Technology and I are good friends. I try to embrace any new tools whenever they surface, but none has been as useful to me as my iPad, of which I am now on my second version. Prior to the invention of, what I consider the greatest thing since sliced bread, I would carry my laptop everywhere I went.
It was a habit that started in 1986, with the purchase of my first portable computer, a Compaq, about the size of a sewing machine. The front came off and was actually the keyboard, and it had a 5-megabyte hard drive, more than I would ever need. That is the equivalent of two photos taken with my smartphone.
The best part about my Compaq? No, not that it only weighed 13 Kg. (28 lbs.), but that I was able to purchase it for a steal of only $2995.
I was now mobile and could work anywhere. Of course, the internet had not yet been invented, so I didn’t spend all my time looking for hotspots or visiting Starbucks. Which, at the time, weren’t in Canada. Instead, I could set up shop in a restaurant, an airport or a hotel and was able to work instantly, once I booted up MS-Dos 3.1. There was the added benefit of the muscles in my right arm expanding from lifting the thing.
Portables became laptops, and laptops became notebooks, and finally, Apple brought out the iPad. I remember reading about it, and how fantastic it was, so I decided to take a look. That was, of course, my first mistake. Like a kid in a candy store, I couldn’t put it down and left Best Buy with my new toy… er, business tool.
I could watch movies, listen to music, type documents and spreadsheets, and edit photos; not to mention how cool I looked with an iPad under my arm. A whole new world opened up, and here I was, smack dab in the middle of it.
Then, one day while on a trip to Malta, it happened. My world came crashing down. I had dropped off my rental car at the airport and went inside to check in. All was well, and after receiving my boarding pass, I went to a restaurant for a coffee. It had been at least an hour since I opened my iPad, so it was well beyond time. I went to pick it up from the chair, my heart stopped, it was gone. Frantically, I searched everywhere, but it was not to be found.
I must have left it in the rental car. I ran out of the terminal and explained my dilemma to security, who surprisingly let me pass. I made my way across the parking lot and saw the car being hoisted on a transport truck. I yelled, and people looked. I explained what had happened, and, safety aside, they let me climb on the truck and search the car. My iPad was not there.
Head lowered, I slowly strode across the parking lot, realizing I left my tablet in the hotel lobby. There was not enough time to go back, so I telephoned, and luckily the hotel staff had picked it up. I was without my iPad all the way home, but gratefully, arrangements had been made to send it to me. A few weeks later, we were reunited, and I have never let it out of my sight again.
Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award-winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on Rogers TV, the Standard Website or YouTube.