In my inimitable fashion, my Apple-supplied technology preview of the iPod (see earlier posts) died on me about two days after arrival. I'm sure it was my fault. I unplugged while it was running. I stuck a too-long stereo adapter in it. I put it in my back pocket (and didn't sit on it). Fortunately, my Apple PR contact at Edelman Worldwide is a clever dude. I called him this a.m., and he said, press Menu + play for 10 seconds and it'll force a reboot. I do so. Little happy iPod bootup screen. Tony, you're my savior, I say, and email his Apple contact. I deal with a lot of PR people, and they are always criticized when they don't do what we press types want. It's important to thank them to their clients when they do great deeds such as this one. Does his competence predispose me more to the product? A bit. More in this Sunday's Seattle Times.