Every time I take out my iPad to use it, I decide that I am actually going to learn how to use it—beyond developing a workable swipe to move things around. It seemed to me the best place to learn was from the experts, so I scheduled an iPad workshop at 58th and 5th in N.YC. There are a number of Apple stores in NY but this one is supposed to be the premiere store. For sure it’s the most crowded and noisiest. (You can hear a dozen languages from the throngs of tourists swamping the place, at any moment, day or night.)
There are about 12 or 14 people in each workshop. My expectations of it being 4 or 5 beginners was way off the track. There were beginners, all of whom had the iPad 2 (except me—I have the ancient model – all the way to last December), and mostly they were around my age – so that was reassuring.
Before the class began, I had to duke it out with a 10 year old who didn’t speak any English, (I did) but he absolutely spoke computer (I don’t). Anyway, David found a space and a seat for me and I let the kid stand in the space he was occupying. (He wasn’t tall enough to sit at the table and the only seat, other than mine that was available was especially short. So that wouldn’t work for him. But the Asian woman (who spoke a few words of English), had a large hat that covered her face as well as her head, and an even larger bag, was not deterred. She sat, sitting at least a foot below everyone else – and with everything she did have, what she did not have was an iPad. But, she felt free to share mine and comment about everything I did. Luckily, I couldn’t understand a word she said.
The workshop was a comedy of errors. The sophisticated sound system was screwed up and only worked intermittently, and only when it was worn by Jonathan. When Olivia wore it, you could hear nothing. As workshop leaders, they explained that their plan was to impress us with the audio as well as the video technology – which could not be done because the ‘wow’ sound system had no sound. Oh and they couldn’t find the woman who held the key to fixing the sound.
They kept apologizing for the screw-up, and tried to work without a mike. That would have been fine, except the store was beyond noisy. All I kept comparing it to was when the computer doesn’t work on a cash register at the yogurt store, and the kids don’t know how to give change without the register telling them how much. Finally, the lost sound technician who they call a ‘creative’ person, arrived with new head sets. We were on a roll: we could almost hear, and with all the apologies, we were almost forgiving about the many moments of wasted time.
Anyway, the workshop was fine, if not what any of us expected. But someone should tell the 20 year olds who understand how everything works (except microphones), that they have to stop saying, “this is so simple,” because for so many of us, it’s anything but. We’re just sayin’…. Iris