1.) Buy the cheapest reliable Macintosh environment possible. This means finding a used model on craigslist or eBay. As a general rule, the smaller message boards such as a college or apartment message board will have lower prices but less selection. Make sure it can run the latest version of Mac OS X because Apple is constantly making things obsolete.
3.) Write a decent smartphone app that does something useful. As a general rule, a tablet app for one platform is approximately as complex as a smartphone app that supports multiple platforms. Everything you learn developing smartphone apps is applicable to tablets. The key here is to write the app as quickly as possible. A good portion of two year projects started out as three month projects. There is ugly, unergonomic, inefficient software that makes tons of money as well as beautiful, efficient, user friendly software that nobody uses because they don’t know they need it or that need is being fulfilled by a competitor.
Every single successful software company has put out bad products. This is valuable experience. No successful software company doesn’t put out any products.