iPhone unlock and jailbreak

Well, the folks have finally figured out how to unlock an iPhone 3G. You just have to make sure you *do not* upgrade to 2.2.1. You need firmware 2.2 with baseband 02.28.00. The source is at dev-team blog. The short notes are that it only works with the baseband you get with 2.2, so *don’t* upgrade and there is a bug with the most recent OS X 10.5.6 that you have to work around.

You basically use PwnageTool on the Mac as explained by intomobile.com

  1. Fix 10.5.6 with the 10.5.5 USB drivers by using a script that installs the old USB drivers by running Fix_DFU_10_5_6 which installs two drivers or .kext files
  2. Download and install iPhone 2.2 software (not 2.2.1!!!)
  3. Download PwnageTool 2.2.5 or later
  4. Run it in expert mode and find the iPhone 2.2.1 OS firmware called iPhone1,2_2.2.1_5H11_Restore
  5. Uncheck the Activate if you have an AT&T contract already (like me!)
  6. Change root partition to 1000MB and choose Build
  7. Save the new file as iPhone1,1_2.2.1_5H11_Custom_Restore.ipsw
  8. Select No if you have an iPhone 3G and never been Pwned and go into restore mode and now quite Pwnage and start iTunes
  9. Option click on Restore and find that Custom_Restore file

For first generation iPhones, these are still easily unlocked.

All Mountain Skis that turn well on moguls

Well, I discovered my Volkl Six Stars are really racing skis with a nice logo on them. Incredibly stiff and stable, but stiff means impossible on moguls and 68mm waist means sinks everywhere but the groomed. Joe showed me how to ride them though. Their sweetspot is tiny and it took two days to learn to get my hands down 5cm and forward 2cm and not push so hard on turns. And on moguls, wow, they are really hard. They are so stiff in the tail that if you get into the back seat, you are completely blown out.

There are dedicated bump skis like the Volkl Revolution which are best for big hard spring bumps. These have soft tails and tips and are great for sliding down the bumps. It turns quickly and is pencil tin at 63 waist. They are very light too and easy to turn. Also see Everything the Instructors Never Told You About Mogul Skiing by Dan DiPiro. The Dynastar Twister is also a top choice to try. For soft snow moguls a standard mid-fat like the Volkl Karmas work.

But on a mountain like Whistler, I really need a mid-fat all-mountain ski. So onto the rental shops according to Skiing Magazine, Epicski.com, and Skipressworld.com some recommendations of instructors up here:

  • Volkl Grizzly got best all-mountain ski this year. I of course love my Gotamas (if only for the name!) and Six Stars. As Epicski.com points out it is really for true experts and it is very stiff and hard to flex. Like the Gotomas for that matter for the Six Stars. Main issues is that if you are light or don’t have the leg strength to push, it won’t turn well. It has 89mm underfoot, so it is a wide ski for sure. As my coach said, all the Volkls have such stiff tails, it is hard not to get in the back seat with them.
  • Volkl Unlimited AC50 is highly rated next to the Mantra. It is less expensive than the flagship Grizzly. 85mm, 18M reaidus, Stiff so best for strong skiers who can push down hard.
  • Blizzard Magnum 8.7 might be better. It is so stiff, it would be touch on moguls where you want them to flex and skid. Blizzard has a bunch of ex-Volkl people who arrived after K2 bought Volkl.
  • The pros here recommend the Atomic Metron 11B5, I tried and it does do groomers well and some light powder worked well. Didn’t do enough bumps to know if they are supple enough, but the guys at Whistler swear by them.
  • Head Monster IM88. Nice but too wide for moguls.
  • Head Monster IM82. $1150 list, 83mm waist, 20M turnig radius. Medium flex and turns easily. Good for moguls and is more an all mountain board.
  • Head Monster IM78. Folks seem to like this one not many negative reviews. It is quick and zipper and a carver.
  • Nordica Hot Rod Hellcat. 90mm waist, 18M turning, stiff, good for lighter and aggressive skiers.
  • Kastle MX88. 90mm waist, 20M raido, stif, turns fast.
  • Nordica Hot Rod Top Fuel. 78mm and 15M radius. Medium fle
  • Salomon Tornado Ti. Almost turns too quickly. 75mm waist, 16M turning raidus, mediumflex.
  • Dynastar 8000
  • Fisher Watea 84. Another one that has gotten good reviews. The guys at Sturtevants liked them because they are light (no metal) and easy to flick around.
  • Atomic Nomad Crimson Ti. I demoed this ski and it was easy to turn in hard pack. didn’t get to try it in the bumps. 86 waist. 19M turns, good for light skiers, medium flex and light. Medium radius turns.n geat in hard pack.


Ski Levels

There are lots of levels now that are on the boards when you want to talk ability. What do they mean? Here’s to everyone who is a level 7 with kids just behind who in a week go from 6 to 7- or are watching their kids go from 8- to 8 🙂 But at least I went from 7- to 7…

Skiing Ability Levels

A skiing ability level is a short way of classifying skiers based on what they ski, their skiing ability, and how well they ski beginner, intermediate, or advanced trails. Knowing what skiing ability level you are is often necessary when purchasing a lesson. Knowing your skiing ability level will make sure that you get the most out of your ski lesson – your instructor needs a summary of what you can ski before they can begin to teach you. Here is a guide to the skiing ability levels.

Level One: “Never-Ever”
Level One skiers are first time skiers who have never skied before.

Level Two
Level Two skiers are cautious novices who are able to do a ” snow plow” (wedge) turn both ways and are able to stop, but linking turns smoothly may be difficult. Level Two skiers may have skied once or twice before.

Level Three
Level Three skiers are confident novices who are able to stop and make round snow plow turns on easy beginner trails.

Level Four
Level Four skiers are cautious intermediate skiers who can link turns but still moderate speed. Level Four skiers ski in a small wedge and their skis may even be parallel at the end of the turn on green or easy blue trails. Level Four is a transition level in which skiers will begin to ski more blue intermediate runs.

Level Five
Level Five skiers are intermediates who are confident on easy blue runs and ski mostly parallel but may at times use the wedge to begin a turn or to stop. Level Five skiers may be cautious on intermediate trails that are slightly steep or icy.

Level Six
Level Six skiers confidently make parallel turns on blue runs but do not ski many advanced trails. Level Six skiers use their poles to time turns. A Level Six skier is interested in learning to ski better on more challenging terrain.

Level Seven
Level Seven skiers ski controlled parallel turns and can ski very well on blue trails. Level Seven skiers can control their speed and rhythm on black diamond trails, but they are looking to ski on challenging trails with better style. Level Seven skiers can adjust the size and length of their turns and are learning to ski on a variety of different types of snow and terrain.

Level Eight
Level Eight skiers ski with good technique on all terrain and snow conditions. Level Eight skiers can ski moguls and are able to ski black diamond trails with confidence using carved turns.

Level Nine
Level Nine skiers enjoy the challenge of difficult ski trails and ski moguls, steeps, and other black diamond terrain.

Level Ten
You are learning free style mid-air tricks

Whistler redux

Hey nothing like hanging out at the no. 1 resort in North America. (OK, folks from Jackson Hole, Killington, Mammoth, Snowbird, Snowmass, Squaw, Su Valley, Taos, Vail, etc. will argue about that), but a pretty darn good spot. In any case, being here during a massive recession with the Canadian dollar down 35% is wonderful. Here are things to do in order:

  1. Private lessons. Sounds silly, but I’m amazed at the instructor quality here. Find someone like my buddy Peter who has devoted his life to skiing and teaching his kids and get their recommendations. Guys who were impossible to book a year ago are now available. A week of privates is worth about five years of falling down the hill. In this case, it is not about costing less (the best folks are $650 a day!), but about the real point. Learning.
  2. Ski-in/ski-out Condos. While the Four Seasons is great and one of the top hotels in the country. Now you can get a two bedroom ski in/ski out condo for CAD 300 a night. That’s kind of amazing. Believe me you’ll love the convenience. I like using alluradirect.com which lets you rent directly with owners. You can see the individual units, email folks with questions. And see what i open. Really convenient. The main whistlerblackcomb.com site has more listing but it is more anonymous.
  3. Have a concierge. There are lots of folks who will book things for you, but having someone to help is really good. It used to more important when booking restaurants was impossible. But now, unless you are going to Araxi, it is pretty easy. Great places include Umberto’s Trattoria, Earl’s and Teppan Village and Sushi Village for casual. Fancy places are Araxi and big Umberto’s. Dont’ forget Cows which has the best ice cream, but make sure to ask about nuts if you have an allergy. They put walnuts in strawberry ice cream for goodness sakes.
  4. Visit the IGA. One of the great things about this mountain is the grocery is actually decent. Or if you’ve got a car, then go to Nesters which is just down the street and has fresh baked things and in general feels more granola.
  5. Get your skis waxed. A good performance wax lasts five days and is important. Also on bright sunny days, get your camera and enjoy it. 
  6. Enjoy the restaurants. Man, Whistler traffic feels down, but the restaurants are really less busy. Favorites include Trattoria Umberto (very decent fresh pasta if expensive), Araxi (expensive still, but you can get in there), Teppan Yaki Village which is great japanese steakhouse entertainment), Mountain Cafe (very decent wild meats like bison, rabbit, etc., CAD45 entree, main and dessert). Finally there is the old standby Earl’s.

Storage doesn’t cost anything, iPhone edits Google docs

9 to 5 Mac | Apple Intelligence

Target has the Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 1 TB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive WDH1U10000N for only $100. Newegg is $95. That about 1/3 off list price and the lowest total we could find for this 4 star-ranked hard drive. [Perfect for adding to a Tivo HD XL to get 2TB of DVR

Also, for desktop internal storage, Dell Home offers the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive, model no. ST31500341AS, for $165.99. Add coupon code “HNP1LLLS?ZKS48” to your cart to slice it to $105.99 with free shipping ($0.07/GB). That’s $14 under our mention from two weeks ago and the lowest total price we could find. It runs at 7200 rpm and features a 32MB cache and perpendicular recording. Deal ends February 18.

The StorageReview Leaderboard | StorageReview.com

It’s pricey, yes, but the Travelstar 7K200 offers world-beating performance, resting above the competition in a league of its own. The 7K200 stands as the only true choice for users seeking desktop-level capacity and performance out of their notebooks.

Past Leaders: Hitachi Travelstar 7K100 (4Q 2005); Seagate Momentus 7200.2 (2Q 2007)

9 to 5 Mac | Apple Intelligence

Google updated their mobile spreadsheets this weekend to allow some pretty simple creating and editing capabilities on the iPhone.

iphone screenshots

Taking iPhone screenshots

1. Navigate the iPhone to the screen you want to create an image of
2. While holding the Home button, press and release the Lock Sleep/Wake buttonYour screen will flash letting you know that the screenshot was taken
3. Navigate to your Camera Roll library (Photos)The most recent image should be the screencapture you just created

iPhone to support AT&T MicroCell

Wahoo, great news for all of use with crappy in home coverage from AT&T

Apple Issues Update Signaling iPhone Compatibility With AT&T’s MicroCell – Mac Rumors

Late last week, Apple issued a “carrier settings” update for iPhone users in the United States. While Apple provides few details on the contents of such updates, MobileCrunch discovered several image files in the new update package that appear to signal the iPhone’s compatibility with AT&T’s upcoming 3G MicroCell technology. The 3G MicroCell device connects to a user’s existing broadband Internet service and provides enhanced 3G voice and data coverage within a 5000 square foot range.

High end projectors

A buddy was asking me about these. Monster 170″ screen, what do you buy. AVS Forum has some good recommendations. You have 20x27x9 room and want 20fL as standard, although having 35fL makes the pciture amazing. The main net of this is that if money is no object the Barco DCI wins, right now the best value leader (if a 28K list projector can be called a value) is the Sim2 Lumix Host. The potential amazing newcomer is the Projection Design Helios. So here is a stack rank so far:

  1. Christie HD6K-M. Very advanced, you can blend 4 of them into one. Uses the new DarkChip 4. Two lamps of 300 watts each. Very hard to setup right. 5600 lumens giving 60-80 fL on the screen. Has dynamic iris for improved contrast. Much better image than the past. Gets a real 3700 lumens. 2K:1 native iris and 16K dynamic, but dynamic is buggy because you have to set the adaptive contrast to zero first, it is 2 by default. Change this and you get a great projector. It retails twice that of the Lumis, but the Lumis prices are rising and it is not available so we’ll see.
  2. Projection Design Helios 3-chip, Been years in the makings. Really hand tweaked but very expensive. Lots of hard work on optics and also about to ship. Sounds promising, but not here yet.
  3. Sim2 Lumis. Blacks on par with RS20 (considered the reference for black levels), very bright. This thing has an proprietary optical connection so you can have it far away from your gear box which is called the Host. It is fundamentally different than the older C3X1080. But even without the HOST, it is a better projector as well. 7500:1 native contrast. The dynamic iris works really well. But its lense is not constant aperture, so when you zoom, you lose light. It is about 2K lumens. As an aside 3D is coming and you can only do this with a Titan Reference or Christie because it has dual lamps and this happens in two years probably. Wow! Twice as bright as the RS20. People love the image. However, these are not available yet until March and prices are rising plus tests are showing they dont perform that well in production with lower numbers on light output. Sim2, such a difficult group to work with at least for me. Terrible issues with distributors and retailers then products are late and prices are actually rising. Sigh. But great quality they say.
  4. Titan Reference 1080P 3K lumens, 6260:1 contrast ratio, 3D capable.

Then there are units that are good but not quite there:

  1. Sim2 HT5000 is an older projector but bright at 1800 lumens, not clear how it competes with the Lumis and it stuggles with dynamic iris and dark scene. Folks are waiting for a new HT5000 with Lumis electronics and is actually dimmer. HD6K-M is 3800-4000 lumens Lumis 1650-2200 and Ht5000 is 1800 and is constant aperture, whereas the Lumis falls off when you zoom in.
  2. Digital Projection Dvison 30-1080p. Single chip DLP, very bright, $28k Retail. Does have rainbows for some. Digital Projection will go 3D across its line. It has special board that takes a 1080p120 and fires to each eye at 30fps.
  3. Projection Dvision Avielo Optix dual lamp. Single chip and no rainbows
  4. Sim2 C3X1080P. The 3-chip DLP older model, not as good a  black as the new Lumis, so get the Lumis if you can.

Finally units that are way too expensive IMHO, but great to lust for:

  1. Christie HD10KM is 10K lumens and $75K list. Native contrast ratio 3000:1 and adaptive contrast is 15K:1. There is a new unit HD5Kc which is half a HD10Kc with a new lamp but not  clear its performance.
  2. Barco DCI. Really professional grade and better optics and you can get it modded.

iPhones are $100 off at Best Buy

Best Buy Offering iPhone Discounts of as Much as $100 to ‘Reward Zone’ Members – Mac Rumors

Best Buy this week is offering significant discounts on the iPhone to current members of its Reward Zone loyalty points program. Regular Reward Zone members can save $50, bringing the price to $149 for the 8 GB model or $249 for the 16 GB models. Premier Silver members can save $100, bringing the price down to $99/$199. The offers are good on new iPhones, not refurbished ones as currently available from AT&T at a discounted price.