Friday, August 28, 2009

Painless Upgrade

In the past upgrading the firmware on my iPod Touch has been a painful experience (unless I have been doing something wrong), in that the upgrade has reset my Touch and removed all my music and videos.  As I don’t retain copies of my CD’s in iTunes this has meant that after the upgrade I have had to go through the lengthy process of re-importing my CD collection.  Thus for along time I have been on the hunt for a program that will allow me to copy my media files back onto my PC so that it makes the re-importing a lot quicker and less tedious.

Although there are a number of commercial programs available, I have been using a program called iPhoneBrowser (  This program looks a bit like Windows Explorer, allowing me to see the whole of the folder structure of the Touch and backing up selected files to a PC.

Even though it is a powerful program it has a couple of draw backs.

  1. You have to be familiar with Unix / Linux folder structures making the hunting down of where you music is stored frustrating;
  2. The music (and videos) files do not have user friendly names (i.e. IHAX.m4a) and there is no knowing what track is what until you import them in to iTunes.

So my hunt has continued, until the beginning of the week when I discovered SharePod (, a free standalone application that when copying your media files gives them recognisable filenames.

After several tests of copying music from the Touch to a PC using SharePod I decided to take the plunge and upgrade the firmware to the latest version (3.0/7A341).  The first step was to backup all my media on the Touch.  SharePod was very impressive, copying 1,300 audio tracks to the PC in half an hour.  The next step was to perform the upgrade itself.  This went very smoothly and after the upgrade I discovered that this time the Touch had not been wiped clean with all my media still there.  Initially I was a bit annoyed at having gone to all the trouble of backing up my Touch but then when I thought about it if I hadn’t I would not have discovered the brilliant SharePod.

Aside:  Anyone interested in jailbreaking their iPod Touch (or iPhone) should take a look at this instructional video

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

M366: TMA03 Result

Last night I got the result back for TMA03, 93%.  Still on course for a Distinction if only I can find a way of nailing the exam.  One of the problems with M366 is that it covers so much information and I am struggling to remember any of it.  Hopefully the M500 weekend and revision tutorials will help.  If anyone has got any revision tips and tricks they are most welcome.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

M500 Revision Weekend

I have just booked a place at the M500 Revision Weekend.

The M500 Society began in 1973 as a self-help group for Open University maths students in Southampton.  Now there are members throughout Britain and in many other countries across the world.

Every year they hold a revision weekend at the Aston University, Birmingham.  The Weekend, 11th - 13th September 2009, is designed to help with exam revision, is open to all OU students and this year includes M366.

There are five teaching sessions for each course, which are Friday 19.30 - 21.30, Saturday 9.30 - 12.30 and 14.00 -17.30, and Sunday 9.30 - 12.30 and 14.00 - 17.00. Total teaching time, excluding the tea breaks, is about 13.5 hours.

If you are doing more than one course, you are free to go to any of your courses for any session. Most tutors will produce a timetable to help you decide which course to go to for any particular session.

I have previously attended these weekends for both M301 and M359, and found them to be invaluable in assisting with my revision.

For further information goto

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

TMA03 finally submitted

Finally got around to submitting TMA03 this afternoon, and as some tutors have commented, it took a mighty long time to complete.  This is primarily due to the number of neural networks (and variations) we had to create and the number of training sessions needed for each one.

Now on to Block 5.  No peace for the wicked.