I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

This $50 refurbished iPod Shuffle just took down my new Mac Pro for an hour.

The Shuffle started acting funny the other day while docked: it wouldn’t eject or re-mount, while Finder and iTunes gave strange error messages for it. I quickly forgot, since I hardly ever use it.

Tonight I powered down my Mac Pro to move some wires, and when I turned it back on, it wouldn’t get past the gray boot screen. It was pretty clearly an issue with boot devices. After an hour of troubleshooting, including the futile removal of all 4 hard drives and my extra RAM, I finally remembered that there was this little Shuffle docked to it from my desk.

The Shuffle, a USB mass-storage device, would have been questioned by the computer during boot. Here’s how that went:

Mac Pro: Hey, USB devices out there! Are any of you bootable?
Keyboard: No.
Mouse: No.
Monitor hub: No.
Epson thing: No, but let me make some unnecessary noises because I’m an Epson thing.
Scanner: No.
iPod Shuffle: …ugh… what? Oh! I think… wait… just… a… minute…

The timeout expires in about a minute.

Mac Pro: Shuffle?… ok, I’ll have to move on in a second—
iPod Shuffle: No! Wait! I… er… uh…

Another minute.

iPod Shuffle: Oh, I think I am bootable after all. Shit, hold on… Where did I put my keys?… aw man… I have no idea what’s going on…


Lesson learned: iPod Shuffles aren’t very good.

(Photo by Tiff)