Rockbox Open Source Jukebox Firmware


After hearing me complain about Apple's move to deliberately block non approved software from interfacing with their iPods, a friend/coworker of mine recommended I try running Rockbox on my iPod Photo. So about a week ago I installed it and gave it a try.

It was easy enough to install, although I couldn't get the RockboxUtilityQt installer to work. I followed the directions on installing manually from Linux, copied the files to my iPod's root directory, ran the ipodpatcher program to install the new boot loader, then rebooted my iPod.

I found Rockbox intuitive to use, and so far everything just works as I would expect. It has different font themes including one that looks like the original iPod font. It plays music very well, has play lists, and a bunch of fun games. It supports over 15 codecs, including MP3, Ogg, AAC, WMA, Real Audio, etc. Also, it coexists with the normal iPod firmware, so you can switch back at boot time if you like.

I haven't played around with the play lists yet so I don't know how they compare with Apple's Smart Play Lists that I've become addicted to. One nice feature is that you can create play lists and name them on the iPod itself.

There are many features that improve upon the regular iPod firmware. For example, the volume has more range and goes a lot louder. The buttons have more functionality – combinations as well as long presses do different things.

I have noticed one thing that might be a show-stopper for me… battery life is awful when running Rockbox. However, this is a known issue and a fix is in the works.

CNET has a nice write-up of Rockbox.

Don't be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people's thinking.

– Steve Jobs


Exploits of a Mom Comic


As a database developer I found this comic to be hilarious. It was also a good excuse to mention the very funny (at least to geeks) comic strip xkcd.


Some other notables:

Today is the last day of your life so far.