On the weekend, I visited a big suburban technology shop. On a display table that mostly featured those squinty little netbooks was a single solitary iRiver. The only ereader in the shop not locked up behind glass, it was nevertheless tethered to the table. Its stark white casing and white-ish screen provided stark contrast to the shiny black plastic objects that surrounded it. I was interested in investigating the device further, since it's one I was yet to try out.
As I got closer to it, though, I noticed the first scuff marks down each side of it and the oily fingerprints that plastered the screen. Keep in mind, it doesn't have a touch screen. I guess that's understandable; it was on display in a busy shop and people are now conditioned to think a device that looks like that should have a touch screen (though you think think they'd at least wipe their fingers on their clothes first). More of a worry though was the fact that the screen displayed little more than a few half-rendered words and some random horizontal lines. Okay, maybe it just needed a restart.
I picked it up (avoiding the gunk on the screen) and pressed a few buttons.
Nothing. The half text and lines remained. I pressed a few more buttons, I turned it over, wondering if there was a reset switch I wasn't aware of.
Meanwhile, my son called to me from another part of the shop. A car racing game was set up complete with steering wheel, pedals, and a bucket seat. I replaced the ereader and joined him.