Portable Again

Thank goodness for the return of portability. My interim podcast listening system really sucked. I burned a CD full of stuff and then dusted off my iRiver SlimX CD player. Because it was a drag to tote that thing around and I didn’t want to have to burn a lot of CDs, I only listened to that in the car. During the day I had some MP3s on an SD card and listened straight on my workstation, which has a built in card reader. This meant that I now had three things to reconcile – my directories on my laptop, and the stuff I had listened on either the CD or the SD card. I’d delete them from the laptop after listening, but occasionally would miss something and find myself starting to listen to something a second time.

Now that the one device is the center of everything again, it’s a big improvement. Shortly before the mobiBLU went into it’s fugue state, I had figured something out that had eluded me for a long time. One thing I didn’t like about the cube was that the USB cable attaches through the stereo jack. They have this funky 3 part special jack and I guess the USB portion is a little further down than a standard mini-stereo plug would be. This means that while it is plugged in and charging, you can’t listen with the headphones. I and everyone that owns one cites this as a weakness. Well, while it is plugged up it is also mounted as an external drive. You can easily just play the files with the computers media player straight off the device while it is charging. I feel like a real idiot for taking four months to figure that out.

And as a coda to the whole deal and the last thing I hope to say about mobiBLu for quite some time, here is a chronology of my cube problems. Last week it started acting weird and requiring frequent hard resets. Last weekend I tried to install the firmware upgrade from a Windows 2000 PC, which wouldn’t ever do it. I tried from a borrowed Windows XP laptop using the mobiBLU instructions to the letter. This caused my cube to become an unresponsive brick. I wrote that up here. Jared had the same problems, searched for a solution and found my write up of the problem. I called the mobiBLU support line, he emailed their support. Neither one of us ever received a response. He continued to fiddle with it until he found a solution – one that involves not following their published directions to the letter. He emailed and commented here and provided me the solution that I used to get the cube working again. Neither one of us got any help from the company we are both customers of, and only the fact that we communicated helped me. That’s a pretty sad statement about the one entity in this whole thing that is taking the money.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father.

One thought on “Portable Again”

  1. Glad to see it’s convenient for you again, since this is the only thing that came up about the “semaphore timeout” problem. I was shocked to see that there was so little findings on it. So I had to tell you, and get the solution out there. Was my pleasure man!

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