I have a lovely new hair cut and feel much better.
Then I went into Cardiff and talked to the nice geeky girl in AT computers. We looked at the iPad and the IPod Touch and discussed their relative merits.
For my purposes I want to have an eReader, and I want all the things I have on my little iPod nano. I was pondering the internet availability because there is wifi on both machines, but most of the places that I spend a lot of time don't have much in the way of wifi availability. Cardiff is fine, but Pembrokeshire has next to nothing so the ability to use the wifi wasn't top of the want list. Both machines are wifi, and both machines (Touch4) can be used with either a G3 connection or with a gizmo whose name I forget which gives you pay-as-you-go phone connectivity. Thus getting round the wifi problem.
I think if you want a more portable computer than a laptop is the iPad is the right gadget, but as I really want an all singing all dancing iPod (with movie camera too) and the computer elements are less important to me than the the iPod features I have decided to put all my Christmas presents into one basket and get the Touch. The iPhone would do a lot of it, but I don't use a phone enough to make it worth paying the contract charges, and the phone is more expensive than the iPad without a contract, so I ruled that out fairly early.
I know there are various other options but £200 for a dedicated ereader that does nothing else when for a little bit more I can get lots of things in one package.
A possible problem for the development of eReaders in the UK came in a statement from the Publishers Association this week.
It is so inspiring that all the top people in the Publishing industry are so in touch with reality that they are acting like Canute trying to hold back the tide. They have declared that downloads of eBooks from libraries cannot be done remotely, that people have to come into the library in future and download from library pcs. There are so many things wrong with this it is breathtaking. Overdrive offer a customised library service for downloads which is extremely well used in the USA and is taking hold here too and the model depends on remote access. Council IT departments won't let people plug things into the library machines because of fears of infection so downloads in libraries are not going to be allowed by the IT departments. People who want to download ebooks probably want to do so because it is more convenient in lots of ways than coming physically to the library.
Apart from all this have they heard of bit torrent? If you look you can find lots of pirated books available now and putting these sort of artificial and unenforceable obstacles in the way won't work. It hasn't worked for recorded music and won't work for books either. Their stupidity is breathtaking.
However there are lots of free books out there that I would like to read anyway.