Electronic Swiss Army Knife – The Sony CLIE TH55

I picked up a PDA, a Sony CLIE TH55 for those of you familar with these devices, off ebay recently. This nifty device is a Swiss Army Knife of such devices only lacking phone capabilities which is not a big deal for me. It has WiFi capabilities but the real attractions of this unit is the 320 x 480 colour screen, the jog dial for touchless screen navigation, a builtin MP3 player, and voice recording capability all in a unit you can operate with one hand!

The reason for this preamble is it makes a great ebook reader as well. One of the books that caught my eye was an older SF novel – Inherit the Stars by James.P. Hogan. It has a great cover of two astronauts on the surface of the moon discovering the body of a third astronaut, who is a skeleton inside the suit. Very captivating image. I had read the book a long time ago and could not remember much of it. It dealt with the mystery of this dead astronaut who had been on the moon for over 50,000 thousand years! The big science ideas are still relevant but the smaller ones in the year 2026 ie smoking in public areas like the office or even in space ships or the standard 50s SF trope – flying cars! – rent one from Hertz! – bring a chuckle or two along the way. Still for a 1977 SF book, with a HUGE mystery to be solved, it presents a highly entertaining story. I really enjoyed rediscovering this book.

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