We have all see an ordinary piece of paper magically transformed into a crane, a frog, and a icosahedron through the art of origami. By simply folding a piece of paper, any number of new shapes can be formed.
But wait, isn’t paper to be used as a medium for written communication, as a canvas for art, and a place to jot all those little notes on? When looking up the definition of paper in the dictionary nowhere does it say a material made of cellulose pulp derived mainly from wood, rags, or certain grasses to be used for making cute shapes and animal art.
Although origami finds use in paper for which it was not originally intended, most reasonable people accept with open arms the art form. In fact using paper for spit-wads, to start a fire, for building paper airplanes, or any of the other uses is generally supported by the human breathing community.
Within the past couple of years the digital world has brought us “digital paper”. This digital paper has been cleverly aliased as an e-book, an e-reader, an ePad, an eSlate, or some other derivative. Based on the physical form factors of these digital paper products not too many people uses their new devices to practice their origami.
Ok, so we are not going to destroy our new little electronic gadget just to make a crane or a frog, but what about using this “digital paper” for a use for which it was not intended? Should the manufacturers of these devices mandate how we should use our “digital paper”? If you answered, No, then please read on. If you answered, Yes, then you probably own an apple product and you just do not know any better.
Apple released its version of “digital paper” this week and have officially named it the iPad. It is of course, a “pretty” device, as are all of Apple’s iProducts. It should look very nice in your Feng shui, iOffice space. The problem with the iPad, well actually there are many but that is for another day, is that the iPad will only due what Apple says it can do. Imagine buying that ordinary piece of paper and being told that it can only be used for written communication; would you still buy it?
Not to be too critical of Apple, as many manufacturers practice the same rouge product dictatorship. Although, many companies, not including Apple, will give you the blue prints to their product so you are free to make the product your own. The manufacturers obviously can not offer support when you start using their product in a way it was not intended. Once you have “hacked” the product the product is officially yours and you own the support of that product.
Take for example, the NOOK, which is Barnes & Noble’s version of “digital paper”. The underlying operating system that makes this device tick is the open sourced OS developed by Google called Android. Although the NOOK, when purchased, is limited to functionality defined by Barnes & Noble and its partners, it can be “hacked” to open up endless new functionality.
The next time you are out buying your next little gadget ask your self if you want to buy an ordinary piece of paper that can only be used as a medium for written communication, or if you want to buy the paper that can magically be transformed into a wonderful piece of origami art.
Sound off with your opinion one how companies dictate that way in which you can user their products.