There’s something especially rewarding about hacking Apple products…

I don’t know what it is. I think it’s just that all there stuff is such a black box. You can’t easily open any of their products, you never see their guts, you never think about the software on it. Stuff goes in, stuff comes out, but they very purposefully design things so you don’t know what’s going on inside. The way Apple explains their kit is that it is “Magical.”

But fuck “magic.” I quit believing in magic when I was seven and found out the Force isn’t real. What’s actually inside my iPod  is a lithium-ion battery, a 74GB HDD, and a motherboard with integrated 64MB of RAM, a 1MB flash chip with a bootloader on it, and another dedicated to the operating system. And to prove it, I wiped and replaced the bootloader, then pointed it to my newly installed iPod operating system. Check it out:

So I did this in the first place because I don’t use iTunes anymore, and that’s what’s needed to update an iPod. But that’s lame, right? I mean, when iTunes adds music to an iPod, all that’s happening is it’s copying mp3 files to a USB attached harddrive. Why do I need iTunes to copy mp3s to a USB attached harddrive? My computer can copy mp3 files to a USB attached harddrive. So I decided to install a different operating system on my iPod, and now I can copy mp3s to my iPod however I want. Simple.

But then once it was done, it was pretty gorgeous. You know, maybe not the Rockbox UI, but the process and the results are gorgeous. I got to, step by step, crush any illusions I had about my iPod, and finally the curtain is drawn back. It’s a fuckin computer that plays mp3s. And that’s it. Worth remembering.

PS — Awesome operating system from Rockbox, and working bootloader from emCORE.