Endless research

Yes, it’s happening again: I am engaging in endless research that in no way is time effective. I suppose I’m not the only one who would rather spend time than money. Last time I angsted this hard, I was attempting to optimize my Palm Tungsten E. I blogged about that experience, but months later, the Palm died utterly and I was forced to buy an iPod touch. Only recently, now that the new OS supports a foldy full-size Bluetooth keyboard without jailbreaking, have I become reconciled to the touch.

Then what does Apple do? It releases a pretty, shiny new touch that takes photos and permits video chatting. Darn you, Apple! Because I would rather not pay $400 to upgrade and hand off my old one to my husband. Whose Palm, I point out, still works fine.

The smart thing to do would be to buy a netbook. It would solve so, so many problems: they too cost about $400; they have a full-size keyboard, more or less; they permit USB ports, so I could push photos to it; I could use it to edit documents while on the road; I could Skype with my friends and relations; and the batteries last a nice, long time, so I could watch video while traveling.

iPod touch with Palm Bluetooth keyboard versus netbook
iPod touch with Palm Bluetooth keyboard versus netbook

But no. I’d rather work what I’ve got. See, I’m going to Poland for the SFRA conference July 7–10, 2011. I’d like to blog while on the road, with photos! And I could do it all with my iPod touch—and my foldy keyboard, of course. All I need to do is spend $40 to purchase an SD card reader that will push my camera’s images to my touch, then use a few free apps to organize, blog, and tweet. Win! I take high-quality photos that I can download at home later, but blog low-quality, Web-optimized images that the apps generate.

I’m going to do this for three reasons. First, and possibly the most important, is the technical joy: I like making (obsolete?) equipment work. Second is my driven need to optimize small: I’m a one-bag packer. And third is the cost: $40 is better than $400.

iPod touch/keyboard atop netbook
iPod touch/keyboard atop netbook: Which would you rather carry to Poland?

Never mind that I will spend literally hours setting all this up (Apps! Passwords! Endless tweaking!). Never mind that the touch’s insanely small screen drives me nuts when attempting to surf the Net. And never mind that I can’t edit paid work on it (see above re. insanely small screen).

I think the fun of the technical challenge is worth $40.

This text and the two images, which I created, are copyrighted under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. This post was originally written on December 1, 2010. It may be freely copied anywhere. If you copy this post, please also copy the images and host them yourself. If you read this document at a site other than its original, I may not see any comments you might append, and I’d love to hear from you. Please comment at the original blog post if you wish me to see your remarks.

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