Friday, October 29, 2004

Firefox - Rediscover the web

Firefox - Rediscover the web

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A very dark day - RIP John Peel

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

myPod home again

So, I know its a completely different unit - but now its got my media loaded back on it has taken on the identity of myPod - and that'll do me.

I was impressed by the fact that the casing is shiny and scratch free and actually looks newer than myfirstPod did when I first unwrapped it. And, yes its a nice Gen 3!

Only quibbles: The pod arrives Mac formatted, so it took a bit of fiddling to flatten and convert to PC - the desk top updater client couldn't handle it properly but some Apple OSesque windowed version of the updater popped up after docking for the forth time and did the necessary in the end. PC doesn't crash, iTunes syncs automatically and all is well and good - Even those PIL files seam to be playing fine.

My faith in Apple restored - the whole process was pretty painless and because myPod was still under warranty didn't cost me bean.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Return of myPod

Its back - though not yet in my grubbies, as no one was in when the nice courier came round - so my next door neighbor has it, and we have not caught up yet - I had a late night gigging with Grinn last night and I'm off to play a Smurphs gig tonight straight from work!

So near, yet so far!

Friday, October 08, 2004

myPod update

Checked the apple support site for progress status - myPod is logged as having been received.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Wake for myPod - consumer electronic bereavement

myPod is dead;-(

So, never been a Apple fetishist, the endless PC vs. Mac debate bores the tits off me, much in the same way as the C64 vs. Spectrum arguments with the inherent ridiculous diatribes about the relative merits of PEEKing and POKEing against endless CHR$ing wasted many an hour of my youth. I’ve use both Mac and PC in my time and get on with them both. I have a couple of old Performa’s and an LCIIin my loft (though these are skip rescues rather than purchases), but all my machines are PC based, now mostly XP save for a Linux Tosh Laptop. I gotta say all in all I prefer the nuts and bolts of the PC format and do tend towards thinking Apple lean in a little into the form over function. But still, I was happy with myPod.

I bought my wife an iPod for Christmas 2003 and after playing with it for a month bought one for myself, overriding my first digital player choice of the Zen. Although part of this was because I kinda like iTunes and partly because I’d ended up encoding about 500 albums as AAC and was too lazy to covert to MP3!

Certain things about the iPod always bugged me, like there are no hard controls for volume on the unit, but all in all I liked myPod. I even bough it an extra little house for my bedside table so it could charge up over night and the ritual of docking it last thing at night and picking it up with my phone and keys in the morning became ritual. myPod became a dependable friend, accompanying me on trains, planes, the office, walks with the dog and trips to the gym. I got used to being able to make a choice of what to listen to while out and about instead of being expected to predict my mood and plan ahead as with a walkman or portable CD player.

I should point out that myPod was in immaculate conduction due to my complete commitment to using the leatherette belt holster – none of your usual iPod scratches for myPod!

Yes, we were very happy!

That is until three weeks ago. I docked myPod with my PC (firewire) and it crashed the bugger – not MS blue-screening but a full power zap reboot (only it wouldn’t reboot until I removed myPod). This came as something of a surprise after 8 months of functioning perfectly. And so it continued – no intermittent fault this – and all the while wifesPod continued to work like a charm.
I also noticed that although myPod itself seamed to continue working, there were certain albums such as PIL’s Metal Box which refused to play and locked up the unit requiring the MENU+PLAY soft reset to escape. It began to look like some corrupt files, after all if the Belkin FM transmitters subvert the file format/playlist structure to control the frequency selection for the unit, it stands to reason that a knackered file could send myPod into spasm, doesn’t it?

After googling the problem and finding very little, I did come across a couple of stories where people had discovered similar isues with PC and Firewire and it seemed that they has swapped to USB and ‘solved’ the issue. So borrowing a USB cable -thanks dude – I had a crack. No crashing, but real problems mounting. So I went for a ‘restore’. Half way up the barometer I got an ‘error writing to disk’ report. Tried again, and once more for luck – but no, no joy.

So nothing for it but look at shipping back to Apple for repair – it is still under warranty after all. So battling through the support pages, complete with recursive mis-linking, I eventually manage to put in a service request – “Thank you for submitting your service request. Please print this page for your records” – is it too much trouble for Apple to format this page so it is actually suitable for printing? (select landscape). It wasn’t until after all this that I found the page telling me how the returns actually worked, but I did get a nice email which explained things properly.

That was yesterday! Today a nice man fro UPS showed up at my house at the crack or dawn with all the appropriate packaging and took away myPod. Never to be seen again – Apple replace with a previously refurbished unit rather than repair and return the same unit -
which is a shame, myPod has no distinguishing features (except the lack of scratches) and TBH I couldn’t tell it from any other 3rd generation 20GB iPod but this was myPod.

When I left the house this morning, I kept thinking I’d forgotten something. I’m going cold turkey on my decide-on-demand music selection habit. I could have stolen wifesPod (which has all the same tracks and play lists as we sync to the same home PC), but that isn’t sporting. So I’ll have to wait it out and see whether I was right to flirt with Apple.