I got an iPad at work as a reward for exactly how above-and-beyond I've gone. Which is coincidentally not very long after I got myself a Motorola Droid and said a number of things about Steve Jobs' mother to Ajit. Which now means that Ajit got a lot of joy out of congratulating me on acquiring my new Apple toy.
Some vague quick thoughts on the subject:
One longer thought: Many years ago, I was in grade school but of above-average reading comprehension... so I'd read Scientific American.
(I explain to people that I'm homozygous for nerd. My mom's a computer programmer and my dad an aeronautical engineer)
The article was where I was introduced to the concept of Ubiquitous computing at PARC. They were talking about computers that seemed to be fairly Star Trek, with wireless communications and several sizes of computers that you could spread out on your desk that pretty much resemble an iPhone and a iPad.
I doodled in my little doodle pad designs along the concept. I had one, that I've probably lost, that was based around machining a block of metal with recesses such that you could mount a few chips against a PC board and skip out on IC packaging or anything like that because the PC board would seal against the block of metal. The whole thing would be glued and sealed together into a stack, such that no space was wasted. It's not dissimilar to the way that the iPad and iPhone are constructed, actually. I'm sure that, given enough time, they will reduce the circuit-board portion of the phone even further.
This is fairly similar to the way the iPad is constructed, actually. I'm sure I wasn't the only person to get that sort of dreamy idea after reading the PARC thing.
Playing with both my iPad and my Droid, I feel like we're actually approaching this science fiction future that was predicted in the 80s by PARC and Star Trek TNG.