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Book Recommendations: The Perfect Thing by Steven Levy


That night, Microsoft hosted a small dinner in New York for a group of journalists, a prelude to its launch of Windows XP the next day. I have lots of experience talking to Bill Gates and do not break into tears when he yells, “That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard!” so the Microsoft PR team seated me next to the chairman.

I brought along my new iPod. At the end of the meal, just as the other guests at the table were pushing away their chairs, I pulled out the iPod and put it in front of Gates.

“Have you seen this yet?” I asked.

Gates went into a zone that recalls those science fiction films where a space alien, confronted with a novel object, creates some sort of force tunnel between him and the object, allowing him to suck directly into his brain all possible information about it. Gates’ fingers, racing at Nascar speed, played over the scroll wheel and pushed every button combination, while his eyes stared fixedly at the screen. I could almost hear the giant sucking sound. Finally, after he had absorbed every nuance of the device, he handed it back to me.

“It looks like a great product,” he said. [excerpt from WIRED]

I was looking for another great book to read. Adel Gabot swooped by the desk I was working on a few days ago and flashed Steven Levy’s The Perfect Thing across the room.

“Great book!” he said. “Makes for a good podcast.” Thanks for the recommendation, Adel.

The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture and Coolness talks about the iPod phenomenon – what does it take to turn a piece of hardware into an icon? As a consumer who is very discerning .. well, let’s just say it as it is – vain about his taste in technology, I’m particularly fascinated with how tech zealots and tech curmudgeons are born into this world. It is icons of tech pop culture such as the iPod that fuels these kinds of people. The book is available at Fully Booked BHS for around P550.00. I tried looking for this title in PowerBooks Greenbelt beforehand but was sadly out.


On another note, I finally was able to grab a copy of Fans, Bloggers, Gamers by Henry Jenkins. This book was extremely hard to track down as it took me months to order from the bookstores. Yes, I finally found a copy without having to order it also at the Bonifacio High Street branch of Fully Booked. Never mind the price. It was expensive. But you know me and books…

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast and sitting Techbology Editor for The Philippine STAR.

He is also an EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

2 replies on “Book Recommendations: The Perfect Thing by Steven Levy”

I had the same feeling when I bought an expensive book a few months ago. Interest, Obsession, Action, Guilt and Depression, Justification , and coming to terms with the buy. 🙂

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