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Standing on my head, pressing buttons

So there I am, bleary-eyed, trying to remember the magic combination that resets an iPod -- because no way am I taking it to the Apple Store with my musical misdemeanours on display

This morning my iPod crashed, in karmic payback for Friday's bout of Apple rage. There was no good reason for it to crash, because all I'd done is unplug it from the power, which is one of the things you're supposed to be able to do with a portable music player -- the whole portability thing does mean moving more than a cable's length away from the mains.

I know it was payback because It crashed in a particularly aggravating way, with half the screen showing the menu and half showing one of those songs you'd rather not admit to owning, let alone listening to (what can I say, I was a teenager in the 80s). So there I am, bleary-eyed, late for my train, trying to remember the magic combination that resets an iPod -- because no way am I taking it to the shiny new iPod Bar with the musical misdemeanours of my youth on display.

Rules of life no. 291: if you put naff music on your iPod, it'll crash on the Now Playing screen

After several minutes of sliding switches, pressing buttons and cursing, I give in and look up the magic combination, which is: plug the iPod into the power, slide the Hold switch to on and then back to off, stand on your head and press Menu and Select (the button in the centre of the ClickWheel) for 6 to 10 seconds. If you don't have the instructions to hand, you can easily deduce this sequence by, hmm, looking it up on the Internet.

When my Palm TX crashes, I use the stylus to prod the reset switch on the back. The TX shakes its brain, blinks its eyes and restarts -- drama over. Palm accepts that its device might crash, and makes it easy for you to recover. Apple doesn't want to admit that iPods can go bad, so you have to learn the secret handshake.

Still, if you don't get cross with Apple, maybe your iPod won't falter.