Writing this from 32,000ft as I fly to New York for the launch of the new iPad 2.
It was fortuitous at the launch of the first iPad, that I was actually on holiday at the same time in New York. A trip that was booked months prior to the announcement of the iPad 1.
Honestly, it really was.
The fact that I was able to pick one up (well two actually - one as a prize for a special ScreenCastsOnline members prize draw) was fantastic, as it gave me a head start in becoming familiar with the device and figuring out how to get high quality screen captures from it. I didn't know at the time, but the European launch was actually delayed by a few weeks.
Perhaps I should point out here, that I'm not your average Apple user!
I know it's turning into a bit of a cliche when pundits pronounce they need the latest and greatest "as it's my job" but in my case, it really is. With producing the ScreenCastsOnline video tutorials, I really need to be aware of what's happening in the market place and to see where Apple is going. This is especially true as they integrate and merge platforms and develop the ecosystem. I'm constantly looking for interesting software and applications for the show, as well as more general topics. As things start to become more integrated, I'm noticing more and more requests for guidance from the viewers.
Then there's the punditry!
I guest on lots of different podcasts, not just US based, but internationally too. I need to know my stuff. It's OK speculating on futures, but when a device is out, I need to know the facts too.
Of course, ScreenCastsOnline needs publicity and the first iPad launch was great in that respect. I appeared on Leos syndicated live radio show from the 5th Avenue store as well as my YouTube unboxing videos getting viewed many thousands of times! Can't look it up, no Internet! (Just checked - a few under 24,000 views)
So when the new iPad was announced, it was a no brainer that I'd go across to the US to cover the launch and pick up the new device (OK - two devices again, I'll be giving another one away in April).
Actually, saying that, I nearly didn't.
I initially figured it would take a 4 or 5 day trip. As I'm still (yes still!) in catch up mode following the recent MacMania trip, I seriously wondered if I could take that much time away. On realising the iPad wouldn't be available until 5pm on Friday, it became feasible to do it in 3 days, so that was doable.
The travel isn't an issue (other than the expense) as I enjoy flying and besides, I got a direct flight to New York, it's only eight hours. Managed to get a cheap combined Flight and Hotel deal, although following that, was offered accommodation at a friends apartment. With the exceptional battery life on the iPad, I've been able to do a ton of stuff on the plane.
Going back to deciding to make the trip, one of the things I like to do is share the experience. This is true whether it's Macworld, MacMania, Blogworld or any of the trips I go on. I always make a point of tweeting or blogging as much as I can to share the experience. Without sounding too fluffy (I'm sure there's a more appropriate word than that), I fully appreciate that I'm in a privileged position to be able to do what I do. I work exceptionally hard to create the show, but it's only by the support of the members that I can continue doing it and enjoy some of the benefits such as equipment and travel. The least I can do is share the experience, and that seems to be hugely appreciated.
Fingers crossed, I'll pick up the new iPads tomorrow, get a head start in understanding the device, do an unboxing video, start to develop some content and be fully armed to wax lyrical about the new device when asked. I'll also be able to work out if I can use the mirroring and HDMI adaptor for capturing High Quality screen captures with my capture equipment. Hopefully, I'll also get some more exposure for the show and possibly along with that, some new viewers. In fact, any new viewers I get, either because of the exposure or due to the fact I'm giving an iPad away, will offset the cost of the trip and the two new iPads. It could possibly mean it will cost me nothing.
So you see, I'm not really that crazy Apple fanboi you may think I am!