I love my iPhone, so I abuse it.

Like many others who already have an iPhone, the new hardware was only mildly intriguing. I won’t say that I don’t want it, but I can live without it. I didn’t have to stand in line for the first one and I’m sure as hell not going to for the 3G.

However, the 2.0 software and its features are enough to do something stupid over. Again, like many others who already have an iPhone, I downloaded the firmware a day early and played around with the App Store before it was officially released. Many of my hopes and dreams were fulfilled (except easy switching between inboxes in Mail…) and the glut of free apps on the store we’re great. I even made a few purchases, wondering what Apple might be thinking when they saw these early transactions.

But being an early adopter always has it’s issues. (I have a first gen MBP. Core Duo, not Core 2 Duo…) While most of the features worked fine, there were some frequent crashes and outright sluggishness in seemingly simple apps. It turns out, that the firmware that I grabbed was really meant for the iPhone 3G which while very similar enough differences to make it an issue. Luckily, it is meant to be easy to side-grade to the proper version for the older phones.

The problem is, that “meant to be easy” does not imply guaranteed ease. So, following the same process as installing the early release version (downloading and holding option while hitting the upgrade button in iTunes) I tried to install the correct version. I few seconds later, iTunes pops an error telling me that it can’t be installed and gives a typical cryptic error code. In addition, the phone is essentially bricked, stuck in recovery mode with presumably nothing in the internal storage. Being an IT professional, I didn’t freak, but calmly googled the error which returned some advice just to try again. So, I do which pops the same error with a new code. Google, rinse and repeat.

After a few tries, I give the older 1.1.4 firmware a shot. Ah, this time I get a new error code that looks a little more specific (larger number…) which I google and get an Apple KB article. The gist of this one is to kill iTunes and the Apple Mobile Device support (which they don’t explain how to). By deleting the Receipts (/Library/Receipts) for the two and running the iTunes installer from Apple’s website, I got a fresh copy of something that needed to be reset in order to re-wipe my phone.

Just for fun, I let it re-download the .apsw file again, just in case it needed to register somewhere in iTunes that it had legitimately received it rather than being coaxed into using it. Surprisingly, that worked and the restore process once again is working. Apple’s servers must be back in working order as well, because it was able to activate right away as well. The whole process burned through nearly all of my battery, even though it was plugged in most of the time leaving me with a quarter charge which will now have to last me for the rest of the day.

It would be nice to know, on a more granular level, what was wrong so that in the future you wouldn’t have to blow iTunes completely away in order to fix it. In the long run, it didn’t take that long to do, so I’m not going to fret over it, however.

On a side note, the iPhone 2.0/iTunes 7.7 software seems to take significantly longer to back up the phone. I don’t know if it has to do with the additional 3rd party software or what, but it isn’t backing up my music because each time I wipe it I have to push it all back. But that is my fault for manually managing the music rather than letting it sync.

The question is, had I known, would I have done it in the first place? Of course, I love being an early adopter and tinkering with my gadgets. Interestingly, I haven’t ever jailbroken my iPhone simply for the fact that it is my phone and stability becomes an issue. I do hanker for a Terminal app or at least an SSH app that would allow me to connect to my servers. I’m still going to wait for Apple to allow that one to come through legitimate channels though.

Comments are closed.