Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I didn't take my laptop to work with me today, just the files I needed on a usb drive.

I intended to take back the faulty 128MB drive while I was there, but when I plugged it into my machine at work, it worked, I don't know what the go is there, because it crashed the USB driver on my laptop twice.

When I plugged my ipod into my work machine, so as to not run the battery down while listening to it all day, itunes popped up, and told me that there was an update available for my ipod.

I knew this, since it did this ages ago, and I downloaded the update, but never updated it, because I was worried that I'd have to reload all my music.

I downloaded the update again (all 55MB!), and forgot all about it.

At the end of the day, as I was about to leave work, I noticed the updater on the desktop. I googled around, and I found that you can update the ipod without having to reload all the music.

That's the "update" function, rather than the "restore" function, which wipes the music/whole device.

I decided to do it, because I'm sick of the ipod not turning on, and requiring a reset constantly.

I ran through the update, waited, and then it came up and told me to connect the wall power supply.

Uhh.. that's at home, 100km away. I tried resetting the ipod, and plugging and unplugging it, to see if it would just update anyway.

I googled around, for a way to update to ipod, without the charger.

I found this page, which mentions that the wall charger is required, because the firmware is updating.

That's fair enough, but the thing's been charging all day, I doubt the battery is going to go flat while it spends 30 seconds flashing the firmware.

That page mentioned that the USB connector has the power pins longer than the data pins, so it's possible to half plug in the plug, and have only the power pins connected.

I tried to trick the ipod by doing this, several times, but couldn't get it to work.

I wondered if perhaps the USB sockets on my machine had taken the pin length into consideration, and that the power pins in the socket were shorter than the data pins or something.

(Well, it's not too much of a stretch, since the USB ports on my Dell machine at work are backwards to start with).

I got a small piece of paper and I put it in the plug, covering the 2 center, data pins, and inserted it.

No luck, the ipod must be able to tell that it's connected via USB, and not the firewire cable, like when I built the portable charger with the 5v regulator etc, which the ipod refused to charge off.

Oh well, I figured I'd just have to fix it when I got home. So I rode all the way home, over an hour, with no music.

Would it really have been that hard, to have a dialog box/question come up, before I updated the device, telling me that I needed my wall charger to complete the update?

Then I could have cancelled the update, copied the updater onto my USB drive, and done the update at home, where my wall charger was. Thanks Apple, brilliant design.

Anyway, I got home, and I plugged the ipod into the wall charger.

The ipod rebooted a couple of times, and then a status bar went across the screen, the ipod reset again.

I looked through the menus, and found some new options it didn't have before, like "podcasts", and "audiobooks" in the music listing, and also a "shuffle music" on the main menu.

I connected it to my laptop, and it just connected, it didn't need to reset to connect. When I unmounted and ejected it, it just went back to the menu, and didn't need a reset. Hooray, that always pissed me off before.

I guess this means now, that I can connect the ipod to my machine, then unmount and eject it, but leave it connected, and then I can listen to it, without running the battery out.

I suppose the update was worth it, but having to ride 100km home, with no music, was quite boring, again, a warning that I needed my wall charger to complete the update would have been appreciated.

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