So this week Julie managed to pick up one of those ultra-rare fire sale HP Touchpads, which is basically an iPad without any support and a very small user base. With that said, it’s $99 (if you can find one) for a way to screw around on the internet while you’re spending some away-from-the-computer time with your kids, it lets you play Flash games, and it has Angry Birds, which, for most of us, is the only real App you need. It’s an ebook reader, a camera, calculator, a music and movie player, a browser, a joker, a smoker, a midnight toker, and all sorts of other things. For $99. People. Buy one of these (if you can find one). $100 is about my price cap for technology I don’t think I want, but for $99, I want pretty much anything. The best feature, though? The autocorrect on its memo pad.
This morning, while crammed up against a window on the bus, I had a moment of quick inspiration. I whipped out my not-an-iPad-but-I-paid-1/5-of-what-you-did-sucker and began to type away. We have a character in the script who we’ll call Jones because my NDA prevents me from slightly altering those letters to spell out his real name, but it is a simple name like Jones. HP’s autocorrect decided that his name is Jitsu and forced the name change on him. I deleted it and tried again. Jones. No, Jitsu. Jones. No, Jitsu. Then I realized there was a tiny underline beneath Jitsu, clicked on it, and there was Jones again. Ah. So I continue with my story and a few lines later, Jones makes a reappearance. Soon after, so does Jitsu. I look up and my previously mandated Jones has also reverted to Jitsu.
Fine. For this morning, he’s Jitsu. And he’s also a man with I’ll intent. No, not I’ll intent. I’ll intent. Damnit. No underline, can’t force it back. As far as I can tell, there’s physically no way to process “ill” intent. We’re talking about technology that has the entire internet stored (I’m told there are tubes involved) in a 9.7″ flat screen on my lap but is also randomly removing words from the English dictionary.
So I continue with Jitsu’s I’ll intent, but soon my flat fingers hit the wrong punctuation button and I get the strangest correction yet. Let me sideline here a second. Does anybody else have this problem? I don’t really have points on the ends of my fingers. There’s no tapered fleshpad that’s going to magically connect with the surface of the touchpad. In fact, the little vortex animation that shows where I pressed the screen often appears off to one side of my finger. It’s not an Touchpad problem either, it’s just that the vortex graphic finally explains why I have such a hard time selecting icons on the iPad. Sometimes I actually use my pinky when I want precision, but that’s just fancy and I don’t want to give the wrong impression in public.
Anyway, so I make that punctuation typo – and it autocorrects my mangled version of “can’t” into “Fabio.” Fabio?! Really? It has Fabio but not Jones? And why not jump to can’t first, I mean can’t is such a plain* word and Fabio is well … Fabio. Let’s start with the more likely possibilities before we start fishing the ether for megahunks, please.
*I feel like I didn’t give “can’t” a fair shake. It’s not a plain word. It’s a powerful word. Can’t is one of the saddest words in the English language. Can’t implies want, doesn’t it? You know who else wants? Fabio. Just look at his face up there. Now it’s all starting to make sense. Or I need to get some sleep.