Monday, April 23, 2007

iPod Reloaded, Part III: It works!

They could rebuild it. They have the technology.

And happily they did, and for a reasonable price, too. While my iPod Mini, fixed and upgraded from a 4GB harddrive to an 8GB flashdrive (so more reliable, twice the space, and longer battery life) technically arrived in Lincoln, Nebraska on Friday, the slowness of UNL's internal mail system kept it from me until this morning. But it came. And I was delighted.


iPod


The well-packed iPod Mini was rapidly recovered, and worked fine out of the box. (iFixiPodsFast installed a test song, presumably under a creative commons license, so that you can see whether or not the machine works before you hook it up to the computer.) I pluged it in, had iTunes synch a 7GB playlist I created, and waited while the songs transfered. And even on a nice USB connection, 7 GB is a lot of songs.


iTunes


I then copied over the podcasts I listen to, and tested out the iPod Mini. It worked perfectly.

While I had one class in the evening, I spent a lot of time today just walking around, enjoying my repaired & improved iPod mini.




iPod Reloaded, a tdaxp series
1. A Shot in the Dark
2. Broken, Fixed, Upgraded
3. It works!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

iPod Reloaded, Part II: Broken, Fixed, Upgraded

Last time, I mentioned that I was sending in my iPod to service to iFixiPodsFast. I heard about iFiPF from a comment at Geek Technique, and their price for upgrading my iPod mini to an 8 GB flash-memory machine was about half what a new 8 GB flash iPod Nano costs. Additionally, I was cut a $20 discount in return for "a little word of mouth," so I thought blogging my experience with the company was fair. Well, yesterday USPS delivery confirmation reported the package arrived safely...



And today I got the following message:

I noticed when I opened it up that a chip fell out. I then figured out that your logic board wasn’t working correctly (wasn’t recognizing the replacement flash drive)… well needless to say I found the part where the chip had fallen off and soldered it back on and the iPod is working so far. I still have to test it out further to make sure that it will work correctly but regardless I just wanted to email you and let you know why this process was taking a while (normally your iPod would have shipped yesterday)


So my machine is more broken than I thought it was. But the work looks the work's been done. I appreciate iFixiPodsFast's quick service and communication. Hopefully I'll soon my jamming to my crazy tunes again.

I'll keep you updated.




iPod Reloaded, a tdaxp series
1. A Shot in the Dark
2. Broken, Fixed, Upgraded
3. It works!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

iPod Reloaded, Part I: A Shot in the Dark

Well, it finally happened. After 20 months of loyal service, I dropped my iPod mini one too many times. Various errors came up, and troubleshooting quickly revealed that its harddrive had failed.

I had got it cheap some time ago because Apple was transitioning from the (cheap, size-of-a-card-deck, hard-drive-driven) iPod MInis to the (more expensive, size-of-a-gum-pack, flash-memory-driven) iPod Nanos. Even after all this time, buying a new 4GB nano would be more expensive ($199) than what I paid for a mini ($149). Actually "upgrading" to an 8 GB nano ($249) would be as expensive as a 30 GB iPod.

Happily, I came across Geek Technique and its series on replacing the iPod Mini's harddrive with flash memory.




Major Surgery


From there i found iFix iPods Fast, and there $144 deal of a flash upgarde to 8GB, service, and warrenty. I wrote in confirming the price, and the owner solicited a $20 rebate in exchange for some press. So here it is, tdaxp iPod payola.

What happens next? I'm not sure. I paid for shipping, paid iFixIpodsFast, and sent off my former iPod mini. Will my iPod come back, flash-based, double-sized, and longer lasting than ever before?


A Happy Ending?


Will it catch on fire and explode? Stay tuned, and find out!




iPod Reloaded, a tdaxp series
1. A Shot in the Dark
2. Broken, Fixed, Upgraded
3. It works!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Gifts

In celebration of my interest in cartoon human director at Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Italy, and 19th century German philosophy, my friend Brendan gave me a Dashboard Mohammed.



Brendan, who blogs at I Hate Linux, also treated me to dinner at Old Chicago. To encourage any other South Dakota bloggers (I'm thinking of you, Anish David :-) ), here are the ten most recent posts over at I Hate Linux.



Pizza, Pasta, and Pop. A delicious meal!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Review of "PostSecret," edited by Frank Warren

Following my review of the PostSecret website, I was contacted as part of PostSecret's "blog-first marketing strategy." Regan Books, a division of Harper Collins, was kind enough to send me a quality of the hard-bound, 276-page PostSecret book. tdaxp-friend Dave generously offered to review collection

postsecret_cover
Cover of "PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives"


by Frank Warren ($16.47, amazon.com) is a book about an inspiration which grew into a project. The young Frank was off at camp, mailed his family a postcard, and got home before the postcard did, leading to a lifetime of interest in the personal spaces involved in physical forms of communication.

harvard_hype_md
Don't Believe the Hype


This book is about an art project/social experiment he assembled, in which he asked people to send him postcards with a secret on them..not necessarily anything world-shattering, just a secret they had not shared with others. The results range from tragic (people feeling sorry about what they never had a chance to say to those now dead) to the somewhat depressing (many, many postcards expressing loneliness and a feeling of abandonment) to the funny (one that cracked Dan up was a confession of physical attraction to Adolf Hitler- not his actions, just how he looked in a uniform) to the uplifting (toward the back of the book, a young woman writes her secrets on postcards, but, deciding this medium is impersonal enough to share comfortably, leaves them on her boyfriend's pillow as she goes off to work, and receives his proposal of marriage before lunch). Truly, a something-for-everyone brawl of human fears, hates, loves, and lusts, in no particular order. One senses that any attempt to categorize PostSecret would have lost something in translation, much like an effort to straighten up a Zen garden or a Pinter play.

daydream_places_md
Sometimes I daydream about extraordinary places I might have seen


The postcards frequently feature artwork. Some are professionally printed cards which take on new meaning in the light of the message, others are collages of images and text. A few are clearly original drawings or watercolors, giving the message unique personalization. Some of the artwork is clearly R-rated or more, but always in a context of making the message clear and driving home that these are real people trying to communicate.

i_cant_stop_md
I told her I'd stop, but I can't


This isn't a book for everyone- one of Dan's friends [who knew of the book beforehand and began reading by saying "This book is going to be big!" -- tdaxp] was actively repulsed by it, thinking it perhaps just too open about what other humans really think and do. I'm of the opinion that this book has value just for its rich visual texture, and the messages are a bonus. If you know someone who really and truly loves people, despite all their quirks, this would be a fine Christmas gift.


Visit the website, or buy the book. After all, the postcards in this review came from a web post by the author.

PS: National Public Radio has a free segment on the book. Interested in other book reviews? Check out Trumpy Productions, or read the tdaxp reviews of Blueprint for Action and Freakonomics.