Video: Apple Tablet Unboxing


I bought an iPad to make this video, so I hope you like it.

Welcome to the future, folks!

I got my first taste of the future in 1998, when I bought a secondhand Newton MessagePad 110 (introduced in 1995), after the Newton product line was discontinued. As I used it to take notes at university, jot down apronyms while on-the-go, read eBooks on a long bus trip, I had a feeling that the future would taste a lot like this. In 2002 I upgraded to a MessagePad 130 (introduced in 1997.) That’s the 130 that you can see being put into the iPad box at the end of the video. In 2003, I got a Newton eMate (introduced in 1997) and enrolled in a postgraduate mathematics course just for fun. My classmates were amazed at this fancy ‘new’ gadget, as I wrote mathematics with the stylus and typed explanations with the keyboard. There’s more about my Newtons on this old page.

I never had a MessagePad 2000, though my brother-in-law had one on loan from a colleague. It was faster than my Mac at the time, and could even run a webserver.

Now Apple is making handheld and tablet computers again, and I’ve gone back to the future. The difference is, when I use an Apple handheld now, everybody knows what it is. They’re not futuristic any more, because this is the future.


My iPhone replaces my MessagePad, and this time I have enough memory to put multiple dictionaries on it, while the memory cards I had for my MessagePad 130 didn’t quite have enough room for one. That was one thing I really wanted on my MessagePad, to help with the apronym writing.

When I went to visit my family in New Zealand in May 2010, I found a Newton MessagePad 2000 box at my mother’s place. I have no idea how it got there; perhaps it had once belonged to the colleague of my brother-in-law. But my mother claimed it was mine, and I was happy to have such a great empty box to fill my too-large suitcase. It gave me an idea, and an excuse to buy an iPad. I kid myself that the iPad is to replace my eMate, since I think it really fits in the same niche, but in reality I bought it to make this video.

The music is the end of ‘The Future Soon‘ by Jonathan Coulton.

For the record, I made the video with my Canon PowerShot G9 and iMovie ’09. I think iMovie ’11 is out now, but I didn’t want to risk it doing something weird to my video in progress. Also, I know that my use of three different fonts in the credits will probably irritate real graphic designers, but I’m not a real graphic designer and I wanted to use the fonts used by the two operating systems mentioned, even though apparently the iOS font will change in iOS 4. Sosumi.

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