for the benefit of science

Jailbreaking the iPhone for the benefit of science is a lofty task, especially for people who have too much time in their hand to tinker with new technology. When it first came out in 2007, the first thing I did was immerse myself in firmwares and basebands and scripts until I got familiar with its file system. Now two generations later, Apple still makes incredible attempts to plug holes and stop people from messing up with their systems.

Currently I’m on 3.1.2 and the latest firmware as of writing is 3.1.3. With the release of the iPad and the 4.0 SDK, another upgrade is imminent. To preserve the status quo on my present setup, I sync with iTunes regularly to backup my files and keep a handy set of utilities.

One pitfall I always find myself in is the endless loop of apple logo display that does not proceed to boot up. I also encounter the dreaded iTunes 16xx or 20xx errors when I try to restore to custom firmware. This usually happens when I’m doing a lot of surfing or launching games that connects to the Internet. My phone works fine while I’m doing all those stuff but when I put it down and maybe leave it overnight, or put it in airplane mode while I’m in transit (usually for an hour or so), I find that upon waking it from sleep mode,  it suddenly couldn’t connect to my wireless routers anymore.

I then do the customary shutdown and startup just in case there are some background processes hogging the cpu or something, but this often triggers the endless loop problem. In case it does boot up properly and still can’t connect to the wireless server, I then continue with resettting the network settings, which might actually fix the issue if it can bypass the endless loop syndrome.

After much hands-on experience with phenomenon, I’ve devised ways to prepare myself for the impending doom and I’ve amassed a collection of nifty implements to get me out of jeopardy and back into the almost perfectly working world of fw 3.1.2. What can I say, I don’t want to upgrade until I’ve figured out all the nooks of the current release.

Here are some points to remember:
1. Apple has stopped signing fw 3.1.2 so restoring back to it through the usual Option + Restore method in iTunes will result to 16xx or 20xx errors.
2. It’s important to have a copy of your iPhone’s ECID and SHSH files.
3. Have a handy copy of your custom restore file.
4. Sync with iTunes everyday to have a backup of your files and settings.
5. Don’t jailbreak unless you want your life to be complicated.
6. Panic count: 0.

These days, when my iPhone starts acting up like taking too long to respond after I’ve opened a hundred tabs on Safari or suddenly disconnects from my router or couldn’t search available wireless networks, the first thing I do is plug it on my Mac and sync with iTunes. I am already preparing myself for the inevitable restore so I need the freshest backup possible. Then I try the following and see if any of them works:

1. Restart.
2. Hard reset.
3. Reset network settings.

If it was some stray process, any of the three would solve the problem but if its some weird stuff you were not supposed to install then never, I mean never jailbreak your iPhone again unless you can get yourself out of this. This reminded me of all the ROM flashing I’ve done with my Palm devices back when CLIEs still roamed the earth. You don’t have business messing up the low level stuff if you don’t understand a single line of code. Better stick with the stock options.

Anyway, assuming that you know your stuff well, then you really don’t need to read this. I’m just writing notes in case someone asks me how and I’m too busy to explain in detail. This morning I woke up and checked the weather forecast on my iPhone but found that it couldn’t connect to the server. Could it be all those threads I opened last night to simulate multitasking? I don’t know for sure so I just plugged it into iTunes and started syncing. I then tried the quick fixes mentioned above but none of them worked and step 3 brought me to endless apple logo loop.

Without delving too much into the technical explanation of each step, here’s the rest of the procedure that resurrected my device:

1. Put the iPhone in Recovery mode.
2. Modify the host file to intercept iTunes
3. Fire up TinyTSS and run your own signature server using your backup SHSH file
4. Run iTunes and plug in your iPhone
5. Once iTunes recognizes the device in recovery mode, restore to the custom firmware and load your settings back.

As I’m writing this I’ve just finished doing all the steps above and my iPhone is in happy working state again. Thank you Apple for giving me an education.

back to basic

After owning what is arguably the best phone in the world, I decided to go back to basics so I took out the first mobile phone I bought with my hard earned wages from my first job. It was a Nokia 8210, and it’s still working after 10 years. The aesthetic condition leaves a lot to be desired but it’s still functional, only the charger and battery needed to be replaced and maybe the case too. When I inserted my sim, it asked for a security code, a five digit number that I have conveniently forgotten, good thing I still have my master code generator based on the IMEI so I was able to unlock it.

I looked at the picture logos and the picture messages saved on it and smiled at how it paled in comparison with the multimedia-rich content that new phones now have; but it’s a classic and I love it.

While visiting Ayala, I saw those new brands of mobile phones – Cherry Mobile and MyPhone. Their designs are interesting, they looked like carbon copies of some Nokia models, except they are way cheaper and had more functionality, like a dual sim holder and a built-in TV tuner. I wonder how the build quality is though..

When I first saw the P1, I new I had to have one, it was small and it looked like a calculator, but the selling point of this phone is not really its looks but its price – $23. I was computing the cost of getting a new battery, charger and front and back covers for my 8210 and it looked like it would be more practical to just get the P1 to house my other sim.

After searching for a black P1 at three malls and coming out empty handed, I finally opted to get the next model instead, the P2. The only difference is it has a color TFT screen, an FM tuner and a flashlight, which I still don’t know how to activate since I’m refusing to read the manual. The price difference is $7 so I took it home and am now happily listening to the radio on its loud speaker, not bad at all. I just hope it lasts for a year at least.

cyclic redundancy error

I never realized the extent of the redundancy in my life until the minute I started packing my stuff. You never really think you have too much stuff until you start trying to fit them in boxes or suitcases. I thought I was an expert in packing already, after the countless moves I’ve done over the years, I move at an average of five times a year ever since I learned how to walk, and it was only when I was in Makati and Vancouver when that average was reduced to twice or thrice at best. Anyway, I should have learned my lesson and stopped accumulating useless little things that add up, but well here I am, still on the same dillema.

Can you imagine having 10 colors of the same shirt? (this OCB reminds me of the “The Catcher in the Rye” in Conspiracy Theory) dozens of hoodies, tanks, jeans, pedals, shorts, skirts, dresses, flip flops, sandals, runners, boots, none of which I have actually worn more than five times. How did I accumulate all these? And when I move on to my electronics box, eek! More evidence of consumerism here. How have I become so consumed with the things of the world? It’s that bitten apple I tell you. It gives momentary happiness with its shiny blinking screens but causes much distress and grief to your wallet.

So now I’m faced with this awful task of eliminating these redundancy in my life. After all, how many laptops, iPhones and iPods do you need to be happy right? I’m thinking two of each would be good enough.. Kidding, of course you don’t *need* any of those to be happy, but then again, it’s not always what you *need* that makes you happy. It’s usually what you *want*. For now I just want to have less luggage, so I can travel light. So which one of these headphones should I keep? I mean, really now, how many pairs of ears do I have again? ^^

wind and rain

my friend from the windy city decided to visit the province of endless rain. she flew into tacoma so we drove down there to pick her up and also to take krissy to the airport so she could catch her flight to florida. we had a detour at the space needle and late dinner at zumi – great sushi fusion restobar in downtown seattle. we rented a car but got a mini van instead so we had too much space and not enough people on this trip. especially since someone backed out and nobody was available at the last minute to do some spur of the moment roadtrip to washington state. anywhichway it was fine, i was navigator again who’s only purpose is not really to navigate since the gps is there but rather to keep the driver awake. we got back at around 4am and i retired into dreamless sleep.

vancouver was never shy showing its true colors, rain clouds followed our weekend as we went to queen e park, lynn valley, cleveland dam, deep cove, lonsdale quay, stanley park and downtown. my friend sampled the city’s public transit – bus, skytrain and seabus. day pass here is more expensive than in chicago for sure. to try extreme sports, i practiced juggling text messages while biking in the rain along the seawall, some people go crazy in this kind of weather. i’m one of them.

got the purple nanochromatic with “poeticnook 2008” engraved on the back – early birthday present. loaded it up with songs i copied from everyone else – in an effort to expand my music library.

i don’t know what happened but somehow a sad veil has fallen over me. it caught me unexpected. i’m not even sure where it’s coming from. it just came in a rush and i was left feeling really down and out. must be the sudden change of weather.. as much as i don’t want the forces of nature to affect my mood, i couldn’t shake off the feeling.

when my friend left 2 hours ago, i realized i’m all alone in vancouver. my travel buddies are gone, my friends with whom i can talk to about what happens behind my eyes are gone. people who will hug me and lend their shoulders for me to cry on when i’m running on empty and i need to hear words of hope – they’re all gone. it’s depressing to accept the fact that i am now without a listener in a strange city so far from home where i have no family and all i can rely on is me and myself..

i wanna go home…


just when i thought i have nothing else to buy, there goes this need to declutter my hd and put everything in some secondary storage, the solution? a 1tb wd mybook. i don’t really think i have that much data to put into this drive but you can’t have too much hard disk space right?

for now, i’m putting my photo, video and music collection in it. hopefully it doesnt’ break though, or else i just invested in an expensive trash can.

xtreme fidelity

still in search of that path to sound utopia, got an xmod to crystallize my music collection. jake was kind enough to bring it back from new york where he spent the easter long weekend. i remember being excited when i ordered this online some weeks back, but it doesnt really matter anymore, especially when i rarely even spend time in my room listening to songs these days.

is it just me or does my ipod really sound better connected to the xmod and out the x530? i should try watching movies to compare.. guess now i can say my setup is complete. all i need is time to actually use it.

livin’ life in surround sound

must be the hype of wanting to hear the bass on my songs that i finally gave in and got a 5.1 speaker set. it’s definitely not top of the line nor the latest and greatest, but it does its job well..

hail the new addition to my desktop ensemble – the logitech x530. now let’s see if the dolby and thx trailers would sound good on this =)

home cooked iphone

– otb 1.1.2 iphone
– fw 111
– fw 112
– latest itunes
– ibrickr 091
– jailbreak 112

1. restore to 111 with itunes and reboot with ibrickr
2. jailbreak + activate using 307 + jailbreakme
3. insert sim card of choice
4. install community sources, bsd subsystem, g-unlock and oktoprep
5. update to 112 with itunes
6. jailbreak + activate with jailbreak 112
7. best served cold ^_^

cast and crew

to complete the roundup of my desktop crew, i got a pair of dell a215 multimedia speakers by altec lansing. must admit the sound is pretty amazing, gives justice to my itunes playlist, and comes at a very reasonable price too.

also joining the cast is a logitech mx700, not the latest and greatest but couldn’t wait for the wireless mighty mouse with dock charger, besides it has good reviews. haven’t configured its software yet, it’s still sitting on the cradle, charging the pair of energizer e2 aa’s that i just loaded. hopefully one charge will last as long as that rabbit drummer hehe ^_^

now if i can only find time to make my awk work with windows, then the ensemble would be complete.