Nov 15, 2009

Going Mobile

I tend to run along a fine line between being a technophobe and a gadget-freak.
I like nifty gadgets and such, but I don't always feel that I need to have the latest-and-greatest whenever it comes out. In fact, I tend to shy away from some things because I feel that they invade my person space a little too much.

I went a long time without a cell phone for this reason. I felt if anyone needed to get hold of me they could call my home number, leave a message, and if they were somebody I wanted to talk to (i.e. NOT a telemarketer!) I'd call them back. I don't need to be getting calls when I'm not near a phone. But Hotness talked me into getting one and now it's with me all the time.
And it has come in handy. I'm constantly using the camera, and texting has become second-nature to calling when I need to relay a message but don't want to make an actual call.

I felt the same way about my first iPod.
I wanted something to listen to when I went to the gym, on a plane ride, etc...
I tried to find an mp3 player that WASN'T an iPod, simply because I wanted to support somebody other than Apple. (They had a H-U-G-E market presence and I wanted to 'support the little guy')
But I eventually broke down and got an iPod Nano (because everything else on the market was geared for use with the iPod) and loaded it up with songs. It's served it purpose at the gym, camping, on my plane rides to Calgary, and so on.
I can't say that I couldn't live without it, but I do appreciate it's convenience and portability.

When the iPhone came out, it was eye-catching but didn't lure me in with it's sleek design or it's functionality.
What bugged me most was that you couldn't replace the battery on it. So once it "died", you were stuck with buying another one, and so on.
That's not to say I still didn't like it, but I managed to avoid being sucked in by it's sexiness.

Until, recently that is.

No, I didn't get an iPhone. But I did upgrade my iPod to an iPod Touch.
I have a friend who works for a company that builds applications for the iPhone and iTouch and was very impressed with what it was capable of doing.... besides just playing music.

I can talk myself into rationalizing just about anything, so it didn't take long to talk myself into getting one.
Hotness didn't dissuade me, but tried to get me to explain my reasons for wanting one.
I explained to her that with it, I could:
1) check my email when I'm not at home (especially while I'm out job-hunting)
2) use various applications, or "apps", that are specific to my interests (more on this in a bit)
3) I could instant message for free with her when I'm mobile, particularly when I'm in Canada (instead of texting her at $.30 per international text... which adds up after a week!)
... not to mention just playing around with it for fun.

"Okay, if you think you'll actually use it for that go ahead and get it," she said.
So I did.
I didn't go crazy and only got the 8GB version. I figured if it worked like I thought I'd be using it for, I could always upgrade at a later date.

I have fallen in love with it during the week I've had it.
I could probably live without it, but I have already gotten accustomed to having it with me at all times.

I was able to check my email and update my Facebook status while at the local coffee shop before heading to a job search.
I went to dinner with Hotness one evening and sent an email to a friend about something I had just thought of (and would probably forget before I got back home).
I loaded some "kid-friendly" apps on it and have used it to keep my niece and nephew entertained for a few minutes when I'm babysitting.
Not to mention, using it as a day-planner. (Am I free to babysit on Monday afternoon? Lemme see... why yes I am. Anytime after 2:00 p.m.)

I've been searching the iTunes store for applications, mostly free ones, that I can use for myself.
There's a ton of them on there. A lot of crap and a lot of useful ones.
Obviously you get what you pay for, but for the most part I've been pretty happy with the free apps I've picked up.
I got a few games (to kill time and keep kids busy), and a couple of conversion apps (i.e. inches to meters, Fahrenheit to Celsius, foreign currency to U.S. dollars, etc...).
I also picked up a language translator, not that I need it all the time but "just in case".
And I got a sale price calculator that will determine the cost of something with original and additional mark-downs plus figure in the tax so I'll known what I'm about (or NOT about) to spend on a sale item. (Since I do a lot of shopping, this comes in very handy)

Did I need it? No, probably not. Obviously I've lived this long without having one and could've continued to do so.
But like I said earlier, I've grown accustomed to having it in the very short time of owning it.
It's also helped me realize that having an internet-capable phone is something I'll want to have if I can find the kind of job I'm hoping to get. Portable internet access will be a necessity for me.

So here I am, sucked in by another shiny object on the technology shelf but very happy with it.

Coming up soon:
KISS in concert
Gluten-free cornbread stuffing for Thanksgiving

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