On being a curmudgeon and the meaning of life.

Posted: 07.21.09

I need another thing

From tiny screens that fit your wrist to systems that give you 1080p HD.

Taking the philosophy of “we did it because we could,” which translated into modern parlance becomes, “Yes we can, so we will,” we now have a size (screen and price) for almost every imaginable category of internet connected thingies from tiny and miniature mobile phones, to big 20-inch all-in-one touch systems. Look at this spectrum.

How many of these things do I need? It’s being suggested I need something for the kitchen, maybe a tethered internet phone, or more likely an all-in-one system. And then I need something for when I’m not driving and am bored or lonely, a PMP, an eBook, or a MID. And of course I need a mobile phone/GPS/PIM/PDA/camera/TV/FM/PMP—picking the right size is challenging.

If you build it they will come. Will they? Are they? Let’s be blunt, I don’t need a MID or a PMP—I have a PSP which is better than all of them (and I hardly use it), I don’t need another one. A tethered internet phone? What the hell for, what’s wrong with the untethered one in my pocket?

In the category of nice to have, but not essential is an eBook—yes, I can read a book on my iPhone, but it’s not the best experience. And for a real “like to have” the all-in-one system is top of my list. It’s hard to justify when I have four TVs and a dozen PCs, but still, when this recession is over …

So the only thing all these devices have that my mobile phone doesn’t have is a larger screen. You could argue that the PSP or its little cousin the DS have a library of games I can’t get on my phone, and that could be enough justification to own one of those devices.

I guess you could also argue that the QWERTY keyboard on a big phone, or a MID is a nice feature, maybe, haven’t seen many (any?) use them as anything other than an big thumbing keyboard—they’re just too small to do real typing. Plus they don’t fit in any pocket except cargo pants, and how many of us wear them. So I don’t get the point of a MID at all except that “Yes we can, so we will.”

Single function dying—I wish the names would

Single function devices like DSCs, GPSs, and mobile phones that just make phone calls are clearly a dying race. Their functionality gets subsumed into a “Smart Phone”—our new favorite term for what used to be a feature phone. And that raises yet another rant—how many names do we have to have for all these little gadgets?

Shoes watches and devices

I know some women who have a dozen or two pairs of shoes; the cheapest pair cost $300. I have some friends who have a drawer full of expensive designer watches. And back in the day when we wore such things, a couple of dozen expensive silk ties. So why not devices too? Have a different one for each day, or each clothing ensemble you have. Synchronization might be an issue. When and how do you do it? And then there are all those online accounts and the associated passwords—oy.

Not for me, don’t need it, don’t want it. When you masterminds make the thing I’m using better (didn’t say cheaper—Better) I’ll get one. When you can deliver the functionality, ease of use, and service you promised, I’ll buy one. In the meantime, keep your tinker toys and gadgetry to yourself, I have important things to do and think about.