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hi, a1203 jailbreak/unlock questions

wayover13

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Hi. I'm not really an iphone user: someone just passed along to me recently a pretty dated model and I thought I'd have a play with it. I don't think I'd ever use it as a cell phone, but would like to experiment with it for use as a SIP phone (via installation of an unofficial SIP app) when I'm traveling. I also may make use of the device's audio-playing functionality.

In case I haven't totally disengratiated myself in this forum with the above remarks, I should also state that I'm a Linux enthusiast. I've been using various versions of that OS for the last decade and some, and am happy with it on most days. I'm mostly using Debian and variants and Arch these days--though I've had experience with many others. And that proclivity has not proved altogether irrelevant to the Mac world: recently--despite my quite rudimentary abilities at the command line--I helped my nephew, who is a Mac user, set up a cron job on his Mac laptop.

I hope these remarks will serve as a fitting preface to my requests for help on this forum.

Now, on to the outdated iphone that was recently given to me. It's an a1203 with, as I understand it, 8 GB of storage space. It was given to me in a fresh state, by which I mean it had all data wiped from it and had its operating system re-installed. I should also mention that it had no SIM card when I got it.

I was given to understand that, in order to do anything with it, I'd have to "jailbreak" the phone. As I've researched how to do that I've also come across material that talks about "unlocking" iphones. So the first item about which I'd like to ask clarfification is, what is the difference between jailbreaking and unlocking? Are these synonymous, or do they each have different meanings?

Now, on to some particulars about the phone. When I power it on, I'm greeted by a screen that depicts the itunes icon and a USB cable and that says "slide for emergency" at the bottom of the screen. It also has a little "i" in the bottom right corner of the screen. The only thing I seem to be able to do with it at the moment is to look at a very limited amount of information (IMEI, ICCID) by pressing the "i" icon, or sliding the slider at the bottom of the screen to make an emergency call. There seems to be no way to check any settings or to find out the OS version and so forth. Does that description of the phone's state provide any indication as to what I need to do to be able to put it to the uses I've described?

Also, I am uncertain whether I should expect to be able to do jailbreaking/unlocking without a SIM card. Will that be required before I can do anything with this phone?

Finally, I've looked into ways of jailbreaking the phone using Linux and I might be able to get along with what I've found once I've gotten answers to other questions posed above. The place where I've asked for assistance with this so far has not been exactly helpful: the thread about the topic was closed before any suggestions could be made (someone thought it was off-topic, but in my view they were incorrect insofar as the forum was related to the version of Linux I am using and my post concerned how I might use that version to tweak the phone). I'm thus beginning to wonder whether the path of least resistance for making this phone usable might not be to drag out an old PPC iMac I experimented with installing Linux on some months ago and which still has an OSX (10.4) partition on it, and to perform these tasks from it. Any input on whether I should drag out the Mac or continue trying to use Linux for this?

Thanks,
James

PS Sorry if what I'm asking about in this thread seems illicit: it seems to me legitimate because it deals with what is now becoming second-hand-store hardware that somene might still be able to get some use out of. Also, it could help me learn a bit more about the Mac software world.
 
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wayover13

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I've managed to stumble a bit further with this iphone just by making some stabs in the dark. The first thing I did was pop in a SIM card I had lying around, a card that came out of another old phone someone had passed along to me. I believe that card had been used on the Cingular network. Putting that card in didn't help much: all it dd was make the missing SIM card message go away. Nothing could be done with the phone other than looking at some rudimentary information or placing an emergency call.

Next, I dragged out the old PPC eMac, which is running OSX 10.4.11. I decided I'd see what would happen if I opened itunes on that machine, then plugged in the iphone I have. Well, nothing much happened. A bit of research revealed that I had itunes 4.7.1 on that machine, and that this version would be unlikely to work with iphones. I also determined through some researching that itunes 9.2.1 would be the most recent version that would work with OSX 10.4.11, so I found and installed that.

Once that was installed and I'd plugged the iphone into the eMac, the phone was recognized and its screen began to show something other than the itunes icon/USB cable icon. The message on the iphone's screen said something about activating the phone and there was a slider at the bottom for unlocking it. I waited for the activation process to complete but, since it hadn't done so after awhile, I decided to slide the slider at the bottom of the screen and try unlocking it. That worked: the phone is now usable as a music player/camera/web browser.

In the final analysis I am uncertain what role, if any, the SIM card palyed. Could I have, using the version of itunes I found, unlocked the phone without it? I don't know the answer to that question.

Next I'll try installing a SIP phone app on it to see how it works as a SIP phone. I don't really want to set up an itunes account (just another password to forget) so I'll likely end up jailbreaking it so as to install some unapproved app. I'd also like to be able to ssh into the phone which, as I understand it, requires an unapproved app as well.

That's the status report.
 
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