A Weekend with the iPod Touch

Almost a year ago, I had completed my latest freebie spree. Unfortunately, it took nearly all of that year to see any results. But I finally got my $500 Best Buy gift card last week, and promptly used it to order Wii Play, an 8GB iPod Touch, and preorder Guitar Hero World Tour. I was able to pick up the Wii Play at my local Best Buy (Ellie loves the cow racing game), and hopefully the preorder of Guitar Hero will arrive not too long after it’s released at the end of October. The iPod Touch arrived on Friday, and I had a lot of fun playing with it over the weekend.
The good: I can use any open wifi hotspot to get online. This includes my house, any Starbucks, and apparently some areas around the Smithsonian. The last two came in handy for getting directions from downtown to a church in Arlington where Lisa had Daisy Scout training. The “find my location” thing is super cool and works very well. It uses known wifi hotspots to figure out your current location and give directions based on that.
The bad: My old iPod used a Firewire connector to charge via the AC adapter. The Touch only uses USB so the adapter doesn’t work, and the only way to charge is through the computer. 8GB is good enough for now, but I had to take some music off to make room for apps I downloaded.
I was also able to set up my GMail through the Mail app and used NuevaSync to feed my calendar. The one problem I’ve run across is that, not having Outlook on my computer, I have no way to get calendar data from my wife’s old Palm m100 onto Google Calendar or the Palm. Well, that’s not totally true: there is CompanionLink, but I don’t know if it’s that important to spend $30 on the software. So if anyone has a free solution for me, I’m all ears.
All told, I’m very happy with the Touch, and looking forward to playing with more apps, as I’ve only had a short time to play in the App Store so far. I’m also checking out how to convert video to the correct format to play on the Touch, so that maybe I can catch up on some stuff that’s recorded on my Tivo. So far though, that’s been a frustrating experience and the converters I’ve tried repeatedly crash before finishing the conversion.