Technology simply baffles me. I have a laptop, an iPad, and an iPod Touch, which I commonly carry around in my pocket. The Touch has a nice note-taking app, so when a brilliant idea occurs to me I can tap-tap the screen and record it. That's much better than stuffing my shirt pocket with jottings on scraps of paper napkins from Subway, or forgetting the idea altogether. It also has a little camera that's let me snap images of street signs in case I've forgotten where I left the car. Often, though, I'll place it on my desk and play classical music from my iTunes collection.
All that is very nice, but there is this one little quirk: it doesn't have an Off button. Oh, it has a button to turn off most of its functions, but none for the music. If I've had enough music for one day, there is only the Pause button. And ninety percent of the time, that's just as good as Off.
But then it goes into my shorts pocket, and perhaps I go to a writers' group meeting. It can be handy there, especially to jot down those to-do's that inevitably arise. Then when someone is talking, usually making a serious point, we're all treated to a lovely orchestra playing Brahms's Fourth or The Red Army Choir bellowing out The Volga Boatmen.
My iPod Touch just goes on by itself, perhaps to liven up the meeting, perhaps to embarrass me. Has it bumped against the side of my chair and activated Play? Maybe, but sometimes I could swear I wasn't fidgeting in my seat.
Apple makes terrific gizmos, sleek and efficient, without a smidgen of superfluity. It even goes on without prompting.
Who needs a button for the sound?