You, dear reader who frequents Second Life are a techno-nerd. Embrace it, flaunt it, take pride in it. I guess. The same boneheads who whine about how Linden Lab's effort to simplify the viewer and how to actually use it to explore and interact in the virtual world should all climb into the same bed with all the boneheaded pundits tearing Apple, Inc. a new one over what a "disappointment" the iPad is turning out to be.
  • ZOMG! It doesn't support Adobe Flash so it will FAIL! (Not supporting Adobe Flash is a good thing and it hasn't hurt the iPhone at all).
  • It doesn't have a camera! Total fail! What the hell is Apple thinking! (If you want a camera, go buy a camera. Besides, it will have one sooner rather than later).
  • But...but...but it runs the iPhone OS and not OS-X!!! (Yes, another good thing. Because it's not designed to be a full-blown computer).
These techno-nerds all believe the iPad is a complete failure because it doesn't have the features they want or do what and how they want to do it.

So damned what? If you feel Apple's iPad is not powerful or feature-rich enough, don't buy one. Why should your ideas be forced onto the rest of the known universe? Are you all that high-and-mighty that what you think is the be-all and end-all of the known world? The same can be said for a very large number (and majority of blog-vocal) users of Second Life - remeber how "Voice is a failure and should be completely removed as a feature!!!"? As for all you people: you're a stuck-up, conceited snob at best.

What Apple has created is a computer that Grandmother can use and not be afraid of it. What Apple has created is a computer a five-year-old can use and actually figure it out without much intervention. What Apple has created is a game-changer for the computing "world" as we know it and it will be the new mainstream paradigm all other "personal" computing devices will benchmark off of. It will be the new leader all others try to emulate.

What Linden Lab is trying to do is basically the same thing; to replicate what Apple is doing: creating a system for the vast masses who really don't care to deal with all the technical nitty-gritty. At least not at first. Linden Lab, along with making things better for those of us who are techno-nerds, also must find a way to simplify everything for the uninitiated. So that people aren't afraid of it.

My sister's mother in law doesn't own a computer. She sits at the iMac and rolls the mouse around able to navigate the world-wide-web. Full stop. She doesn't mess with word processors or antivirus utilities or paint programs. Not that it is so difficult to paint with a paint program, but because getting there is too technical - not in the understanging of how to do it, but rather to bother learning how to do it.

And there are a lot of mothers-in-law in the world. Which is why Apple's iPad is a "win" on such a massive scale the likes of which can barely be fathomed yet.

So when Linden Lab speaks on how "Viewer 2.0" will be more "streamlined" and new-user-friendly with a simplified interface, try not so hard to slam them down. Because for Second Life to gain any traction beyond us techno-nerds whatsoever, Linden Lab has to do what the rest of the computing "industry" have been trying to do for decades and Apple has finally found a way to accomplish: simplify.

I intend to get an iPad myself, even though I am considerably more "techno-nerd" than most. Even though I am adept and tearing down and building computers from scratch, managing server farms, able to program databases and manage networks and trouble-shoot all manner of over-complicated software and driver nonsense.

Because it frees my mind to focus on the creative process, not the engine under the hood. When Linden Lab finally gets that recipe right to where a new user can just focus on the virtual world they see and not all the ropes and pulleys that make it work, then they'll have something more people will more easily embrace. And when they are ready, those users will eventually reveal the pulleys and ropes and start to shape the direction of the virtual world to their own liking the same way we all have.

How would you feel if you purchased a brand new car, and even though all you need do is insert the key and turn it to start up the engine and make the car go - but you also have buttons and knobs and levers on the dashboard that controlled everything from fuel-mixture to brake-tension and steering control with options for suspension softness and light-dimmers?

Even though all those controls are optional, how would you feel about it? Ever sit in or see the cockpit of a jet airliner? Believe it or not, a lot of those knobs and switches are actually optional controls. But at first sight it's an overwhelming experience. However, (take-off and landing aside) flying the thing is actually a rather simple procedure not a whole lot unlike driving a car.

Hell, my Toyota Camry only requires me to push a button while holding the break and it starts-up and is ready to roll. It is intellectually and mentally liberating and refreshing. When the SL Viewer is similarly presented, new user accounts will stick to the wall longer.