Here's how I got an iPad up and running in roughly 12 hours:
11:00 am - Arrive at the Apple Store at Pioneer Place. First time I've been in the mall since we moved to Portland 7 years ago.
11:45 am - Depart Apple Store with iPad, a case and a small box full of extended warranty. Not much packaging, so it all fits easily into a single Ortlieb front-roller classic pannier. Get me outta here!
12:00 noon - Boot up the iPad in the office. Can't get started because it needs to be connected to either a Mac or PC running iTunes.
I don't have a PC or Mac in the office any more because a few months ago I converted all my machines over to Ubuntu (and have been a happy camper ever since). I've never owned a Mac, but my dad bought an Apple IIe in 1983 when I was in 11th grade. I'm not sure where that machine is now, and I suspect iTune$ wouldn't run on it anyway.
The only PC left in our house is my wife's laptop that she uses for work. She had iTunes on her laptop at one time for a few days but got rid of it. Instead, she uses the software that came with her SanDisk Sansa for transferring music and podcasts. I'm not going to put iTunes back on her laptop.
This will have to wait until tonight after the kids are in bed. I'm sure I've got a few Windows XP discs at home that came with the many Dells that have come and gone (and still survive) over the years. I guess it's time to re-install Windows on the old 486. Maybe I should have taken the Apple Store folks up on their offer of a 20 minute appointment to set up the iPad.
8:00 pm - Kids are in bed. Time to get the iPad going! Heading down to the basement to look for a Windows XP disc. Can't find one, but I found a whole bunch of MSDN and Visual C++ discs -- please let me know soon if you'd like some (or all) of them or they're gonna end up at Free Geek along with three boxes full of computer cables, cards, input devices, output devices, gizmos and other doodads.
Might as well recycle some boxes and clean out the basement a bit while I'm down here.
9:00 pm - Finally found an XP disc in the basement. Instead of trying it out on the 486, though, I'm going to create an XP VirtualBox image -- been meaning to do that for a while anyway. There's really nothing left that I need to run on Windows any more (now that I've got QuickBook$ Online working in Firefox via Wine on Ubuntu), so it'd be a shame to waste a whole computer just to run iTunes.
The VirtualBox image works like a charm! I gave it 768M of RAM and a 10GB variable size disk. The network is configured for bridged ethernet so it can grab a dynamic IP address from the server in the basement that's running dnsmasq. Installation of XP seems to require a few more clicks (and time) than I remember -- guess I'm just used to Ubuntu now.
9:45 pm - Now that XP is running in a VirtualBox (yippee) I'd like to register my copy of Windows, because that's just what you are trained to do when you run Windows. Now, I've got no idea which one of the computers the XP disc came with, but hopefully that won't matter. All the computers came with Windows on them and they're all now running linux, so I'm hoping this'll go smoothly.
Well, the code on the bottom of my laptop didn't work so I've got to call Micro$oft to get a new product key -- good thing they've got support folks working 'round the clock to give out new product keys for the products that we've purchased (and purchased, and purchased). After typing the code into the phone, getting routed to a real live person, repeating the code verbally to the technician, getting a new code to try (and a few other steps I can't remember), the key on the bottom of the laptop now works! I've got a VirtualBox image with a registered copy of XP where iTune$ is going to live.
10:15 pm - Before installing anything on a VirtualBox image, it's a good idea to create a snapshot of the image in case a rollback is required. Since the mouse isn't getting captured seamlessly by the XP instance and I can't maximize the screen, it's going to be painful running XP in VirtualBox without installing the Guest Additions, so I'd better do that before getting to the iPad setup.
10:30 pm - The Guest Additions work great, and hey, it actually seems like XP is nice and snappy -- probably because there's no virus scanner installed (which Windows is happy to keep reminding me). We're still paying for the annual subscription to a 3-pack of anti-virus licenses for one of the commercial virus scanners, and we're only using 1 license right now (since, remember, Ubuntu's on the other machines), but finding an open source one for Windows goes on the TODO list.
Let's see -- oh yeah, the iPad. Where did that thing go, anyway? XP doesn't recognize the iPad right away, but after fiddling with the VirtualBox USB settings, it looks like we're going to get registered! All that's left to be done is to decide which credit card to let iTunes keep on file because, in order to use an iPad, remember, you need a credit card. And a PC or Mac.
11:15 pm - Wow, that was a lot of work to get the iPad up and running. And now for the big payoff -- watching a replay of the Italy v. Germany friendly on e$pn3.com on the brand new iPad via work's Comca$t Remote Acce$$ (because we've got Speakeasy DSL at home).
Never mind -- e$pn3.com uses Flash to deliver its content, so I guess I can't watch it on the iPad. Guess I'm gonna have to figure out the "App Store" but that will have to wait for another day. Good night.