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December 24, 2005

iPod Battery Replacement

I've had my iPod now for a little over 2 years. Under optimum conditions its battery lasted 7.8 hours. I ran that test today and came up with only 4 hours. This confirmed my thinking that the battery wasn't lasting nearly as long as it used to (real world play time used to be about 4 hours and now it is probably 2). The battery was a huge problem with these iPods and prompted a lawsuit with a settlement that I wasn't able to participate in since I didn't have my original receipt.

Anyway, the battery isn't easy to replace because it is glued in place underneath the hard drive and it isn't easy to open the case without damaging it. Apple had a service where you could mail in the iPod and they would replace the battery for $100. I believe that price is lower now. There are also a lot of third party providers who will do the service or will sell you a battery and provide tools to pry open the iPod.

Well, it's time. So first I went to my web page because I know it usually has ads for replacement batteries. I found L.A. Computer and iPodResQ advertised there, but I had a really hard time finding the replacement at the former (the ad says $8.95, but actually it turns out to be $12.95 plus $9.56 shipping) and the latter was $28 plus shipping.

I then went to iLounge. They reviewed two reputable replacement services that also offered do-it-yourself kits and gave both A minuses. One was Other World Computer's system using NuPower batteries. The other service they reviewed was FastMac and their TruePower batteries which have very good instructions and offer a 2-year warranty. All of the batteries offered are 850 milliamp hours (850 mah) which is more than the original battery capacity of 630 mah. Another company offers an 1100 mah battery but it costs twice what the others do. Also, some of the places I found gave you metal screwdrivers to open the case which would probably scratch or bend the iPod.

I finally found a place that was pretty inexpensive, offered plastic tools, and had reasonable shipping rates, Battery Barn. I ordered from them tonight and will follow up with my results. I made a new webpage for other people who might be looking for a new battery:

iPod Battery Replacement

December 15, 2005


I love encyclopedias. The whole idea of so much to know organized alphabetically is just really appealing to me. I really liked having Encyclopedia Britannica on Silvastone. The kid's version was very useful for learning all kinds of stuff and having it explained clearly. Then if you got really specific you had to go to Mom and Dad's encyclopedia which was always much harder to understand.

So I was sucker for Microsoft Encarta when it came out. I wound up with Encarta 96 when I got it on sale for $20. I got a deal on Britannica's new CD version in 1997, but it was disappointing. They claimed to have all the text of the print version, but it never seemed to me the articles were very long. I bought Britannica again in 2000 and, while the articles seemed more complete (3 CD's!), there was a clunky browser interface. Really it was just a big web site stored on CD. Sometimes you had to swap out disks. This was also the downfall of Encarta 98, though for Encarta 2000 (free with the computer I bought), they got it back down to one disk. Encarta was much snazzier than Britannica throughout all the different versions.

This month I got an offer for Britannica 2006 on DVD-ROM. A special offer let me get it for $19.95 plus $3.95 shipping, so I went ahead and bought it. (You can too by going to here picking out the 2006 Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite for $27.95 and applying the discount code "STOREHOL" at checkout; or you can buy the print version for $995 and the teen version for another $499). I haven't gotten it in the mail but I hope that by having it on DVD with 5 times the information of a single CD, that it will be simpler to use and more complete. And hopefully they have worked out some bugs of past editions. I'll let you know once I have a chance to try it out.

December 7, 2005


Susan gave me a box of cereal that she didn't think she would eat before moving (she closed on the old house and new house today without any problems. Yay!). The cereal is General Mills Fiber One Honey Clusters. It scared me because it had the word "fiber" in the title, but I wanted to see where sugar fell in the ingredients. I was surprised how far down the list sugar appeared: wheat, corn, modified corn starch, inulin, sugar . . . That's number five! But wait a minute, inulin? What is that?

I googled it and found a wikipedia article about it. It is a starch produced by plants including dandelions. But as I was eating my first spoonfuls I got to this paragraph:

>>Inulin is indigestible by human enzymes ptyalin and amylase, which are designed to digest starch. As a result, inulin passes through much of the digestive system intact. It is only in the colon that bacteria metabolise inulin, with the release of significant quantities of carbon dioxide and/or methane. Inulin-containing foods are therefore notoriously gassy and not recommended for the socially sensitive.<<

Long night ahead. The dogs might be sleeping on the sofa.

December 2, 2005

Mo Money

I didn't think I was going to make it, but due to some big days at the end of November my Google AdSense revenue reached $100. That's how much you have to earn before you get a check, though now they do direct deposit. Last time it took a year, but this summer I broke $20 during a few months and was able to reach the mark in five months. I have decided to save up to buy a new iPod. It could take another year or so, so maybe it will be something we can only imagine now. The ideal thing would be a PDA that includes a big hard drive and acts a MP3 player. I carry a PDA all the time anyway, so that way I would always have music with me. It wouldn't have to be an Apple product actually.

The dejumbler continues to get the most traffic and the most revenue. The car stereo page and the battery pack pages for iPods do pretty well too though. The iPod pages definitely get more revenue for the number of views. I'm getting a total of 7,000-10,000 views per month and a fairly consistent number of monthly ad clicks of around 130, though some days I get nothing and others I might get 10.

I think it's interesting that I could have made the same amount of money by buying one share of Google at $300 5 months ago.