iPads Are Saving Paper Weight, Fuel, And Pilots’ Backs

That quote reminded me of a fascinating New York Times article from the summer that I had clipped to Evernote, that went into much more detail about this.

The Federal Aviation Administration has authorized a handful of commercial and charter carriers to use the tablet computer as a so-called electronic flight bag. Private pilots, too, are now carrying iPads, which support hundreds of general aviation apps that simplify preflight planning and assist with in-flight operations.

“The iPad allows pilots to quickly and nimbly access information,” said Jim Freeman, a pilot and director of flight standards at Alaska Airlines, which has given iPads to all its pilots. “When you need to a make a decision in the cockpit, three to four minutes fumbling with paper is an eternity.”

Call me a clueless air traveller, but I had no idea that pilots had to haul 40 pounds of paper onto each flight. This is the sort of area where tablets can be a hugely disruptive device.

from DocumentSnap

It was always an end-to-end system with Steve. He was not a designer but a great systems thinker. That is something you don’t see with other companies. They tend to focus on their piece and outsource everything else.

This is a fascinating glimpse into the internal workings of Apple and Steve Jobs. He may be a little crazy, but it’s crazy like a fox. He’s had single-minded devotion to getting things right. It makes me wonder what will happen to Apple when he leaves. I don’t think they’ll fail, but will they be as “magical”?

I signed up for a MobileMe account recently. I never resubscribed after my initial .Mac offering, since it seemed like a lot to pay for mostly features I didn’t really need. It still seems like a lot to pay, but the desire to keep my calendar and contacts synced more often between iPhone and Mac and my soon-to-be iPad (that’s another rant), as well as the handiness of Find My iPhone drew me in again. I found a $70 MobileMe package on Amazon (which is at least vaguely more reasonable than Apple’s $99) and paid up.

Some time after, I went shopping at a local Apple Store. It was a few days later that I realized my receipt had gotten mailed to my new MobileMe email instead of the e-mail address that it usually goes to. This miffed me a bit, but I forgot about it. Today I started to research the issue and found out that Apple had created another Apple ID using my @me.com address. That makes three Apple IDs I have! I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. My first Apple ID is an @mac.com address that was created automatically by signing up for .Mac. After letting the .Mac service lapse, I set up a new Apple ID with my normal email, because either it wasn’t possible to change the e-mail address on the @mac.com Apple ID or I couldn’t figure out how to do so. Later, I was able to update the e-mail, so I went back to using my @mac.com Apple ID to try to consolidate my iTunes purchases going forward, as well as my product registrations.

I’m annoyed that signing up for a MobileMe account somehow overrode my existing email preferences for where to send receipts. It must be because I added my credit card to the MobileMe account for the subscription renewal? Even though that credit card is already used in iTunes with my other Apple IDs? I think the initial association of email to credit card during a store purchase was done by them typing my address in manually, so I don’t know how MobileMe got its claws in there. I logged in to the new Apple ID to update the e-mail to my standard e-mail address. I wonder if that will help? Hard to say until my next purchase.

Apple IDs seem to be a major source of confusion to me. It’s way to easy to end up with multiples, because they don’t make it easy to know that you can update your current ID when your email changes. You have to go to some obscure link on the support page. There really should be a way to merge them. Your iTunes purchases and product registration and support info are linked to them, so you don’t want to lose track of that stuff. Come on, Apple! You’re so good at making things easy!

Except when you aren’t.