I Love My iPod

I freely admit that I’m a gadget guy.  I’m a sucker for the latest mobile phone, PDA, portable music player, home entertainment component, whatever.  However, more often than I’d like to admit I find that the devices that I once so coveted soon become the adult equivalent of the GI Joe with the missing arm — buried on my desk somewhere beneath the much cooler toys.  Call me fickle, but I can’t help it.  Sometimes the bloom just falls off the rose and it turns out the attraction was purely physical; the gadget and I never made a true connection.

One such gadget affair that ultimately went south was with my Rio 900 MP3 player.  The biggest problem was that it had only 256 megs of RAM, and changing the music contained within was a bit of a chore, so I had to choose carefully which few songs I wanted occupying its precious RAM.  Frustrated by these issues, I found myself eying Apple’s iPod in all its silvery-and-white-gigastorage goodness.  Soon I found myself having that “it’s not you, it’s me” conversation with my Rio and forking over the bucks for a 15 gig iPod.

Six months later I’m pleased to report that I my iPod and I are still quite the item.  Not only has it not been relegated to the Old Toys Home, but it has totally changed the way I listen to music.  No longer am I concerned with what 20 songs I want to listen to over and over again on that trans-oceanic trip — I literally have my entire music library available to me at all times! Of course, trying to manage 2,470 songs from a little hand held is a bit overwhelming, which is where iTunes comes in.  By automatically synchronizing not just music files but also play lists and other artifacts, I can use the big screen on my PC for all of the complicated setup, and the fruits of that labor are pushed to my iPod automatically just by connecting it to the computer.  Now instead of decided what 20 songs to play repeatedly until I’m ready to go postal, I’ve become obsessed with play list organization — creating play lists to suit all my moods so that good music is just a couple of wheel clicks away.

I now look at my non-iPod-owning friends with a mix of amusement and pity. Just last week my brother-in-law mentioned he wanted to go to a record store to buy some newly released CD or other.  “A music store?” I exclaimed.  “Who still does that? Don’t you know you can get the music cheaper and faster online at the iTunes music store? If you must, you can then even burn it onto a CD.”

“Really?“

“Really.  Of course, you can always drive to a strip mall, subject yourself to the latest in thrash-rap played too loudly over the store’s sound system, and deal with some brain-pierced clerk, only to find out they don’t carry the CD you’re looking for.“

“Tell me more about your iPod.“

“You can’t have mine, but I’m sure there is an iPod out there that’s right for you.“

Stuff that Bugs Me

For some reason, despite the fact that it’s the Christmas season, I’m feeling a bit grumpy. I don’t know why, but stuff has really been bugging me lately. So naturally, I have to fire up the word processor and list them!

  1. People who try to tell you that C# is better than Delphi. Now that Delphi 2005 is out, with its new language features, Delphi can easily hold it’s own against C#, and actually surpasses it in lots of ways.

  2. People who come on the newsgroups and act like TeamB “runs off” people who criticize Borland. This is silly. TeamB might disagree with your criticism but we don’t “run off” anybody.

  3. The use of “with” statements. That really bugs me.

  4. People who think that Borland has gone out of business

  5. The really bad support for streams in the FCL. There are no methods on the Stream class to copy from one stream to another, for crying out loud. Dealing with streams in .Net is just a pain in the ass when compared with the ease of using them in the VCL.

  6. Mail-in rebates for computer items. These things are a pain in the rear, and you invariably miss some key instruction and thus don’t get the rebate. I hate that.

  7. People who think that we are “forced” to buy stuff. There are actually people in the world who think that Microsoft forces them to buy Windows. Here’s a fact: it is against the law for /any/ company to force you to buy /anything/. Unless you live in some crazed totalitarian dictator ship, you don’t have to buy anything that you don’t want to buy.

  8. While we’re at it, people who think that Microsoft is some sort of dictatorial, evil empire bug me. All Microsoft can do is offer things for sale. They can’t and don’t do anything more than that. See #7 above for the response that virtually everyone in the world can have to Microsoft’s offer. The notion that Microsoft is some sort of governmental entity that controls people’s actions and dictates what people have to do is silly.

  9. I hate cryptic and semi-cryptic variable names like ‘lSt’ and ‘buf’. Jeez, work your fingers a little bit and use “Buffer”. And while you are at it, use capital letters in your variable names.

  10. People who type in all the same case, whether it be upper or lower. We have upper and lower case for a reason, people.

  11. Case-sensitive programming languages bug me. (Case is really bugging me today, eh?) It bugs me when people declare variable with the same name as their type, but different case.

  12. Code that tries to do three things in one line. Break out that code into multiple lines. It’s easier to read, and you’ll thank yourself when you go back and try to read it six months later.

  13. The fact that in .Net, the getters and setters for a property have to be in the same visibility as the property bugs me. I understand why, but it still bugs me. It also bugs me that they have to be prefaced by case-sensitive(!) prefixes.

  14. Okay, C# bugs me. It bugs me that all these C# dudes out there think properties and “partial classes” and all the other stuff Delphi has been doing for years is so new and cool. It bugs me that we’ve been doing object-oriented programming for fifteen years, and now tons of VB guys are doing C# and now think true object-oriented programming actually is cool now. It bugs me that C# programmers think that theirs it the “definitive” language against which all other languages should be measured.

And the really scary thing is that I quit there. I could have kept going. 😉