Looks like after almost 10 years the iPod Carolyn handed down to me has finally died. It was giving me disk errors and working very slowly on the plane ride here and since I think the disk has locked up. While I <3 rotating media, it may be time for something a bit more compact in the carry around device space. It will be interesting to see if flash media can last 10 years (though it will degrade by progressively losing capacity and performance, rather than physically locking up).
Fortunately I only buy physical CDs and never, ever download defective by design craptastic DRM files from iTunes, so at least I didn’t lose the keys to my own data with the device failure.