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The Reader's View: Best of your feedback, comments and opinions


The Reader's View is our weekly roundup of some of the most upbeat, thoughtful, or just plain nice comments that have been published by TUAW readers. This week, we have discussions of Apple keyboards, Wi-Fi extenders, the iPad (no big surprise there...), Apple's stock price, and iPhone programming languages.

To begin with, reader efinkGr had a comment for Sang Tang's post "Mac 101: Going Commando with Command-key shortcuts in Mac OS X," saying "You know i wish they never got rid of the apple icon on the command key. I miss it :'( "

That prompted some research on my part, which pointed out that the Apple icon was on most Apple keyboards for the better part of 20 years simply because those keyboards could be used either with Macs or the Apple II family of computers.

David Winograd's interview with Roland Saekow of BearExtender is still grabbing attention from TUAW readers like Scott, who noted that "due to the Art Deco designs of the buildings here in South Beach we find it's difficult to get wireless range because of the thick cement walls that much of the area was built with... In my testing (with the BearExtender n3) I found that I was able to see 20 more wireless networks than my Airport card in a 2009 MBP just from where the MBP sits everyday...and going out into the world makes it even better."

According to Michael Grothaus's recent post, analysts at the Gartner Group believe that the iPad will "change the entire PC ecosystem." Reader Talobab provided some great insights in this response -- "The reason this will be a "Game changer" (and you have no idea how I hate that term) is because they are NOT trying to make a full computer out of the tablet. Tablets have never and will never be a good size AND have the same power as a desktop or notebook. The computer manufacturers don't make the notebooks as large as they are just for fun, they need to be that big to have the computational power that's required to be a truly multifunction device.

The issue for the tablet is making a machine that operates quickly and effectively AND does enough to make the majority of users happy. Apple understands that and is taking a shot at it. They have made an extremely responsive device that covers a lot of ground. The question is does it cover enough ground. That question won't be answered for at least a year, but considering all the applications under development (including Office BTW), it certainly looks like it has quite a chance."

TUAW Reader John K. also joined the chorus, noting that "Instead of focusing on the iPad's form factor we should be focusing on its User Interface. Apple now has a consistent "touch" user interface on their iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad products. No one else has anything close to that level of OS integration between form factors.

More importantly, Apple is gambling that users will find their touch interface to be the NATURAL way to compute. If you've ever seen a small child or a senior citizen pick up an iPhone and just use it, you'll know what I'm talking about. While hardcore activities would continue to be done on the more traditional notebook/desktop interface, the "touch" interface would become the DEFAULT way people do what they do now (and where they do some things that they cannot do as well now)."

When AAPL hit an all-time high stock price last week, Mike Rose noted that headline writers had to scrounge their thesauri for 'stratospheric' synonyms. Reader Izzy reflected the thoughts of many of us when he said "I wish I had bought it when it was $4 in the dark [chairman John] Sculley days." We feel your pain, Izzy...

Finally, reader Chris I. took our post about the revMobile development environment for iPhone being fast and simple to heart, and he wrote his first iPhone app in about an hour. Chris says, "Using the pre-alpha, I wrote my first iPhone app last night in a leisurely hour, and it's on my iPhone's home page right now. Without compile-at-build, this app can't be submitted to the app store just yet, but the speed with which it came together is astounding. It's a stack (Hypercard/SuperCard/Revolution project) on the iPhone.

(Disclosure: I've used this programming environment continuously, in one incarnation or another, from 1988 to today. It began after reading Dan Goodman's Hypercard book cover-to-cover before we even brought the Mac II home from the store. Your results may vary... But it's not a hard language to learn.)

RunRev also has a web plugin to run stacks on web pages, and a web host offering that allows the websites themselves to incorporate the language server-side. Their goal of "deploy everywhere" is shaping up nicely..."

That's it for the week. Many thanks to all of you who have spent the time to leave your constructive comments.

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