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quick update

Quick* because March 1 is almost over, and I'd like this post to go up on March 1. (As I discovered back while doing the 40 T/D/Y posts, LiveJournal now updates the post date and time to when you actually click post, instead of keeping whatever date and time it was when you started writing a new post.)

When I wrote the "final thoughts" post for the 40 T/D/Y series, I actually meant to talk a bit about whether I'd learned anything about myself, and then forgot in my effort to wrap things up. But then, I neither intended the series to be a learning exercise, nor did I actually think it would be a self-contained thing that I would do and then put aside for good. It spontaneously became a meditation on where I've been and how I've come to be the person I am, and if I learned anything, it was just reminding myself that the habits and patterns I'm susceptible to were formed early in my life and crop up in all aspects of it. Still, the series is meant in part to be a reference point: okay, I Am Here, now where do I want to go? I do intend to come back to that.

Intentions are all well and good of course, but two full months into the year, I haven't been doing more personal writing here, and I'm still struggling with the same problems, internal and external—not that I believed or expected or even hoped that a simple writing exercise would exorcise those problems. So, yes, all February went by and I only managed to make a token post last night.

About that token post, though: when the iPad was finally announced, my initial reaction was on the indifferent side: it seemed to be simply a large iPod Touch, which while nice wasn't anything particularly exciting. And when I watched the presentation, a couple days after it happened, that continued to be my feeling through most of it. I was not swayed by Jobs's claims that the iPad would offer the best experience for all those common functions such as Web browsing, e-mail, managing photos, and so forth: although there were a couple obvious neat things one could do with the iPad interface, there wasn't anything to it obviously superior to the experience I already have using my laptop.

But, well into the presentation, when they talked about the iBookstore, I thought about how convenient it would be to have all my RPG books in digital format on the iPad, instead of carrying around a heavy stack. And they talked about third-party apps, and demonstrated some cool games, and I started to realize the true advantage of the iPad: it wasn't all the digital lifestyle stuff that Jobs had talked about in the first part of the presentation, it was the opportunity for third parties to take advantage of the larger format and other improvements the iPad offered to create some really cool apps. And I started thinking about some cool things that I'd like to see on an iPad... and realized that what I should do is learn how to program for the iPad and become a developer, myself. The more I thought about it, the more interested I was in the possibilities; the idea wouldn't be easily dismissed as a passing fancy.

So, I used a Christmas gift and had "Santa-mazon" bring me a book to teach me the basics of programming in Objective-C, the language used for the iPhone and iPad. The picture I posted is the first, very basic, exercise in the book, but it's my first step on the path to a concrete goal that I'm excited about. I don't expect to become a full-time iPad developer, I don't have the years of experience in programming, but I do believe I can at least start out making a couple simple things that might even earn a little money. And then I'll see where that might lead. At the least, it'll be something fun and cool I've done for myself, and that's enough.

*(For the record: started writing the post at 11:40 PM, finished at 11:58 PM.)

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