I have always been a bit of a gadget man. I can read of an electronic gadget about to be launched and the salivation process starts. I will research it, track it down, look at it, think about it, and then, eventually - as sure as pods are i-pods - I will buy it. I had a Psion when Psions were red-hot. I had a Palm when most people thought they were a kind of topical tree. My first digital camera was so rare that there was only one shop in England selling them. I have a collection of decommissioned MP3 players which, if laid end to end, would be almost as long as the groove on an old 78 rpm record. (Because I am the kind of person who will no doubt get distracted on my way to my own funeral and because Wikipedia did not seem to know what the total length of the groove of a 78 rpm record would be, I have just calculated and it works out, on average, at a needle short of 500 feet!).
I must confess I have been rather late in the day at jumping on the i-touch bandwagon. Like all good gadget people, I tend to get upset if I am not amongst the first wave to acquire a particular gadget. I think of reasons why I did not launch the bandwagon and stick to my principles with a concrete-like rigidity. When my Spanish relatives Jamie and Bev got i-touches a couple of years ago, I wrote them off as nothing more than toys (the i-touches, not J and B I hasten to add). When my Chess Buddy Martin got one I quickly concluded that it was the kind of thing a bishop-sliding, shoot-em-up chess player would own. When The Lad got one for his birthday I have to confess that I had a little prod and poke under the guise of "setting it up". By the time my Cruise Buddy Harry got one and my Blog Buddy John told me about his I had reached a state of nervous collapse. With all the pent-up eagerness of a reformed teetotaler crossing the threshold of the Horse and Jockey for the first time, I begged the GLW to intercede with Santa Claus and see if one could be acquired for Christmas.
Santa was - as ever - kind. He pretended never to have heard my denunciation of the shiny-backed, over-priced toy calculator. He turned a snow filled ear to my oft-proclaimed declaration never to give house-room to anything made by Apple-Mac. And he delivered a wonderful, new, clever, imaginative, well-designed ipod-touch on Christmas morning. And I have to confess that I am very impressed with it. When a new gadget is actually acquired I tend to lose interest in it after a few days, but my enthusiasm for the i-touch and its family of little apps goes from strength to strength. I have apps which allow me to access newspapers throughout the world, apps that tell me what is worth watching on television and apps that tell me where to find a decent pint of real ale.
The only two shortcomings I have discovered so far are that it loses its potency when it is out of wi-fi range and it prevents me from being able to hear my mobile phone ring because I am listening to my record collection all the time. Now, of course, both these problems would disappear if I were to upgrade to an i-phone. A shiny new, technologically advanced, sleek and sumptuous i-phone. Sorry, I will have to end the post now - I need to look something up on Google.