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Pocket Mac

September 10, 2009 - Dave Hecei
I remember a few years ago, well maybe quite a few years ago, I remember seeing the TRS-80 Pocket Computer. This was way back in 1982 when the Apple ][ was king and the IBM PC was just starting to take off. The Radio Shack Pocket Computer, the PC-2, looked like a large calculator with a qwerty keypad. It only had a one line text display, but the thought of having a computer you could fit in your pocket was pretty amazing, especially for 1982.

PCs have come a long way since then, and so has the pocket computer. Just a few years ago the PDA was king. Some have concluded that Apple started the PDA craze with their Newton line, but it really was Palm that made it ubiquitous. Today even the PDA is pretty much dead. The smart phone has replaced it. But not everyone needs their PDA to be a phone, and the new iPod Touch is just the answer.

On September 9th, Apple introduced updated iPods at a press event titled ‘Rock and Roll’ in San Francisco. One of the updates was to the iPod Touch and Apple is touting it as a ‘pocket computer’. The Touch has built-in WiFi networking allowing it to easily connect to the Internet at home or on the road.

The new Touch has the same screen but now has more storage space, either 32 or 64 gigabytes, and a faster processor. Since the Touch is based on the same computer core as the iPhone, most all of the Apps for the iPhone will also run on the Touch. The new Touch also comes with an updated OS, version 3.1.

The new Touch has better graphics and faster a processor, which will improve game play, and trust me, there are plenty of games out there and more coming every day. While many of the games out there now have been written by a single programmer or small groups, the big guys are coming. During the Rock and Roll event, companies like Electronic Arts, Creed, and Gameloft, a few examples, showed off their wares. The Touch is becoming a very viable handheld gaming platform.

Some look at the Touch and say ‘It’s an iPod.’ This is true, and it is a great iPod at that. It stores and plays your music and video files. It is also an amazing photo viewer that can automatically sync to your iPhoto library. It is also a computer that comes with a standard set of Apps like Safari for web browsing, Mail, and Google Maps. To go along with that, there are over 50,000 other applications available for easy download from the iTunes Store. These Apps vary from business, productivity, utilities, social networking, to games. Many of these Apps are priced under $2 and some are even free.

The new Touch may look the same, but with the speed and storage improvements you may look at it differently. The 32 GB model is priced at $299, the 64 GB is $399.


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