I love the feeling of old things still working.

I've found this fella in a drawer some time ago. It wasn't working - the hard drive inside didn't survive when it was dropped on the floor some time ago. Turns out it's possible to (carefully) disassemble it and replace with a Compact Flash card, as it uses a standard PATA interface. Add to that a new battery from AliExpress and... somehow I wasn't able to flash it with a new firmware. (1/2)


I've tried multiple times, to no avail. I let it sit in a drawer for another few months, then tried it again today, and... it magically worked! It's really quite a cool little machine.

And now it's not only drop-proof (as it uses flash memory now instead of a literal spinning platters inside), but also bumped from 4GB to 16GB. Its firmware didn't even blinked at this upgrade!

Of course it shows its age.(2/3)

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1. The only way to actually put music on it is to use `gnomad2`, which is dated (for example Fedora doesn't package it anymore) and any uploads are quite slow.
2. There's an option to use it as a USB memory device. Player simply creates a small separate partition on its disk and it's completely separate from the actual media player functionality (no .mp3 uploads this way!)
3. You need a corded heaphones *without* a microphone. A minijack with more than 3 pins just doesn't seem to work correctly.

I think the cutest thing on this device is how it has a read-only simple PIM included. gnomad2 doesn't seem to allow syncing with it, but I absolutely love the idea of using this unironically back in the day

Also I love the overall design of this device. Bootup animation is a water drop video (1bit black and white, no less), and the back cover is sttlized to look like a water ripples. That's all under a transparent piece of plastic, thet makes it look really cool IMO

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