[discuss] Linux on my iPod

Hi folks,

I'm an engineering masters student at UOttawa studying cryptography and
related fields. I've come to subscribe to this list because I often find
myself with various CLUE-esque things to discuss that don't always fit
into the context of the GOSLING mailing list.

I've come over today specifically because Russell suggested I might show
you all something interesting:

http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/3460/dscf2195if4.jpg

That's Doom running on my iPod Nano on a Linux distribution. Although
it's a 1" screen, has no sound, and is difficult to control with that
stupid "wheel," to its credit, it runs smoothly, and, did I mention,
IT'S DOOM ON AN iPod!! Now how cool is that?

For the hardened linux users it may be nothing special, but considering
I've never undertaken any Linux install before, coupled with the fact
that iTunes allegedly puts code on the iPod to actually BLOCK you from
doing so, I think it's significant that the average Joe can do something
like this -- install Linux on an iPod that is.

It didn't even occur to me before I did it, but is evident now, an iPod
is a computer -- aka a Universal Turning Machine. If you didn't know
better (and I didn't) you might think that an iPod was like your watch
or microwave... or even other usbkey/mp3 players with hardwired logic.
But a computer is in a special category of device, because it is a
general purpose tool. And as far as I know, no one, not even the
manufacturer has the right to tell you what computations your computer
is allowed to undertake. More specifically, I mean which software your
computer MUST run.

But apparently Apple is trying to do just that. Or at least so I hear,
make it illegal, where possible, to run other non-apple software.
Interestingly enough, the aforementioned Linux install on my Nano
allowed dual-boot to Apple's so-called "firmware," meaning I can run
either. And so it should be -- a computer is my tool to use how I see
fit. Right?

::Aleks Essex

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