Ask The Nice Guy - Difficulty Typing, Syncing Used iPod, Refurbished Macs

This is the 4th post in a series called Ask The Nice Guy. In this series I will attempt to provide answers to the various questions I get asked throughout the week.

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in this blog post, boiled down to five word (or less) summaries.

  1. Difficulty typing on iPhone
  2. Syncing used iPod
  3. Refurbished Macs

Question 1: Will I have difficulty typing on the iPhone?

I am older - will I have difficulty tapping individual keys and apps on the screen in your estimation? I can’t be alone with this concern! I have no problem with my current Sony Ericsson phone for touch.

I know many of my clients and many of my community ed students are "older" and have iPhones. Many of them seem to have little difficulty typing and tapping on apps.

If you feel like you will have trouble tapping the keys on the screen I would recommend that you pick up a stylus. Many people have found that it is easier to use the iPhone or the iPad with a stylus instead of their finger.

Question 2: Syncing Used iPod Nano With iTunes?

I’d like to purchase a used iPod Nano (6th generation) at Pawn America. I really like the small size & other features on the gen 6 Nano. I currently have a 5th generation iPod, so I’m familiar with how they work. My question relates to technical problems that might arise. If I recall, iPods are “dedicated” to a specific computer—apparently this prevents people from sharing music and audio books. If I buy a used iPod Nano, will this there be any problems in downloading audio books and music from my iMac? I currently have a library of audio books on my iMac and would like to download a few of those books onto a gen 6 Nano in the event that I purchase one.

You are correct that iPods are designed to sync with only one iTunes library to prevent people from sharing music and audio books.

However, there will be no issues syncing audiobooks or music to the iPod Nano that you will purchase. When you plug in the used iPod you will likely see a box that looks something like this:


You will choose Erase and Sync and it will now connect the used iPod to your iTunes library. You can now transfer music and audio books to the used iPod just like you have been transferring music and audio books to your other iPod.

Question 3: Used or Refurbished Macs?

I am looking at purchasing a Mac this week and wondered what you think about purchasing used or refurbished Macs.

I think that purchasing a refurbished Mac from the online Apple Store is a great way to save some money on your next Mac. I just helped my mom and dad purchase a refurbished Mac mini from the online Apple Store. They were able to save over $100.

Apple claims that refurbished products sold through Apple are as good as new. They go through rigourous testing to make sure that they meet their standards of quality. All refurbished products come with the standard one year warrant that all brand new Apple products come with and you have the option to purchase Apple Care if you so desire.

The refurbished section on Apple's online store changes on a regular basis so if you see something you want I would not hesitate to purchase it because it might not be there the next day. On the flip side, if you don't see something that matches what you want you should keep on checking because it is constantly changing.

I am a bit more hesitant to purchase an used computer unless I know the person that owned it. If you are looking at used electronics on eBay or Craiglist you may find that someone is trying to sell you a device that has been damaged or abused.

If you were to purchase an used Mac, I would recommend getting the serial number and checking to see how much warranty is left on it. If it is still covered under warranty and it passes a visual inspection where you don't see any major dings, dents, or other signs of misuse or abuse then it would probably be okay.

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