iPad 4 vs iPad mini screen

After using an iPad mini for a week or so, I just received my iPad “4”, and I’m a bit… disappointed. Oh, it’s a great machine; the performance is impressive, and the screen is wonderful. But after using the mini, the full-size iPad just feels big and clunky — clumsy, even. It’s like going from a 13″ MacBook Air to a 17″ MacBook Pro.

Many folks are saying that the lack of Retina screen is regrettable. I agree, but the truth is, the screen on the mini is good enough, and the nicer form factor and more elegant design more than make up for it, in my opinion.

Here’s a photo I took (with my iPhone 5) of the mini and 4 screens size-by-side. Forgive the quality; I’m no photographer. This photo is entirely untouched; I took it on my phone and put it on Flickr. At full size, the difference is striking, though in actual use it doesn’t seem that bad, unless you really put the thing 3 inches from your face.

iPad4-vs-mini

I need to have a Retina iPad for development, and my plan had been to use the mini as my “around the house” iPad, while the 4 was going to be my main daily use iPad that I use most of the time, and drag around with me everywhere. Now after using both, I’m seriously considering making the mini my main iPad.

The rest of us need to be smarter

This made me simultaneously amused and angered. There’s probably nothing more to be said that hasn’t already been so in comments there and on Reddit. Still, I can’t help but put my $0.02 in.

I don’t know anything about construction, except that it’s hard. To build a house, you need to pour concrete, nail boards together, put up drywall, and a bunch of other things. That’s all hard. If only I had a robot that could do all those things for me… I still couldn’t build a house. Why? Because I also don’t know anything about architecture or structural engineering, or plumbing, or electrical engineering. I’d be lucky to build something that didn’t fall down, and it almost certainly wouldn’t be fit for habitation.

When people say “programming”, they think of the mechanical act of typing stuff into a computer. But that’s really only a tiny fraction of what a programmer does. If you don’t have a reasonable understanding of the innerworkings of computers; if you don’t have the capacity to break a large problem down into ever smaller problems; if you don’t have the ability to visualize every minute detail of a solution; no programming language will enable you to write decent software. That’s all there is to it.

Do you guys remember HyperCard? AppleScript? Prograph CPX? Dare I say it, Visual BASIC? All attempts to make a programming language for non-programmers. And every time one of these hot new “languages for the rest of us” come out, I polish up my résumé. Because once everyone realizes that’s programming is still hard, I get a bunch of new job offers. Best case, all it means is we’re momentarily awash in software written by people who have no business doing so.

That’s not me being elitist. I want to live in a world where everyone has the capacity to create great software, I truly do. I just don’t see it happening in my lifetime.

those who know it have little interest in simplifying it as it devalues their own knowledge.

Bitch, please. The guy that’s able to engineer a programming language which enables non-programmers to create great software will instantly become ludicrously rich, not to mention ushering in a golden era of information technology. If you believe for one second that some of the smartest people on the planet aren’t working on this right now – haven’t been working on this for decades – you are sorely mistaken.

Do you have any musician friends? Go up to one and tell him you tried to play guitar today, and it was hard. Why don’t they make instruments that are easier to play? Let me know how that works out for you.

Any four-year-old of even average intellect has sufficient command of their native language to successfully convey any idea of which they conceive. That no four-year-old has ever won the Pulitzer Prize is proof of the failure of the English language. Clearly what is needed is an easier to use spoken language.

If you want to follow me, I’m @zpasternack on Twitter and on app.net.