Last month, I cracked the glass on my iPod.
For all the vaunted stories I've read about iPod's Gorilla Glass, the glass does crack if it falls from height. The glass can crunch up against a set of keys without a scratch, but it doesn't necessarily withstand a fall from your coat pocket.
I thought I could live with it. There was more than enough smooth glass for me to read and compose e-mails and tweets, but the back-breaker was playing Candy Crush. If I wanted to preserve my finger tips, I needed to get this glass replaced.
I've repaired electronics before, so I looked into replacing the glass myself. I thought it would just be a "do-it-yourself" swap. I couldn't have been more wrong. The repair of a 5th generation iPod "display assembly" has a very exacting procedure requiring specialized tools, and a surgeon's touch.
My wife helped me find Boston iPhone Repair in Harvard Square. The snug room filled with various iPods and iPhones in clamps gave me some assurance, but the second they realized my device was a 5th generation, they said "take it to Apple. It's too expensive for us to repair!"
With some fits and starts and help from my co-workers, I arranged my first ever appointment at Apple's Genius Bar in Burlington. When I arrived the technician looked at the cracked glass, then asked if I backed up my device. He said for this kind of damage, the usual route is replacement. It would cost me $149. I gave him my credit card in agreement.
The Apple employee had me erase my cracked iPod, then retrieved my replacement device. I was slightly disappointed that it wasn't in a glass box. Instead it was wrapped in some folded cellophane. I was even more disappointed that it didn't have any kind of charge, so I could't play with it in the store. But these were fleeting feelings.
At home I charged it up, then I summoned my old device from the cloud. When the future arrives and we can transport our consciousness into other bodies, it will look like an iPod restoring itself from the cloud. In an hour I had nearly everything restored, including my Candy Crush (level 55).
The iPod I had before this was from 2008, so I can only hope I can keep this replacement in good working condition for another five years.