Thursday, April 29, 2004

The one where I try to update iPod software

The problem with putting the new iTunes 4.5 on the house computers is that it then decides you need to update the software in your iPod. So I did. Of the three iPods in the house, Lorraine's 20 Gig updated just fine (once I stopped trying to do it on her iMac and plugged the iPod into a Windows box), Maddy's elderly 5 gig updated fine but lost all its files on the way, and my 40 gig...


Well, it was interesting. I learned lots of things. For example, after starting the install, the computer decided, midway, it "couldn't mount iPod". Then I got a little Apple symbol on the iPod screen, and nothing else. Rebooting the iPod didn't do anything except bring the little Apple back. A certain amount of work and research online (well, eventually googling "iPod hack troubleshooting" actually found the information), and I discovered that by pressing the forward and back buttons at the same time I could put the iPod into "disk mode" and attach it to the computer, and while iTunes immediately told me it wasn't a proper iPod and I should "restore" and delete everything, Xplay and Ephpod had no trouble seeing it, and showing me that everything on it was still there. So I copied the things Nick Powell put on my iPod while I was in the UK for "Wolves in the Walls" onto the desktop with Xplay, ran a few of the Ephpod utilities, deleted a song it said was hopelessly corrupted, and tried reinstalling the iPod updated software again. This time it worked, successfully, once I manuevered my way past the Scylla and Charybdis of the computer screen telling me not to unplug my iPod, and the iPod telling me it needs to be unplugged (the iPod was right). So I'd now updated the software...

Except I still only had a little apple on the iPod screen, and nothing else.

I was now out of clever things to do, so I didn't do anything, and a few minutes after that the iPod battery ran down, and when I plugged it into the wall to recharge (which seemed wiser than plugging it into a computer to recharge), it started up just fine. With all files and settings intact, and (I discovered this morning when it went off) the alarm function, which had stopped working, now working again.

Which I'm posting for those of you who have yet to update the software on your iPods. I think about a third of you may be in for an interesting time.


Mark Askwith sent me a link letting me know that the secret service are keeping us protected from 15 year olds with anti-war art projects, which is a weight off my mind.

The drawing that drew the most notice showed a man in what appeared to be Middle Eastern-style clothing, holding a rifle. He was also holding a stick with an oversize head of the president on it.

The student said the head was enlarged because it was intended to be an effigy, Cravens said. The caption called for an end to the war in Iraq.
The school did their duty and reported the boy to the police, who called in the secret service.

I was glad to see that, according to the article, following his encounter with the secret service, the boy was "disciplined". People have to learn not to draw the wrong things.

While Dianna Graf let me know that in the future, the word "darling" is going to be forbidden in the London Theatre world, due to potential sexual harassment issues. I don't know where such endearments as "love", "lovey" or "sweetie" stand in all this.

... many actors stress that rather than being unnecessarily affected, the use of the words is mainly because in their transient working world, it is virtually impossible to remember everyone's name.

I expect that the use of the word "mate" is probably okay. Unless it's a suggested course of action, of course.


The novel goes well. I discovered yesterday while writing, when one character did the logical thing and called the police, that I was going to have to learn a lot more about the UK police force than I thought, probably the Fraud Squad. It wasn't in any of the outlines or plans. Am now torn between stopping and researching, and chuntering on -- I think I'll chunter on just making things up, and then do my research on the way to the next draft, and fix things then. (I wonder if the Metropolitan Police have someone whose job it is to talk to novelists...)

I'm fascinated by the creative process of others. I know you write your first draft longhand - and congrats for hitting the 100 page mark of Anansi Boys this week! Do you count the pages you've written longhand or do you know about how many pages that will equate to your final book?

Good luck writing - I'm looking forward to the finished product!

I average about 250 words a page, in longhand in the book I'm writing in (I know that when I've done ten pages I've done something over 2000 words), so it's probably equal to about 80 pages of a novel (which come in about 300 words a page). (I'm currently on page 130 in longhand.)

Having said that, I also know stuff will get added and changed and expanded and so on when I start typing. I mean, I'll know what Daisy does for a living on page one, rather than realising it mid-sentence on page 115, which will make my life so much easier.