26 February 2010

Life, Out Of Touch

My iPod touch is dead. About a year into my ownership of the thing, the battery started to deplete rather faster than usual. If left on overnight, it would be totally dead the next morning. I think the normal thing would be for it to go into sleep mode and be usable the next day. Not so with this iTouch of mine. I made do with charging it often and brought the charger with me to work so that I would have something to use on the commute home. The strategy worked for a while, until the battery wouldn't charge any more. Connecting the Touch to the computer normally would also charge it as well as sync its content, but no such luck. My iPod touch really bit the dust.

The natural thing to do is shop around and buy a new one. I still can afford one, but there are two problems. One is that I was hoping that Apple would finally give the Touch a still camera. Many times I had the Touch with me and wanted to take a photo but didn't have a camera. My cell phone has a camera but getting photos out of it is such a hassle. A Touch with camera would be handy to have and not a hassle at all with syncing.

The other reason, a loftier one, is that as a self-proclaimed environmentalist, I should not be so quick to buy new things and immediately discard things as they become defective. Better to make use of existing things and repair the broken stuff. With that in mind, I took my second-generation, 10-gig iPod out of retirement and use it for what it's best at - music and podcasts. There are no useful apps like the American Heritage Dictionary or fun game like Trivia Pursuit, but it helps me keep up with This American Life and other podcasts. I even added The Brothers Karamazov audiobook, free from http://librivox.org , to the old iPod. I get an extra point, too, for re-using the 2G iPod in that it can only sync via FireWire 400, which is not available on my Mac Pro so that I have to also get the PowerBook G4 out of mothball whenever I need to sync the old iPod.

I do miss the dictionary on the Touch as it helped me many times when I play crossword puzzles. It is time to make more use of the Abest Chinese PDA. I bought it years ago primarily to use as an electronic Chinese dictionary but it also has the Oxford English dictionary. The lack of backlighting is painful, but again I just need to learn to make do. I even thought about getting the Handspring Deluxe out of retirement to use its address book, calendar, and notes.

One iTouch function I cannot replace is its photo storage. It was nice while it lasted to carry around my entire photo collection. A short while before the Touch expired, it could no longer store all the photos, music, and apps, so I had to cut back to just the last twelve months of photos.

I plan to make do with the old iPod, the Abest PDA, maybe even the old Handspring PDA, for a few more weeks. In the mean time, I plan a visit to Brooklyn's First Apple Authorized Repair Shop, the Mac Support Store, in the Gowanus area, to get the battery replaced. However long that takes I don't mind. Once the Touch is all good again, then I'll be able to carry around twelve months of photos again, and more.

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