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Thursday, June 12, 2008

An eye for an 'i'

Long back, using too many i's would simply show you're selfish. But as times changed, the 'i' came to prefix everything computer-oriented. Still later (and as of now) Apple has practically trademarked the 'i', almost everything that they sell has an 'i' before its name. The iPod has even spawned innumerable accessories ranging from useful cases to the rather quirky iCarta (an iPod player - toilet paper dispenser - all in one)!

Just search for 'i' (without the quotes obviously) using Google and guess the first link that it throws up - its "Apple - iPod + iTunes". The iPod is now ubiquitous, what with most everyone owning one. For something that's created so much hype, it is hardly as revolutionary as the Walkman was at the time that Sony created it. TheiPod is remarkably simple without any WiFi (leave out the iTouch), or in-depth PDA facilities, or gaming capabilities, or even an expansion slot for a memory card. And lets not forget the battery isn't even user-removable! I must admit though that this is a case of good looks and great marketing winning over the hearts and minds of the public. TheiTunes software is certainly not THE best software available, and the store isn't even operational in India. Not to mention the iPod doesn't exactly support the plethora of file formats that man other players do.

But that hasn't stopped all those Apple fanatics from swallowing every version of the iPod that's ever come out. Even the iPhone (whose only real draw was its slick interface) - any other phone like the N82 or N95 in the price range could deliver far better features at the time the iPhone first released - was gulped down en-masse. Now with the build-up to Apple's release of the iPhone's next edition, Apple fans have started queueing up for Steve Jobs' speeches again.

The frenzy that accompanies the announcement of a new iPod version has no comparison. Long lines that you would see outside stores on the days that lead up to the release of an iPod or iPhone could shame the lines at Thirupathi. People would queue up days in advance and the lines would be miles long (I still wonder where they go to the loo!!!). You'd wonder whether they were gonna be given something free for their trouble that they would line up like this. But nay! For these crazed folks, Steve Jobs is God and the iPod is the messiah, there's even a website called

There are people ready to sacrifice a lot to things for an iPod or an iPhone. Close to the iPhone launch there are guys standing in the streets of America with a box accepting "donations" (we'd call this phenomenon begging here in India) to buy an iPhone. I mean, if you can't afford it, give it a miss and pick it up when you can. It's not like you can't live without it (but can you hmmmm???).

So with this ode to all those i-people, you may curse me while you view this page (if you ever do) on your iPhone.