I finally decided to take another step into the digital revolution. I’ve bought an iPad. I’ve had it all (well, not quite all) of three days, so this is hardly a complete review, but I’ve already found some things it does very well, and some that are huge disappointments.

Photograph of the iPod (not a screen shot) with a page from National Geographic.

It’s great for magazine subscriptions. I’ve wanted New Scientist and National Geographic for some time, but I’m too much of a pack rat to throw them away, and I don’t have room to store them. They are beautiful on the iPad, and the subscriptions are far less than paper. I can enlarge or reduce the size as I need—not just the text, but the pictures as well.

Books are in some ways better than on my Nook, especially those with illustrations. I don’t think I am going to be able to enlarge charts, which is the main complaint I have with the Nook. No problem enlarging the reading text, but figures and maps? Forget them. (I should remark that I am one of those people who finds reading on a computer screen easier that reading on paper.)

The only games I have are Shanghai and Sudoku. The latter is actually easier for me to play on my iPhone, but the former is great on the iPad. It helped while away the time in the doctor’s office today quite nicely. (Normal reading with one’s eyes dilated is not easy.)

Disappointments? One major one at this point. One of the reasons I bought the iPad was so that I could use it to carry the Excel spreadsheet I use to track my blood sugars, insulin dosages and exercise to my doctor without having to lug along my laptop. I was assured that the Numbers app could read my Excel spreadsheet. It apparently can’t. I may try having Numbers on my main computer read the Excel file and turn it into Numbers before transferring it, but the heart of the spreadsheet are time graphs of blood sugar, for which I sum date and time of day for the horizontal axis. Numbers apparently can’t do this, so none of my graphs (except the histogram of frequency of various blood glucose levels) can be read in Numbers.

I haven’t had time yet to try adding the PDF of Homecoming (which I have on my main computer), or Word files. The word files are supposedly readable in Pages, though after my experience with Numbers I’m wary; PDF’s on my computer rather than in iTunes might be a problem.

Calendar and Address book seem to have transferred over just fine.

Finally, I’ve had a bit of fun with the Photo booth effects—as you can see.

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