My now 9 year old son got a Nokia 770 for his birthday -- they're on sale at Buy.com for $140. For another $20 he got a 1GB Kingston memory card for it. I was reluctant to buy it -- his birthday budget's $200, and this blew it. He got that Nokia, cake, ice cream, and a sleepover, and I worried he'd get frustrated with the device and feel like he hadn't had a good birthday --
Not to worry. It's his first real computer; runs Debian Linux and has 33 times the storage of my first hard drive, a bright 800x400 color screen, a USB connector and headphone jack.
He's completely engrossed with it. I've never seen him quite so excited by anything -- basketball, maybe. Litle blond boy walking around the house chattering at anyone who'll stand still about what he can do with his handheld -- look, books, music, movies! He's asked me a couple hundred (not even a faint exagerration) questions about how the damn thing works, what Linux is, how it's different from my handheld, how much storage he has, what the difference is between RAM and ROM and flash memory and hard drives, how to manage the number of files on the system -- he spent 20 minutes figuring out how many Firefly and/or Buffy episodes he could fit on the 1GB flash drive. (Enough, is the answer -- a single tv episode, encoded at 288x208, a size the Nokia likes, takes up 85MB or so and plays beautifully.)
Handsome, charming blond boy walking around with his handheld, completely obsessed -- I can't tell you how savagely disorienting this is, albeit in a good way. I'm living with Trent.
I told Richard I'd described devices like this, handhelds, in print 20 years ago, before anyone else did. This is broadly true as far as I know -- high powered computing device called a handheld using radio packets to communicate with a network -- I think I hit that pretty close, all around.
:-) He wanted to believe me, but I think he suspected I was pulling his leg.
Some years back a Compaq engineer wrote me to tell me he'd based some of the design for the original iPAQs on the description in Long Run. I've always felt like I should have bought an iPAQ at some point -- I've owned a couple handhelds over the years, but never did own an iPAQ. But I feel a little proprietary whenever I see one.