Recycled Computing

iBook Death, Skype on iTouch, and 3G MacBook Touch Rumors

- 2009.05.15

Death of an iBook

It is no more.

Yes, the iBook G4 is officialytrash. Strip it and rip it, it is computer history. Unfortunately, asecond teardown revealed that the power socket on the logic board isjust kaput. It won't stay attached and has rendered the iBooktoast.

Well, it had a strip of pixel death on the 14" screen, and it justlacks the style and grace of my G3 Pismo. At one point,however, I will need to get a machine that runs Leopard so I can seewhat the fuss is about. In the meantime, I will just have to "suffer"with Tiger on the Pismo.

What am I saying?

The Pismo is still a winner in my book, and it is much easier tochange hard drives in it than, say, a G4 iBook.

Skype on the iPod touch

On using a first generation iPod touch as a WiFi phone - I am soexcited to report that Skype is ported tothe iPod touch. This is last month's news, but I have been using it fora month and can tell you that it works great. It sounds a little weird,sort of a slight echo, but it costs almost nothing, and I have noproblem being heard or hearing the other end of the line.

I have been thinking a good bit about access to the Internet, sinceI am always searching for a free WiFi spot to make calls from. This hasdictated my choice of restaurants lately. If the restaurant has WiFi,then I am more than excited about going there.

My wife is conflicted about this - she seems to think that I shouldbe devoting my attention to her rather than playing with electronicdevices. She has never worried about the cost of making a phone calland is perfectly happy making cell phone calls from Antarctica. Buteven if only one person uses the Internet to make almost free mobilephone calls - it is worth it!

A 3G MacBook?

On to today's third topic: I hear in the rumor mill that Apple mightbe making a 3G MacBook and that Apple has bought a whole bunch of 10"touchscreens.

What is Apple's next big product? I don't know, and I won't guess.What I will do is wonder about how we are going to be getting Internetaccess for our mobile devices in the future. Currently, everyone isbuying mobile devices. I have five people in my household, and they allhave cell phones - and only our 13 pound poodle is not texting everywaking moment of the day.

The iPhone was not the first phone with Internet access. In fact, mycell phone provider will provide me with exceedingly poor Internetservice and even a "store" for what are laughingly called"applications" for my new cell phones. Thank you very much, but I'llpass.

The iPhone has that new 3G network, which allows you to access theInternet over cell phone towers. I have not had experience with eithernetwork, because I am too darn cheap to pay for it. I get by with WiFiat work, at my home network, and at various "free sites" around therural landscape of central New Hampshire.

What does the future hold for me? Or for anyone else?

In retail it's all about location. In urban centers, free WiFi ispretty easy to come by, and most user will probably have the higherincome that would cover a data plan for 24/7 Internet access on theirportable devices. In fact, if I lived in a large city and held a whitecollar job, I would be hard pressed to not have an iPhone oralternative smart phone with it's attendant data plan.

The level of organization that can be achieved by a handheldelectronic device is pretty amazing. In spite of all our computerequipment, paperwork is increasing by leaps and bounds. I favor burningit all, but wiser heads have prevailed.

The iPhone and it's cousins are mobile computers that can containmuch of the information that allows you to deal with the bureaucratswho rule us. I like having the data that I need to move thru the worldwithout a briefcase full of documents. I like being able to listen tomusic, watch a video, look at new photos or surf the Web.

But displaying important documents (birth certificates, coupons,letters, etc.) on that tiny screen is a real issue. And Apple justbought a whole bunch of 10" touchscreens....

I have no idea what Apple will come up with, but as Mr. Mike says,"whatever it is, it will be cool. LEM

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