Extreme Time Warps

I sometimes find myself wondering about the extreme time warps we live with.
One is our black and yellow taxis, which are just complete disasters. There was once a time perhaps, many decades ago, when taking a cab meant that you were well-heeled and people would actually look up to you, if they saw you getting out of one. This was however also the time, when Premier Padminis and Ambassadors ruled the roost and the only cola was Campa.
Guess what! Those of us who used to drive those horrible cars have now moved on, not necessarily to more expensive cars, but definitely to ‘better’ ones; more importantly we now enjoy a wide choice of vehicles to fit all budgets and needs. Unfortunately, the black and yellows are still caught in a 3 decade old time-warp; smelly, rickety, bumpy and noisy, apart from being horrendously uncomfortable and still driven by uncouth, “paan”-chewing and spitting drivers, who push their front seat all the way back, so that there is no space for you in the backseat. In today’s day and age, it is sheer torture to sit in one of them and when you see someone stepping off one of these, you feel a combination of pity for what they have had to endure and anger because today, a cab-ride is really just a grand rip-off. Granted that there are newer air-conditioned cabs on the roads, but unfortunately, they don’t cruise and are rarely available at short notice.
The black and yellow Padminis have to go!
On the other hand, I find myself daily in a futuristic time warp. A future of tablets, connectivity, great apps, virtually instant start-up and absent crashes. A future where your whole computer can fit into the palm of your hand, without the weight killing you.
Day before yesterday, the Google Earth app was released on the ITunes store and it works just magnificently on the IPAD. A few days before that, QuickOffice was released, allowing both Google Docs and Microsoft Office documents to be easily edited. Today, I use this device for all my email, most of my browsing, for reading books, scientific papers, many magazines, my RSS feeds, for seeing TV shows, making presentations and for taking notes. And (though I rarely admit this), even for playing games (Scrabble just rocks). Virtually 80% of my entire computing gets done on this handheld tablet. This article is also being typed on and emailed from the IPAD. And with more and more apps being put up, the whole experience is only getting better and better.
Last Sunday, Ajit, a close friend, called for my views on the IPAD. We spoke all the way (with 3 call drops of course and I wasn’t driving), from Matunga to the Gateway, discussing its pros and cons. Finally, I told him that the only way to understand the IPAD was to just get one and do a complete self-immersion, simply because there is no comparable device currently available, against which it can be benchmarked.
The IPAD is the way personal computing will go!
The big paradox that could disturb the space-time continuum? Using an IPAD in a black and yellow cab!

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