The Wife got me an iPod touch Xmas 2007. It was a pleasant surprise as we usually don't give each other presents. We both just agree that presents are for kids. For whatever reason, she made 2007 an exception and I was happy with the new toy.
While not as connected to the Internet as its big brother, the iPhone, the iPod touch, or iTouch, or even just touch for short, still proved to be useful. At work, I regularly hopped over to the local public library to use its free Wi-Fi to check email and post to Plurk and Twitter. Similarly, at home when my Son needed company as he grudgingly practices music, I would be in the room with him and catch up on the latest news on the web. On some occasions, I even updated apps on the iTouch using Wi-Fi while at home. I believe in distributing the work and don't want to tie up my laptop with every little things I do. The iTouch is perfect for email and updating social networks.
A few days ago out of nowhere the iTouch could no longer connect to any Wi-Fi networks. By default, when I'm home it should connect to my Westell DSL router. Sometimes when I first enter the house the iTouch would already be connected to some neighbor's open network. Perhaps the neighbor lives somewhere between my house and the subway station. I actually dislike that because performance is lower when I'm on the neighbor's network. These days, the iTouch is totally blind to any Wi-Fi networks. I already tried resetting network settings and then all settings. I am reluctant to erase data on the iTouch since it is unlikely if the touch cannot even see any networks to start with. Also, all the laptops in the house can see the router. A quick search on Google reveals that it is not a new problem but there seems to be no answer. I will have to make a trip one of these days to see if the Geniuses at my local Apple Store can help.
It is very tempting to use this problem as an excuse to just go out and buy a new touch. But that's just consumerism. Buy, buy, buy, don't fix! Instant gratification! Must have it, now! I will try to live without portable Wi-Fi for a while. It won't be easy, but I'll try. I'll try to make use of the touch for what it's still good for. I certainly can still listen to music and podcasts, albeit mostly in mono as the headphone jack stopped working properly some weeks ago. To hear stereo, I would have to push the headphone plug into the jack to have better contact. Hmm, wonder if the problems are related... Maybe with all these miniaturization, pushing too far into the jack somehow loosen the Wi-Fi antenna? Who knows? Anyway, I still can use the American Heritage dictionary to help me play crossword puzzles in the newspapers. I would learn a little about history, geography, or the arts, when I play x-word, but not when I squander time on Wordscraper and other Facebook word games. I still can use the touch's calendar function to keep track of daily events, sort of like a diary, except I don't write as much because of the painful process of using the on-screen keyboard.
In a few months maybe I'll succumb to the temptation and just get a new touch. It better be a newer model with a camera. The second generation with the speaker and larger capacity does not justify the upgrade. In the mean time, I will say no to consumerism and make the most of the less touchy-feely iPod touch...