Touching The Kindle & The Dictionary

After I got my iPod Touch (first generation) a few years ago to replace an old Palm PDA with outdated wireless technology that could no longer pick up any access points to reach the Internet at work, I haven’t used it much since then. Although I listened to my 80’s music collection at the gym, I never felt comfortable taking the Touch in that kind of a sweaty environment. When the third generation iPod Shuffle came out, I got one for the gym. I loaded up the Touch with the digital copies that came with certain DVD movies to watch on the train while visiting my father in Sacramento. As for loading up applications, I found two apps useful enough to use my Touch more often now.

I downloaded Kindle for the iPhone and iPod Touch when it first came out, and a sample chapter to test out the features. That was okay. I’m a traditionalist who would rather have the actual dead tree edition to read through for current books. When I decided to pursue a classical education, I was surprised to find that many of the classical drama, history and literature books were either free or cost less than a buck on the Kindle. I’m reading “The History of The Decline And Fall of The Roman Empire: Volumes 1 to 6” by Edward Gibbon, and downloaded “The Jewish Wars” by Flavius Josephus (translated by William Whiston) and “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes/The Return of Sherlock Holmes” by Sir Author Canon Doyle. Looks like I’ll be reading all the classics from Kindle on my Touch from now on, saving space in my library for more current dead tree books.

The other application was Dictionary.Com, a free dictionary. I was surprised to discover that Apple doesn’t include the Dictionary from the Mac OS X on the Touch. There’s also the American Heritage Dictionary version that cost $25 USD. Again, I’m a dead tree traditionalist when that much money is involved. (I made the mistake of selling my 1987 copy of The Random House Dictionary of The English Language, Second Edition, a number of years ago.) Since I started writing haiku poems that require counting out a specific number syllables per line, I been consulting the Dictionary on my MacBook more often to determine how many syllables a word breaks into if I wasn’t certain. Having a dictionary on my Touch makes the process of refining my haiku poems in my writing journal much easier. Dictionary.Com also has a thesaurus for looking up other words, but the extended features require wireless access (which really kills the battery life on the Touch).

If you’re a writer with an iPod Touch, these are two must have applications.

NOTE: This blog post was first published on Once Upon An Albatross… blog.