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iPod Replacement

Over the Independence Day Holidays I was out running errands in my FJ Cruiser and hit a pothole. The experience wasn’t bad (it never is in a FJ), but believe that it may have been the final blow to the 80gb iPod Classic that has been with me for several years.

The device had been in sitting in gloveboxes of my personal and company vehicles the majority of it’s existence; and run non-stop over countless hours and miles. If I wasn’t on a conference call or intense phone discussion, it was either blasting rock music or providing pleasing background noise. My theory is that the pothole in the road bounced the device enough to jam the hardisk. It would display, but wouldn’t sync with iTunes – even after several ipod resets.

30-pin iPods aren’t difficult to find, but most are used or low-capacity models. There were some refurbished possibilities, but their prices weren’t far from new options. It seems that the 4th gen market hadn’t grasped the idea of owning a lot of music. Many retailers returned their unsold inventory when 5th gen models were common. My old iPod also sat in the drawer of a repair shop for a week without being touched; representing an entirely separate saga.

The iPod Classic is available in a 160gb version now, and has the 30-pin connection, but uses the older hardware that contributed to my device’s failure. The price is better, but not enough to warrant the risk, a newer device is flash storage is best. The old device also had formed some rust on it’s side, and had an air bubble in the display, representing a couple design flaws that weren’t worth reliving.

I thought about dropping Apple reliance altogether. Google Music is very cool and a joy to use on my Nexus 7. There are some new Android Phones that support storage additions, allowing for the download of an entire library. It would retire several of my acessories (which will likely EOL eventually as Bluetooth options are picked up).

Minimizing accessory purchases was a motivator to sticking with Apple and buying the latest iPod. However, I also felt that leaving large amounts of content in a separate device was still a good practice for me. For many, it will be better to just sync to the cloud and download to your phone.

It wasn’t easy to find, but after looking through cases a 64gb iPod in Black/Slate was among several versions. Even on a USB 2.0 port the sync is taking a while. There are over 3600 photos and over 1800 songs on my PC; along with Outlook Contacts and Calendar. With three Google Apps, there is already just 36gb free on my new device.

Despite my Android/Linux preference, the new iPod is a positive experience. Wrapped it in a Zagg invisible shield and Survivor skin. It’s small, light, and fun to use.

The Lightning to 30-pin Adapter cable works on my Bose ipod player, that I rarely use. Hopefully it work work as well in my FJ. The bose controller didn’t seem to be effective at first, but got the hang of it again after a while. Shuffle mode was refreshing on the Bose.

Didn’t turn on iCloud storage during the setup, wasn’t a need for two cloud-storage providers.

That old iPod feels like a paperweight 🙂

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Riding in Branson


Branson has always been a favorite motorcyle destination, but it was difficult to ride either cruisers or sportbikes due to the hills and traffic. The family rented a villa in one of the resorts, and I researched bicycle routes the evening we arrived on my Nexus 7 tablet using the MapMyRide app.

However, it became quickly apparent that there were no significant bike trails in the town. The Road Bike owners had come up with creative routes along scenic roads and residential areas. Branson appears to have it’s own bicycle club and two good shops, but no decent places to ride.

At first it seemed that I brought the wrong bike, any decent trail bike would have been useful for the off-road paths and trails spotted during my ride. Which helped me understand why it was so easy to find trail/dirt bike routes than those for road bikes.

I didn’t arrive terribly early, but even with the light local and tourist traffic it didn’t seem like I was in anyone’s way either. My strength had increased recently, but in retrospective my riding could have been much more aggressive. They didn’t seem to care what my speed or lane position was, I was just another bicycle rider.

http://www.mapmyride.com/workout/616037283

The overall ride wasn’t that long or strenuous. I’ll have to make up the lost distance, but it was worth the effort to bring the mount the bike on the hitch and bring the gear.

On the way back to the Branson Landing I passed and went over the river to the original downtown Holister. Downing Street was interesting, and caught a place we might check out in a future visit.

Getting back on the Fayetteville paths will be good, but the experience/freedom in Branson and Holister was similar to being on a motorcycle.

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About Shawn

I’m a sales professional celebrating over 21 Years with one of the world’s largest telecommunication/technology companies. The majority of my time is devoted to a small group of Enterprise Companies, ensuring their business goals are being supported via services and a documented strategy.

My devoted family blesses me with their love and support. I’m the father of a wonderful adopted boy, who enjoys math during the day and a mix of Legos and Netflix at night.

The motorcycling hobby has been put on hold, and pedal a bicycle instead. Other interests include unusual computing and content delivery strategies. There are still few cloud instances, services, and one remaining server representing the fun.

Most of the content on this blog will represent the small accomplishments and discoveries made along the way.

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Pushing more to the CDN

My Xenforo Site’s initial take on image proxy had it’s problems. The initial idea was that the images wouldn’t actually be on my server, but proxied through my site to it’s original source. I still prefer that approach but it had a few issues that will likely be resolved in the coming months.

For now, I’m using the new features in 1.3 to proxy the image to my server, which is almost doubling my server’s disk space utilization. However, I’ve also started caching most new attachments to the CDN as well.

Things were going well from an end-user perspective, but a few days ago I noticed that the CDN was taking full 1Gig bandwidth hits at least once per day. Also switched over to mod_expires on my server’s cache expiration settings and that also appears to have improved both user experience and CDN utilization.

Will likely move to a new server next month, using my traditional config, but definitely moving closer to a full distributed computing infrastructure.

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My First KitKat Device


For some time I’ve been dropping an older Acer 7″ tablet in my bag with a Logitech Keyboard and an HDMI cable. It was a good device, but time to move up.

Now that LTE is commonplace, WiFi-only devices had become a struggle for me. Don’t get me wrong, network is everywhere but:

  • Client sites are appropriate when solving their business problems, but receiving most family notifications is best done over my LTE
  • When you’re living life in the fast lane, there is very little time to lounge in a coffee shop
  • If your WiFi at home is wonderful, there are just too many other things to utilize than a tablet
  • LTE is faster than many WiFi enviroments

There are many attractive tablet offers, but critically few that support LTE. I like the simplicity of a native-android device and picked up an unlocked 32Gig Nexus 7 (2013), and added it to my AT&T Account.

It started updating right away after I signed in from the store, and found it convenient that most of my settings were transferred over when it automatically linked into my home WiFi and prompted me to upgrade to the latest KitKat release.

24 hours have passed since. There hasn’t been much time to spend with it, but discovered that life on a modern tablet is wonderful:

  • I can print directly to my Wireless HP Printer at home
  • Google’s Office Apps are more impressive than they were
  • It’s making my living room TV look like something is wrong with it 🙂
  • The LTE feature saves time, and the WiFi is speedy
  • I ended up removing a few auto-duplicated apps that were no longer needed
  • Larger tablet screens are very nice, but being able to hold it securely in one hand is a benefit

My Logitech Bluetooth keyboard is showing it’s age, but will continues to be effective. I’m looking forward to having it close.