Earning the iPod Repair Merit Badge
As mentioned in my admittedly lengthy Zune review, I’ve been an iPod guy for a while. Long enough for my original 4G iPod’s 20GB hard drive to go kaput a few months back. But would any professed technology geek settle for using Apple’s free recycling service? Heck, no!
Not when we can rebuilt it. Better, stronger, faster.
So I read this Instructables article and subsequently ordered a Transcend 16GB Compact Flash card and a CF-to-1.8 inch drive adapter (the former from Newegg, the latter from what I’m sure is a perfectly reputable Chinese retailer).
Some benefits of switching to Flash-based memory:
- Faster read and write times
- Less prone to shock-based damage due to the lack of moving parts
- More energy efficient for extended battery life
The only negative points are capacity and price, but losing only 4GB of the device’s original capacity for about fifty dollars seemed reasonable to me. That’s roughly $150 cheaper than buying a Flash-based Nano of the same capacity (though without snazzy new features like video).
The aforelinked article proved helpful and largely correct, with two small caveats:
- Opening the device is the most difficult step. Despite recommendations to use special tools and guitar picks, no plastic tool I tried would work before its edges would soften. I eventually had to use a pocket knife, which did a fine job but left a few minor marks from false starts on the iPod's seam.
- The jumper on the adapter was very slightly too tall, resulting in a black spot on the LCD screen from the pressure it applied when closed. I bent the jumper with a pair of pliers to solve the problem.
Have you hacked your personal tech?