Pods and Parcels


So my unwanted prize has hit its reserve price on eBay, and I’ve been debating what to with the cash.

My immediate thoughts were to either buy the thing that I would rather have had as a prize in a draw, or to give the cash away.

I shall still give some of the cash away, that’s my way, but I’ve also decided that a treat is in order.

A Tricky Treat

I spent some time doing research.  I originally thought an iPod Touch would be the thing, but then I decided that maybe a mid-range smart phone would be more useful.  But my research didn’t really turn up a mid-range smart phone.  All the half-decent phones are either pretty darned expensive or come attached to long, expensive phone tariffs.

I don’t even have a particularly long wish list for a smartphone type device:

  • Syncs calendars and contacts with Google’s services;
  • Has a decent web browser with Wifi;
  • Can run Laridian’s Bible Software, for taking a Good Book with me;
  • A nice, intuitive, responsive user interface.
  • Useful applications to keep my life in order (to-do list, decent note-taking software)

Probably more interesting are the things I don’t care so much for:

  • Camera and multimedia facilities
  • 3G connectivity
  • Music player
  • Games

In general, I don’t get device convergance.  Well, I do.   I think it’s a good idea, but I’ve not seen it done well.

My current gadget arsenal explains this:

  • My little Sony Ericsson W810i is a great, sturdy, reliable phone with a quick and easy to use user interface.  With Opera Mini it’s even pretty good for the mobile web.  But – even though it’s a Walkman-branded phone, it’s a lousy media player, and it’s not an organiser.
  • My 5th Generation iPod Video is a great media player, but rubbish at doing everything else.
  • My PalmTungsten (which has had a broken touch-screen for years now) is a great organiser, book reader and note-taker, but again, is rubbish at media and it’s not a phone.

Maybe some of these really expensive new devices do do ALL of these things well, but I don’t want to pay £350+ until I KNOW what I’m getting.


So…I’ve fallen back to plan A: the iPod Touch.  I THINK it will converge as a media player and organiser.  It will sync with Google, I can get my study bibles on it (only when online currently, but there’s an offline app in the pipeline).  It will let me browse the web from home and, sometimes, on the move.  And rather than spend an extra £200 on the “phone” in “iPhone”, my W810 will keep me properly connected when on the go on a £15 tarrif with unlimited 2.5G internet.

It’s an odd choice given that media and games are things I don’t care about, but I reckon I can make good use of it.

And most of all, it will be really nice to finally get to play with the iPod Touch/iPhone interface.  For me, it’s not just a useful gadget, but a great toy…and just what I would have liked to have won as a prize!

A Rotten Apple

Having decided (and got permission) to buy an iTouch, I went online to get a good deal.  Actually, it seems that prices are much of a muchness so, for no real reason other than to try them out, I decided to buy from the Apple Store.

Sadly…Apple’s shopping experience isn’t as good as their user experience.  OK, so, the shop is fine, and the device was dispatched quickly…I guess I can’t blame Apple.

But they shipped using UPS.  And UPS seem to have the WORST distribution network of any courier I’ve come across in the UK.  Our nearest depots are Bristol, Gloucester and Reading…all about 40 miles away.

Annoyingly, I decided to have this delivered to my home address and, several days later, I’m still waiting to rendezvous with my new toy, which has been clocking up the miles between Bristol and Swindon.  Despite having seen a UPS van leaving my office on Tuesday morning…probably carrying my parcel!

I shalln’t be shopping at the Apple Store again!  I should just have popped to Asda at lunch and bought one.

Oh well.  Hopefully my treat will arrive tomorrow – expect me to tell you all about it soon!