08 September 2010

The three amigos

Steve Wheeler's posting of a photograph showing the ICT kit he packs for attending a conference (or, more accurately, TTMF's subsequent expression of surprise at the size of that kit) prompted me to consider a comparison photograph of my own. I haven't yet taken the photograph, but I've done a lot of resultant thinking about it.

What I take to a conference isn't, to be honest, radically different from what I carry all the time. The real difference is where I'm travelling to. Much of what I carry, and upon which I rely without much thought, in a day to day existence within the industrialised urban cocoon, ceases to be useful when I venture outside. So much of it depends upon batteries, for instance.

Steve Wheeler's photo contains a Nintendo DS, an Apple iPhone, and an Apple iPod Touch. I vaguely wondered why both Apple devices, since the Touch is essentially an iPhone without the phone bit ... but not enough to try and find out. My own rough equivalents of those three would probably cause equal puzzlement to many other people: a Nokia E63, a very battered, down at heel and (in most people's eyes) elderly Sony Ericsson K750i, and an Apple iPod Touch.

Oh, very well, I give up ... prodded by one reader only seconds after putting up this post for the first time, I've taken the time out to photograph at least those three gizmos after all ... there's the pic, on the left. You can see how worn at the edges the Sony Ericsson is

I have a number of love/hate things to say about Apple in general and the iPod Touch in particular, and I really don't have time at the moment, so I'll put that one off until another post, but ... why both the E63 and the K750i, you may ask (and if you don't, my students will – all the time)? Aren't they both internet connected 3G phones?

Good question; two answers.

First, they do (in my personal cosmology) different things. The K750i, despite it's other capabilities, is a good phone to actually talk on ... it is my voice communication device. The E63 is my "on the hoof" text communication device of choice (SMS or checking, and even sometimes quickly replying to, email) and at a web viewer ... and, as I've mentioned before, my diary. I like to be able to look at my diary while discussing arrangements on the phone, and can't be arsed with hands free wires dangling from my ears while I do it.

Second (and this, really, is the point): if I'm going to be out of reach of mains power, the E63 will have given up the ghost after 48 hours or so while the K750i will keep going for up to ten days. If I really need to, I can shut them down at night and get longer battery life that way ... but it works better with the K750i than with the E63, emphasising the difference all the more.

(As an aside, the K750i is also the better built. If I'm scrambling up a cliff face, slipping on wet rocks, or dropping a heavy rucsac on it, it won't turn a hair. I wouldn't like to try the same with either of the other devices.)

I won't forget my promise to discuss the Apple thing. Later. Watch this space.

1 comment:

Matthew Revell said...

In Ireland, eh? :)