It beggars belief but The BLOG is about to open if we get around to writing for it!

Es increíble pero El BLOG pronto sea abierto si no estaremos demasiados vagos (ó pobre, claro) para usar!

The Lazy Beggars

The iPod Shuffle...

The Lazy Beggars - For a new iPod

Whilst on the beach in Los Caños de Meca A lovely beach for the summer and a good place to meet old friends as a lot of travellers, vagabonds, hippies, whatever go there for the summer. The Lazy Beggars - Los Caños de Meca this summer I found an iPod shuffle that someone had clearly taken into the sea with them and decided to leave hanging on the bin as it didn't work.

This was a good find and although it wasn't in a very good state it did work after a bit of fiddling around. There were a number of problems, namely :

The TouchPad buttons didn't always work

The volume-down button didn't work at all and it sometimes took a very long time pressing Play before the Shuffle would actually start playing and not reset. Ho-hum.
This was actually because the contact points for the buttons were oxidising, hence the problem became worse as time went on. After opening it up and cleaning them properly they started working almost as normal.

It occasionally crashed

Annoying if it happened in the middle of a long audio-book file as you lose your place - I always used MP3Splitter to divide up the books into 20 minute sections.

A much bigger pain in the arse was when this happened in the middle of copying files via USB as it would frequently leave it in need of firmware and also of partitioning and formatting (after which it could be re-initialised by iTunes or the update software.

When this happens the lights on front flash alternately green-orange flashing up/down and none of the basic stuff will fix it, neither will a computer recognise it as a usable drive - just that there is an unformatted USB device connected (e.g. it shows up as a drive letter but no more).

Happily there is a tool (HP USB drive key boot utility) which allows you to fix this. Download the tool and use it (it's 45Mb!), after which you can restore the iPod Shuffle using iTunes7 or Apple's restore/update software.

Unfortunately, all of the above software (the HP tool included) requires Windows2000 or XP so if you only have Windows98 or whatever you'll have to ask a friend or pay for an hour in an Internet Cafe with better computers. Check first that your session is sufficiently unresricted to allow you to install and run the programs!
You can, happily, very easily use an iPod with Windows98 - see below for details...

I keep moving between lots of different places...

Hence I can't use iTunes (without losing all the music each time I re-install it!) and sometimes am stuck with a computer with Windows98. As it goes the way of fixing this actually leaves the iPod much more usable and friendly when you travel around a lot and don't have your own laptop.

First, download the iPod 98 Driver, install it, then insert your iPod into the USB port. Windows 98 will ask for a location for the driver - select the directory where you installed it (default is "Program Files/iPod" and Windows98 can now see it as a drive.

Copy whatever mp3 files you like onto it, in any directory structure you like as if it was any other USB mass storage device and get the RebuildDB package. I don't bother with the python stuff - I just leave the 8Kb .exe on the iPod and run it every time I change the music/books/whatever. Excellent!

Postscript - The iPod eventually broke completely (see photo above) so if all of this info helps you with yours, feel free to collaborate towards another one I hope you got your iPod working - now you can help us get another one!! The Lazy Beggars - New iPod please :)