Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Crowing For Now

We just bought our third iPod.

We got our first one about 3-4 years ago. It was one of the big, non-color, non-video ones built on a hard drive. It worked great and did what it was supposed to do (i.e., replace the neverending stream of craptacular portable cassette players that I used when cutting the grass).

It worked for 2 years and then died, probably of a hard drive failure, probably because my wife used it when jogging. "That's right kids, in my day digifrombulators (we called them MP3 players) were as big as the palm of your hand and worked using rapidly spinning magneticized metal disks. And when they failed we cussed and threw them at things. Very heavy, and good for killing squirrels."

When it died, we were left iPod-less for a few months. We really couldn't afford to replace it. Then Apple came out with the Shuffle, and then they apparently got some back and put them up for sale as refurbished units. We rejoiced and bought the cheapest iPod that was available. Under $100 for 1 GB of flash memory goodness.

Not being an audiophile, I can compress the songs to get several days of music on there. And I can fit two decades of talk.

But it didn't have a screen. This didn't matter to me, since during my use of it both of my hands are usually on a lawnmower or a rake and my eyes are watching out for toys or vermin. So for a solid year, all of my Mars Hill listening, all of my 5000 Years of Chinese History listening, podcasts of Hugh Hewitt, etc., have flown from a little plastic stick into my head without hiccup or wrinkle.

But my wife wanted a screen. Her iPod use is different from mine. She likes to put gazillions of songs on the thing and then fidget with it while walking, jogging, driving, or especially while riding in the car while I drive. Very American spirit-ish, not content to just take what is thrown her way. Admirable, of course, but not consistent with the use of a screen-less iPod.

So I sold a car and bought her a Nano.

Just kidding, although we did use a small amount of the money from the sale of a car to buy the cheapest iPod with a screen. She loves it, and now she'll keep Country music off of mine, and I'll keep History of Ancient Egypt, Rome, Byzantium, whatever off of hers.

Now, this was actually a prelude, to establish us fully in the Apple camp. When we first bought an iPod (and, now that you mention it, a Mac), folks asked us why we'd pay so much for one, when decidedly cheaper models were available.

Here's why: I work on Windows computers all day.

Check this out for a better description: these guys tried to install the software that came with the new Microsoft Zune. Please read the whole thing.

For posterity (in case the link gets gone), and because it's at the end, here's the money quote. They're trying to uninstall the Zune software because something wasn't working right (raise your hands; yeah, I've been there too):
Icing on the cake: restart after uninstall. No, sorry, the icing on the cake is the crash our computer took after we hit this, causing our RAID 5 array to crap out and spend a few hours rebuilding.
For the record, I installed iTunes on a computer yesterday and it took 10 minutes, including download time.

I forgot about this from last year. It's what Microsoft would do with the iPod box. It's a video, very funny.

This reminded me that I still have my original iPod box on a bookshelf in my office. I'm not quite sure why, but it looks awesome.


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