My Christmas gift this year was a refurbished, year-old iPod from Apple's clearance bin. It's a white iPod Nano (I wanted black, but you can't be too picky when your shopping the clearance table, right?) with 2GB of memory (which only holds about half of my iTunes library).
All that said, it was only $99, half of what it cost a year ago ($199), so I can't really complain about such a bargain. If you're looking for a deal on a Mac or iPod, you should check out the clearance section at the Apple Store online. The list of items changes frequently, so you have to kind of "stake out" the site waiting for the item you want. It just so happened that this iPod showed up on the site the day I got paid, so I leaped at it. All the items there are refurbished by Apple, and come with all the original stuff (accessories or software) that the original item sold with. And they are covered by the same warranty (90 days or 1 year, depends on the item, I think) as new stuff would be.
I'm writing this post as I listen to the theme music from "Star Trek - The Motion Picture" which also is the same music that the Next Generation used. With the iPod I no longer need to tax my poor tired G3 iMac playing tunes while I surf or program. I've already been re-organizing my music in iTunes to get a better selection of tunes on the 'Pod. I'm finding that being able to listen while I grocery shop and putter around the kitchen is changing my listening preferences or habits.
I've had the iPod now for 3 days, and already it's gotten me thinking. Listening to your favorite music while doing other things is almost like a drug, and I'm not the only one that thinks so. To me, it seems like good music (however you personally define it) is pleasing and should stimulate the same area of the brain that any other pleasing sensation does, whether it's drugs, sex, or good food.
I'll be honest, since I've gotten the thing I've LOOKED for excuses to turn it on. Now, being a geek, maybe it's just the joy of having another new toy. I'll know if the urge to play with it subsides, or escalates. Hmmmm, wouldn't "iPod Addictive," be a terrible headline to read? Though I suppose there are worse things to take up as habits. But I'm keeping an eye on it and have already made two rules:
1. No earphones in the car.
2. If I find myself going "What?" to folks talking to me, turn the damned thing off.
As far as the car goes, I've got a cassette adapter, but the tape deck in my car doesn't like it and keeps trying to spit it out. So I guess I'll listen to my tapes in the car instead. At least until I can replace the cassette adapter!
I bought a used Newton 130 from eBay for $75 back in 2000 and loved it. I used it all the time to keep my contacts and calendar. The Newton is long gone, but the iPod (which I've named "HAL 9000," BTW) now syncs my Address Book and iCal entries, so it's almost like having the Newton back. Though I had a lot of games on the Newton, and HAL only has the 4 that come with the iPod Nano (and they all suck). I sure wish Apple would release the iPod API so that folks could port games to the iPod and write other nifty software for it.
I also found where folks have gotten Linux running on the iPod. And that's got an API for programming, but I'd much rather not hack my new iPod. I'm holding out for a solution that is "official" from Apple and will allow us to integrate our own apps into the iPod OS.
So I'm a 'Pod person. Let the invasion begin!