mnot’s blog

Design depends largely on constraints.” — Charles Eames

Monday, 25 August 2003


The 'i' stands for 'idiot'

I got Anitra an iPod (an intensely desirable object) last week, because the new car (new to us, at least) doesn’t have a CD player, and she’s got a long commute. Along with an iTrip, it seemed just the ticket.

First problem: Amazon advertises the iTrip “for new iPods,” but still ships the old version. I’m out two-day shipping, and have to wait until it comes into stock.

Second problem: Apple has, in their infinite wisdom, released a dock for the iPod, so you can charge and sync it. This dock has one Firewire cable for both purposes; after all, that’s one of the benefits of Firewire. What’s the problem?

Try an experiment. Take a “new” iPod and charge it fully on the dock. After it’s charged, put the computer to sleep; the iPod will sleep as well. Just so everything’s fair, you go to sleep as well.

When you wake up, the iPod will be completely discharged; no battery.

HOW STUPID IS THIS? Did it not cross their minds that someone might want to leave it on the dock? I was so convinced that it was a faulty unit, I took the first one back to the Apple store. All of the Geniuses (Genii?) agreed that It Must Be Broken. The second one has the same problem, and I’ve since found Web evidence that this isn’t an isolated phenomenon.

As it is, I’ve got to buy a powered Firewire hub - which by most accounts will set me back at least $50. This I would expect from Microsoft and friends, but not Apple.

UPDATE: It looks like Amazon has fixed their problem; they’ve stopped advertising the new iTrip as available. Somehow, I doubt it’ll be so easy for the iPod (unless something can be done in software).