little dude got a cell phone. this serves primarily as a means for him to arrange his own play dates and request items that he leaves at the household for which he’s not staying during the current week. not to mention leaving me incredibly terse and cryptic (he’s still learning about asymmetric communication) SMS messages.

of course he nearly immediately fixed his gaze longingly upon the nearly discarded iphone 1st generations that were sitting on the shelf and he somehow persuaded me to see about jailbreaking the phone so he could use it for an upcoming trip. given my need to just have my phone work and not having the time to hack away on my phone, i have largely ignored the jailbreaking phenomenon. i simply pay for the phone that works on the network where i get support and i move along. it’s not interesting, but the focus is the workflow.

for folks who hack on iphones as a matter of hobby, this is the mythic maze of twisty passages all alike and there’s no shortage of lore, clueful and clueless folks and tons of poseurs in this particular subculture. however, a few googles and i’m knee deep in the world of colored sn0w jokes and DFU mode on the phone. now here’s the rub, when you’re hacking devices which are nearly 4 years old and have subsequently gone through numerous iterations, this culture seems to leave a lot of poorly organized detritus in its wake. folks have moved their attentions to hacking the 3G versions, the iPhone 4 and dealing with the various baseband hacks that apple has rendered useless. this involves no shortage of following scores of spotty web sites to dead ends and working one’s way through oodles of lame message boards. in the end, the cable and a little bit of redsn0w got the job done. followed up by a fix to correct a horked cydia installation.

some interesting tangential observations:

  • there are some teenagers with some impressive technical savvy that pull together some reasonably decent screencast and tutorial videos. i lacked the patience to wade through them, but i was surprised how google is willing to prioritize video search results and how these things seemed to have pretty high hit and watch #’s. good job guys.
  • oh. my. god. is the 1st gen iphone slow, or what? we thought this shit was amazing at one point. how quickly we get spoiled.
  • t-mobile coverage in our house is for shit. if little dude wants to use this as a phone he’s going to have to go out on the deck to make his calls. i might be forced to reconsider how crappy i consider AT&T’s coverage to be.