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January 18, 2004



Imagine if instead of having a white background with black letters, they used a black background with white letters to save battery!!!

Why not at least give us the option?


Good points, Tim. They could have used black anodized aluminum too -- chrome scratches too easily.


The chrome backing on the iPod is there for a specific reason. The iPod itself is basically a small computer with a spinning HD and all that. As in all machines with spinning parts (laptops etc.) they tend to create heat. The size if the iPod doesn't allow for a fan so what to do? The stainless steel back cover cools the pod through heat conduction. Heat is absorbed by the steel, which is cooled by exposure to the air. Thats one reason Apple recomends taking the pod out of any case you may have before charging.

Also adding a clip on the back to wrap cords around etc. would take away from its simple, smooth, sleek design.


you want an "aPod nano" and some serious add-ons, that's what you want:

Seriously, I think the iPod's chrome back is very intentional, in the sense that it wears out like a Zippo lighter, which typically is the kind of object that gains character through wear and tear. I much prefer my worn-in-washed-out jeans over any new pair of trousers, I can't wait before a new pair of white sneakers look a bit dust-grey and creased, no matter how cheap or expensive they are, but that's maybe just me... (Spooky, I just realised I described Jobs' preferred Keynote garb, other than the fabled black faux-turtleneck...)


First, The Dock latch is not practical, because there is no way to predict how long from pushing the latch, to the OS being ready to release the drive. The only way for this to work, is to have a mechanical relay, or motor that will release the ipod when it is OK. This is what the Apple floppies used to have, a motor/relay based eject (in this case release not eject). It would add a lot of cost to the dock.

They could have a "select" or other button request ejection, so you don't have to use the Mac UI to request ejection. Just push the button on the iPod, wait for screen to indicate it is OK, then remove.

Personally, I think the OS should have a "removable" flag for each drive. It should write everything to those removable drives immediately, so they can be removed without notice. That would benefit all removable drives, not just iPods.

Second, the battery really needs to be user replaceable, using standard li-ion batteries. I am delaying buying one for this reason alone. This kind of device will have more battery cycling than almost all others, and they need to be cost effectively replaced.

Third, they need more integration with car stereos. A dock for the car that instantly makes it part of the car stereo. One stereo vendor has promised such a thing, we need more.

Fourth, I think they need a cheap one. I am simply not willing to risk losing a $250 or more player during many activities (like physical work where it might get damaged). It can be low storage, that is OK, but preferably with a standard FPROM card upgrade possible.


You can already rate tracks on the iPod. While a track is playing, press the scroll wheel button a couple of times. Then use the wheel to select a rating.

Nova Spivack

Gwendo, in answer to your points...

It would be better to have a toggle-lock on the ipod dock because, I don't know about you, but I sometimes forget to eject the ipod when it still says "do not disconnect." It's a safety to protect your hard disk from human forgetfulness.

As for Select and Menu -- no they are confusing here is why: "Menu" should only be for opeining menus -- but instead, in many cases, Select is used to open sub-menus. Also Select is used to call up menu-ish options, like to rate a song etc. I think Select should be used to select menu options, but not to call up menus.

As for track rating -- I do it once per track -- but I have 6000 tracks... I would rather rate them as I listen to them in some cases -- because without listening to them I don't always remember what they are!

a Nony




I disagree in most terms.

1. Why complicate the dock? The iPod tells you everything you need ("Don't disconnect")
2. I didn't get your point about "Select" and "Menu". Their functionality IS seperated and they do exactely what they claim.
3. For navigating in the dark, there's the backlight-option. Easy accessible by holding the "menu"-button for 2 seconds - no need look at the screen!
4. How often do you rate your tracks? How often do your change your mind about your rating? Ok, maybe it's just me, but once they are rated (easily done in iTunes), it's done. I don't want those additional options, lurking in my iPod's menus.

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Nova's Trip to Edge of Space

  • Stepsedgestratosphere
    In 1999 I flew to the edge of space with the Russian air force, with Space Adventures. I made it to an altitude of just under 100,000 feet and flew at Mach 3 in a Mig-25 piloted by one of Russia's best test-pilots. These pics were taken by Space Adventures from similar flights to mine. I didn't take digital stills -- I got the whole flight on digital video, which was featured on the Discovery Channel.

Nova & Friends, Training For Space...

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    In 1999 I was invited to Russia as a guest of the Russian Space Agency to participate in zero-gravity training on an Ilyushin-76 parabolic flight training aircraft. It was really fun!!!! Among other people on that adventure were Peter Diamandis (founder of the X-Prize and Zero-G Corporation), Bijal Trivedi (a good friend of mine, science journalist), and "Lord British" (creator of the Ultima games). Here are some pictures from that trip...


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