Making an iBrick

Update: I swapped it out for a 16GB iPhone, cracked it immediately, and have been playing with various third party apps, which make it much more interesting than the piece of crap Apple originally supplied.

So I gave in and decided to “jailbreak” my iPhone. It shipped with an older firmware, but I had updated it to the latest already, which I want you to bear in mind before you send me helpful suggestions.

First thing’s first, you need to “downgrade” to the 1.1.1 firmware, which I did (more than a dozen times in total). Jailbreaking this is pretty trivial, and sure enough, you can install a wealth of apps. This would be really cool, except for the fact that the 1.1.1 firmware is incompatible with the GSM baseband firmware in the radio modem. And all of the GSM firmware downgrade tools I tried failed to downgrade the firmware (after I point, I counted myself “lucky” and decided to give up on that). So, it’s not possible to run 1.1.1 or 1.1.2 on my particular iPhone, as a phone.

Next, let’s try doing the “standard” 1.1.1 to 1.1.2 jailbreak. Oh wait, every single tool fails. Could this be my Java runtime, my OSX version? Or could it be the wild assumption that everyone has either Windows or an Intel Mac? I think the latter might be what we’re looking for here. It would seem that my Macs are so “obsolete” that nobody bothers to build these tools as Universal binaries that will actually work on them. Sigh.

Ok. So upgrading to 1.1.2 is out. Perhaps I can use the iJailbreak tool(s) to break my iPhone? There’s a handy “Mobile” version, which looks too good to be true. And of course, it is too good to be true. I watched it run a few different times, after many fresh installs of 1.1.1, even watching the script run line by line. It does everything they intend it to do, but silently fails to achieve anything, and the iPhone won’t boot. Perhaps, I should just try the 1.1.3 OSX jailbreak app? Except that’s not been built to run on a real Mac either (only on an Intel McMac), and will fail nicely after 5 minutes of looking interesting, with unresolved dynamic linker symbols. Basically, at this point, there are no further options left.

The only thing I can do for now is run a locked 1.1.3, until there’s an SDK or I can borrow the use of an Intel McMac or Windows PC. I’m not annoyed with the developers of these tools (the tools are awesome, I browsed some of the source on Google Code, and read some of the scripts they’re running to see just how much effort was needed), but I am once again furious with Apple, and Steve Jobs in particular, for wasting my time. I wish they’d either stop shipping such insanely cool hardware, or just wake up and live in reality – in a world where has some of the best (iPhone) features I’ve ever seen, and none of these are from the vendor, something is severely wrong.

In summary: there’s a wealth of tutorials, guides, HOWTOs, and self proclaimed “experts” out there, including one 13 year old kid who gets a lot of attention, but actually none of them have a utility that works for me, with my legacy couple of year old Apple hardware.


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