The pad has two different "desktop screens", the one shown normally when not in any app (the one with all the icons), and the one shown when you turn iPad on, before you have opened it with the slider. (One can choose to have a password for entry to the iPad, it's set in Settings/General.) I think the purpose of the dang slider is to prevent accidental "computing" if the Home/activate button is hit accidentally while it's in a bag. (By the way, unlike an iPod there seems to be no physical slider which prevents it from waking up if the home button is pressed. Does anybody know different?)
So many good choices, but for now, it's Dorianne.