iPodTouch update

I’ve been playing with this thing now for almost long enough; if the strategic planning stuff wasn’t taking up all my time I would have done a “bento box” on it by now.   But alas buildings take precedence over toys.

That said, I wanted to give you all a briefing on what I’ve done so far.

1. Jailbreak.  The iPod Touch is an OS X based system.  This means that we should be able to install 3rd party software but Apple prevented that through software blocks.  Further, the system itself actually shipped with loads of cool stuff (a mail application, a Google Maps application, a Yahoo weather application and a few other cool gizmos) that Apple wanted you to pay $19.95 to unlock.  So, I searched on the internet and found the jailbreak which exploited a .TIFF software flaw in version 1.11 of the OS to install a rootkit.  I downgraded the version and broke the jail — or something.  It’s a bit scary I suppose because I’m letting some nerd install a rootkit on the device but I knew I could erase the program by simply upgrading back to version 1.1.3 (maybe, maybe the device is still compromised).   Well, maybe not erase the rootkit but make it functionally inoperable.  I have to say, the jailbreak was pretty darned cool.  It put an “installer” on the desktop which let me install a whole host of programs; from games to Japanese language learning flashcards to whole books — mostly the bible, which I guess isn’t copyrighted.  It was a very useful device now.  But it lacked the gmail function and the maps function.  Sigh…

2. OS Unlock.  So we paid to unlock the email and maps and other functions.  This meant undoing the jailbreak but it’s worth it because now I can check my email anywhere there’s an open wireless.  And since I forward my UW email to my gmail account, I only needed to configure one IMAP account on the device.  Another great function is the maps program.   See, unlike the jailbreak version (which is what I took with me to London) the maps program downloads the map to the device.  That means when you lose network coverage you still have a map.  Which would have been nice on my ill fated jaunt through the seedier parts of North London.  The OS unlock also has a really boss weather thing which allows me to store multiple locations and get weather reports for the whole week.  Tomorrow, Arsenal will be playing Birmingham under overcast skies and a projected high of 53F.  There’s a notes function and a stock tracker as well.  It’s a darn fine “upgrade” but I can’t help but feel cheated by the business practice that ships a disabled device.  Who does Apple think they are?  Microsoft??!?

3. Presentation cable and protective cover and etc etc.  I really want to get the device to do presentations and so I’m still working on a way to port the video from the device to, say, our classroom projector…  Maybe if I get that working I’ll give a class on the device.  Then you’ll all want one!

That’s it for today.  Later.



Filed under Technology Pulse

7 responses to “iPodTouch update

  1. evrgrn18

    If anyone is looking for key board shortcuts to use with their Google reader, they can be found at http://googlereader.blogspot.com/2008/02/j-walking-with-reader.html

    They really speed up cruising through the blogs, oh, and thank you to librarianinblack for the link.

    Having spent last Friday submerged in the potential uses of technology in the library at the Online Northwest conference, I’d like to encourage everyone to check out del.icio.us.
    Other libraries are using this as a tool in the library to keep up with the best online web resources, and ensure that all the staff has access to cool new sites as they are discovered. Apparently it also works out as a better in/out board as well, because you can tell if someone is in their office or not.

    First it was Duke University Library announcing they are designing an open source ILS that would really work, and that libraries can tweak to fit their individual needs, unlike the products currently available from vendors, now OCLC is being challenged. You can read all about it here http://chronicle.com.offcampus.lib.washington.edu/weekly/v54/i24/24a01101.htm

    I get the feeling someone out there thinks information should be free and easy to find.
    But what will happen to all the librarians…what with no more cataloging to do? Personally, I’m networking all over facebook, you wouldn’t believe how many other librarians are hanging out there.

    Now that I’ve found the “scentless” reply button, I’ll be posting more.


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