Archive for March, 2012

Apple continues . . .
March 8, 2012

Another day, another iPad.  This with a difference: retina.  Very good.  And urgently required.

I have used the Barr Smith Library of the University of Adelaide regularly over the past forty years.  It has grown steadily over that time, various changes and innovations have come and gone, most making little real difference but perhaps making the whole a little easier to manage. One was truly negative, although apparently made at the request of users.  That was the area given over to new journals.  Each week on Tuesday the new arrivals of the previous seven days would appear in order of the Dewey number.  Then no longer.  It meant that browsing across disciplines was no longer possible; I had greatly appreciated being able to do so.  One never knew when something might appear in an unexpected place that could help with my research.  That has now gone.  Rigidity has displaced this flexibility.

Now students seem to read much of their required reading online using machines that are manifestly inadequate for the task.  My guess is that most will read less and with the gradual demise of tutorials even less learning will follow.

Hence my hope that retina will quickly appear in MacBook Air products.  That way reading will seem less a chore than it might (there’s no getting away from poor choices by academics).  Let’s hope the ghost of Jobs has taken this to heart and inspired his colleagues to continue to make Apple pertinent.  In many ways learning is at risk, this technical innovation for which I plead may reduce at least some of that risk.