8GB iPod Nano Review

iPod Nano 8GB BlackThis summer I was looking forward to spending a lot more time with my iPod, but as luck would have it, my 3G iPod decided to die a premature death and I ended up having to replace it. From all the choices available, I narrowed it down to a 30GB iPod or the sleeker and smaller iPod Nano. In June I dropped by the local BestBuy and picked up the 8GB Black iPod Nano and began my summer travels. Now after two trips to Maryland and several airports later I can detail just how great Apple’s iPod Nano really is. Note that on September 5th, 2007, Apple will most likely release new iPods.

An MP3 Player That Works

The first thing you notice about the Nano is that it just works. The controls are smoother than first generation iPods and there is not any annoying hard drive noise because it uses flash memory instead. Songs load immediately and volume levels are more than adequate. The iPod interface is now more than just neat, it is almost second nature and you can navigate easily through more than 1500 song titles. Battery life is excellent. I ended up not needing to recharge it at all during a two day trip to the east coast. The most annoying factor about plane travel is that they always ask you to turn off your iPod at takeoff and landings.

The Small Screen

The only feature that the Nano has missing is video playback. The small screen is not at all adequate for video and so the Nano lacks the video playback features of its bigger iPod cousins. You can however view photos from your iPhoto collection. The iPod will also display album art, which I must admit I spend time setting up in iTunes, just so I could see album thumbnails on my Nano.


iPod Nano ToughSkinNot being a fan of earbuds, I spent some money on some inexpensive Sony headphones. However, most people will end up considering a case for their iPod. While the choices are vast when it comes to iPod cases, I ended up getting a ToughSkin. This particular case bulks up the iPod Nano’s rather thin design, but for the added protection it can’t be beat. I did not really care for the included belt clip attachment, so if you absolutely don’t need it, I would not recommend attaching it.


Apple really has an excellent MP3 player in the Nano. Over the years I have owned countless portable devices and the Nano beats them all hands down. I’m sure somewhere a Sony Walkman is dying a slow death. Since I don’t usually carry a cell phone the Nano even helped me out when I got stuck at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. The handy address book is all I needed to give my brother a call and have him pick me up. Without the Nano I would have been stranded.

Being The Mac Guy

For a long time, I was stuck in the world of Microsoft support. All I did was research and fix problems with applications running on Windows networks. Being a hard core Macintosh user since 1993, I sometimes felt miserable and frustrated with the Microsoft world. This all changed last year. I now have to support Macintosh users and it ain’t easy being the Mac guy!

The first thing you run into in supporting Macs is the Mac users themselves. Not all of them are smug, but quite a few certainly come off that way, from the first moment you inquire about their problem. Then there is OS X itself, an operating system which doesn’t have any of the usual crutches that you encounter with Windows. There is no un-installer, no Event Viewer, and so on. Instead you have to deal with The Console, and most of the BSD and UNIX tools which not all Mac users are even familiar with. Needless to say, supporting Macs when they do have a significant problem is actually harder than regular Windows support. A lot harder! I find myself sometimes even dreading a Mac call, but I’ve only been doing it for a few months and I’m certainly getting the hang of not only how to investigate Mac problems, but also how Mac users think.

Over the weekend though, my precious Venus (a Blue&White G3 Power Macintosh) decided to no longer boot up after applying the latest Mac OS X 10.4.9 update. I’ve had this machine for years; it is even older than my first born. Over the years I’ve upgraded hard drives, memory, video cards, and CPUs in it, and it has taken everything I’ve thrown at it and more. Alas I will try one more attempt to get it to boot into an OS tonight, before I totally give up on it. Losing Venus has been hard on me, I still don’t think I am over it, but one must go on.

I’ll probably end up getting a new iMac, just because I can’t see myself spending $2500 on a Mac Pro Tower.

Disassemble The 94 LeSabre Dashboard

This weekend, I needed to change the stereo in the Buick LeSabre. Since I’ve never did it before, I had to figure it out and while the Internet has lots of information, instructions on how to actually remove the dashboard from a 1994 Buick LeSabre are actually hard to find. Here are some notes on the process:

  • First you will need a 7mm socket, a long philips screwdriver, a flat screwdriver, and possibly a small flashlight if you don’t have good lighting.
  • Next open the glove compartment and both doors to the car.
  • The faux wood panels are the easy part. Just slightly pull them up and they should snap out of place.
  • Now the main black dash cover is one long piece. For this you must unscrew several retainer blots, most of which are hidden behind the air vents. Using a flat screwdriver carefully press down on the air vents from the top, then turn them sideways and they should come out.
  • Behind each of the air vents you will need to remove each of the retainer bolts.
  • With all the retainer bolts out, you can pull up on the black dash cover and remove it. You might have to move the shifting arm out of the way in order to get enough clearance.
  • This should leave you with a bare dash and access to several more bolts that hold the stereo in place.

When putting back the dash, make sure you do not overtighten any bolts as this will cause the plastic dash pieces to crack or break.