This news does not surprise me.

When I went down to the Eaton Centre Apple Store to plunk down a portion of my advance for Fathom Five for a fancy new iPod, I looked around a bit (okay, I geeked out for a good half hour), and I considered purchasing the iPhone-less version of the iPod, known as the iPod Touch… for about five seconds.

It’s an elegant device, and I have no doubt that the iPhone, when it comes to Canada (some sources say mid January 2008) will be an excellent, full-featured cellphone, but playing around with the otherwise ingenious iPod Touch touchscreen, I encountered great difficulty in using the touch screen keyboard. It was wonderful hooking up with the store’s wifi network and browsing the Internet in real time, and the pinch is a remarkable innovation, but trying to type in a URL on the thing was an exercise in frustration. E. Not W. E. I want E. Give me E. E! Dammit! E!

By comparison, my Nokia 6618 requires multiple pushes of my number buttons in order to compose my text messages, but at least I can be sure that I’m pressing the right button. This and the fact that I was making a choice between paying over $300 for 16Gb of music space, and $279 for 80Gb of music space and fewer features and, well, there was no choice at all. I’m happy with my purchase, and I’m sure devotees of the iPod Touch are happy with their purchase, but the Touch is not for me.

And I see I’m not the only one who thinks this, it seems.

In other news, I’m pleased to note that both The Unwritten Girl and Fathom Five received generous reviews from the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s main publication. I transcribed an excerpt here, though unfortunately no online version of the full review exists. The CCBC is a respected entity whose recommendations have helped fill a number of school library shelves across the country. The recommendation (coming over a year on in The Unwritten Girl’s case) is timely and welcome.

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