Yet another one bites the dust

Back in mid-March, the third iPod that I owned began to fail. It was already the replacement for the replacement of the original one, which I purchased in October 2004. The device is the 20GB version of the fourth generation ‘Click Wheel’ iPod. I have rarely done anything wiser than buying the three year extended warranty. Now, the replacement that I got for the third iPod has itself failed: another toasted hard drive, ticking away and unable to be read or written to properly. Not even the program that is meant to restore it to factory settings will work. I suppose anything with moving parts is bound to fail sooner rather than later, but this is getting absurd. The fact that when they replace an iPod, they send you a refurbished one may explain why the failure rate on replacements is so high. Ironically, if the reliability of this iPod had been higher, I would probably be strongly considering buying a new one by now; since it has been so problematic, I am holding off and investigating other options.

People have frequently pointed out that my gadgets tend to fail surprisingly often. In response, I can offer some justifications:

  1. I have more gadgets than most people.
  2. In some cases, I have more finicky gadgets than other people.
  3. The gadgets I have, I use very often.
  4. The environments in which I live are wet.
  5. I am generally aware of exactly how the gadgets I use should work, and it catches my attention immediately when they do not do so.
  6. When I find a fault, I will almost always have it corrected – especially if the gear is under warranty.

While that does explain the frequency of dispatches, somewhat, it remains infuriating to live amidst a stream of little plastic boxes moving towards me and then away again by courier. As long as I have the real essentials: a computer, internet access, and a camera, I cannot really complain.

PS. My parents’ house is surrounded by weird wireless networks. At various times, we though they were coming from our own router, so we named and configured them all. Now there are always at least a couple of networks that look like they are ours, but where we cannot access the configuration page due to a password change. Why would people re-take the networks we accidentally configured, but then keep our esoteric names for them?

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

6 thoughts on “Yet another one bites the dust”

  1. It’s either that or the beep codes of a troubled motherboard.

    I note that with the new version of iTunes (7.0), you can update and restore iPods from within its interface. Most of the changes I have seen so far are cosmetic, though the results are not had.

  2. iTunes 7 also works better with the iPod Shuffle. Before, I had to clear old songs off it, unplug it, then plug it back in to add new songs. Now, it seems to work properly.

  3. Is there any sound more heartbreaking to a computer nerd than the ticking of a dead hard drive?

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