Category Archives: Geeky

Jailbroken iPhone? Change that root password safely!

When you jailbreak your iPhone these days, SSH (secure shell) for remote connections is automatically installed.  It’s really handy to be able to connect, but there’s one issue:

The root password for every single iPhone (1.1.4, anyway) is “alpine”.

This means that by default, when SSH is enabled, anyone can connect to your device and wreak havoc.  It’s wise to do something about this, so one of the first commands savvy users will type in after connecting is…

# passwd root

…to set their own password.  This is actually a bad idea, because the passwd tool doesn’t work correctly on the iPhone (it’s not a normal function of the device) and you’ll wind up stuck in an endless crash loop.

But fear not!  There is a way to change your password (and, if you happen to have gotten stuck in that loop, fix the issue).  It’s all detailed on this page at matsimitsu.nl, for which I was immensely grateful.

If your 1.1.3 or 1.1.4 iPhone is jailbroken, go do it, and be successful with it.

Open Is Good, Usable Is Better…

… even in the Mobile space.

Unless you’re living in a Faraday cage, you’ve seen the Internet hype around Android, Google’s mobile platform. The iPhone-alternative seekers and FOSS evangelists are engaging in a collective circle-jerk around it, because it has the potential to “beat the iPhone” and bring open-source to mobile. I think it will definitely have a profound impact on mobile devices, and there’s no disputing that an open mobile platform is exciting, especially one backed by Google. But guys, I’m not ready to circle up just yet. My apologies.

Yes, Open Source is definitely awesome, but its potential for “beating the iPhone” is limited. If there’s one way that Apple humiliates everyone else, it’s with their ability to make something universally usable. Personally, I love all that Android’s open nature has to offer the hardcore power users and developers. Open-source is great, offering infinite freedom for niche geeks like you and I, but that doesn’t translate to something that’s going to make it in the mainstream market.

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iPhone Missing Needed Applications

iphonehockey.png
No, iHockey is not one of them. Cool, though, huh?

When the iPhone was unveiled, I had never wanted to own a new gadget as badly. For ten years, all I’ve ever wanted was a Newton with a phone. Suddenly, here was the Apple device to meet that specification. I was overjoyed.

Now, some time has passed, and I’m able to look at things through a more analytical lens. Bathed in the light of reality, it is clearly apparent that, despite everyone’s expectation otherwise, the iPhone is not for me… not yet, anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the device, and I think Apple’s hit a home run here… we’re just waiting to see how far the wind actually carries it. I think it has the potential to change a lot of thinking where smartphone design is concerned, and it makes Windows Mobile look like a joke. The overall concept, design, implementation of the device: I am in love with it. My reticence stems from very specific needs, which are twofold: Continue reading