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#tbt Newsweek iPod Nation


#tbt Newsweek iPod Nation

The year was 2004. It was about 2-1/2 years after the original iPod was unveiled, and it was beginning to change the world. It also put my ugly mug in the pages of Newsweek.

Newsweek, July 26, 2004

I recently came across an old photo that reminded me of this, so I thought Throwback Thursday seemed like an appropriate opportunity to document this now that 10 years have passed. Hard to believe it’s been that long already.

The July 26, 2004 cover of Newsweek featured Steve Jobs holding the 4th generation version of the iconic music player (aka the Click Wheel iPod). The article was about how the iPod became a cultural phenomena. This was a quote from him in the article:

I was on Madison, and it was, like, on every block, there was someone with White headphones and I thought, ‘Oh, my God, it’s starting to happen.’

– Steve Jobs


Inside, the opening spread for the cover story included photos of several individuals enjoying their iPods in various aspects of their lives.

This is what it looked like: 

Someone look familiar? I wasn’t working for Apple back then, but I have always been a big Apple nerd and at the time, a fairly obsessed iPod enthusiast. Newsweek got a hold of me since my sister had told one of her connections there about how I had gone through the trouble of installing an iPod into my car as the primary music player. It was the first of a few mods I made to the car while I had it. This was long before auto manufacturers starting including USB ports or offering iPod/iPhone connection kits so I had to do it all myself (although I did enlist the help of a prop maker friend to laser cut the faceplate out of ABS plastic). The process was documented on my since-retired website,, which also contained a message board for other enthusiasts to share their installs and swap tips. Anyone remember phpBB

The Newsweek/MSNBC website also featured my photo on the homepage when the article ran. The site has changed a lot since then and the article seems to have disappeared, but thanks to the Way Back Machine, the original article, by Steven Levy can still be found. Unfortunately, it only archived 2 of the 3 pages of the article.

Newsweek Homepage, July 2004

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the photo shoot for the article. Jeff Minton was the photographer hired by Newsweek, who I eventually also helped get hired to do some work for Yahoo! – although I had already left Yahoo! for Oakley by the time the job came through, so I didn’t actually get to work with him behind the camera.

And a few more random throwback shots of the install. I enjoyed this setup for several years before I replaced the G35 with my M3, which naturally, already has a built-in iPhone connection kit integrated with the dash. More shots of the car and install can be found at on the archived website gallery.

My G35iPod site also happened to be one of the first sites I experimented with using CSS to change skins. Surprisingly it still works ok, and ironically, I had also created an Apple skin, as tribute to the company back then. That skin should help remind you of another throwback.  Here’s what looked like back then. Who could have guessed I would end up working on that same website 10 years later.



Aluminum M Pedals painted and installed. Before and after pics:

Weekend project complete. Saturday morning was spent getting supplies and I took a couple hours in the afternoon to do the install. I expected it to be harder but it wasn’t too bad at all. Thanks to the suggestions on the DIY threads on, I went out and bought some titanium drill bits to make the drilling easier. The brake pedal was the hardest, but was ultimately easier than I thought it would be. I wasn't thrilled about drilling holes into the OEM dead pedal and considered leaving that alone, but I’m glad I went ahead with it. It looks way better all matched up.

View main image large, on black.

The pedals came with outlined M’s which I didn’t like the look of, so I filled them in with black paint. I was originally going to cut frisket and spray paint them, but after not being able to find frisket at the art store, I decided to just get a thin brush and paint it by hand. Since the outlines are debossed, it allowed for a good margin of error. I messed up one time, but a swift xacto blade surgery fixed the blemish.

Here's a before and after shot, along with some closeups:



My weekend project arrived a couple days too late.

Finally got these in after a week of waiting. Was hoping to install these last weekend but now it looks like it will be next weekend instead.

Still deciding whether I want to go through the trouble of masking/painting the M's though. Not a big fan of the outline. Also considering monochrome stripes but I think that will be too much work. I think I need to do some Photoshop mocks to decide.



Massive blister on my thumb from rubbing gunk off my trunk left by the M3 badge.

I wasn't real happy with the double-sided tape that came on the monochrome M3 badge I was yellow and visible even after I filled in the edges with black sharpie so it made it look cheap to me. I got tired of looking at it and noticing it every time so I finally took it off today.

The cheap part (which wasn't cheap, actually) left me a little present on my thumb. The adhesive might have been ugly, but it sure was strong. I'm just glad it didn't damage my paint. It's nice and smooth now :D



A few mediocre iPhone pics of my recently tinted windows and smoked taillights.

I think it’s going to take me awhile before I get around to taking good photos, so I went ahead and shot some with the iPhone camera. It’s a little hard to tell exactly what they look like from these but here are a few quick shots.

All side windows: Formula 1 Pinnacle Ceramic Tints 35
Rear windshield: Formula 1 Pinnacle Ceramic Tints 15
Front windshield: Untinted

None of the shots are edited in any way but the contrast does look higher in these photos than it does in real life. The tints looks black in some shots, but that’s not how it is in reality. The 15 on the back really does helps darken the 35 sides though. The closeup in photo 4 is fairly representative of the real thing. You can also see how much more transparent the tints are when the front windshield is showing light from behind in some of the shots, but all in all I’m happy with how much darker this looks than the same F1 Pinnacle 35 I had on my G35 (all around).

Rear tail lights are smoked with a medium film. I wanted to leave the bottom clear strip uncovered but there is a small area of red underneath so the installers at Tint Plus did not recommend it since they weren't sure how well it would hold up over time.



Finally...success installing the Carbon Fiber Monochrome Side Gills. Here’s some shots of the whole package (for now).

Finally got the CF side gills installed. I was really afraid I was going to break some of the pieces, but heating up the plastic helped quite a bit. There were a couple of areas that bent out of shape and kind of stuck that way after the plastic cooled off, but bending is better than breaking so I’m ok with that. I might need to adjust the gill on the passenger side a little though since I realized after the fact that the light unit didn’t snap all the way in like it’s supposed to.

A few more photos are on my Flickr set.



First few cosmetic M3 mods done. Check out the pics.

It’s just the beginning, but here’s what the boy and I did so far this weekend:

  • Carbon Fiber Kidneys
  • Carbon Fiber Hood Roundel
  • Carbon Fiber Trunk Roundel
  • Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel Roundel
  • Monochrome M3 Trunk Emblem
  • Smoked Front Reflectors

I also have a set of Carbon Fiber Side Gills with Monochrome M3 Emblems but I’m having a little trouble getting them installed. One of the pieces on the unit that pulls out looks like it’s pretty easy to break so I’m going to do a little more research before I dive in. My fingers kind of hurt now anyways, from all the squeezing, pulling, pushing, etc. Might give it another attempt tomorrow, otherwise, maybe next week. I also plan on getting the windows tinted and tail lights smoked next week if I can get an appointment at Tint Plus.

I have a few more photos on my Flickr account, including a comparison of the OEM chrome and aftermarket CF kidneys.



More parts for my M3

I'm about a week away from my trip and am still collecting some odds and ends. In the photo above are:

  • Smoked Reflectors
  • iPod Connection Cable
  • iPhone Snap-In Adapter

The Snap-In Adapter will charge and hold my phone securely in the center console, route music from my iPhone through the iDrive system, as well as boost the phone signal through the car antenna. The iPhone also connects to the car via Bluetooth so my contacts will be accessible through iDrive.

The iPod Connection Cable won't be used very much since I'll mostly be using the ease and convenience of snapping the phone in and out of the adapter, but in the event someone else wants to connect their iPod (like the boy on our ED trip), it's available. It's a prerequisite for the Snap-In Adapter otherwise I might not have gotten it.

The Smoked Reflectors will replace the OEM orange ones and add another 5HP to my 414HP V8.

{ Sent from my iPhone }