iPad and bamboo are friends

I stole this picture from the internet

Now, I’m no Mac fanboy, but the iPad is a device that will change things. I’ve said this, but I’ll say it again: it’s not the iPad itself that is amazing, but rather the kind of device. It’s is the closest to “right” as any tablet style computing device has come, and to some extent that is due to the pompous nature of Apple. They seem to decide what people need, build it, and then tell people that they need to change their thinking. In this case, I think they are right.

I recognize and generally agree that limiting how people interact with a device they own, or any tool for that matter, is offensive… i AM an American, after all. That said, forcing people to use a device a certain way by strictly controlling the interaction on the device (i.e. limiting how many apps per page, no vertical scrolling, no folders) has the effect of making people who end up using the device rethink how they use the device… and this is a GoodThing™. Right at the release of a new technology, you have a small window in which people’s expectations for how they can interact with the new technology has been reset. That is when you have the best opportunity to change how people relate to the new technology.

Inevitably and eventually, competing devices will come out, returning options and choice to all of us. For now, though, the choice is take it or leave it. We constantly create new technology that is extremely powerful, and extremely impressive… to those of us who can access it and understand how to use it. Devices like the iPad have a very low intellectual cost of entry, which is to say that you don’t need to know much about technology to make really effective use of them.

All of that is just a preface for the somewhat multi admission that I bought an iPad… just a little one. Excepting PDAs and phones, this is my third tablet device (12th if you count phone and PDAs), and while it lacks the flexibility of the others, it more than makes up for it in actual usability. It’s awesome, and I’m sure I’ll be talking about it more later. For now though, I want to talk about the case I bought, and the stand I made.

When I bought the thing, I knew I didn’t want the standard iPad case that Apple sells. It’s a good, and serviceable case, but I knew I wanted something else… something that made me feel a little less like an apple fanboy. As I was looking for a case, I came across a tweet about the Dodocase. I checked it out, and I knew right away that it was the case for me:

  1. It looks like a moleskine
  2. It is made by hand using old tools and techniques
  3. It’s made with renewable bamboo
  4. They’re hard to get

This last one is purely ego. I want to be able to say I was a fan before they were popular (Hello, Flogging Molly). The funny thing is, the guys at Dodocase know their audience enough to know that the best way to play to this last trait is to number the cases. The 1st 1k cases they made came with a numbered, old school library card indicating just how much indyCred the owner is entitled to:

10,000 – Dodocase Number = indyCredz

After 10k case are sold, nobody gets any indyCredz. Anyway, after waiting for 5 weeks, I got may case, and it has all of the problems that The Internet said it has: Doesn’t protect agains big drops, Doesn’t hold the iPad in when held upside down, shallow typing angle, doesn’t stand up easily… It’s still the most awesome and perfect case I’ve seen for the iPad.

I wouldn’t trade it, but that last one can be a bit annoying. Take, for instance, this post. I am typing it on a bluetooth keyboard paired to my iPad. In order to do this comfortable, I need to be able to stand the iPad up at a reasonable angle to that I can see it, and in a way that lets me poke at the screen without it falling over. The Dodocase, as awesome as it is, fails at this. Frankly, I think it fails at this because it wasn’t really designed with this kind of use in mind. This weakness in the Dodocase design, though, left me with a need for some kind of stand. I came up with a couple of ways to make the Dodocase serve, and I think they would work, but I wanted something dedicated. Here are the things i thought would be important:

  • Portable
  • Easy to setup
  • Should not make me look like an ass
  • Sturdy enough that I won’t be afraid to touch it
  • Flexible enough that I won’t be afraid to touch it
  • Adjustable tilt angle

My first two passes as a stand basically amounted to an angled slots cut in blocks of acrylic. These worked, but missed on the last two items on the list. Of particular concern was the second to last. Every time I touched the display, I was sure I would see a crack spread across the bottom. I used these stands for a few days, and you can buy them for $6 on any number of websites, but eventually I found myself thinking about something better.

As soon as I started thinking of taking a real pass at this, I started talking to mike about sourcing acrylic. This lead to a discussion of other materials, and I spent my lunch hour with my actual moleskin sketching up some ideas. More IMs with Mike (“blah, blah, aluminum, blah, blah, hippies, blah, blah, bamboo”)… Some quality Google time to see what’s out there (discovered something similar to what I had in mind, but in aluminum, which was actually Mike’s idea)… Then some time messing around in the shop.

The result:

The result is something that works pretty well and meets all of my criteria. So, what would you pay for a sweet new “iPad Stick…” “EucaliPad…” “Nipa stand?”

6 Replies to “iPad and bamboo are friends”

  1. That’s actually pretty cool. I haven’t been pairing my iPad with a keyboard but I picked up the Apple dock. The dock works great but it’s a pain to take the iPad out of my fan-boy case every time I want to use it.

    1. That is one enhancement, I’ve been thinking about… accommodating the connector when in portrait view. I’m not 100% sure that this is needed, but it might be cool.

  2. I was going to berate you for being a hippie Apple fanboi.

    Then I got halfway through the post and felt like a hypocrite, as I wanted to know: How much IndyCredz do you have, anyway??!?

    1. Not nearly as many as I’d like, but I think I have a respectable number. I think my calculation is wrong, though… I think the best you should be able to get for discovery, not creation, is around 10. So, if you discovered a great bar before any of your friends thought it was great… 10 points; If you were there when the bar was discovered, and started to like it after a while (but someone else insisted that it was a cool place right away), <10 Credz (-1 for each visit without recognizing to awesomeness).

      So, the better calculation for the Dodocase would be:
      (10,000 - Dodocase Number) / 1,000 = indyCredz

      If you can come up with a way to make the upper limit of any potential indyCred situation 10, we should be ok.

      1. But what prevents gaming the system? It would be to the advantage of the playa to tout every new thing they come across in order to maximize their indyCred:
        “Hey, that new McDonald’s has the best chicken nuggets!”
        “A new bar opened across the street? I mean, yeah, that place is awesome!”
        “BP makes the best oil spills, and their service station bathrooms are nice and clean!”
        “I heartily endorse this product and/or service!”

        In short, indyCred alone is insufficient as a yardstick to determine a person’s indie worth. I’m guessing a composite score is required that provides a ratio of indyCred to douchePoints in order to maintain fairness.

        1. The issue with that approach, though, is that while indyCredz can be somewhat measured by the ultimate success/usefulness of a thing, the opposite is more nebulous. How long is the initial “up” vote valid for? What about things that “make it” as kitsch or retro, but your upvote was for an original, non-ironic application? How about the fact that things that a playa might tout may not even fail in any notable way… they might just fade away (The Holler Cafe was a neat little coffee shop that I’d definitely have gotten the credz for, but it quietly closed before people got a chance to dig it).

          Maybe, rather than trying to balance things on the input side, you could balace them on the output side… separate out the kernels, if you will… (heh).

          If we assume that the acquisition of a certain number of iC indicates a verified ability to recognize iC worthy goods and services, then it should be possible to attach some sort of veto-style power to those such identified individuals. I can think of two ways this could work:

          1- Time-limited veto power: once per week/month/year per [x]iC, the iC holder could veto anyones claim to potential iC

          2- Earned veto credits – iC earners would earn veto credits (your douchePoints) on a 1:1 basis with iC and could “spend” these to decrease, even to 0, the iC of any other individual.

          I like the second, as it could even be applied retroactively… If you are being a complete bastard about the iC you earned for liking Madonna before anyone, you can still get dinged for the douchebaggery. The only real question I see with this is whether dP are heterogenous. If you have 3 iC from service A and 2 iC from service B, but as super assy about service B, earning 5 dP, can the Service B dP be used to decrease your service A iC? I think it should.

          One other thing this does not consider is the offThat index. If a person clings to an iC earning good or service as it drops from it’s popularity/goodness peak (maximum offThat index), should there be a penalty? a reward for sticking to it? I got credit for liking the Black Eyed Peas pre-Fergi, but I have a hard time continuing in a post-Fergi state. Do I loose points for Hatin’? or gain additional points for noting the max offThat index and jumping ship? I could argue, i suppose, that the addition of that no-talent harpy changed the group enough that the original ceased to exist… but that just brings us back to the earlier question.

          In the end, I agree that there needs to be some way to check those that would abuse the system, ad that that something needs to be somewhat decentralized… this is America, after all!

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