Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Wings on my ass – a cause of blindness? My iPhone story in Lent.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 19, 2010

This is the season of Lent. It’s a strictly Christian observance… well, it actually has its roots in the Jewish Passover.

Oh well.

Christians are the “new Jews.” Oy vey!

I started out thinking I’d share about my iPhone troubles – I have an unlocked and jailbroken 32G 3G[S] iPhone.

Yeah. Top of the line.

iResisted doing that – purchasing an iPhone – for quite some time. I used  – and still do – use a Palm Treo 650, and have never had moment’s trouble with it. NEVER!

I used it to surf the web, and sent e-mail from about four accounts, three of them associated with my work, all from different organizations. One day, several years ago, at a family reunion in MS, someone told me something had fallen out of my pocket. Looking down, I saw the stubby antenna lying on the floor. Loathing to pay the very-nearly $40 for a screw and tiny piece of plastic, I reverted to using two devices – as I had done previously with a Nokia “candybar” style phone, and Palm Pilot.

Back to Square One… right? Two devices… one phone, and one computer/calendar/appointment/memo/address/contact gizmo.

A few months back, I bought the iPhone for about $150. Yeah. Racehorse cheap. That’s because it’s an iRefurb.

Shortly after I purchased it, I “unlocked” and “jailbroke” it – the term used to describe allowing it the ability to make and receive telephone calls on other networks. “Jailbreak” refers to the process of unleashing the inherent capabilities of the computing side of the device. Apple Computer – God bless them – apparently thinks I shouldn’t modify the thing I own.

It’s kinda’ like being locked out of your own house. You bought and paid for it, and have a receipt to prove it. But your keys don’t work anymore, and the folks that sold you the house think you ought to have the key they want you to have, instead of the one you want to use.

Apple thinks they own my iPhone, and therefore can control what I do with it. The “overlord” wants to control what I do, and IF I update the Operating System, or any other aspect of the device.

What if I don’t?

Why shouldn’t I be allowed to do with it as I choose?

Being rather fond of analogies, I analogize thusly: Back in about 1972 or so, my dad bought a brand new 1972 International Harvester Travelall. It’s a vehicle very much like the Suburban. It’s what we today would call an SUV.

We were in Montgomery, AL and in the middle of a very busy intersection, and suddenly the vehicle konked out. It just plain quit running.

Daddy tried and tried and tried to restart it. I was a young child and began crying and begging Daddy to take it back.

Daddy said he remembers that incident very well.

Daddy didn’t take it back.

Instead, he took it to mechanic instead of the dealership, and had a Holley 4-barrel carburetor installed.

That fixed the problem.

International Harvester didn’t attempt to inform him he couldn’t do that, nor did the dealership attempt to dissuade, prevent, harass or otherwise strong-arm him into not modifying the vehicle he purchased.

As a matter of fact, Daddy drove that vehicle until the proverbial wheels fell off. The wheels didn’t actually fall off, but he did replace the Universal joint on the drive train, replaced both of the gas tanks, made repairs or replacements to the instrument panel, and a few other things. He put over 500,000 miles on it before he sold it. And it was STILL in excellent working condition. And, he NEVER had a moment’s trouble with the engine. NEVER!

Matter of fact, it still had the Holley 4-barrell carb he had installed on it in 1972.

But I wonder… what would it have been like if International Harvester had told my daddy, “No sir, you are NOT allowed to replace the carburetor with an after-market product, or are you allowed to make any modifications to it, in any way, either in suspension, engine, fuel, drivetrain, braking or interior. NONE WHATSOEVER!

Pretty stupid, eh? We modify our possession all the time! Houses and buildings get repainted and enjoy modified interior and exteriors. Automobiles do similarly. Even new ones!

Why not iPhones?

Stay tuned for the “Wings on my ass” part!

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