Tuesday, August 01, 2006

iPod Rehabilitation Unit

So, in case you haven't noticed by the two posts in one week, I'm off work on "vacation" this week. Since we have no big plans other than Eleanor's birthday, I've been spending my time watching illegally downloaded video content, diddling with electronic music (when Eleanor's not sleeping or needing attention, which amounts to about ten contiguous minutes in any given day), going to the DMV, going to the mechanic, and trying to remember what I used to do with several days without work. Why take vacation time you ask? Because the last time I looked up from the hospital grindstone I realized I hadn't had more than a few days off since this time last year when we were, you guessed it, birthing Eleanor.

One activity I have had a love/hate relationship is monkeying with my old iPod to get it to work. It has had a tough life. It took a bad fall and has never been the same since. I've performed major and minor surgeries, several software restores (so many in fact I had lost count, last time I remember, I had renamed it "iPod Lazarus IV" for its fourth resurrection) but had given up on the last and relegated it to a junk drawer. In doing all this I've gained far too much knowledge about these little white ubiquitous devices and their various maladies (they are a sickly bunch). It's the hard drives.

Recently, some friends from church have been having trouble with their 3rd Generation iPod (pictured on the far left). They had bought a new battery (often the first thing to go out) and needed it installed, but had found the task a bit daunting. I volunteered with all my time off to do it and further diagnose and cure any other problems that might arise. Yesterday afternoon I was kicking myself, about two hours into it. However, their iPod is now in perfectly functioning order and quietly waiting to be loaded with more than the single Led Zeppelin track (Communication Breakdown) I had loaded to test it.

Tonight, I decided to plug my old 4th Gen iPod and see if it would spin up. Melody noticed it was "clicking" from across the room, an old symptom I recalled from the first time my battery had died. Bored with Law and Order SVU (aka Law and Order: plotline-full-of-sexual-misconduct-so-awful-it-horrifies-hardened-Thai-brothel-owners), I decided to put my friend's old battery in and see what happened. So far, tonight my old iPod is functioning well and doing its job with no major screw ups! What fun.

Melody's new 5th Generation iPod Video (pictured on the far right), a birthday gift from my family, is still working fine. However, Melody has informed me that it's been calling the other two older iPods "fat." Little does it know that in a few short months it will be succumbing to the same fatigue that comes from low batt. But for today, all three iPods in this household are working fine.

Melody reminds me that this time off affords me more time to spend with my loving daughter. Though I thoroughly believe she has an ulterior motive for this reminder, it's true all the same. We've been having more bathtime than usual...


jennie said...

I think Melody meant the other two iPods are PHAT.
(Hey, at least I'm not lurking...)

Eleanor is so cute I can hardly stand it.

Joshua Daniel Franklin said...

Hate to break it, but the clicking is a very bad sign if it's the hard drive.

Joshua Daniel Franklin said...

Oh, and enjoy your vacation. We just went camping--a good use of our 75-degree heat wave.

Viator said...

Uh, hi.
(Ahem. Tap tap.) Is, um, is this thing on?
It's nice to be here with you this morning. I'm almost a bit embarrassed to be the first poster out of the gate, but what can I say--Matt of all people should be able to appreciate that one of the benefits of vacation time is you can fritter it away any old way you care to. He does it by posting insightful or at the least entertaining and almost invariably cute (thank you, Li'l E!) content. I do it by pestering my friends' blogs, between taking the dog out and brushing up (i.e. pretty nearly starting over) my Mandarin translating abilities.
And yesterday by going to the gym, trusty iPod Mini in tow. What follows is a little story that I realize I should save for my own blog real estate. So visit me there. Suffice to say that my Mini's "menu" button is givin' me fits (mini ones, anyway), and I was only prevented from performing surgery yesterday by a sudden dawning awareness of my own electrical incompetence, and the fact that very little on the Mini is backed up to our hard drive. So keep an eye out for a little FedEx package in the mail, Matt.

M. Lumpkin said...

Send it on, though I have to say, I have no idea how to crack open a mini. They're different... I'd be happy to give it a go. [edit - Curiosity got the better of me: Here's how you crack it, if you get ambitious


The good news is that replacement click wheels are among the cheapest components to replace. Check ebay. Also, you can try out your dexterity by entering "diagnostic mode" to let the iPod detail to you what exactly is wrong with it. It's all on Apple's support page.

Josh, I'm well aware of the damage to my iPod's hard drive done in the fall. I've formatted it and restored it numerous times in disc utility and other places. It has some bad sectors. However, the "whirrr-click, whirrr-click" of the HD trying to spin up but not being able to due to insufficient power is different from it spinning up, playing 30sec. into a song then freezing (which it had been doing, most recently in May, when I chucked it into a drawer after about 5 hours of troubleshooting). My new theory is that the iTrip FM transmitter puts undue strain on the battery depleting them earlier than normal use.

I know it's on borrowed time, but as long as it lasts I'm enjoying my podcasts while cleaning the appartment during eleanor's naptime nonetheless.

Viator said...

Happy Birthday to Eleanor!
Zhu ni shengri quai le!
Feliz cumplianos a tu!

A birthday in any tongue is a good time. Thanks for our invite (including the--harrumph, harrumph--additional card). We sorely wish we could be there, and expect to be sorely missed.

And will Mommy and Daddy be buying you your very own Nano, Eleanor?

Much Love,
Uncle Ben, Aunt Brandy,
And "special" cousin Sophie

the fanks. said...

Matt, do you think that our car radio could come to rehab for a while? I suppose it could be too late for that, but I believe in you!