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Welcome to the 21st century dad

October 13, 2008

by Mark Ollig

My son anxiously watched as I began opening my birthday present.

I carefully removed the paper wrappings and opened the box – it contained the next generation model of the Apple iPod Touch.

“Welcome to the 21st century Dad,” he said to me with a smile.

I have read about the iPod, but had not used one, so for those of you out there who own an iPod Touch, if you remember how amazed you were when you first got one – that is how I felt.

You can download onto the iPod Touch your pictures, music, and video files and even access the Internet ,too.

It is a truly remarkable device – it is only 4.3 inches tall by 2.4 inches wide and just .33 inches thick. It is slightly larger than a credit card.

This iPod Touch weighs a little over 4 ounces.

It has a 3.5 inch color “Multi-Touch” display screen which provides crisp and clear displays of pictures and videos using a resolution of 480 by 320 pixels.

The iPod Touch has a slim and sleek design with a contoured enclosure made of polished stainless steel – Apple will even engrave your name on it if you want.

It also has a “touch screen” QWERTY keyboard for typing and Instant Messaging.

The iPod Touch allows access to Wi-Fi networks. This is great because I can access my AOL e-mail, weather, YouTube, stock reports, Google, driving maps and any Internet web address.

The built-in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in the iPod Touch provides up to 36 hours of audio playback or 6 hours of video playback for the 8GB iPod Touch version 2.1.1 model I have.

It has ample storage – ten hours worth of video, 10,000 photos, or 1,750 songs.

The built-in speaker is nice, but I mostly plug in and listen in stereo using the earbuds. I just love the way the music sounds over it.

On Saturday my son and I went to the nearby Apple store and picked out an “iHome” for my iPod.

This is a docking device which connects to the iPod. The iHome interfaces with the iPod and allows me to easily watch music videos on it while the music comes through the iHome’s larger and better sounding stereo speakers. It also has a small wireless remote so I can control the iPod’s volume and to fast forward and reverse through videos and the music.

The iHome has a nicely lit digital clock, and it charges the iPod, too.

While in the Apple store, I saw the new Apple iPhone 3G. It includes all the same basic functions found on the Apple iPod Touch, with the exception being an additional green icon “phone” button on the display for placing phone calls.

I am very happy, though, with my with my new iPod Touch.

When first programming the iPod Touch using the iTunes version 8 software, I was asked to “name” my iPod – I officially named it the “communicator.”

Apple also makes the iPod Touch in larger 16GB and 32GB models.

I took my new iPod with me Saturday to the local coffee place which has free Wi-Fi available. The iPod accessed the Internet with no problems. I was checking my e-mails and watching CNN (mobile version) while sipping a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

I even accessed the “Web Site of The Week” forum, signed up for some podcasts and downloaded music from iTunes.

The color display screen shows crisp and clear videos. The brightness level is adjustable too.

I also downloaded music and video from my computer to my iPod Touch using the iTunes software program on my PC. My iPod Touch’s 30-pin docking connector plugs into my PC via a USB port.

I needed to convert my saved computer video files to the MPEG-4 video format which is used on the iPod Touch. I can also purchase and download videos directly from Apple’s iTunes web site.

Did I mention the iTunes’ website also has many “freebies” available to download like games, songs and videos?

While listening to music on my new iPod, I browsed through my mail from the post office.

I frowned when I came across this “other present” which reminded me of the age milestone I have reached.

It was a subscription from the good folks at the AARP magazine.

The frown turned quickly into a smile as I watched the YouTube video of the “Ameriprise TV commercial” with Dennis Hopper wearing his cool shades saying to us baby boomers, “Your generation is definitely not headed to bingo night!”

The 1967 hit song “Gimme Some Lovin’” sung by Steve Winwood played in background.

Isn’t age fifty supposed to be the new forty anyway?

Hey, this 21st century technology isn’t so bad after all. In fact, it’s pretty cool.

To learn more about the new Apple iPod Touch, visit: http://tinyurl.com/2xcxd4.

The iTunes web site is at: http://www.apple.com/itunes.

I checked with your “bits_blogger” and this week’s “Web Site of The Week” forum will feature information and video of your humble columnist’s new iPod Touch, so be sure to check it out.

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