back to article 119 iPad apps for admins, coders, and geeks

Apple's "magical and revolutionary" iPad is not just a toy for Jobsian fanbois — and The Reg has 119 tech-savvy apps to prove it. Today we launch our first installment of a Reg roundup of iPad apps that provide more utility than do fart-sharing, bubble-popping, and "Yo Mama!" joke-telling apps. We'll focus on items that can …


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  1. LPF

    Hold on a second

    I thought that the iPad was a huge failure and no one would buy an unserspecced piece of rubbish ??? I'm confused!

  2. Alan Firminger

    Password generator

    Does the iPad have a true random number generator ?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      It has a clock, it has accelerometer, and a mic. So It ought to have unless it doesn't have a RNG implemented in software.

  3. J 3
    Paris Hilton

    Quick: what's the difference between Rendezvous and Bonjour?

    "Quick: what's the difference between Rendezvous and Bonjour?"

    Bonjour is what you say hours after a successful Rendezvous? Not sure, I haven't been to Paris...

  4. dave 93

    How does that humble pie taste then?

    Not just a useless toy for 'fanbois' after all, is it?

    To be fair though, you have to use one for a bit before you realise what a neat little thing it is.

    Shame about the lack of Flash support in the browser though - a lot of educational sites and embedded video are missing... for now. I predict a rapprochement 'twixt Apple and Adobe, at least in the browser.

    1. David Webb


      Totally correct! I mean, sysadmins *need* the iPad over a laptop.

      Unless their are in an environment with only a wired connection. Or need to run a lot of diagnostic tools at once which are (freely) available for Linux but not for the iPad.... need to watch a video online that is encoded in Flash.

      The iPad is a toy, can it run Wireshark? Can you open a terminal, run nslookup/tracert/ipconfig/etc.. out of the box? I know, let's create a random password generator on the iPad and generate 100 random passwords with upper/lower/numeric.... how exactly do you get these passwords from the iPad to the computer you're looking at? That's right, you have to copy them, by hand.. how very useful that must be, still, it stores them and the iPad hasn't recently had a "feature" where you go to a webpage and... oh, wait.....

      I'm sorry but the iPad is a joke, any sysadmin who relies on it is fooling themselves into thinking they need one, a laptop for 1/4th of the price can do a hell of a lot more, heck, my N900 can do things the iPad/iPhone will *never* be able to do no matter how many apps (like, run OSX 10.4, Windows NT, Andriod...) the store gets

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        'A laptop for 1/4th of the price'

        I'd like to see that laptop, given that the iPad starts at £429.

        1. David Webb
          Jobs Horns

          A random title generator, there's an app for that.....

          I didn't mention how old the laptop is, or if it was new, did I? £107 would get you a semi-decent laptop, stick on Ubuntu 10.04LTS x32 and hey presto, a fast laptop which can do everything the iPad can do, and more.

          That's not including bundle deals where you buy a 3G Dongle and get a netbook/laptop for free/discounted.

          I stand by what I say, the iPad is no where near as useful for a sysadmin as a 5 year old laptop is, heck, it isn't as useful as a 15 year old P1 with Windows 95 on it, that says quite a lot about it's usefulness doesn't it, when a 15 year old computer is more useful than the latest "cutting edge" Apple device....

          The iPad is a consumer "toy", it'll have the "ohh shiny" factor for a while but eventually people will go back to their iPhones because that does everything the iPad does in a more reasonable form factor, and by saying "everything the iPad does" I mean "not much, unless you like fart apps".

          Yes, I own an iPhone, yes, it's a horrific phone, yes, it's gone because the N900 is vastly superior, you can even use it if you're left handed.

          1. bitten

            @David Webb: 5 year old laptop?

            Yes, but a 5 year old laptop with batteries

            1. Witty username
              Thumb Down


              what do ipads have for power sources then, unicorn tears?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Calm down calm down

            Who cares if the iPad's a toy? Most home computers are toys, and by definition all game consoles are. It's something primarily used for entertainment. No need to get so sniffy about it.

    2. The Original Steve

      Um, seriously...?

      "Not just a useless toy for 'fanbois' after all, is it?"

      Yes it is. Nearly everything listed is either built into any decent OS (including my non-Apple handset) or a free download on every other popular platform. (Including OS X, Linux and Windows)

      Paying for SSH clients, hardware details, zip/unzip utils is just bizzare. These are fundemental tools that should be part of the OS. What's next - the search util is a paid for 3rd party "app" too?

      And then for the remainder they are all pretty much readily avalaible online. An error code database? Random password generator, subnet mask calc, DHCP/Oracle reference etc.

      Seriously, I feel like Apple are sometimes taking us backwards rather than further.

      Save yourself a few hundred quid / bucks for the device and get an Android based one. Save even more on have half the paid Apple App Store built-in to the device or free or accessible for free online.


      (Mine's the one with flash support, removable storage and lower price tag in the pocket)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Jobs Halo

        Steve feeds on your rage.

        The iPad is a consumer device, for, you know, consumers. Not geeks suffering from status anxiety. Why in the name of Hell would it need an SSH client bundled with it?

  5. Spanners Silver badge

    How about other Smart devices?

    I suspect that not everyone here has a iPad and not even everyone has an iPhone.

    How about something for us non-fanbois who may have a work Blackberry or have a nice Android? Some of us are just not drinking the Kool Aid.

  6. gabor1


    If you were going to mention an ssh client, I would have thought by far the best is iSSH by Zinger-Soft. Apart form a terminal client (or two, since it split the screen), it comes with its own X server, so you can tunnel X connections to it. It also contains a VNC client, which it can also tunnel through ssh.

    Just sayin'...

    1. Mr Floppy


      I agree. By far the best ssh client and X server and don't forget telnet and RAW socket too. I hate paying for apps but this was well worth it. It costs around 2 pints and it's tax deductible.

      I guess an ethernet port adaptor so I can plug my crossover cable in would be ideal. Saves me having to take along my mini netgear 3g wifi router. A serial port interface for console access would be way too much to expect but I could try and use the serial over IP RJ45 adaptor hooked up to the netgear and see if that works. Not that there is much need for it at moment. Haven't even touched the serial to usb port replicator I bought for my eeepc.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Paul M 1


      The Reg is not anti-Apple... it's just not particularly pro-anybody.

      I've always said that if everybody thinks you hate them then you must be doing something right.

  8. Elsie
    Paris Hilton

    The iPad is like Paris Hilton

    Looks stupid, sounds absolutely ridiculous, why would you ever want to lower yourself to say you liked it ... but if you ever got a chance to 'play' with Paris, especially after dark with night vision, you wouldn't say no and you'd want more.

    I thought the iPad was stupid. Why would I want one but the more I got to use one, the more I wanted one as I could see the benefits outweighed the negatives. Instead of unbagging a laptop, plugging in, booting up, virus checks ... 7 mins before you can do anything ... the ipad is working in seconds. OK, so you can't see flash but in the time I've had mine it's not really bothered me. My kids love it for the games. My wife loves it for the time it saves her not having to use the laptop. We as parents love it because instead of going to their rooms or my office for the internet, they use the iPad in the same room as us. It's a far more social device than you might believe as everyone wants to hold it / play with it. I've recently installed both Dropbox on the iPad so I can transfer files and the superb LogMeIn to allow me to control my home PC's from the iPad and my 3 MiFi unit ... it's brilliant!

    I admit, I am a hypocrit. I abused the iPad when it came out but now I love it. There will be an Android / Windows device (eventually) that is comparable to the iPad but I'd be willing to bet they'll be less reliable and have inferior battery life than the iPad. Finally, in my eyes the iPad is not a device anyone needs but it is a great device to want, hold and use.

    Paris. Because like the iPad she is great in bed.

    1. Paul M 1

      No comment...

      .. about the rest of this. That's your opinion so fair enough.

      But one thing that bugs me is how people keep comparing the start time of an iPad to a laptop.

      No, the iPad doesn't boot up in 2 seconds - it takes about a minute or so - much longer than my laptop as it happens. Of course you rarely boot it up - just bring it out of sleep mode. So please. let's compare it to the time required to start a laptop from suspend mode in which case there's very little difference.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        To be fair, I think it comes down to how many apps one have installed in the iPad. I just got mine brand new and it took around 30 seconds to boot. I had not reboot it so I did not check to see how long it takes to boot now.

        And yeah, count me in as one of those who dissed the idea of an iPad at launch, but then went crawling to a computer store to pick one up in the end. My tune changed when they released an app that featured a favorite character from a TV show I'm a fanatic of.

        Geek (or perhaps Otaku). Because I'm just that sad to turn 180 degrees over an app featuring characters from a favorite TV show.

  9. philhall

    iPad office integration

    Good article!

    For those of you looking for a list of recommended iPad office integration apps, I've listed a few here:

    You can also find some thoughts on iPad enterprise security considerations.

  10. LPF

    @dave 93 regrading flash

    At the moment a badly coded flash app can bring my 4 core 4GB desktop to its knees

    , thats my fault for loving farm town. God knows what it will do to an iPad!

  11. petur
    Thumb Down


    one tip: get another laptop. My linux based core2 duo laptop with SSD boots in under 30 seconds.

    And for all those quick tasks, my n900 does all the ipad does, and more.... WITHOUT paying extra for all the braindead tools

  12. Spanners Silver badge

    I found something nice for Android

    I just installed the Overbite Gopher client on my HTC Hero.

    Is that sad - or just geeky?

  13. Sander van der Wal
    Jobs Halo

    iPad is excellent

    If the tech savvy posters stopped being tech savvy and start being normal users, they might be able to discover for themselves why the iPad is such a success.

    For instance, an iPad can be used after a second of picking it up, while a laptop needs half a minute or so. And iPad has excellent battery life, unlike a laptop. How the iPad does it is irrelevant, it just works.

    And unlike the N900 (which I have too) the screen is a good size, and it is not ugly, it has a usable UI and it will not be obsolete when the next OS version comes along.

  14. Elsie


    Get a Linux laptop? You are joking, aren't you?

    I get enough "Daaaaad, why can't I do this / that?" on our W7 and XP laptops. I'd have to be a sadistic freak if I wanted to introduce a new technology into the house and deal with the constant barage of:

    Facebook looks funny?

    Why don't my games work?

    Why can't I download this?

    etc. Just like the Wii, the iPad can be picked up and used by anyone from 3 to 103. It's simple, it's intuitive and whilst it does have it's limits, in my opinion the benefits outweigh these. OK, it isn't as powerful or productive as a fully fledged laptop but for casual / family use it's superb - and as I mentioned above using LogMeIn I can get back to my PC's and do the powerfui stuff anyway! As I said before, an iPad is not something to need, it's something to want.

    I've bought a device that I like, that my wife and three kids love and everybody that comes around wants to play with.

    Now show me a Linux laptop that has that appeal!

  15. Tom 38

    This is a multipart message

    @Paul M - Lets really stop comparing it to laptops eh

    Laptop standby - 8 hours

    iPad standby - 1 month

    Laptop battery life - 4 hours

    iPad battery life - 10 hours

    @petur - you can do everything that the iPad can do on your n900? A qwerty smartphone with a 3.5in screen? Really? I suppose everything except look at lots of information at the same time, play awesome games, watch videos for more than 4 hours?

    Look, if you don't want to play in the walled garden, don't - but at the same time, don't run around saying "oh, a laptop is better/cheaper/can do more" or "my phone can do all ofthis stuff, iPad is pointless". I have a laptop, and a smartphone and an iPad - they serve different purposes.

    1. Prag Fest
      Thumb Up

      @Tom 38

      What he said.

      Give it up with the 'my laptop / phone etc etc'. Different devices for different things. Until the inevitable Android tablets arrive, the iPad is unique and has no competition at the things it does best.

  16. petur


    My wife absolutely loves the laptop running ubuntu... to the point where I sometimes think I made a strategic error, and need to fumble about on the netbook (also running ubuntu - thank you).

    I see Apple has already eaten your heart and soul, poor Elsie :P

    1. Dan 10

      Well then, lucky you...

      My missus gets frustrated just by OSX. She's a typical user in that she doesn't like change. I tried introducing Ubuntu 6.10 one time and nearly got lynched! :-) But... she says her iphone is easy to use, and only gets frustated by the 'too small' screen. So... for lightweight home use, web browsing, photos etc, what do you think would get least resistance if I wanted to introduce a new device to our home? All this article tells me is that if I buy one, it will be able to do stuff I'm interested in as well.

      Elsie made a lot of good points, and people slating the ipad are barking up the wrong tree. Check out the rumoured resolution of the Samsung Galaxy tablet - sounds like other manufacturers are finding out that making these 'crap, useless toys' isn't that easy after all. Who knew?!

    2. Prag Fest
      Thumb Up


      She really likes it? Has it ever crossed your mind maybe she's just telling you what you want to hear so as not to make you suspicious?

      I hate to put thoughts in your head, but maybe while you're away on business or late at work, she's at home having fun times with an iPad behind your back?

  17. Anonymous Coward

    119 apps?

    more like 119 por excuses to try to reason why to get an iPad - if you treat it like the

    web browsing handy home gadget for computer illiterates then its fine... but to try to make

    reasons for it to be a useful admin gadget? having a laugh.

    price of iPad and then the price of all those 'apps' - many of which are free and online for

    all other platforms - brings the price to silly amounts. you can get a netbook for 1/3 of

    the price and it'll be far far more usful - oh, it'll also have ethernet and USB sockets which

    are pretty handy in the admin world.

  18. AndyG_IOM


    im just waiting for the WePad uk release date... Android O/S (2.1 min) USB, FLASH, all the toys.... could seriously be a genuine competitor for the iPad.... ( but i have had a go on the iPad and yes i do like it as a web / email / ebay / movie toy but with the extra functions of the WePad, this may just swing it for the Sysadmins toys section of the office....

    we shall see...

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