Solution Spheres

Using Apple technologies (and possibly others) to create a seamless digital lifestyle for home and business.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I fixed my iPod!

No real secret to it. The iPod had bad blocks on it. I knew it did... HD-based iPods are prone to bad blocks because they get tossed around while playing. That head hits the platter and boom-- you got some bad blocks (a bad block is a portion of the drive that can no longer have data written to it).

Anyway, the iPod wasn't really dead. But powering it up got you a Settings menu, nothing more. It had no playlists, but would simply play all the songs in random order. Kinda neat, but not useful.

So I broke out an old TechTool Pro CD, and booted up my ancient G3 iBook with it. I plugged in the iPod, and scanned. Like I said, I knew the surface inside the drive (the little platters) had damage because I did the self-diagnostic scan and it failed. TTP told me I had 8 bad blocks, and recommended I zero out the data. Guess what? TTP had an erase disk function, which allowed me to do just that!

For some reason Apple's own disk utility wasn't doing this trick for me...

Anyway, while I won't rely on the thing, and I'm a little sad I bowed out one side getting it open a while back in an attempt to re-seat the drive, I'm happy it's working. That little 20 GB 4th gen form factor was so nice.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Let's all just change to Zulu time

I happened to drive the kids to see the grandparents today and caught up on some podcasts. Cnet's Buzz Out Loud had a comment from a listener regarding this time change we're all panicking about. In reference to aviation, he said planes won't fall from the skies because airlines, pilots, the entire system uses ONE time system. Zulu time. It's the Greenwich time standard, kinda like time zero... So what if it'll be wacky for a while? I don't mind going to bed at 7 am!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

How to lock up your Intel Mac completely

I have found a solid, reliable way to crash my Macbook Pro. By "crash" I mean totally, 100% unrecoverable lockup. The mouse moves, but all other signs of life are gone...

1. Launch Word.
2. Connect external monitor.
3. Do stuff for a while.
4. Disconnect external monitor.
5. Use Cmd-Tab to switch to another app.... BAM! You done been frozed up.

This had been vexing me, until I finally caught GeekTool putting the message from the Console (a crash reporter) onto the desktop... apparently Word must be informed of any monitor activity. Once an external is disconnected, it starts to get cranky.

Bug or feature? Did MS put the bug in to intentionally crash my Mac? Let the conspiracy theories begin!

Anwyay, try it, lots of fun. Thank goodness for web-based work (no appreciable loss of data-- just a real PITA).