Adventures in Apple Land

As some of you may know, I have not drunk the Apple-juice and do not believe that everything they do is wonderful. The only Apple device I have is the iPod. I like it, but with reservations. Apple is revered for their elegant software, but somehow that elegance does not extend to the iTunes software that is required to manage the music on both your computer and the iPod. It is a cumbersome non-intuitive piece of crap. But I usually managed to get it to do what I wanted to do.

The other thing they’re famous for is their elegance of design, and I will give them credit for the design of the iPod. It was a true quantum leap above any competitors (remember the Sony DiscMan?) when it was introduced. But one thing that always bothered me a bit was that the battery is not user-replaceable. So when the battery in mine finally died after eight years, I took it down to the Apple Store for service. The guy who met me when I walked in took a look at it, plugged a few numbers into his iPad, and asked me if I realized how old it is. The subtext was that it was ridiculous of me to think that Apple would provide service for this antique. He did offer me 10% off on a new $250 iPod Classic. Not only elegant design, but elegant planned obsolescence design.

So off to the internets, where I’m sure parts are available. And yes, batteries are available, along with video instructions on YouTube. So I ordered a battery and special dis-assembly tools and brushed up on the procedures by watching several videos. The task is not an easy one, and not for the faint of heart. Once you get the case apart (a major job in itself), the battery cables are tiny, and the connectors even tinier. I would like to see how these things are actually assembled. I can’t imagine that even with China’s low-cost slave prison labor system that these things can be manually assembled.


Well, you guessed it, I broke one of the tiniest clips on one of the tiniest connectors I’ve ever seen. What now? I could still get the cable into the connector, but how do I hold it there? Glue? Tape?

P1050689I came up with an “elegant” solution. See that little wad of white in the corner of the case? That’s chewing gum! I put it all together, and it worked! Well, not really. Before the battery change, the display was totally blank. Now it showed that the battery was very low, and that I should wait. I waited a few hours, and the display never changed. Oh well.

So I went back to the internets, and bought a used 80 gig iPod Classic on Craigslist for $60.

P1050691The only thing comment-worthy about it is that I bought it from a high school kid. He told me it was filled with music, but probably not to my taste. He was right. Do you know what kids listen to these days? I looked at the artist list, and didn’t recognize anyone. I listened to a few cuts and heard nothing but obscene rap and electronica. Nothing I would call music, but it did give the sub-woofer on the truck’s sound system a workout it had never had before.

I guess I really am turning into a grumpy old man.



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