So I have a setup I like well for keeping the iPod up to date. I don't carry much music on the laptop because I have too little disk space and usually carry the iPod with the laptop so I already have all the music. But when on the road I sometimes want to charge the iPod from the laptop. The problem is that with the iPod set to auto-update the podcasts on the iPod are wiped out.
So the problem is how to charge the iPod from the laptop without having the podcasts stored there wiped out? By launching iPod Updater before plugging in the iPod iTunes is never told that an iPod is attached. The iPod charges and the podcasts are left alone.