Walt Mossberg

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Mossberg’s Mailbox

Using the iPad as a Standalone Device

Q:

Can the iPad can be used totally on its own, or must you sync it with another computer? If I bought an iPad for my grandmother, who has no other computer, would she be able to just download apps and music and rent movies solely via the iTunes Store on the iPad?

A:

Yes, but with a catch. Based on what Apple (AAPL) has said, iPad owners will be able to buy apps, music and books, and buy and rent video, right on the device, without requiring a PC or Mac running iTunes software. You can also synchronize contacts, email and calendar items over the air, from an online source, instead of over a cable from your computer.

However, Apple’s Web site suggests you’ll need to connect to a computer running iTunes in order to back up the iPad, and, if the iPhone is any guide, you will likely need to do the same to upgrade the iPad’s operating system whenever Apple updates it.

Q:

I enjoyed your article on the two new Lenovo computers you’ve tested. The ThinkPad Edge sounds like a machine that will suit my needs quite well. You mentioned in the article that the machine you tested was upgraded from the base model. What were the specifications of your test machine?

A:

The $799 model I tested differs from the $579 base model by having a more powerful Intel (INTC) processor; 4 gigabytes of memory instead of 2 gigabytes; a 320-gigabyte hard disk versus 250 gigabytes; a different graphics card and a higher-capacity battery. Full specs are in the left-hand column on this Web page: http://bit.ly/7jNBcw.

Q:

In your column of March 18, you gave the advice: “There are easier ways to erase all cookies, by using a function in your Web browser.” How do you do this?

A:

In Internet Explorer 8, select the Safety menu, choose “Delete Browsing History,” uncheck everything but “Cookies,” and click “Delete.” In Firefox 3.6, select the Tools menu, and then “Clear Recent History.” Then click “Details,” uncheck everything but “Cookies,” and pick “Everything” from the time range list.

In Safari 4.0, go to Preferences, then “Security,” then “Show Cookies,” then choose “Remove All.”

You can find Mossberg’s Mailbox, and my other columns, online, free of charge, at the All Things Digital Web site, http://walt.allthingsd.com.

Write to Walter S. Mossberg at walt.mossberg@wsj.com.


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