I went downstairs to retrieve our digital camera from the car this morning.  I realized that I have four small gadgets that I need to juggle on a daily–or at least weekly–basis: 
  1. A cell phone;
  2. A digital camera;
  3. A personal digital assistant (PocketPC PDA); and
  4. A music player (iPod MP3 player). 

They all do one function very well.  Unfortunately, now they’re weighty in my pockets, and my computer desk has a mess of cords needed to synch them up with my computer. 

I decided that I would pay good money for one device that’s both compact and can do all of these well.  Sure, there are devices on the market now that do some of these functions.  For example, my PDA plays music, and some such as the Palm Treo also double as cell phones.  Some cell phones have digital cameras, of course.  And soon Apple Computer will introduce the iPhone, an iPod cell phone.  The disadvantage of these dual-function units is that they lack capacity.  For example, the digital camera on most cell phones offers low megapixel resolution, and the storage capacity on a PDA is too small to store hundreds of songs.  If a company can produce a compact product that functions as a cell phone featuring a PDA with a full operating system plus productivity software (e.g. Microsoft Office) plus a 30-80GB hard drive that functions as a music player and 5.0 or more megapixel camera.  The technology is available to build this device, but it would be too big to be practical.  I imagine that in about five years or so technology will progress to the point where this kind of device will be on the market.  For now, I will continue to carry around four devices that do these four things very well.


Books by MG EdwardsMG Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures and children’s books. A former U.S. diplomat, he served in South Korea, Paraguay, and Zambia before leaving the Foreign Service to write full time.

Edwards is author of six books. His memoir, Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, was finalist for the Book of the Year Award and the Global eBook Award. He has published four children’s picture books in the World Adventurers for Kids Series: Alexander the Salamander; Ellie the Elephant; Zoe the Zebra; and a collection featuring all three stories. His book Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories is an anthology of 15 short stories.

Edwards lives in Taipei, Taiwan with his family. He has also lived in Austria, Singapore and Thailand. For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at www.mgedwards.com or contact him by e-mail at me@mgedwards.com or on Twitter @m_g_edwards.

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