Sunday, October 7, 2012

iPod crash and recovery

In Safari, I was working with pinch-and-spread gestures on my 4th generation iPod Touch to access some content from, a site to which I occasionally contribute with this blog's entries. On my iPod, that website displays "non-optimally" in Safari (and in Opera Mini, which led me to give Safari a whirl), and my pinch-and-spread was a futile struggle to read the beginning text of the left-side navigation links, so I was unable to identify to which group of blogs most clickable links (the ones in blue below, ending in "Blogs") led:

Suddenly the screen totally whacked out with various jagged, colored lines displaying and continuously moving.

The crash was more serious than I'd ever seen. Holding the power button down would not turn the iPod off, although now I realize that, since I couldn't truly see what the screen was trying to display, perhaps the "slide to power off" slider was in fact trying to show (although I did try to slide my finger across the screen where I thought it would have appeared).

Having no way to turn it off, I plugged in the power cord, wanting to have power if I needed to take it to the Apple Store the following day. I went to get a camera to take a picture of the wacky screen, but by the time I returned, the iPod had already started resetting itself, similar to as if turning on from a total power off. The Apple image was displaying, and after more time the Enter Passcode screen appeared.

At the time of the crash, my iPod had been competing with another iPod's Pandora app music streaming for a decent share of my low throughput WiFi, which may have been a factor. As is often the case, I was likely also stressing its 256 MB of RAM because of the number of apps I had open.

In any case, I am impressed and pleased that the iOS 5.1.1 (or perhaps software at an even level lower than the iOS?) had been written well enough to recognize that the iPod was in big trouble, and forced it to reboot itself. Without that, I would have been obliged to make an inconvenient trip to the Apple Store.

I salute you, Apple engineers!

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