Monthly Archive for February, 2012

Jailbreaking and Unlocking…

Your iPhone is a pain in the ass. I’m not going to tell you how to do it, you’ll have to figure out most of it on your own. But this little note will save you hours of frustration.

You have to be aware that there is a constant arms race between Apple and the iPhone hackers. Apple keeps making changes to the software when it finds problems that allow the phones to be jailbroken and unlocked. The hackers keep trying to get out in front of Apple. It’s a constant effort on both sides.

My adventure with the iPhone began as a gift from my brother in law. He gave me his old 3gs since he had upgraded to the 4. This is the best place to get your older model iPhone, from someone you know who has recently upgraded. If all possible, don’t get one that other people have messed with, you’ll only be handed a rats nest of someone else’s errors.

The first thing you will want to do is nothing. If you plug the phone into iTunes and it wants to upgrade to a more recent version of the operating system, don’t!

The next thing you want to do is check the phone’s software version and baseband version. The version is the operating system software. You’ll often see it referred to as iOS. Baseband is the phrase you’ll see all over the internet, on your phone it’s called the modem firmware.

Search around the internet. You may have a combination of version and baseband that can be jailbroken and unlocked easily. This will be the case if you get a phone from someone that never bothered to upgrade the software on the phone.

Keep in mind that the internet is not curated very well. Pay attention to the dates of the articles and posts you are reading. Some of them might be quite old. Maybe your google fu is better than mine and you can search by published dates.

You need to understand when your phone was made. This can be determined through the serial number. Generally, the older the phone, the more successful your efforts. You will have success if you have one with the “older more desirable bootroom.” Whatever the hell that means.

Find the recipes. Download the software. Follow the instructions. They will work. Don’t get too frustrated. The programs you download will not be industrial strength. The will fail, they will lock up, they will crash. Just keep going, it will eventually work.

It took about 6 hours once I figured it all out. I should have just bought an iPhone 4.

Have you ever…

Driven through West Texas?

Here’s a great song that will remind you of driving through the Caprock Country.

I once drove with a guy from Amarillo to Lubbock. When we left Amarillo, we loaded up with beer at a Love’s truck stop. If you’ve never had the pleasure of stopping at a Love’s, you don’t know what your missing. Possibly one of the tackiest places you’ll ever go. Along with the beer, the guy I was with bought a six pack of Tequiza, which was a fairly new product back then (I know I’m giving my age away). I remember as we were leaving the clerk behind the counter yelled after us, “Ya’ll can’t bring that Tequiza stuff back!” We should have just thrown it in the trash right there at the store. It was the worst beer. It was supposed to taste like tequila. It didn’t.

We had to stop again in Tulia to restock. We stopped at an Allsup’s that time (another gem of a convenience store chain) and skipped the Tequiza.

Russ Roberts…

If you have never listened to an EconTalk podcast, or heard Russ on NPR, here is a very good introduction to Professor Roberts.

So, instead of watching an old tv show streaming from NetFlix, spend about 75 minutes listening to Russ.

It will be a much better use of your time.

I’ve got a…

Third world internet connection tonight. It’s going to make it tough to Skype with the family.

It’s been going on all day. Get a connection. Send an e-mail. Put up a post. Connection drops.


Thank goodness the charges on Kindles and iPods last as long as they do.

We Get Students…

I got a call the other day from a woman in another country. Speaking in bad English, she implored me to release her son. That’s how she said it, release him. As though I had the young man in prison or something.

I went to check into the issue and learned the student had been with us for all of 2o days. He was homesick and had his mother call me!

He spoke with a couple of members of the faculty who convinced him to give his trip to the island a go for another month.

I just couldn’t believe the call from the mother. Did she thing I was preventing him from leaving? Did she think I had him locked up somehow? Did she think I monitor the airport? Maybe she thought I had his passport locked up in my office.

He could have just gone to the airport and boarded a plane and left. God knows I’ve thought about it a couple of times. I wouldn’t know he left the island until one of his house mates told us.

The faculty members who talked to this kid did not want to bring him to my office. He’s 24 or 25 years old. The faculty were worried that I would have worn his ass out for being a quitter. I don’t know that I would have been that hard on him, but I would have really made him think about the long term ramifications of his decision.

I know people who have quit things before they’ve failed. Failure is honorable. Quitting, not so much.

Search Engines…

I’m switching to Duck Duck Go. Read about Tracking and the Bubble that Google puts you in.

The Duck Duck Go Privacy Policy is a very refreshing read too.

On being…

A small “l” libertarian or classical liberal. It some times feels like this nice little photo:

(Stolen, without any remorse, from Kids Prefer Cheese.*)

Many of my statist friends, I’m convinced anyway, really think I wear a tin foil hat. You would do well to spend some time over at Kids Prefer Cheese looking around. I particularly liked this video Mungowitz linked to from the The Cato Institute. Go watch the video, it’s about 12:00. It contains a very good explanation of limited knowledge and limited benevolence. Something the left clearly doesn’t understand.

*Stolen, just like Quark would do. But in my defense I gave credit! Quark would never give credit.

What he said…

Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age:

Then he’d noticed that Bespoke was full of people with good ideas who never got around to starting their own companies. And he’d met a few big lords, spent considerable time with Lord Finkle-McGraw developing Runcible, and seen that they weren’t really smarter than he. The difference lay in personality, not in native intelligence.

It was too late for Hackworth to change his personality, but it wasn’t too late for Fiona.

Over my working career I’ve come to believe that people that want to, and are capable of, running their own companies are also able to be good employees. They can be good employees because they understand what the owner is going through. They might not much care to be employees for a long time, but they can do it for a while and do it well. People that will always be employees are not less intelligent, or less hard working, and are, of course, often excellent employees. It really is attitude and demeanor that separate the two.

I spent a few years running my own company. I’m involved with a very entrepreneurial venture right now. I know many people that would find the stress and pressure debilitating.

It’s funny though, because I don’t consider myself to be the best employee. I’m always working on my own ideas of how to best advance the company, not necessarily toeing the company line. Is that a difference too? I get my assigned tasks done on time and with high quality. Left to my own devices, I’m always working at the margins trying to extend the business model to new revenue sources, etc.

Like Hackworth and his daughter Fiona, I do hope to instill in my children the ability to strike out on their own. I think this ability will be very important in the future.

The All Clear…

Has been sounded.

Not much happened. I should still have some rain and high winds as more of Giovanna’s outer bands move overhead. The center of the storm, has moved away from the island.

Just in time to catch the Arsenal match down at the bar.


Giovanna is here.

We just had a pretty wild storm pass over head. The bands are getting closer and are bringing much higher winds and lots of rain.



As you can see, the fronds on the palm trees are starting to break from the wind. The wind came up fast, was crazy for a few minutes and then died down just as suddenly.