The cost of technophilia

I have always loved gadgets. I bought the original iMac, the first Palm Pilot, even (back in the day…) the first calculator watch [which also had its own video game!]. Now there’s yet another gadget to tempt me: the new Blackberry phone. Mac guru David Pogue has a review of it in today’s New York Times, and it does seem pretty cool:

RIM [has] devised something nobody had ever tried before: a keyboard with 20 keys…. Most of the keys have two letters painted on them; for example, the top four keys are labeled QW, ER, TY and OP. You just hammer away at the keys you want, ignoring the gibberish that may appear at first. By the time you complete each word, the phone’s software has consulted its database of 35,000 words and deduced your intentions. It’s a crazy, way-out plan, but it actually works.

Crazy! Where do I buy one? I just want to watch the thing decrypt my typing.

But then my rational side intrudes: How much does this thing cost, I ask myself, and would you really use it? Turns out, it’s only 200 bucks! Booyeah! [is that how you spell it? Maybe buya? Booyah? Or is it a French derivative: Brioxchlliazshe, perhaps? Where’s Stuart Scott when you need him?]

There MUST be a catch. And there is: The service costs 60 bucks a month! Yeesh! That’s more than the car payment on a Yugo! [do they make Yugos anymore?]

I already cringe when I get my $35 bill from the cell phone company. I use my phone maybe twice a month to order pizza. Every time I really need the dumb thing, the battery’s dead. Now I’m supposed to pay double that amount just for the ability to type e-mails with my thumbs?

What the world really needs is a self-charging cell phone. Maybe it would use the static energy from carrying it around in your pocket. Maybe somehow it could siphon off the car battery while it sits unnoticed in the glove box. Perhaps it could make use of the tremendous heat generated when your car rests for more than 15 seconds in a sunny parking lot. Make something up, guys! For that I would pay at least $15 a month. Especially if you throw in a video game or two.

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One Response to The cost of technophilia

  1. dave says:

    Ha! Caught old Pogue in an error! The top of a standard keyboard is QWERTYUIOP, not QWERTYOP, as he suggests in his article. Looking at the Blackberry picture in the article, it’s clear that the keyboard has five keys, not four, including the “missing” UI key. See what a nerd I am?

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