I ordered a Touch.
How do you give something a static IP address??
That's very tough to answer because it depends entirely on the uniqueness of your individual network and what gear is used.
In short and without intending the sarcasm that this will undoubtedly sound like..... If you have to ask, it's probably better if you stick with the automated method. However, I'd be happy to help out if you decide to dive in. I'll try to summarize the high level but it's impossible to give a step by step without knowing all your individual details.
Any networked device generally has two options somewhere in its setup.
1. It can be assigned a static IP that never changes or
2. You enable it's DHCP client that goes out looking for a DHCP server to give it a number every time you turn it on.
Where you change this depends on the device and/or it's operating system.
Generally, in a home network, it is the Internet router that is set up as a DHCP server to assign addresses to anything that asks for one. It will have lots of settings as well but again, they will differ from model to model. In more complex networks, another PC may be utilized as a DHCP server.
In the above common home environment, to assign a static IP to a particular device, you need to know how to do two things.
1. How to go into that device's network settings to turn off the DHCP client and assign it a usable IP number (and other associated information.) You also need to understand subnets (how ranges of IP numbers work) in order to assign it a valid one.
2. How to go into your DHCP server and "reserve" that number so it never assigns that particular number to another computer. If two devices end up with the same IP, that is bad and neither usually work.
Another scenario is that in the DHCP server, you reserve an IP for a particular device based on its MAC address. The MAC Address is the device's network 'serial number'. It is unique, assigned by the manufacturer and normally never changes. When the device boots up and goes searching for a DHCP server to assign it a number, the server checks it's MAC address and realizes that there is a 'reservation' listed for that address,. It then always assigns the chosen IP for that device.
DHCP also takes care of a bunch of other things for you that you need. Not only does it automate getting an IP address but it also dishes out other important pieces of information like the default gateway, subnet mask, DNS addresses and other important settings. If you manually set an IP, you have to enter in all these yourself. Again leading back to my first point, which I hope you now realize was not sarcasm.