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Reach out and touch...iPod Touch, that is.
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Spike
Memphis
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April 28, 2009 - 11:31 pm
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I've had my iPod Touch (1st gen) for 18 months now.  Chose it for music and audio books.  Was willing to pay more for an iPod with gobs of features that I thought I'd never use because I could.  I'm not usually a first-adopter.  Can't usually afford to be, but I jumped on this one.  Over those 18 months I've come to use it more and more, for one more task, and one more task, and….  The App Store made it easy for me to do things I thought I never would. I've been too cheap to buy a wi-fi router (But $400 for an iPod??? Go figure.), but I have numerous naive and dimwitted neighbors whose connections I piggyback on- ethical or no.  Music, check.  Audible, check.  Email, check. Internet. Weather.  Notes.  Etc.  Apps for all kinds of games, with a Boggle-like one called Wurdle ($1.99) being my current fave casual game.  A zen garden (free).  Hanoi Tower (free).  Slider puzzles (free - $.99).  Brain training (free - $1.99).  Language quizzes (Dead Words [$.99] is a good one - can you tell the real obsolete word from a made up one?)  Italian language tutorials (some free, some cheap, one big one at $7.99). There are apps that let me read some of those “great” books that I always intended to read, but didn't (One is called Classics - was $2.99, is now cheaper or free, and they add new books every so often, for free.  Now 20 books and counting.)).  Not audio books, although Audible is getting a bit of my $$ regularly. I'm talking about print books where you turn the pages with a swipe of the finger.  There's a free WSJ app that I'm liking, more for their tech articles than anything else.

Recently, Amazon released a Kindle app (free) for iPhone/Touch.  You can now download and read Kindle formatted books on iPhone/Touch.  The price for the books is the same as if you were buying them for your Kindle.  The screen is large enough either vertically or horizontally to read easily.  Lots cheaper than the $359 that Kindle costs.

I just read that Skype and a few others have created apps for the iPhone/Touch that allow you to make free or very cheap phone calls.  For someone like me who gave up my cell phone about 5 years ago because I didn't want to be “available” 24/7, this could be a good thing.  Now, this uses wi-fi, not cell tower technology, but if you don't need the reliability of a dedicated cell phone, this is a cheap alternative.  The Touch has no built-in microphone, so you'd need a headset.

Now, if someone would develop an app that actually cooks, or does laundry (although I did see a laundry app aimed mostly at men or young people who need a laundry room tutorial.)

It's becoming an addiction, I tell ya.  I'm looking for other junkies.

So, who has a Touch, and what do you most enjoy doing with it?

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Toger
Somewhere, out there...
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April 29, 2009 - 10:10 am
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<– has a Touch. I've probably had mine the same length of time (1st gen) I got it for my birthday (from myself) after a girl (well, she is less than 30 [Image Can Not Be Found] ) in my office showed it to me. She and I are the techno-philes in the office. I originally got it for audio books, music and podcasts but I've found all kinds of useful things to do with it…

Like grocery lists when I'm at work. Whip out the Touch and I'm tapping in my list in the notepad. Need to remember an event - use the calendar feature. Get stuck on a DS game? Tap into gamefaqs. Now, the last I can only do from home from my own wireless network. Before I got DSL, my son and I both piggybacked on those neighbours too stupid to lock down their networks. (bad, yes, but we did it anyway) I probably have close to 1,000 songs on it.

Apps:

Classics - I'm reading the “real” Pride and Prejudice in tandem with the zombied-fied version; Yelp - handy for finding nearby restaurants and checking the reviews before I go;  iBart - checking the schedule for the next train and how long from one station to another; Urbanspoon - this is similar to Yelp, but the one-armed bandit mechanic to locate restaurants is worth the price of admission (free); 1112 - adventure game, which I've yet to start; AllRecipes - for those situations where you can't think of what to make for dinner while you're standing in the grocery store

I'd forgotten about the Kindle-like app. I need to look into that.

I love, love, love my Touch.

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Yapette
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April 29, 2009 - 10:15 am
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Nope, not me. Never even seen one. I'm saving up for a 4th gen Kindle - one with a colored touch screen. [Image Can Not Be Found]

In the meantime, I'm trying to justify a Sansa Clip (that clips! with a screen!) when I already own three ipods (big ole mini, skinny red nano and screen-less shuffle clip).

My “cell” is the cheapest of bare bones prepaid turned on over weekends as the house has no phone. Features include making calls (if we can get a signal*) and receiving spam messages accumlated over the weekdays.

*Funny story. After Hurricane Ike done come & gone, our area was powerless for 2.5 weeks. When enough trees had been cleared to make the drive possible, we checked out damage at the likewise powerless lake house. (big, nay HUGE trees down everywhere) Curiously, both shoulders of the bridge over the water were bumper-to-bumper parked cars/trucks. Watching the water? idling while recharging electronics? “parking” dates in hard times? [Image Can Not Be Found] Every trip, bridge lined with vehicles. Now I can guess: probably the only place anyone could get cell phone signals what with limited electricity & downed towers.

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Pokey
California
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April 29, 2009 - 12:28 pm
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No Ipod for me either. I do have a cell phone, but I don't use it like most people do. It has a prepaid plan--one I am able to maintain for $10 a year. It is strictly for emergencies or the rare outgoing call I make. No one has the number, even my kids. I got nervous about possibly having car trouble on long trips and finally got the phone and joined AAA last year.

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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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April 30, 2009 - 6:27 pm
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My brother Marcus has one of those Google phones, and I can share an amusing anecdote about him.

Over the holidays, I was driving home with brother and sister-in-law in tow. Weather was terrible - ice on the roads and an incredibly dense fog that had just rolled in without warning.

Sister-in-law (in the front passenger seat) says, "What is with this fog?"

Brother (in back seat) says, very quietly, "We're passing a lake. Kent Lake. Approximately half a mile to the west. It has a large surface area and tends to maintain a slightly higher water-than-air temperature. It's probably responsible for the fog. We should be passing the area in about two minutes. I think the fog will clear then."

There was a lengthy silence at this; finally, I said the only thing that can be said in such a situation: "What the fuck, dude? I mean... what... how...?"

And he says: "I have the sum of all human knowledge in my hands."

Technology can be a dangerous thing, my friends. Dangerous!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Spike
Memphis
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April 30, 2009 - 7:13 pm
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Do not knock the state of Nerditude.  Be afraid.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Scout
Portland, Oregon
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April 30, 2009 - 9:32 pm
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Steerpike said:

My brother Marcus has one of those Google phones, and I can share an amusing anecdote about him.

Over the holidays, I was driving home with brother and sister-in-law in tow. Weather was terrible - ice on the roads and an incredibly dense fog that had just rolled in without warning.

Sister-in-law (in the front passenger seat) says, “What is with this fog?”

Brother (in back seat) says, very quietly, “We're passing a lake. Kent Lake. Approximately half a mile to the west. It has a large surface area and tends to maintain a slightly higher water-than-air temperature. It's probably responsible for the fog. We should be passing the area in about two minutes. I think the fog will clear then.”

There was a lengthy silence at this; finally, I said the only thing that can be said in such a situation: “What the fuck, dude? I mean… what… how…?”

And he says: “I have the sum of all human knowledge in my hands.”

Technology can be a dangerous thing, my friends. Dangerous!


Sounds like a good opening for a horror movie.

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Toger
Somewhere, out there...
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April 30, 2009 - 10:30 pm
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Spike is right. The non-believers are just jealous, that's why they make fun. [Image Can Not Be Found]

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Spike
Memphis
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May 3, 2009 - 2:34 pm
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As if the day wasn't short enough, I've found more cool stuff to listen to/watch. I've come late to the party as usual, and just discovered iTunesU and the Open University courses/discussions/tidbits available on any almost any subject you can imagine.  I want 6 more hours in every day, and only 1 or 2 of them would be used for sleeping.

And hoo-boy, are my math skills coming along, what with the Math Required component of the TR forum.  Right now I'm going to answer "What is the sum of 1+4"?  [Image Can Not Be Found][Image Can Not Be Found][Image Can Not Be Found][Image Can Not Be Found][Image Can Not Be Found]  At least I think that's correct.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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May 3, 2009 - 5:59 pm
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It's really supposed to stop asking you to do math after your first few posts. I have to look into that.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Spike
Memphis
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May 3, 2009 - 8:32 pm
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Steerpike, I really don't mind.  It's just such a funny thing to have to do that it lends itself to (admittedly bad) humor.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Toger
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May 4, 2009 - 10:06 am
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I use my Touch to listen to a few podcasts. One of my absolute favorites is Black Jack Justice produced by Decoder Ring Theatre. They're based out of Canada and do an amazing job of bringing to life the adventures of hard-boiled detective, Jack Justice and his partner, Trixie Dixon, girl detective. The banter between the two characters is hilarious: Jack is smart, but doesn't mind pretending otherwise. He knows that Trixie is really good, but he's not about to tell her. She'd shoot him. Trixie, on the other hand, uses her good looks to get things done. She's not above “looking at a man like he's made of chocolate” if it'll help her solve the case.

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Spike
Memphis
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May 4, 2009 - 1:30 pm
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Podcasts of fiction?  Didn't know there was such.  I've been contenting myself with Rachel Maddow and Leo Laporte.  I tell ya, there just ain't enough time to find all the good stuff there is to find out there.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Toger
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May 4, 2009 - 3:27 pm
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To be honest, I didn't know they existed either. I found Decoder Ring through a friend that has a comedy podcast (full disclosure: I provide voice work for said comedy podcast). He'd had characters from another Decoder Ring production (Adventures of the Red Panda) on his show, so I did a little investigating of my own to find out about them. Red Panda is a Canadian superhero - his sidekick is the Flying Squirrel (I kid you not) - in the vein of '40s radio The Shadow.

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TimK
Boston, MA
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May 5, 2009 - 9:52 am
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Oh yeah. I love Decoder Ring Theater. It's actually radio theater, not just fiction, because they act out the stories. There are also many podcasts with reading of fiction. Off the top of my head, Escape Pod (science fiction stories), and Podiobooks is famous for providing books for your iPod (or other MP3 device).

-TimK

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Spike
Memphis
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May 5, 2009 - 11:37 am
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Thanks Tim.  I was certainly in desperate need of more to read, look at, listen to.  [Image Can Not Be Found]  But seriously, since I can never have too many books, I appreciate the info.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Toger
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May 5, 2009 - 12:44 pm
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I downloaded the Kindle app for my Touch a couple of days ago. Last night, I added two samples of books. Except for having to turn pages more often due the to Touch's smaller size. I like it!

I'm doomed.

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Jen
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May 5, 2009 - 1:36 pm
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I die for an iTouch! I die for a Kindle! Unfortunately, it's not in the cards...

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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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May 5, 2009 - 3:04 pm
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I know the feeling. I want to replace my aging laptop, I want an iTouch or iPhone, I want to upgrade my craptastic digital camera, and I want a stylish new bag to carry these objects in. It would stimulate the economy, but it seems kinda ill-advised to blow that kind of money these days. I need to get a book deal or something.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Spike
Memphis
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May 5, 2009 - 3:32 pm
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That's always the way.  I'd love to be an early adopter of so many bits of new tech, but I just can't afford to.  When the 2nd gen Touch came out, I drooled.  It had more capacity, and features, than the 1st gen.   But alas, it isn't in the cards this year.

I saw that new Kindle as well, Toger.  I think it's too big.  For whatever it's going to cost we could have a nifty netbook with greater functionality.  I have the Kindle app for my Touch, but I haven't bought it any books yet.  I'm trying to work my way through Classics, and a few others (the page-turning kind) I've downloaded.  I also have about 5 unread Audible books just waiting.  And that doesn't count the physical books in my pile.

We all need a book deal, or to win the lottery.   Steerpike, I think you need a ghost writer.  Hmmm...where could you find one of those?

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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