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The upside(?) of being an Early Adopter

Chris was a real fan of Apple products, and a veritable early adopter of their stuff. Not in fact as early an adopter as my family though – when I was a teenager we had one of the first Apple][+ computers in the country, which I blame firmly for my subsequent career as an engineer 🙂

I think Chris got really into Apple “toys” with the Newton PDA, two of which I still have lurking around somewhere, as I haven’t had the heart to throw them away. He never had an iPhone, but that was only because the mobile signal up here on the hills is atrocious, and it wasn’t worth it as he wouldn’t be able to make full use of it. But other than that, he had most of the Apple gadgets, which he frequently pre-ordered as soon as they were announced. I think he was probably the first iPad owner to die in this country, as I had huge problems trying to cancel his 3G plan – the mobile provider seemingly had no procedures in place to deal with the death of a customer and made it far harder than it should have been.

His early adoption included a first generation iPod nano, a sleek little black gadget with “icyjumbo” engraved on the back. He didn’t keep it long, though – he bought into the Apple hype and it was (very) soon superseded by a second generation iPod nano which was of course much better (though it appeared virtually identical to me). I was then given the 1st generation nano as a hand-me-down, pre-loaded with a selection of our CDs. I can’t say I used it much, other than to while away the time on the plane when going on holiday.

Earlier this year, Apple issued a recall notice for the 1st generation iPod nano. Apparently, the lithium ion batteries were somewhat dodgy, and liable to catch fire spontaneously! And the older the devices got, the greater the risk. So Apple were recalling them and replacing them with refurbished nanos with hopefully safer batteries. But I didn’t find it straightforward to enter the recall programme. Finding the iPod was fairly simple, and when I entered its serial number into the Apple website, it was indeed covered. But then I was asked to enter his AppleID. Ummmm. That stumped me. I knew Chris had one, but it wasn’t on the list of passwords/identities/useful stuff he’d written down before he died. At the time I couldn’t face a long drawn out battle with faceless bureaucracy, so I didn’t take things any further.

But the thought of a potentially explosive iPod sitting on the shelf in my spare room kept nagging at me, so I thought I’d better grit my teeth and do something about it. I reverse-engineered Christopher’s AppleID, guessed the answers to his security questions (good job I knew him well!) and got it changed into my name. Then I applied for the nano replacement programme and got accepted on it. It took several weeks before anything happened, but then I got an envelope in the post, with instructions to send the faulty device back to Apple. Several weeks later still, I got one of those annoying “we called but you were out” cards saying that a courier company had tried to deliver a parcel, that they required a signature, and that they would only try to deliver it twice more – and wouldn’t guarantee a time-slot or even a morning/afternoon. That was annoying, as it was in the run-up to the equipment trial, and I was spending lots of time down in Hampshire. I managed to find a day when I could work from home, and rearranged delivery – which then didn’t happen until nearly 6pm and only after the driver had phoned to say he was lost and couldn’t find me!

Inside was my replacement iPod nano – but not a refurbished 1st generation one. I think by the time I finally worked out how to get on the recall programme Apple had used up the stock of direct replacements. This was a spanking new 6th generation nano, only about an inch square, with a touch-screen and all sorts of extra features. No manual though, and it’s not particularly intuitive to use!

I’ve not been happy using Christopher’s desktop computer. It’s very much still “his” – he built it from scratch, I don’t know what software it’s got on it or why he configured it the way he did, and it gives me the heebie-jeebies every time I turn it on. About the only thing I used it for was iTunes, as all of his Apple devices were registered to that particular computer. So I decided that a new iPod was a good excuse for a new start, and I’d install iTunes on my own laptop. Well, that wasn’t easy! It took two laptops, two browsers, three download managers and an external hard-drive before I finally managed to get the sodding thing installed where I wanted it!  Chris used to rave about how easy Apple products were to use – I disagree!

But now I finally have a new, hopefully non-lethal iPod nano, loaded up with a selection of albums of my choosing, registered to my laptop with my own personal version of iTunes, and docked into a set of speakers in the kitchen. The upshot of which is that I can now listen to music while I cook. And it’s only taken about eight months to get there…….


{ 1 } Comments

  1. David Baker | 6 January 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Happy New Year! Yes I still read your blog, and I also own a 1G ipod Nano which is off to Apple tomorrow. Thanks for the information.

    The Boss