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iPhone SDK - first usable output

while playing around with the iPhone SDK, i quickly lost my motivation digging through the Cocoa Touch API definitions, not being able to run the code on my phone just removes the fun for me... i want to play, not design ;-) I guess i'll have to start writing some Mac Cocoa apps first, anyway, though this Objective-C they keep talking about doesn't look as weird as i initially thought. Meanwhile, in part due to the lack of an Interface Builder for the iPhone, i played with the extensions made to Dashcode, quickly hacking up the micro-app i intended to code for my SO in native Objective C (which i will maybe do later on... when it's fun, heh). The overall time i spent on this is about 2 hours.
It's a points calculator using the (european) formula of "an international company that offers various dieting products and services to assist weight loss and maintenance". it's called "PtCalc" because i'm so creative. You can check it out at
i also uploaded the dashcode source file and the generated output files in case you want to drop it onto your iPhone / iPod touch and use the file://-Support-Hack (there is a patch in Installer for most firmware versions), copy it onto your home server, print it out, or whatever you may want to do with it, i don't care - in other words: Public Domain... the scale on the calories is from 0 - 700 kcal; the fat is from 0 - 70 g. like it or not, i seldom eat something with more than that per 100g. and i can do *5 and alike calculations in my head ;) if you suggest some new features, i might even give it a whirl and put some more energy into this before the iPhone firmware 2.0 ( + jailbreak + unlock) release. (2008-03-13) note: i changed the graphics included in the zip file and in the hosted versions to be of optimal size. they were huge...

iPhone 1.1.2 OTB Hardware unlocked!

STOP! - no need to rip apart your iPhone, there is now a software based method... thanks, geohot!

self-centered me reading my own blog on an iPhone back in 08/2007

Having seen the Keynote in January, my first (literal) contact with the iPhone was on 2nd. of August, 2007. I was thrilled! The "just use it"-iness of Apple Hardware - which i have grown really fond of - applied to a phone. A killer device! Unfortunately for me, i could only play with the phone for 2 hours, then it had to be returned to the big mobile telco resear^H^H^H^H^H^Hmarketing department (hehe) it found it's way into my hands from.

As the iPod touch was announced, i instantly ordered. It was delivered on the 8th of October, 2007. Unfortunately, i had to send it back again 3 days later - the multitouch screen was acting up, it stopped reacting to touches more and more, in the end it was completely unresponsive. 2 or 3 weeks later i got a new one back, which i happily and heavily used ;). I jailbroke it shortly after i noticed it's working fine this time, it was pretty easy back then (it came with 1.1.1 preinstalled, so a short visit to jailbreakme.com and the fun started). I tried the 3rd party apps in the source lists of Installer, but found only Term-vt100 and OpenSSH to be really useful.

The most fun thing with the touch was imdb.com. You're watching a movie, and suddenly wonder where you saw that actor before... now the answer was always just a few taps away ;) i noticed a lot of funnie things already. Did you know that Odo (Robert Auberjonos) was in MASH (the movie) - and is now playing "Paul" in Boston Legal? ;-)) But: i wanted the whole package. The thing i missed most was the speaker(s) - that's what's missing for the iPod touch to become a web tablet with youtube support.... plugging the earphones in to just quickly watch something on youtube is not really an option. And of course i was sick of having to carry two gadgets around - i wanted to leave my cell phone at home.

When friends traveled to the US on christmas, i begged them bring an iPhone along for me - which they did. Thanks again!! The iPod touch became a much appreciated christmas present and on a sunny (metaphoric, i didn't go outside the rest of the day, obviously *g*) saturday morning in January, 2008, the postman rang twice and there it was - my iPhone! I instantly checked - it was 1.1.2 OTB. I hoped for it to still be 1.1.1.

There was no method to un-simlock these phones back then. So i had to wait, and use it as an iPod touch with speakers, which alone made me happy - finally, i didn't need to search for the earbuds anymore :) The process of jailbreaking cost me some nerves (it's hard to keep track of the recommended, current steps needed). Basically it involved putting the phone into "Restore" mode and then option-(windoze: alt-)clicking the iTunes "restore" button to downgrade to the 1.1.1 firmware. Some activation circumvention and jailbreaking magic i am personally very amused by (security by not showing the user interface is great!) later, i installed Oktoprep and "updated" back to 1.1.2. The whole process is described perfectly on the very current and very accurate page "iphone.unlock.no".

Then the 1.1.3 firmware came out - with wiggling buttons (soooooo sweet...) and all that ... which i didn't care about; i cared about the baseband upgrade - the hopes for a soon-to-be software unlock rose, and i waited and waited .... readinglots of sources, even lurking through some forums (urks! i hate web forums!) to be sure not to miss the 'real deal' once it shows up.

But it didn't. With the 1.1.3 secpack available, Geohot proposed a so-called "Hardware method" (actually that "hardware" only refers to connecting two points on the circuit board, i'd call that an "intrusive" method... no hardware is added or removed or constantly changed on the phone) and shortly after said that a software unlock is out of reach for now. A hardware unlock? I don't know... I may ruin my costly iPhone - and a replacement is roughly 6500 km away (or thrice the price). Some people on the "dev-team" (boy, someone really needs a marketing team) and/or the "iphone-elite" (now we're talking!) noted that a software unlock is possible, but failed to give anymore details.

With no information about the progress or a rough estimate of an ETA, i took a look at those "special" SIM card adaptors like StealthSIM, TurboSIM, HyperSIM, NextSIM, KingSIM, ... (uuuh, marketing at it's best!). The problem with those is: the sources are shady, and what you get may or may not be fakes, the chips might be unupgradeable even if the webpage states they are, etc. In any case, the adaptors are very, very expensive at the moment. The real price for those things should be below 10$. If you seriously consider getting one of those, please feel free to comment below - especially sources in germany are of interest, as well as upgradeability confirmations (of real, done+works updates). I would have had to shell out 100 EUR ( 147 $) to get one from a company inside germany (a reseller, of course, but at least i could sue them easily when they try to screw me ;)... that's ten times the worth of the bare metal (plastic, in this case). no way ...

so i kept waiting.... and waiting.... the signal to noise ratio dropped constantly regarding the unlocking of 1.1.2 OTB - very irritating things happen in this "scene". So i kept reading the hardware unlock tutorial over and over again... trying to imagine the disassembly instructions ... for days i would close the pages again and say to myself i'd wait another day or two.. and then think about it again... but yesterday was the day. i read a lot on the forums about what people did wrong, and how i could replace the "iPod opening tool" referenced in the disassembly instructions...

I fetched an old, broken stick of ram and a magnifying glass, and started scratching. I noticed it's not that hard to remove the coating without damaging the connection... so i grabbed two needles and connected them to a small bulb and a battery, to see wether currency actually would flow through those small scratches, and wether the connection around/below it was still ok... and to my surprise, it was really hard to break the connections on that ram stick ;) so i got some guitar picks (one of each available thicknes, 60 euro cent each), a very sharp thin knife with some blades to choose from (8 EUR), and took the rest of the day off. The hardest thing - by far - is opening the case without bending it. I think it's impossible, even with the iPod opening tool. The bending though can be reduced to a minimum, and as you will see further down actually has a nice touch to it ;) I started by disassembling my old G3 iPod, so i at least got a feeling for the "clamps" and for the guitar picks. You really, really need to work slowly, take your time, and try to use as little force as possible... The iPod was open, so i started following the guide and downgraded to 1.1.1, jailbroke... etc. Then came the hard part...

The antenna cover is easy to pry off - i thought i broke it at first, because i couldn't see any clamps, but they're there - in general, i can't believe how this phone is held in one piece, there are only very few parts dedicated for that... The rest of the casing was much harder to remove. As i said before: i think there is no way this can be done without deforming the metal back at least a little.... but if you're patient and have the right tools, it should come off fine.

below i'm currently removing the metal cover that's on top of the baseband (in case you wonder: the bigger one is the one you need to open!). Seeing that the connection trace inside the baseband is even smaller then the ones i trained with, i got a little shaky.... so i got another beer, relaxed, and started to slowly, carefully, gently... rub the insulation from the trace... it took forever until i saw just a tiny little bit of metal glimpse through from under the coating. You really begin realizing how damn small these parts are once you try to set a needle to the point... sleep 20? are you kidding? i needed at least 40 seconds to place the needles..... 4 tries until i got it right - TESTPOINT WORKS: 55! Oh, the joy... like reported in the tutorial, my wifi was gone, and i was still shaking once the downgrade was finished...

re-assembling the phone is harder than one might think, because even a little deformation makes the clamps misplaced... and trying to fix the deformation usually results in more deformation taking place ;) here are two pictures of that deformation i keep talking about:

I tried really hard to get the dent on these pictures... it's the thin line running down at the side...

Jup, i can live with that. In germany, this would be called "Rallystreifen" (good luck finding a translation *g*)

I restored to 1.1.2, downgraded to 1.1.1, jailbroke, oktoprepped, upgraded to 1.1.2 and ran anysim 1.2.1u - and forgot to turn on airplane mode. The result is the white apple with the white twirly thing upon it. Don't worry, just enter Restore mode like in the beginning, and re-flash 1.1.1, jailbreak... to 1.1.2, switch on airplane mode, and THEN launch anysim. Voila! Works like a charm:

i'll end this entry with lots of thanks to the people who donate their free time on making the iPhone available to people who wouldn't be able to use one for various reasons if it weren't for them.... and i'd like to drop a few more links here which i think are pretty useful but that didn't fit in the body:

Please comment, and add your own helpful links below, if something's missing!