Music &Nerd stuff (technology) 08 May 2007 04:45 pm

Nerd without Karma

It’s not as bad as it sounds, folks.

My companion on my early morning constitutionals – an aged Rio Karma digital audio player – has died. The ‘increase volume’ button failed. By the time I figured out what the problem was, it was too late – I’d already turned the volume down.

The Rio Karma was the Betamax of the DAP world – technically superior to the best-selling product (which, beyond any doubt, is the Apple iPod), but a marketplace failure. (Pretty typical of my technology purchases, sadly.) Karmas have been out of production since 2004 – the company has stopped making DAPs, and there hasn’t been a software update for nearly three years! Fortunately, the Rio Music Manager software operates perfectly under Windows Vista. In fact, curiously, I find that the Karma syncs more reliably on my Vista PC than it did when the PC was running XP.

So, what does one do with a dead Karma and 16GB of Ogg Vorbis ripped music that won’t play in an iPod (or a Creative Zen, or just about anything else, really)? My choices seem to be:

  • buy a new DAP and re-rip all my music (this would probably mean buying an iPod – something I’ve tried to avoid for years)
  • fix the Karma.

Fixing a Karma is not easy – especially in Australia. The device was never sold here. Mine was sent to me from a seller in the USA after I won an eBay auction. In other words, there’s no-one in this wide, brown land who operates a Karma repair workshop.

Fortunately, I have stumbled upon the delightfully-named supplier of Karma parts and services: Karmalimbo. Karmalimbo (where good Karmas come when they die) is operated by a guy in Canada who buys broken Karmas on eBay and strips them for parts. In fact, for aficionados, he makes ‘new’ Karmas by assembling working units from the remains of dead ones. He can even ‘modify’ Karma cases to install 40GB hard drives, doubling the capacity compared to an as-manufactured Karma!

I’ve ordered a ‘new’ mainboard and a ‘new’ front case from Karmalimbo. The parts should arrive in a week or so and, with a bit of luck, my Karma will then be back on the air and keeping me company in the mornings.

The first thing I’ll be listening to will be Part 3 of Dr Peter Jensen’s excellent lecture series entitled ‘Why I am a Protestant / Reformed / Evangelical Christian’. (Dr Jensen is the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney. The talks can be downloaded here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.)

7 Responses to “Nerd without Karma”

  1. on 10 May 2007 at 18:12 (Sydney) 1.Zog said …

    What a great concept – fixing your own karma!

    How do you work out how the mechanisms work – do you observe ‘what goes around, comes around’ principle? 😉

  2. on 12 May 2007 at 12:20 (Sydney) 2.Richard said …

    Zog: what a wheeze you are, old chap. Let’s just hope that I CAN fix my own Karma – coz no-one else is going to do it for me.

    Yours sincerely,


    Small prize for deciphering ‘BP’.

  3. on 12 May 2007 at 13:05 (Sydney) 3.Zog said …

    Bit Perturbed?
    Blatantly Put-out?

  4. on 12 May 2007 at 14:49 (Sydney) 4.Richard said …

    Bzzzzzt. Not even close. Try again.

  5. on 15 May 2007 at 22:11 (Sydney) 5.Zog said …

    Bollywood Patriarch?

  6. on 16 May 2007 at 11:52 (Sydney) 6.Richard said …

    Bzzzzzzt. Keep trying.

  7. on 19 May 2007 at 10:12 (Sydney) 7.Zog said …

    Bi-focaled potter?