Sunday, 29 May, 2005 (Part II)

Apple: Why did you use FAT32/HFS?

(Actually they’re between a rock and a hard place here but meh. I’m ranting as it’s 05:17 and I just had another lovely little ipod experience…)

The ipod is a cool little gadget, that’s certainly a given by most at this point. Why, then, oh why, did they have to pick the regular filesystem approach quite as they did? I’m actually starting to prefer the idea of not having a generic firewire disk. The problem with their approach is that it’s trivial to blow away the entire iTunesDB as just happened to my unit. Fortunately, I’m not using iTunes (I learned from my mistake last time when my first ipod unit got trashed when I was actually using iTunes with Mac OS X and the laptop went to sleep without – I guess – properly syncing the disk. Great. Turns out you really don’t want to run out of battery or reboot since you’ll risk losing it all and having a very empty looking 30/40/60GB or whatever).

So, not using iTunes, I’m able to copy over my gtkpod iTunesDB and iTunesDB.ext manually after running a fsck.vfat against the underpinning filesystem (and getting a scary FAT inconsistency error and guessing FAT1 was probably still actually ok to be used) and then finally convince gtkpod to fire up and recognise all of my music without having to go crazy. Not something I want to happen at 5am. Linux Firewire clearly needs a little work. Why?

jcm@perihelion:~$ uname -a
Linux perihelion #1 Fri May 27 00:54:19 BST 2005 i686 GNU/Linux

I just built this kernel (yes it’s already outdated by but meh) and yet it managed to roll over and dislike my firewire ipod disk after a day or so of uptime (needs some investigating after I actually do a proper backup of the contents). It’s also not possible to eject the device without eject getting stuck in a syscall and there’s a lovely little oops in the scsi layer there too. Cool.

I’m getting some sleep.


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