Friday, May 21, 2010

Tablet History 1 - Introduction


   Part I:  Introduction

apes surround monolith in movie 2001

As an amateur tabletologist and member of the International Society for the History of Tablets, I've lately been asked quite a few questions about the place of Apple's iPad in the history of tablet devices.

For example:

   1)  What is the place of Apple's iPad in the history of tablet devices?

Other questions revolve - and evolve - around Apple's innovation.  For example:

   2)  Is the iPad revolutionary, evolutionary, or kleptolutionary?

And then there's the panicky cry from every Applehead's nightmares:

   3)  Where do I plug in my one-button mouse?

I'm pleased to offer here extracts from my research paper, "Toward a Unified History of Tablet Devices."

(There have been hints that it will appear in the Bulletin de la Société Internationale pour l'Histoire des Tablettes (BullSIHT)!  Real soon!  Someday.)

The study is needed because tabletology is a highly-charged field of research, as I'm sure one can imagine, and individual tabletologists (and there are great ones) often disagree on the timespan and naming of various eras.

But they (almost) all agree that a "tablet" is something for communications ... that's at least, oh, let's say about 5" x 7" ... and that's portable.

Clearly the 11-foot monolith from Stanley Kubrick's movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, does not meet this last requirement.  And yet, it was probably fun to monkey around with.

What's ahead in these  Pictorial Highlights of Tablet History:

Part I:  Introduction
   -- I invent a field of study, a phoney Society, and a bogus journal

   (Okay, that's not ahead ... you're reading it now.)

Part II:  The Lithic Era
   -- Paleolithic (ancient) and Neolithic (modern) Tablet Stone Ages

Part III:  The Lignum Era
   -- Writing on wood (or rather, on fiber)

Part IV:  The Expansion Era
   -- 20th- and 21st-century devices that can be expanded

Part V:  The Restrictive Era
   -- Devices that restrict users

Part VI:  The Future
   -- From the 22nd century onward!

Part VII:  Conclusions
   -- The Stone Age and the future

Part VIII:  Comparisons
   -- Comparing the devices in this study

Part IX:  Methodology
   -- How this pictorial history happened

Stay tuned for all IX exciting episodes!


Jeffrey said...

I might make a suggestion concerning where you could plug in your one-button mouse, but it would be obscene and not heard. ;D

Tonya said...

A question, Myster Ed -- what about the Selenitic, Stoneship, Mechanical, and Channelwood ages? Did you forget those? ;D