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07/03/2006: "Is It Any Wonder?"


So I had a really, really frustrating experience with iTunes/iPod the other night.

It's about 2 am, and I've put in about 4 hours working on the Beta version of The Elevator Blog (more on that in a minute) and I've been listening to my iPod for almost the entire time. The battery was almost run down, so I figured I'd plug it into the computer, update my podcasts, and charge it at the same time. I plug it in, and iTunes starts doing some importation of XML business, not knowing what this was, I told it to quit. I just wanted my damn podcast!

"Your Library File is Corrupt. It's been saved as Library(Damaged).itl." iTunes proceeds to then display my library, all 200 songs. That's about 1,800 songs short of what it should've been. My stomach dropped and the cold sweat started. Lucky for me, I only had one playlist to lose, and all my CDs were still stored physically on the hard drive. So rebuilding the library didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would. Needless to say though, the experiance was quite terrifying.

Not wanting to chance a repeat incident, I plugged the iPod into the wall, to charge it from there. Only to find that ALL MY PODCASTS WERE GONE! Not to mention about a third of my albums which displayed that they were there, but refused to play. Instead of freaking out like I did previously, I was just really, really hacked off. Instead of trying to coax iTunes into replacing the missing files, I took a more heavy-handed option. I wiped my iPod clean. Then I told the computer to dump everything in the library back onto it. Then I went to bed.

This morning, and all today, it's worked just fine. No problems. However, there's a very important lesson here: Back up your iTunes crap. Often. ESPECIALLY if you use a lot of playlists or make use of the 'playcount' feature. There's nothing you can do to protect yourself from this kind of error, it's just a little spasm cutorsy of iTunes 6.0.4.2. [Literally 5 minutes ago it just prompted me to download 6.0.5. *cringe*] In any case, a regular back up of your "iTunes Music" folder, as well as the .itl and the .xml files should remedy this. The .itl/.xml combo is what's going to save the playlists/playcounts, because they're all embedded into those files as near as I can tell. Back up what you would miss. Right now. Do it. Close this blog window and burn that stuff to a CD. It'll take you 5 minutes and save you potentially days of work if you ever run into a 'Damaged Library' disaster like mine. GO.

So anyhow. Today I went to an Indy Car Race at the Kansas Speedway. On the one hand, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it'd be. I was expecting so be bombarded by confederate flags and see drunken brawls all over the place. I really only saw one confederate flag, and, despite the rediculous amount of alcohol being served, there were no fights to my knowledge. Plus the hot dog I had was really, really good. On the other hand, car races are a snooze fest. In terms exciting time vs. time spent waiting for something to happen, it's about a 20:280 (ratio measured in miles). It's one very big left turn.

Another thing that bothers me is racing nomenclature. I saw the Kansas Lottery Indy 300. As the race progressed, I saw a count at the top of the score board. It slowly clicked up, and I realized it was a lap count. Around 80, I was starting to get bored. About then my dad took me to get the hot dog. When all was said and done , it was up to 120. At 150 I thought, "Hey, halfway there. I might make it." And so the race dragged on. Suddenly, as the count approached 200, everyone stood up, almost at once. "How nice," I observed, "Sort of like the 7th Inning Stretch in Baseball!" As I streched, I mused at what a good idea this was; I was stiff. When that count hit 200 though, almost everyone started to walk out!

What the hell? I was hunkered down for another 100 laps! There was no way I was the most hardcore race guy there. Far from it. Come to find out that the Kansas Lottery 300 means the race was 300 miles long, and the Kansas Speedway track is 1.5 miles long. I'll let you do the math and realize what a total dolt I am. So all in all, it really wasn't bad at all. I kinda had fun. But it's not really something I think I'd go to on my own accord/money.

Hank was over the other day. We both got our room stuff from Truman! We spent a lot of time deciding who would bring what, setting up our campus email accounts [tch886 at truman dot edu] and other senseless crap like that. My huge level of excitement for college is dampered by the fact that I have to get a menangitis shot. Gross.

Speaking of college and the future are stuff, I mentioned earlier that I was working on the new blog. I am, seriously! I've gone through two color schemes and one layout design, as well as two menu styles already. It's kinda cumbersome, because I feel pressured into making it amazing enough to last me another four years like the BrakBlog layout has. I think that's sort of an unreasonable expectation. In any case, here's the general gameplan:

Beta versions of the Elevator Blog-
I'll continue to tinker with the layout/colors until I get something I really really like.

Alpha version of the Elevator Blog-
Once I get something fairly polished, I'll upload it to the net, so I can consult some people for advice on design etc.

Doman registration-
www.ElevatorBlog.com, or something near that.

Construction-
There's going to be a period, after the last day of July, when several things will happen: Getting my account linked to the new domain, so it's the primary address, moving BrakBlog into a subdirectory, and then getting BrakBlog.com to point to said subdirectory. And not even necessarily in that order. During this time stuff is going to be down left and right, so please bear with me. I hope that 20 days later (max) when I head down to Truman, the Elevator Blog will be up and running, ready to chronicle my college ordeal.

New Features-

  • Hank's new MacBook has the tools to create podcasts. Expect college podcasts aimed at updating old friends and family members as to the go-ings-on of Hank and Tom [guest staring Lizz].

  • I'm really interested in making an RSS feed, but I don't really understand them. Ethan says I don't update enough to justify one. I plan to fix both those of things this fall.

  • I'm going to format Greymatter (my blog software) so that I can categorize my entries by general topic. Topic Candidates include: Life [general], Current Events [Predom. Politics], Maintinance [for when I know things are broken/working on fixing them]. I can't really think of anything else I talk about on the blog, but if anyone has suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

  • The new layout will be a dark background with white text. I'm told that's easier on the eyes when dealing with computer displays. Thoughts?

That's the future, tentatively.
Wait and see what happens to everyone's favorite Cowboy.



Replies: 4 Buddies Neglected Their Oral Hygine

I think my cousin goes to Truman. He's okay.

It's his twin (who doesn't go to Truman) that I think you'd get along with better. He is like Sean.

Right, none of this matters, but I'm still going to press "Submit".

Said [rach!] on Monday, July 3rd

hey. i read most of your site, i think, and you have got to be one of the coolest people ever. i think im going to adopt epyc as my new favorite game. thats so cool. so yea. i just wanted to say all that. thanks for takin 30 seconds to read my boring but still more then likely flattering comment.

-Jamie

Said [Jamie] on Tuesday, July 11th

I know I've never left you a comment before but I do read your site... I felt like I needed to comment you before you stopped updating brakblog. we need to play starwars monopoly again before you leave for college.

Said [thomasthorpe] on Thursday, July 13th

by the way I think someone is spaming you...if you were like Boris from goldeneye you'd "send him a spike!"

Said [thomasthorpe] on Thursday, July 13th