Saturday, December 03, 2005


Somebody posted the following to an earlier blog of mine:

Cromwell was the best, he brought order out of the chaos of royalist britain, and smashed the tyranncical dictatiors preparing to0 kill , and despo0ikll britainm, Queen elizabeth and charl;es 1 caused each a third of ireland to0 lose their lives, anas did victopria and the 1740s and 1300s kings and 1810s killed some

I don't know whether to leave it there or not. Clearly whoever posted it was either drunk or not reading what they wrote.

I think I would also dispute what Ms Anne Onymous wrote about Cromwell too as I'm sure he was not particularly kind to the Irish either.

Friday, December 02, 2005

101 things to do with an iPod - part 1

I'm in the middle of a heavy debugging session, and just having a bit of "stay sane" time. A couple of days ago I managed to upgrade my Mac laptop to OS X 10.4 even though its DVD drive is broken. How did I do it I hear you say?

Macintoshes have the ability to boot from an external Firewire drive. This is just one of the many ways in which they are superior to PCs. Instead of a BIOS they have "Open Firmware" which is a much more flexible system that is extensible (written in Forth btw). This means that, if I can make my iPod a bootable disc, I can boot off it.

What I did was erase the iPod using the Mac's disc utility and then copy the image of the OS X 10.4 DVD onto it also using disk utility. This only works because I have a second Mac with a working DVD drive. At this point you say "what happened to all of your songs". Well I could have made a back up of the iPod (the sensible option as it turned out), but I had all my tunes in iTunes anyway.

Armed with an iPod that was a replica of the install DVD, I was now able to do the upgrade. Easy peasy.

The hard part was restoring my iPod. As it no longer had the iPod software on it, it couldn't do much except be an OS X install DVD. Erasing it gave slightly more functionality; I could use it as a Firewire hard drive. Bizarrely, I couldn't turn it off though, which was worrying. Anyway, I eventually managed to get iPod updater to reinstall the iPod software and even got all my songs back on it. I had to google the web to find out how to hard reset it in order to fix the switching off problem though.

That's two uses, 98 to go.

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