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Thursday, September 06, 2007

iPhone-mania; or What I Really Want

Vacation starts tomorrow. I’m momentarily resurfacing to cover the technology story of the week. I had a productive writing night last night, here’s hoping for more…

Like many long-time Apple users, I was keenly interested in the iPhone and how it would turn out — but (again) like many, had no plans to buy one any time soon. I got a Samsung Sync at the beginning of the year; it’s no iPhone but does a fair job getting online and can even play music and (some) video. Still, I’m glad that the iPhone has done so well so far — by the time I’m ready to replace the Sync, the iPhone should be a good bit more affordable (even after the reduction Steve announced this week) with the more serious complaints (no 3G, for one) ironed out.

A couple of musings about what I’d like the Sync (or the iPhone, for that matter) to do, began to crystallize when I read a MacObserver forum discussion about what a sub-notebook should look like. But it took the introduction of the iPod touch to put the last piece together.

What I really want is something CS (my college roomie) and I brainstormed about way back in 1980 or so: a good pocket computer. The 2007 version is basically an iPod touch with TextEdit, an email client, and the ability to pair with a fold-up Bluetooth (or USB) keyboard. This would be something I could stuff in a jacket pocket or fanny pack, or under a car seat, then pull out wherever I happen to be and do some writing — with background music, if desired! — if the mood strikes me. I could email files home right away (given wifi availability) or transfer it when I get back to FAR Manor.

I'll have to see if “they” manage to get Linux working on the iPod touch like they have the “classic” iPod. If they do, I just might have my pocket computer at last.


  1. I carried an ancient ultralight Sony VAIO laptop on my recent vacation. The windows 98 operating system made me crazy, but then there is that low weight to consider. If you click on Firefox, it will open, sooner or later. No USB support even though it has a USB, but it is easy to carry with its low weight. And with a Pentium MMX processor and a skimpy 128 megs of ram it's no speed demon, but it is small and light. Hmm, maybe size and weight aren't everything. /rant

    I'll get an i-phone about 10 years from now, at this rate.

  2. Hiya FAR.

    Hope the vacation goes very smoothly.

    Lets see, what would be my perfect one. One where all I had to do was to look at it, and it would know what I wanted. That way I could save all that time and effort of typing and moving the cursor. The Slackphone. Yeah that's what I would call it. :)

  3. You could save a bunch of money by taping a Sony Walkman cassette player to the back of your cell phone.


  4. I love the idea of an alternate OS on the iPod Touch! I like the idea of an iPhone but don't want the contract, etc. Sadly, the feature that most interests me, email, is missing from the iPod touch. I have to wonder if they deliberately left it out to give people a little extra reason to buy the iPhone. In any case, I would be very tempted to pick up an iPod touch if there was some way to get mail on it. Obviously there's web mail in Safari but that is less than ideal. Actually, what would be perfect is an iPod touch with a mic and speaker so and a Skype client. Then it could essentially serve the same purpose as an iPhone but just use WiFi networks when they're available.

  5. Boran, I wonder if you could load Linux on that Vaio — with a lightweight window manager and browser, it might actually work pretty well.

    FM, I like the idea of the Slackphone. Just think at it, and it does your bidding. Add a number? Think it. Block an SMS spammer? Done. Of course, it would read text messages to you.

    Solar, I wouldn't have to bother with the Walkman. I can play music on the cell phone I have already. If it could use a keyboard, it would be fine for the things I want. Everybody is working their way around to the ideal gadget, it will get here eventually.

    David... don't you think AT&T would complain if Apple were to release a Skype-phone? I'll bet the hardware capability is already in the iPhone — but the functionality is naturally turned off.

  6. Yes, I'm sure you're right. I've heard rumor that the Touch is also equipped with Bluetooth so that, at the right time, Apple could allow us to pair a headset with it and start using VoIP. We'll see!... Because at the same time I really would enjoy a full-fledged iPhone. I just don't want that stupid contract!

  7. David, Bluetooth would be nice to have right now, if only to pair up with wireless headphones. I've been thinking about getting a set for my Sync so I can listen to tunes when I don't have (or want to bring) my iPod along.


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