Amazon's Potter Disappointment and Old iPods

I was one of the million plus people who pre-ordered the latest Harry Potter opus from Amazon. Saturday, I found myself milling around my living room, impatiently awaiting delivery. Every bump, shuffle or footstep I heard from the front of the house caused me to peer out the window to

I was one of the million plus people who pre-ordered the latest Harry Potter opus from Amazon. Saturday, I found myself milling around my living room, impatiently awaiting delivery. Every bump, shuffle or footstep I heard from the front of the house caused me to peer out the window to see if it was here. It was a little like Christmas when I was a kid, yet infinitely more embarrassing.

Finally, the box arrived around 2 p.m. When I tore open the box, I glanced briefly at the all the advertisements (for which Amazon was surely paid a mint) that came with the book. One ad in particular caught my eye: the Seagate ad offering an additional 10 percent off Amazon's already low, low prices.

Now, I am always in need of some more storage. I have lots of music (probably about 1000 CDs worth), lots of video (Unbox, TivoToGo, home movies, and more ISOs and VMs than I know what to do with). Between all the computers in my house, I'd estimate I have around 3TB of storage available for use, and I'm probably at about 60 percent utilization right now, although that fluctuates greatly depending on my HDTV DVR usage (I use Snapstream's BeyondTV in case you are wondering).

But what I don't have is the ability to move large chunks of data between home and work, something I desperately need to move around the ISOs and Virtual Machines that I frequently want to work on in both locations. I have the usual collections of 1 and 2GB USB sticks, but those have proven somewhat limited in use due to the volume of material I sometimes tote around.

Looking around on Amazon, I decided that the Seagate FreeAgent Go series would be a great fit for my needs. You can get 80, 120 or 160GB of storage in a small form factor, with no need for an external power adapter, as the unit is powered via the bus. Amazon's prices weren't that great, but with the 10 percent discount and a $25 gift certificate I had recently received, I decided the 120GB unit was worth a buy.

The only problem was that the Amazon discount code (FREEAGNT) did not work when I tried to place the order on Saturday. I got an error message saying that the code was not applicable to product in my cart, even though I had selected it from the link referenced in the ad.

I figured that maybe the code was not yet active, since the shipment was only intended to be delivered to all of us that day. It was a weekend and someone probably forgot to flip the switch.

Basking in my disappointment on being thwarted from yet another half-baked electronics purchase, I stared glumly around my desk until my eyes lit upon my old iPod. Since my iPhone acquisition earlier this month, my old 30GB iPod (the one that predates the click wheel -- you know, the one with the four buttons in the middle) has been completely neglected.

I had never actually used that iPod for portable storage as I had stuffed it to the gills with music. But now would be the time. I restored the software, wiping out all the music stored on it. Then I connected it to a computer without iTunes installed, just to ensure I did not need a special driver.

And this morning, I transported my first data load on it, about 12GB worth.

So, in short, I'd like to thank Amazon for being a little slow on the draw, saving me from wasting $100 that I didn't really need to spend right now. But don't worry, I'm sure I will be back to drop the cash on something else later.