Recently, Mandriva, a company that I know quite well, has won a nice contract to pre-install Mandriva Linux on 17,000 ClassMate computers in Nigeria. But it seems that even if Nigeria is going to pay for this deal, Microsoft Windows is going to be the final installed OS on these computers…
I thought I would wait for a couple of weeks more, but when I read this unlocking tutorial, I really couldn’t resist any longer! It took me about 30 minutes to unlock, but that was very easy because all the software is provided and the procedure is very clear. The unlocking tools that have been released are really awesome, in particular iBrick and the installer are very convenient and impressive. For those who are going to do it and had already unlocked it (just unlock, no SIM-unlocked), I’d recommend to:
- uninstall iTunes
- reinstall iTunes (from old version 7.3)
Then, remove the AT&T SIM, and start by restoring the iPhone from iTunes (follow the tutorial). Beware that during the restore process, you are going to lose all your pics, and other configuration stuff stored on your iPhone.
Just before you can really SIM-unlock it, you’ll have the thrill to ssh into your iPhone:
[gael@spoon]$ ssh root@iphone
Last login: Sat Sep 15 13:28:49 2007 from spoon
# ls /
Applications Library System bin cores dev etc mach private sbin tmp usr var
Ain’t it cool? Then on your iPhone, you can easily install some great software, including a VT100 emulator which is very convenient to connect to your PCs through the net, and many others. First time I can put a real PC in my pocket 🙂 SIM-unlock went flawlessly (Tele2/Orange SIM) and I can use SMS without any issue. I had to sync my old Nokia’s contact book to Outlook Express, and then exported them to the iPhone through iTunes.
A few pics…
This shows that the iPhone handles the GSM carrier, and all the available apps.
This shows the software manager within the unlocked iPhone.
You can easily use common cmd-line tools (ping, ssh, grep…) from a VT emulator.
Udate / Sept 17th, 2007: I also can use EDGE very easily, but be very careful with this option if you don’t have a special data-option! By default with Tele2 carrier, for maybe 15 minutes of cumulated use , I got 8.5MB transferred for a total cost of… 130 euros! That’s a shame, so I wouldn’t recommend use EDGE with a regular cell subscription service. Check with your carrier!
According to some experience we have had with Vista it really seems that Linux is currently supporting more hardware than Vista does. For instance, we have a motherboard that officially supports Vista but that doesn’t have any driver available for its onboard network card, which means that you cannot access Internet with Vista on this machine (not a problem under Ulteo!). Another example is a USB Wifi key that is not supported under Vista…
Good news: we have entered a pre-beta stage for the Ulteo online desktop. This means that a few hundreds people have already been granted access to the early beta version. Then we will progressively add more users, and this will lead to a publicly open Online Desktop soon! Of course this is only the first part of the whole Ulteo architecture, but believe me, the rest is also very exciting 🙂 Stay tuned…
As many of you have certainly already noticed, the iPhone makes a lot of buzz. Last news is that since yesterday, they cut the price by 33%! Not a joke, not an April fool, not even a September 5th fool. They (Jobs and his crew) want it to be a more attractive phone choice for the masses. There is a long way to go for sure 🙂 Anyway, I’m really enjoying the iPhone. Even for getting me awaken on the morning, I enjoy the bells or harp sounds, and it’s very convenient to be able to set several alarm clocks profiles, since I’ve got two typical kinds of weeks as for waking up time. Recent news about the iPhone also include that now you can use it with any SIM in the world but you have to crack it either by using an expensive SIM flashing method, or use soldering. In both cases, I’m happy enough with Wifi use for now with the iPhone. _one or two_ things I dislike in the iPhone though… First of all the Wifi is not that stable. It eventually loses the carrier, which forces you to restart it (not completely though). What else… ah yes, a _very_ Appleish annoying thing (besides the AT&T joke): I’ve not found any way (but jail-break + ssh) to save some MP3s within the iPhone! No other official way of doing that but iTunes. You can’t save email attachments, you can’t save web files locally. You will only be able to play it for the latter. This is quite an idiot behaviour. Same for pictures. The iPhone is great, but could be better, for sure.
When I started the first Mandrake Linux website in 1998, it became multilingual very quickly, because many people liked to contribute their own language. For sure, not everybody can read and speak English! Just before it disapeared, in 2005, mandrakelinux.com was supporting fully 15 different languages, helped by a great team of contributing translators. Anyway, that was difficult to maintain because we had not the right tool, and maintaining a website with several languages is very different from localizing software, because content is constantly changing. During the time mandriva.com was revamped (was not looking “professionnal enough”), I had the chance to meet a really promising and friendly guy, Antoine Walter, who joined later to help on Ulteo web development. He eventually told me that he was working on a new multilingual wiki-CMS called AnWiki. When he showed me the first demos, I was very impressed and I asked him if we could use AnWiki for ulteo.com: many people were asking to get localized content and we couldn’t do it easily because no tool was powerful enough for that. After one year of hard work and discussions about features, Antoine has finally released a first beta engine for the Ulteo.com website and we’re using it in production now. Antoine will decide when he’s going to release the AnWiki to the world, but stay tune with this project: it has awesome features, awesome ways to edit translations. That’s something nobody has never seen before and I’m very confident it’s going to have a brilliant future. Thanks to Antoine for this great achievement, and long-life to AnWiki!
Several people warned me today about a guy in Denmark who was using Ulteo material on his website. The guy, J*************, is “starting” a new Linux-based project called “Odin Linux”. Looking at his website, you’ll notice that he was more than inspired by Ulteo web pages content since he mostly used them without any change but replacing “Ulteo” by “Odin Linux”. Worse: he used some Ulteo graphical material for Odin Linux, and worse, he claimed that all this material was created and copyrighted by him. Of course that’s a big (ridiculous) joke, but anyhow, I’m not laughing that much since some people asked me why Ulteo were using some stuff from “Odin Linux”! So until we can force him to wipe out our stuff from his website or enter a case if he’s reluctant to do so, I wanted to tell eveyrone that, of course, Ulteo owns all this graphics stuff. We can prove it easily, by providing the original vector files (Illustrator files), as well by challenging Mr S******** to provide 3000px width of these images, that of course we can provide without using any interpolation. Frankly, I really wonder why someone can just copy-paste our ideas and material and claim to be his own project. There is so much to do in the software field, why can’t he have his own ideas and have someone to design his pictures? J************, sorry for that, but you really deserve a _bad_ reputation. Update: “How could Ulteo rip off a logo from a lower resolution :p?” (thx to Raven) 🙂 Update2: he removed most of the Ulteo material.
Got my hands on the iPhone today and successfully unlocked it, thanks to DVD Jon. My feeling is that in term of user interface, there was the world before, and there is the world after. I’m impressed. Safari sucks a bit though. Note to all non-US users: you can’t use YouTube with the iPhone, but DailyMotion seems to work well. Now why can’t I scroll the screen on my lap with… just my finger?
Despite their excellent brand image, Apple is truly a close-source minded company. We all know about iTunes and the use of DRM, now it’s the iPhone turn: if you purchase an iPhone, good luck to use it with another phone operator than AT&T, or even use for its basic features (camera, wifi…). If you are outside the USA, it’s still worse: while you can easily order an iPhone on eBay, you have to wait they decide that European people can enjoy the iPhone too. The good news, is that smart people are working legitimately to circumvent these awful practises. As a result, “DVD Jon” already posted how to unlock the iPhone and use its basic capabilities (such as Wifi access and iPod player). Others are already providing ways to access the iPhone and modify it (and they need help!). The next step is to get support for any SIM card, which will let iPhone owners to just… use the iPhone as a cell-phone! And don’t forget the Nokia N95.