How many iPods?

For years I have been warning friends off ipods. I just have read a lot of negative things about them, and did not feel comfortable giving them the thumbs up as an MP3 player.
A few weeks back I had the chance to swap a computer for an ipod nano 1st generation (1gb). I took the chance because I wanted to see what they were like…….Sadly, they were worse than I had read……
They are very unfriendly. The click wheel is quite literally a pain to use. You can not just drag and drop music or photos onto it from either Linux or Windows.
Terry had a bash at it for a few days (probably something like 5-6 hours all up) with Ubuntu. He was really trying hard, and I thought it was just his inexperience that did not get it to ‘fly’. He was pretty disappointed when he gave it back to me, he really wanted it to work. He was very confused how something so nice to hold could be such a pain to use.
Next up was Dan. He is my Linux guru so I was sure he would nut it out in no time. He came up with gtkpod, it was better, but after some 4-5 hours, Dan too gave it back.
I did not have the time, but could not believe that it would ‘stump’ two people that I look up too. I downloaded a few free windows applications to try and get it working. All to no avail.
As a last resort I looked at Podzilla and Rockbox. The latter was the quickest to put on, and thats as far as I got. The ipod now ‘works’ as an mp3 player. You still are stuck with that silly invisible wheel thing, but at least its drag and drop under any OS and it now sounds a whole lot better!
I have read a blog about how to tri-boot the thing, if I had some time, I would be doing that, but I just need an mp3 player, not a time sink!
I suspect that I will be putting it on the bike and just letting it rot there.

I wonder how many ipods are sitting in draws collecting dust because their owners have lost patience with them.
Hats off to Apple for selling them so well.

We will stick with our Irivers and no name players……..

Edit:7th Nov 2007. Was reading the news headlines on Slashdot this morning, and came across a story about Apple making a tablet PC. Slashdot had this to say about the question of whether Apple even have the ability to make a tablet PC……
The short answer is ‘yes’. Any company that can make a mobile phone with no buttons, no picture messaging, slow Web access and no video capture into the most desirable phone on the planet can easily make tablets popular.”

Sounds like two things to me, 1. I need to do some reading about the iPhone, looks like it might be another iPod, and 2. Sounds like I am not the only one that thinks that the advertising department of Apple has more money and clout than the R&D department.