in ALA2008, Reviews, Tech

iPod Touch: Better than cargo pants

Way back in 2005, I made sure to jokingly praise my cargo pants for being “perhaps the most underappreciated tech accessory on the market today” after going to a conference and noting how much stuff I could haul in them. For every conference between then and now, I wore cargos daily and got similar use.

But then this year at ALA I simply didn’t need them – thanks to my iPod touch, a device I’m completely enamored with. It represents a nice compromise for someone like myself who wants an iPhone but doesn’t want to pay the high monthly contract fee for one.

The Touch is missing two main features of the iPhone: internet connectivity via cell network, and GPS. The Touch does get internet access via wifi. I spend about 80% of my day within wifi coverage, thanks to the Chapel Hill campus and municipal networks, so that’s one problem overcome. And I really don’t have a huge desire for ubiquitous GPS access.

For conferencing it let me carry in one compact device: my calendar/schedule, my e-mail, my web access, my address book, and some basic notes. I was able to leave my laptop in the hotel room, which was extremely nice.

This is a wonderful little device, and I highly recommend it.

Write a Comment


  1. Isn’t it also missing phone functionality? I’m not being smart – I’m seriously asking because if there is a way to use this as a phone then I’m on board!

  2. oh, that is an excellent point and I should have specified! There is no phone functionality built in. If you’re willing to hack it a bit there are third party VOIP programs you can use to make phone calls over wifi, but that’s not something I’ve played with.

  3. I recently got one, and I am in love as well. I’ve long wanted something that, simply put, is a cell phone with all of the extra functionality without the phone. Aside from a few features, this is it. I wouldn’t mind if it had a somewhat decent camera, but that’s my only complaint.

    Things should get even better this Friday after the App Store opens up. It’s unfortunately a ten dollar upgrade for Touch owners, but I think its well worth it.