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Plenty of hacks to keep you busy
on August 19, 2004
Let me start off by telling readers that your definition of "hack" or "hacking" may vary. To some, hacking is a dark art of exploitation. To others it might be something that is actually called reverse engineering. In this book, a hack, or hacking refers to what "hacking" started out as - discovering a cool shortcut or workaround, an neat trick, a new use, or an undiscovered tool or accessory. As the author mentions in the Introduction, not all hacks have to be about technology, or even high-tech which I think threw off one of the reviewers of this book. Never hacked a TV antenna with aluminum foil for better reception, or fixed something with duct tape?
Having said that, there are some pretty great hacks in this book. For instance there is good coverage of battery replacement (save yourself that Apple service fee,)using iPod with Outlook (a bit tricky,) install Linux on the iPod (you cant get hackier than that,) move playlists around machines with XML, AppleScripting with iTunes, and others.
The book is not super hard core, but is accessible to everyone, which I think is the point. Those who are expecting detailed schematics, or instructions on disassembly (why would you do that?) will be disappointed. Honestly, there is not really all that much you can "hack" into an iPod - it's a pretty closed system. But, the author has done a great job of finding the edges, and the fringes of iPod hacking, and the book is a great resource for iPod users, getting everything into one place.
Hacking iPod + iTunes absolutely ranks up there with the other iPod books on the market, and covers things a lot of them don't - making it truly unique.