I bought an iPod for Christmas, and it’s been making me crazy ever since. I have a PC, and the Mac side of my family (everybody except me) has been prancing around for years now bragging about their cute iPods and darling iMacs. Even so, I wouldn’t have bought an iPod except for the fact that a PC-packing friend at work also got a iPod, and he verified that the experience is very good on the PC, and gave the thumbs up, along with everybody else in the universe, to the iPod’s lovely design. So I broke down and bought one.
Yes, it’s cute, but it didn’t work with my PC out of the box (no FireWire on my PC) so I had to go to the austere Apple Store temple to get the USB 2.0 adaptor. But if you use the USB connection, it doesn’t recharge your iPod while it’s in the docking port. The battery runs down like mad while you’re transferring songs, and then I have to switch the little fiddly dock cable to the charger to juice it back up again. Then I download the iTunes software, and it doesn’t know how to talk to my Samsung CD player. All my other CD players can manage it (WinAmp, RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, etc.). If I try to play a CD with iTunes, it plays each song for exactly zero seconds and is done with the CD in about five seconds.
Worse than that, by the time I downloaded the latest Windows 2000 service pack (to make iTunes happy) and installed the latest QuickTime, iTunes, and iPod transfer software, I found myself with a mysterious system slowdown bug that makes my computer crawl like a dying donkey. Now I’m stuck in an upgrade death spiral whereby I have to keep upgrading one thing after another in order to reach equilibrium again. Why is it a death spiral? Because nothing is working right now (well, to be specific, everything is working at a miserable crawl), so I can’t stop until I fix the whole computer. Now I’m in the process of upgrading my whole OS to Windows XP. Will it help? I’m not sure yet, but I’ll let you know.
Among the many clever things they did with the iPod, there was this: you can engrave whatever you want on the back of it for free. Pretty neat! But they say in the fine print: all sales of engraved units are final. I put my last name on mine. I wish that I had instead emblazoned it with the words: I AM AN UNRETURNABLE DONKEY.