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For tablet computer visionary Roger Fidler, a lot of what-ifs

The Washington Post writes:
Roger Fidler, in jeans and a black turtleneck, is watching Steve Jobs, in jeans and a black turtleneck, introduce the iPad.

Fidler is sitting in his stark white office — the late Apple co-founder adored white’s simplicity — and Jobs is strolling on stage in a 2010 video playing on Fidler’s MacBook. “There’s laptops and smartphones now,” Jobs says. “But a question has arisen lately: Is there room for a third category of device in the world, something that’s between a laptop and a smartphone?”

Fidler smiles through a scruffy gray Jobsian beard. He has known the answer for a long time. In 1994, while running a lab dreaming up the future of newspapers, Fidler starred in his own video demonstrating a prototype he cooked up that was remarkably like the iPad — black, thin, rectangular, with text and video displayed on-screen.

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