Dr. Blip's PC-Doctor Blog
I'm not an Apple-agnostic person. A bit over two decades ago I owned and liked my Apple IIc with its wow-factor portable LCD display. Sometime later my desk was graced with the original Mac right alongside an Amiga and a PC. But with my usability and let-me-do-what-I-want requirements, the Apples were replaced by an almost endless succession of various PCs and portable devices.
Now I'm back to an Apple product, as I bought an iPhone. Frankly, I had not really planned to do so, but it was the culmination of circumstances that were perfectly aligned for that outcome. First, T-Mobile that I've used for many years has service at my house that for lack of a better term stinks. That combined with the declining firmware quality of Nokia phones (which is the brand that I've used almost exclusively because of their intuitive and task-centric user interface) gradually getting to the point of unacceptability. Finally, over the years I had already looked at several of the traditional Nokia competitors, such as Motorola, Samsung, NEC, and Sony-Ericsson, but found their firmware to be uniformly buggier than that of even the worst Nokias, and the user experience to be far from intuitive.tations.
Tip: if you don't know how to do this already, here's how to use any MP3 or other music file for a ringtone. Start the current iTunes 7.5. Make sure your clip is about 30 seconds long or less. To cut it to size I recommend the open source Audacity program, which also allows you to modify the clip, for example by using an envelope so that it starts at a low volume and builds up over time. Drag&drop the music file into the Music folder in iTunes. Optionally, I have noticed that sometimes the file won't work right away as a ringtone, and you might want to convert it to the closed AAC format by right-clicking it, and selecting "Convert Selection to AAC". Then right-click the file again, and select "Show in ... Explorer" (assuming you are on Windows). Change the file name extension from M4A to M4R, or just make another copy of the file that you rename with the M4R extension. Then drag&drop the M4R file to the Ringtones folder in iTunes. If it doesn't show up, try to make the clip a little shorter. Sync, and you are done.
Not sure how far this will go to correct the shortcomings listed here, but it has been announced that February will be that magical moment we've been waiting for...an iPhone/iPod Touch SDK!
We'll have to wait and see.
Unfortunately I'm not very hopeful about whatever might come out in February for a few reasons.
First, the 1.1.3 firmware update -- based on the little that I've read online -- seems to again disable all previous hacks to get into the phone.
Second, while I can't site the source as it's been several days since I read it, someone from Apple was quoted as saying that the problem is balancing access with security. So it sounds to me like the "SDK" won't give "us" root access, because if it did, security concerns would focus on prompting for a root password. Without root access, a bunch of the really cool things will not be possible.
Third, I don't expect Apple to change its long-standing (bad) habits on such short notice.
Needless to say, I believe Apple would benefit greatly if they were to change their ways, but I am not exactly optimistic about them actually doing so.
In the meantime, it's the old Apple adage: Wait and see. Wait and see. Wait...
#3 - Andy Koch 2008-04-18 12:31 -
somewhat related - Paul has managed to load Linux onto his iPod. I've been pressuring him to blog about it. It's pretty cool - if only for geek factor - to see Linux booting up on an iPod.
Oddly enough the music player doesn't work very well, but it does work as a portable usb drive. On the upside, he's got an old version of Doom running on it. Keep an on him at the next training week speeches
Perhaps one day there will be a Linux for iPhone - maybe there is already. I can't imagine Apple (or ATT) will be very keen on that idea.