Since I had the opportunity to read PC Gamer today, I happened on an article highlighting that iPodLinux is now available for the video iPod. Now, I’m no stranger to Penguin love so I thought I’d take a look. Well, I sort of wish I hadn’t. Why? Because for all the brilliant work that’s been done to make the project work, I have to ask, what’s the point? Sure, on an older model you can now run videos and that can be a good thing depending on the screen but other than that and the ability to play FLAC files on some of the variants that’s about it. It seems to me that the vanilla iPods (no, that’s not a new colour for them) are slooowly catching-up with what iPodLinux can do. Oh, you can run a file browser and Doom and there’s a Matrix style screen saver thingy that doesn’t save the screen but take another look at those three and the flaws soon appear: Doom is never going to be as playable on an iPod as, well, practically anything else with an interface so that’s more of a technology demo than a real game. The Matrix scrolling demo is just that, another demo among many that are available and as for the file browser; without Linux there’s no need for it anyway! Who would sit on a park bench and need to know where the files are organised on their iPod? Bearing in mind that we’re talking about files that aren’t video, photos or music because they have dedicated lists in the iPod interface.

I don’t know… it’s very clever, no question. There are a lot of talented and dedicated people producing iPodLinux and they’ve been doing it for some time but it seems like a solution looking for a problem; unless someone produces a killer app for it, what’s the point?

If I’ve missed the killer application that’s going to make me want to use it just show me and I’ll flash the little fella right there and then

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Do you care? If you do, run this handy tool from Microsoft to get the bad news on just how much of your PC will have to be replaced in order to get all the Vista UI niceness. Which, lets be honest, is about the only thing left in Vista worth having.

[Update] Hey, whatdoyaknow? My PC is Vista ready. I should *&$@ well hope so too! Well, all apart from the SCSI card but I think Microsoft or Adaptec take some perverse pleasure in not providing updated drivers because I had that problem when I upgraded to XP too. This time, when I’m eventually forced to upgrade, I’ll just ditch the drive altogether.
Interestingly, having seen what Vista does on my PC already and how it handles the hardware, the upgrade advisor lumps the SCSI card for which Vista doesn’t (yet, I suppose I have to say) have a driver together with cards like my Nvidia graphics card which is definitley supported both by the manufacturer and out-of-the-box. Is that a pre-production short-fall, lazy research or intentional muddying of the waters? A bit of each I suspect.
Incidently, I installed Vista on one day, a Wednesday, I think, and having waited about four hours and tricking it into ignoring the SCSI card (there’s no option to ignore the hardware, it’s either all supported or Vista WON’T install. Thanks, Microsoft, for giving me the option. Isn’t it still my PC?) I took a look at it, had a bit of a rumage and swtiched back to XP the following day. Why? Well, from what I saw of a recent beta it wasn’t really worth the bother. Office 2003 got broken in the upgrade (ah, the I love the smell of irony in the morning) and frankly Vista didn’t offer enough of an incentive for me to try to fix it. How’s that for a damning assessment?
So, until I discover something new my official teccy.com rating for Microsoft Vista is: Feh.