Saturday, April 26, 2008

An Open Letter to Steve Jobs

Dear Steve,

Can we talk?  I have some issues with the iPod.  I think you are missing the mark with what the average consumer wants and needs in a portable audio device.  I am an avid music fan, and I think I have a good perspective on what your customers are looking for.  My current iPod, which is about three years old, is a fourth-generation 'pod - 20G, click wheel, no color screen.  It's still trucking along, but it will soon need to be replaced.  Speaking of which: kudos on the recycling program.  I would normally buy any electronics from Crutchfield, but I'm going to an Apple store instead. 

Here's my issue: the current iPod lineup doesn't fit my listening needs.  I would guess that my iTunes library is on the high-side of average.  I have just over 17G of music in my library and just over 1G of podcasts.  On my iPod, I keep about 16G of stuff - nearly the whole library, but not quite.  

The "small" iPod classic has 80G of memory.  This is insane, nearly the same amount of memory as my MacBook.  The nano, at just $50 less, has only 8G of memory.  The small size is very appealing and, at just under $200, the price is perfect.  However, I can't quite carry all that I want to have with me.  It doesn't make sense to buy the 8G nano when for an extra $50, I can have ten times the memory.  But the iPod classic seems like over-kill.  Don't even get me started on the 160G model.  Who has the capacity to have all of that music on one computer?  Who is the target customer there?  Even if that is designed to hold movies and TV shows, who has the space on a hard drive to store it at home?

The perfect iPod is only available in the iPod Touch - 32G.  But, at $500, that's a little too rich for my blood.  Plus, I have no desire to go online or check my email with an iPod.  I just want to keep myself occupied on the commute to and from work, and on vacation. 

The problem, I think, is in the plan for the nano.  Just because people want something small, doesn't mean they want less capacity.  If they wanted just a few songs, they'd go for a Shuffle.  I want something small, that I can put in my purse without adding too much weight to what I carry around.  

Here's my vision for the product line: Shuffle: 2G & 4G; Nano: 10G & 32G; Classic: 80G, & 160G; Touch - do whatever you want.  The people who buy this just want an iPhone but for whatever reason don't want AT&T.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Feminist Education

I went to a women's college. It is a very good women's college and consistently ranks very high in the US News & World Report listing of colleges. My education there framed how I interpret a lot of things in our culture.

Virtually every course had at least a section on women in that field, if not a specifically feminist bent (of course, this is probably less true for science, math, or business majors but as and English and Philosophy major, a LOT of my classes focused heavily on women writers and feminist works).

I'm very proud of my school and proud that I went there. After my wedding, I sent in my update about what alumnae were in and at the wedding. Last week, I got an email from someone at the Alumnae Relations office, saying that they had gotten a notice that I had married Jason, but their records said Mr. I corrected her.

Yesterday, I got a lovely little card from them congratulating us.

It was addressed to Mr & Mrs Husband Newlastname.

So, all that feminist education, all the messages that we are the leaders of tomorrow? You are still reduced to Mrs. Husband.

This seems off to me. It is really bothering me. I know that is the traditional way to do things, but we were taught that traditions are to be respected when they make sense, not just because they are traditions. Is it so hard to write Mr & Mrs Husband & Wife Newlastname?

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Please buy my books.

I have decided not to actually spend money on the trashy novels I love and to clear out some of my shelves. So, I'm selling some of the books I've read and don't plan to read again, or have never gotten around to reading and using the proceeds to buy books I want to read.

I'm especially craving the Sew Everything Workshop, which looks awesome.

Special deal for my blog readers: if there is more than one book you want, and one of the books you want is priced under $1, I will give you the cheaper one free. Just buy one book for more than a dollar (or two books for less) and email me the one you want that is under a dollar, and I'll take that one out of inventory: