Jail(break) bait

I may not be young enough for an iPhone. I like to think that it’s just that my paradigms are out of date, but I’m afraid it’s more likely to be the desiccating mind. Only a moron, for example, could take an afternoon’s worth of photos and come home with … no photos, but a single ten-second video of what looks a lot like colonoscopy footage.

And only an ignoramus would have bought an app machine for travel abroad that doesn’t work as an app machine for travel abroad unless you’re willing to drop large money on one of AT&T’s data plans: $25 for 20 MB, $60 for 50 MB, $120 for 100 MB, or $200 for 200 MB. (And things aren’t even that clear cut. A number of AT&T customers report huge charges regardless, along with the incorrect billing of mass data—and huge fights with the maddeningly faceless and arrogant telecom.) I knew all this, but neglected to extrapolate it to include myself. I’m so exceptional.

Yes, I know all about Airplane Mode (not to mention the power button), but the magic of the iPhone is its apps, many of which are perfect for a traveler outside his own country: wiki guides, interactive maps, specialized camera apps (well, let’s not go there right now), not to mention star charts and lots of other neat things. Do I need this stuff? Of course not. I’ve traveled for decades without it. But they’re helpful and they’re fun. And they really are one major reason I got the phone in the first place.

I’m a pretty weak techie, but years ago I had no qualms about opening up my cutting-edge IBM-PC clone to replace its 10 MB hard drive with a massive 80 MB upgrade, and I matter-of-factly upgraded memory, installed cards, and generally fiddled around in the guts of lots of small computers. So I’m pondering the possibilities of downloading Cydiajailbreaking my iPhone, and using foreign SIMs. I won’t be able to do it for this trip, because I want to hear more about the jailbreak software out there for iOS 4.1, but next time? Likely, I’d say.

Actually, there should be an app for that.

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