Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The iPad and Stamp Collecting

I am an unabashed gadget geek. One example of this is that I have owned an iPad since the first day it was available for purchase. Since then I've found a couple of good uses for the iPad with my "Blue" collection which I would like to share.

I spend a lot of my time with my albums sitting on the couch rather than at a desk. This means I'm usually trying to balance an album, catalog, and laptop at the same time. Turns out for a couple of tasks, the iPad provides a viable alternative for the laptop, the catalog or both!

Off and on I will select a country that is largely complete and see what it would take to fill the remaining spaces. I usually start with the APS Stamp Store. I was happy to find that the iPad's screen size is fine for viewing this site in the Safari browser and it is easy to go back and forth between listings and zoomed views of the stamps. Most important is that the size and weight of the iPad vis-a-vis a laptop made this task much more convenient. I would expect other websites such as Zillions of Stamps to work equally well unless they use Flash to serve up their content or shopping carts.

I own the last DVD version of the Scott Classics Catalogue. As you may know, the DVD contains the catalog in Adobe PDF format. I transferred the PDFs over to the iPad and viewed them using the GoodReader software. Although it is little bothersome to find the exact page you want, the overall convenience is hard to beat. It is especially nice if you find yourself refering between the website and the catalog.

Incidentally, this post was typed on the iPad but I had to add the images "manually."


airpostman said...

Drat! Someone beat me to it! I think the iPad is the perfect accessory for the stamp collector in this "modern" era. I can't think how useful such a device could be; you can surf, view catalogs, update your inventory, etc. The only problem I see is that it can't multitask. It would be cool to tab, tab, tab, moving from one digital format to another while collecting items that reflect a more simpler time. Remember the first Mac? POS, but very interesting and it showed the way to the future of GUIs. I wish there were more options to choose from rather than Apple. Who knows? In a year, the next version may vbe the killer device. Thanks for the review!

Bob said...

If the rumors are at all on target, there should be a variety of competitors to the iPad coming in the next twelve months, not to mention newer versions of the iPad itself. Since writing the original post, I've been consulting the Scott Classic Catalog pdf's on the iPad almost every night. While I wouldn't be the most efficient way to look up 20 different stamps from 20 countries, I find the pdfs via the iPad more efficient than the print Catalog when concentrating on a single country or two.

John said...

Thanks for the idea. the pdf's are easier to navigate on the iPad. Multitasking isn't a big problem because the PDFs open in the same place as before.

Bob said...

That's an excellent point on the pdf app opening with the last document you were viewing. (At least, that is how it is in the GoodReader software I've been using.) One thing I didn't mention is how easy it is to zoom using the "pinch to zoom" gesture which I find myself using constantly. The only thing I don't like is if I'm not careful, I can find myself scrolled to a new page if I quickly move too close to a page break.

Apple has announced that its iBook software will support pdfs in the next iteration. It will be interesting to see if it offers any new functionality.