For my 25th birthday, my parents fairly shocked me when they gave me a 60 GB iPod photo. I had an iPod mini that I absolutely adored and had promptly loaded up. I didn't have enough space for my ginormous music collection, but I did have enough room on my computer, so I switched stuff out on probably a weekly basis. I carried it with me at basically all times and to the delight of my coworkers even figured out a way to hook it up to the store sound system after hours. So the 60 GB was completely amazing to me. I could put ALL of my music on it PLUS pictures. And there was this nifty function that allows you to create a slide show of pictures and put music with it and then hook the iPod up to a tv and show it to everyone you know. Good times, especially for a proud aunt who lived in a different state from the babies.
I named it Tate because that means happiness. Also, because I am a nerd. I named my computer Blossom (get it? Apple Blossom?) and felt that this smaller eletronic piece of happiness deserved a name as well. I got some awesome headphones and a new case to fit it because I am ridiculously hard on electronics for whatever reason, regardless of how careful I am with things. I manage to break things in fairly interesting ways. Once a repair guy said to me "I have no idea how you did this. I know how to fix it, but seriously, how did you do this?" Who knows?
Anyway, I used it every day. I walked to school and listened to it. I listened to it in my truck, on the airplane, everywhere. I got a recorder/speaker that I can plug into it and I have little sound clips of the babies laughing but can also use my iPod as an alarm clock because of the little speaker. Later I got an alarm clock that I can plug it into which is even more awesome than just having the iPod.
So one day in about Septemeber, I went to turn it on, and nothing happened. I knew it was charged, so I waited patiently for it to just kick in. It didn't. In fact, instead of the menu appearing, a sad iPod icon appeared.
Isn't that the cutest sad thing you've ever seen?
An iPod is basically a mini hardrive and I could hear it spinning but not catching on anything. I thought maybe I could let it rest awhile and it would find its way back to working and bringing me my daily dose of delight, but no such luck. I had just moved into my own place and couldn't entirely afford it as it was, so there was no point in even finding out how much it would be to fix it. I stored it carefully and pulled it out occassionally just to check, but nothing.
I thought maybe it was one of those gadgets that I really liked but could live without. Maybe it would be fun to rediscover cds and whatnot. I tried, I really did, but there aren't any great radio stations here (I had no idea how spoiled I was by media living in Southern California and I am dead serious) and it is a pain to lug cds back and forth all the time. So I knew eventually I would get some sort of replacement for my iPod, but there was no money in sight whatsoever for anything like that.
Recently I asked my boss if I could bring music in to listen to while working. She is awesome because she said she could not possibly care less as long as I got my work done every day. I dusted off my trusty discman (which does not have a name although it is purple and has 40 second ESP which is truly impressive for such a device), pulled out my ear buds, and brought in a stack of cds. And that's when I knew. I had to go and at least find out how much it would be to fix Tate so I could start saving, no matter how painful it would be. At least I would know.
I made an appointment online for the Genius Bar at the Apple Store yesterday and took myself down there. The Genius asked me what the problem was, entered in some information to find out if I had Apple Care or not, and then plugged Tate in. Nothing appeared on the screen, so he checked to make sure that there was actually a power supply plugged in, and there was. Then he held it up to his ear and heard the disc not catching (so not the technical term, but at least it's descriptive), and told me the hard drive was bad.
He gave me three options:
1. Get Tate fixed. It's out of warranty and Apple doesn't make my particular model anymore, so it would run about $300 for a refurbished one.
2. Take advantage of the recycle program and turn in Tate to get 10% off any iPod I want except the Shuffle. I can do this at any time and any store, and simply take the old and new iPods up to the register at the same time.
3. Use Tate as a paperweight.
I don't have enough money to get a new one right now, which is about $75 cheaper than getting Tate fixed, so I wandered and drooled a tiny bit and then left the Apple Store.
I went to the grocery store and bought the ingredients for dinner (tortellini with garlic cream sauce and French bread, eaten in my awesome Anthropologie bowls with my terrific boyfriend yay!). I started dinner and then went to pick K up at work. I was hanging out in the lobby trying to not be annoying or stalkerish while he was finishing up and took Tate out of my pocket just to see. I pressed a button and the screen came to life! The battery was almost dead, but all the menus were working! The photos I had on it weren't loading, but it seemed like music was playing.
I charged up Tate and tried to sync with my computer. That didn't work, the disc started spinning without purpose again, but it held the charge and I am listening to a wide variety of music as I type! The photos still won't come up, but the music is fine. It hiccuped once but I reset it and everything else seems to be fine. I'm hoping it will just last long enough for me to save up the dough to buy a new one.
If anyone wants to donate money to the cause, you just let me know. I will not keep you from your desire. :)