iPod Number 6 Progress

I spend a lot of time with an Apple support today. He wanted me to go through all the steps with the iPod Updater and iTunes that I’d already been through last night. All the time I kept whining about how many times I’ve gotten dud iPods in the past, and what an inconvenience it was. Finally, after exhausting all the other options, he said “I’m going to transfer you to another iPod specialist”. Oh, great, I thought, another hour going through all the same stuff. Instead I was on hold for 20 minutes or more, and the new guy finally came on he asked me for the dispatch numbers for all my previous iPod repairs. (Once again Apple proves itself incapable of looking up the information in their own damn database – idiots.) Anyway, he tells me that they’re going to give me a new Photo iPod! Score one for the power of positive whining. So I said “well, as long as you’re going to give me a new one, can I pay the difference in price and get a 60 gig one?” And he said “Sure”. And so evidently I’m goin got get a brand new top of the line 60 gig iPod.

Woo hoo!

Ok, that was iPod number 5, bring on number 6

So my replacement iPod arrived yesterday while I was at work. First thing when I get home, I plug it in and start updating it. But as it’s loading 4,000 songs, after two or three hours I noticed that I accidentally selected the Punk playlist instead of the Classical one to auto update on it, and I wanted Classical this time. So I attempt to change it, first by changing the iPod settings in iTunes, then by selecting “Update iPod”, and finally by ejecting it. Oh, I should mention that by this point, the iPod is scorching hot to the touch. By this time, though, iTunes is not responding, so I attempt a “Force Quit”. It won’t quit. I try a few more times. Still no luck. I try ejecting the iPod icon on the Finder, and now the Finder isn’t responding and won’t do a “Force Restart”. Then I notice that the clock on the menu bar hasn’t updated since I started loading the iPod. Time for drastic measures, I think, and restart the computer.

When it restarts, iTunes comes up but doesn’t see the iPod, and the iPod is display an icon of a folder with an exclamation mark. I try using iPod Updater to “Restore” the software. Then iTunes says that my iPod software has to be updated to 1.3 and launches the iPod updater again (I have several different versions of the iPod Updater on my system, and I guess I didn’t use the most recent one when I did the “Restore”). It tells me that the update is complete and to unplug and replug the iPod to continue, and when I do it tells me that it needs to update to 1.3, and then that the update is complete, and to unplug and replug the iPod to continue. Somewhere along the way iTunes then tells me that there is a 1.4 update available, and I go to the Apple web site to download the latest updater (and I delete all the other updaters), which tells me that it’s installing 1.5. I do so, and that leads to another cycle of iTunes and Finder hangs. I try using the “Restore” option in the iPod Updater again, with no different results, but eventually it tells me that it’s loading songs, and then after loading one song and starting on the other, iTunes and the Finder hang again.

I go through a bunch of different combinations of software restores, reboots and plugging it in with or without iTunes or the iPod Updater already started. Eventually I’m at the situation I’m at now, where the computer won’t see the iPod at all, and the iPod is showing a new icon, that of a disk with an exclamation point.

You know, this is the 4th time that Apple has send me a faulty iPod if you count the time they sent me back iPod #3 saying there was nothing wrong with it and I sent it back because they hadn’t read my letter on how to reproduce the problem. I don’t know if they’re making any money off of this purchase, but I suspect that it’s a major profit center for DHL.

I’m da man, baby

Our “feature players” are computers with no keyboard, no screen, just a tiny little 4 line dot matrix display with a few touch buttons. One of our sales and demo sites, in China, had a little problem – due to a bug in the version of software they’re still running they desparately need to rename a file before tomorrow morning. And in order to connect a keyboard and screen, or even a network cable so they could ssh in, they’d have to remove it from a rack and move it out of the projection booth. Don’t ask me why.

There were around 5 people at work trying to solve this problem, including my supervisor, the guy who signs the POs to pay us contractors, and two other developers. They called me into the meeting to discuss it at 4:00pm. At 4:15 I’d finished explaining how I’d solve it. At 4:30 I had a first burn of a CD that would solve the problem. At 5:00pm I’d fixed a couple of strange little problems with the first two cuts at it, and had an ISO that they could email to the site in China, have them burn it, and put it in the DVD drive and fix their problem.

(Technical details follow, you might want to skip this part)
Continue reading “I’m da man, baby”

Freecycle continues to piss me off

I got through the Word document hurdle I blogged about earlier by sending the moderators a complaint, which was responded to with a “All you had to do was ask, no reason to get so huffy” response. I guess learning is not something they do well, and suggesting they do something in a way that benefits everybody is not the nice thing to do. All has been well and good, I’ve gotten rid of three things and gotten one thing through the service. Today I thought I’d put out a “WANTED” looking for a filing cabinet. Now, it’s normal on Freecycle to put your location when you offer something, because then if you want that something you can decide whether or not it’s worth your while going to that part of the city to pick it up or not. But it doesn’t make sense to me to put the location in a “WANTED” message, because surely it’s up to you, as the wanter, to decide whether whoever has it is too far away from you or not. But the damn moderator rewrote my subject line to include my location. So now I just know that people on the other side of town are going to say “I won’t bother offering him this file cabinet, because it’s not worth travelling cross town to pick it up”.

Update: The response from the group moderator is “I just enforce the rules, I don’t make them up”, however I looked at both the Word document with the local rules and the Freecycle’s main FAQ and neither of them has it as a rule that WANTED items should have a location. One ettiquette pointer suggests a location on all posts, but it’s not a rule. One thing that is stated as a rule, however, is that moderators should not moderate every single post for ettiquette violations.