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If you could go back and show my 10-year-old self an iPad — millions of colors, video, photographs, gorgeous typography, a touchscreen interface, networking (wirelessly!) — and offered to let me write web apps for it in exchange for my agreeing never to touch an Apple II again, I’m pretty sure I know what the answer would be.

Something important and valuable is indeed being lost as Apple shifts to this model of computing. But it’s a trade-off, because something new that is important and valuable has been gained.

I'm sure a lot of early audiophile tinkerers would be gobsmacked if someone shoved a Bose system at them through a time portal.

Perhaps our fears of the death of tinkering are like laments about the death of penmanship. Maybe what's essential survives in a different form?

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