I want flash on my browser (option to turn it off, too, but there's too much flash stuff to just say "no" to it. Adobe has a flash port for ARMs, and even one specifically for iphone/ipad, apple just says no. Apple's restrictiveness with app store (and requiring rooting just to install your own apps), etc. is unappealing, I want a keyboard on both my phone and netbook, etc. etc.
BUT comparing WSJ on an ipad to MPC is silly. Quite simply, paper WSJ is articles with a photo or figure here and there. This is a completely reasonable thing to have even as (as the article quips) 1993-era HTML. I think Murdoch is crazy if he thinks he's going to be able to "paywall" everything he has like varoius generic news sites and such,, but WSJ is also something people have paid dearly for all along, it's kind of an "exception to the rule" really.
And the brief MPC fad of the early 1990s? I don't think this has much to do with the issue.
My parents got a 486 that (barely) met MPC specs, 2x CD-ROM drive, all that. It came with a CD encyclopedia. It was a little slow, and somewhat incomplete -- it "blew it's load" on some video and audio clips for a couple dozen articles, and articles for the rest were a bit short, and sparsely illustrated, compared to a dead tree encyclopedia we already had. So the CD encyclopedia was not used. Based on that I could see MPC stuff not catching on. The second blow, the internet. Wikipedia did not contribute to the decline of MPC, they are seperated by like 10 years, but paying for CD content was rather unappealing as soon as I found a copy of NCSA Mosaic, and then Netscape 0.9, and got online.. ( When we signed up with our ISP it was early enough that we signed an NSFNet agreement to not transmit commercial traffic over the National Science Foundation backbone.) The final nail in the coffin, MPC otherwise faded out naturally... that 486 shipped with a 420MB hard disk, so accessing data on CD seemed like a great idea; as hard disks rapidly got bigger it made more sense to pop in the CD once to install everything to the hard disk, then safely lock that disk away; also since MPC focused on having a CD-ROM drive, audio, and video, it no longer made sense to refer to MPC after every computer had a CD-ROM, fast enough video card and CPU, and a sound card.