Today’s bi-hourly deluges precipitated the purchase of an umbrella: not for my own sake, but on account of the constellation of electronic gadgets that now follow me about as I walk a broken bicycle to Cowley, or carry groceries back from Sainsbury’s to Church Walk.
There is a lot of talk these days about combining all the gizmos a person is likely to carry around into one all-purpose device. Sometimes, people term this amalgamation an ‘iPod killer.’ Personally, I don’t think it will ever fly, except with the nerdiest of the nerds. As it stands, there is a very solid chance that at least one among my digital camera, music player, or mobile phone will be broken at any particular time. If I had to mail all three to Stoke-on-Trent for three weeks every time one failed, I would soon be living a quiet and pictureless life.
Moreover, all three devices are designed to become obsolete as quickly as possible. Or, at least obsolete enough to make you buy a snazzier new model. Given that the development cycles in telephones, cameras, and music players are unlikely to sync up, you are assured of either having at least one device well behind the times, or being bankrupted by the need to constantly upgrade your all-singing whatsit.
Really, I do my mobile phone an injustice in lumping it together with the sometimes problematic camera and perpetually fault-prone iPod. Since Claire gave it to me, I haven’t had the slightest difficulty with it. Some might consider it a staid sort of item, with capabilities that do not extend beyond sending text messages and making the very occasional telephone call, but perhaps therein lies the secret of its durability. In contrast to my Palm Pilot – which is languishing in a box in Vancouver, bedeviled by problems of all varieties – my Moleskine paper-based day planner has performed flawlessly since purchased.