G5 + Firewire + iPod = Serious Suckage

Damn. I was all happy this morning because AppleCentre Broadway was able to verify that my two-month-old iPod’s hard disk had indeed died, and they gave me a shiny brand new replacement. (Brand new! I was expecting a refurb.) So I just plugged it in to set it up and iTunes started accessing the Music Store. A splash screen informed me that, as a new iPod owner, I got 13 free songs! (That offer definitely wasn’t there two months ago.) The only catch? You have to have an account… and there’s no Australian music store. I’ve got no cards with a US address. My British cards now have Aussie addresses. I got nothin’. So I got a tantalizing offer of 13 free songs, only to have it jerked out from under me. That sucks!

Update: I must’ve been seriously tempting the gods there, claiming that my inability to download some free shit constituted serious suckage. Because guess what? The last two hours have seriously sucked.The new iPod started syncing but then froze after a few songs… just like the old one did. I cursed my bad luck at getting two bum iPods in a row. The Snook suggested I try it with the iBook just to see what happened, and lo and behold, it synced just fine! What’s more, hooking it up to the iMac using USB also worked perfectly! Which meant, of course, that the problem wasn’t in my measly $400 iPod, but in my new $3000 computer. Shite. Even weirder, DeskCam is also Firewire and it’s still working perfectly. So I tried booting from the “Techtool Deluxe” troubleshooting CD that came with my AppleCare. The computer wouldn’t boot from it. It just spun and spun. We did a hard reboot. The computer came up and then the video flashed all jaggedy and crap. I freaked out. I jumped on the iBook and started surfing the Apple Support site. I noticed that they have this new thing where you chat live with a technician. I fired it up and “Charlie” helped us reset the “NVRAM,” which fixed the whole video issue. (Apparently it was a result of all the hard reboots.) Unfortunately Charlie bailed on the chat before he could work out what was wrong with my Firewire. So I did some more digging. And guess what? I’m not the only one with this problem. It appears to be caused by the 10.3.7 update. Makes sense, and it jibes with the time that my iPod problem suddenly appeared. I’ve repaired permissions and deleted some of the preferences suggested by that discussion, but syncing via Firewire on the G5 still hangs. (I was able to get it to do one song at a time manually, but anything more dies after a couple.) So for now, I’m using USB and it’s flying along. I guess I’ll just wait, covet my brand new iPod, and see if this gets remedied in the next update, huh?

Oh, and now I’m wondering if I should tip off the AppleCentre guys that my old iPod, which they thought was dead (since their computer couldn’t recognize it), might actually be perfectly functional, and it’s just that Firewire + G5 + 10.3.7 = Sucks Ass.


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  1. Eh, the karma in me says Yes. Even though I’m totally into free stuff – oh, don’t get me wrong, I lurrrrrves the free stuff. But hey, maybe if you go in and say, “Look, dudes, it ain’t the iPod, it’s the computer I spent 3K on!”, maybe YOUR computer will be the one that makes me give on their butts and fix the problem. That’s my theory – ask me or Columbo.

  2. I’ve had weird synching problems with my new 4g iPod and pc that never happened with my 2g one. Sometimes I think maybe they make computers far too clever and thats what make them go barmy.

  3. Is it possible that I can buy them for you and send them your way? Or I’ll set up FTP access on my server?

  4. Hopefully this will lighten your mood a bit: Apple Store of the Future, via Freakgirl.

  5. Brigita, Wow that Apple Store of the Future was so funny! Thanks for the mood-lightener!

  6. That’s okay, Marci. I think I’m just going to ask my Mom if I can borrow her CC number for a day so I can set up an account, and then after I get the songs I’ll delete it. I’ll let you know if that doesn’t work, though!

  7. Well, but it’s not really the computer, Lindsey. It was the latest OS bug patch. I wasn’t thinking of returning the new one to get my old one back so much as tipping them off that they shouldn’t, like, throw the old one in the dumpster or anything because it may still be usable. But the Snook figures they probably just send them off to Apple anyway to be refurbed, and somebody there will figure it out.

  8. Funny thing about Mac users – they name their computers…. Anyone know a PC user with an anthropomorphic machine ?

  9. Well, the Snook names his Linux boxes because, well, you kinda have to. And there’s a longstanding geek tradition of giving funny names to your servers. (Hence our media box, “Monkey.”) This is my third Mac in five years, and all three have been called Boudicca. Boudicca 1 was a blueberry iMac; Boudicca II is my iBook; and Boudicca III is the G5. I can’t remember why I even picked that name. I think there must’ve been some British history special on TV at the time…

  10. Heh. I, too, name my computers. At Non-Profit my G4 was named Joxer, my iBook is Gabrielle, my iPod is Xena, and my new G5 at work is named Howard (the second hard drive is named Robin, natch).

    When I worked at Fort Wayne Newspapers, all of the News-Sentinel’s computers were named after Simpsons characters. I don’t remember what or if the Journal Gazette had names for their machines.

    Aaaand… All of Livejournal’s servers seem to be named after cuts of beef. My journal is located on the RoastBeef cluster. 🙂

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