I took some ribbing yesterday at work about my profusion of devices — and that I refuse to use a big computer. I only work off laptops now. I have become truly mobile. I took an accounting and discovered — ta-da! — I carry a profusion of devices! Right now I have with me:

What: Palm Tungstun E3
Why: I have carried this Palm for years and it was a replacement after my previous Palm died. It serves only one purpose: to run as a mobile check register. It syncs up with Quicken 2007* on MacOSX when I reconcile my checkbook every two weeks. If I could move this function to another device, I would and I would retire this old device.

What: iPod 80G 3rd Generation (with clickwheel!)
Why: This is my perfect single-use device. It carries my entire music archive PLUS it hosts my podcasts PLUS it shows me video podcasts when I care about seeing video podcasts. And it is completely EOL’d** by Apple so when it died — and it will die as it is hard drive based — I will be very sad and be forced to get a iPod touch that will do none of the new iPod things and all of the old iPod things because what I have now is what I want.

What: Amazon Kindle (newest one)
Why: It’s easier than carrying around a book. And I always, always, always have a book. Also, the books no longer get smushed up in my bag because they’re on my Kindle in a nice carrying case. I was not much sold on the Kindle but if you’re like me and you always have a book with you to read, a Kindle is actually a surprisingly good purchase.

What: Motorola Droid with Android 2.1
Why: It’s a cell phone! A PDA! An email client! A twitter client! A web client! It runs maps. It runs Yelp and Urban Spoon. It gets me movie tickets. It has a tiny ssh client and shell. It streams Pandora. It multi-tasks. It mates cleanly with its Ubuntu mothership. You will pull my Droid from my cold, dead hands. I love gadgets but I irrationally love my Droid.

What: HP Mini with Ubuntu 9.10 OS
Why: At 2.5lbs and in its own bag, the Mini is somewhere between a gadget and a computer. Whenever I have wifi, I whip it out, get it online, and off I go. More powerful than my droid — and bigger screen, and better keyboard than the slide-out one — sucker gets me online and I can surf, blog, tinyMUSH, etc. For, what, the $250 I paid for it, it has been a seriously robust gadget. Also, Ubuntu. I totally recommend Ubuntu for a netbook if you’re a hard-core geek.  It also works as the above mentioned Ubuntu Mothership.

I carry absolutely no Microsoft gadgets. Somewhere along the way Microsoft became totally irrelevant to my lifestyle. It wasn’t sudden. It happened gradually over time. I don’t even need Word at home since I’ll use iWork stuff if I absolutely have to word process (but I do have Word/Excel/PowerPoint for MacOSX so that is the last vestige.) I have an ancient habit from when I was about 14 of writing everything in a flat text document and then, as a final step, transferring it somewhere that has fancy fonts. I’m even doing it right now. I am, in fact, just typing into a flat text file.

But I carry two Ubuntu gadgets. Perhaps the OSS movement is making more sneaky inroads than I thought.

* Yes, I am aware of the upgrade but I’m not sure it has a mobile client and the mobile client is what I care about.
** End of Life.

  • Kim

    I am not sure I understand why you have to go from an 80g ipod to a touch? Why not the 160g original ipod model? (Or a used 120g) As my 80g is nearing fullness & I basically can’t stomach the idea of not having every single song with me in case I get a wild hair, I sometimes consider the next huge model.

  • Eric pointed out to me later that I can get a 160g or a 250g ipod model. When my 80g dies — and it will die — I am simply going to get one of those.