Mai Yamani

By hook or by crook

I'm rather pleased to be done with my last paper. Well, in order to be strictly accurate, replace "rather pleased" with "adrenaline-charged, sleep deprived, grinning-like-a-loon maniac," but that sounds a bit off-putting.

Also having fun with my new toy:


iPod docked


Not only does it do terribly clever things like hold all the music I have to throw at it and a complete backup of everything on my iBook's hard drive (no more lost data! ever!) with tons of room to spare, sync with all my address book and calendar stuff, and play solitaire, it is also my portable purveyor of fic and other text-y goodness.



The new iPods have the new "Notes" feature under Extras. If you mount the iPod as a Firewire drive (enabled within iTunes, by clicking on the iPod, then clicking on the little button in the left side of the lower right which has just appeared), you can place text files in a folder called Notes, and then read these files off the iPod.

This feature is intended for the storage of information like directions or call numbers of library books or something, and the files are supposed to be no more than 4 KB. If you do happen to try putting a file in excess of 4 KB on there for your later viewing pleasure or necessity, it will truncate it at 4 KB, which is not very helpful. And of course any substantial reading with which to pass the time is a lot more than 4 KB

This is where the Unix command "split" under Mac OS X comes in handy. You can use it to split up one larger text file into smaller files each of which is 4 KB. It's very simple. Just get your hands on the text in question and save it somewhere, say on your desktop. Then, from the terminal, you cd to wherever you put the file (cd desktop if that's where you put it) and input the following command:

split -b 4k name_you_saved_it_as name_you_want_listed_on_iPod

It will take the file (name_you_saved_it_as) and split it into a number of files 4 KB in size, each of which is prefixed with name_you_want_listed_on_iPod and some letters (aa, ab, etc.)

When you read the files, they will stop in the middle of words and such, but it just takes two pressings of a button and a bit of scrolling and you continue reading where you left off. Also, if you have hundreds of these files in the directory, it may take a while the first time you access it, but not thereafter.



It does help that I like to scroll constantly as I read, and don't mind at all reading off computer screens and the like.
  • Current Mood: determined determined
  • Current Music: Svefn-g-englar - Sigur Ros