Monday, May 11, 2015

Easiest Way to Jailbreak the iPod Touch 2G Firmware 2.2.1

(Originally posted on my personal blog)

Jailbreaking the iPod Touch is what everybody first sets out to do upon purchasing Apple's useful and much-sought gadget, and I was no exception. There are tons of ways to jailbreak an iPod, but this post will focus on the easiest way to jailbreak the iPod 2G.

For the record, I tried several other methods of jailbreaking the iPod Touch 2G before using this one. Those other methods worked too, but they take substantially more time and are more error-prone. As far as the method outlined below is concerned, it has never failed me and since I've started using this method of jailbreaking the iTouch, I have jailbroken at least half-a-dozen iPod Touches on different computers, so that alone should tell you how reliable and easy this method is.

Obviously, this jailbreaking method will work with firmwares lower than 2.2.1, but it is recommended to first upgrade your iPod to firmware 2.2.1 before jailbreaking your iPod. Use this method only if your iPod is 2G. It may or may not work on a 1G iPod Touch, but I have never attempted to jailbreak an iPod Touch 1G. Moreover, there should be easier and quicker methods of unlocking a 1G iTouch, and I advise searching Google for such methods instead.

I am not going into the benefits of jailbreaking an iPod. If you are searching the Internet for methods of jailbreaking an iTouch, you very likely already know why jailbreaking is sweet as hell and why your first step upon getting one should be to jailbreak it. I may blog on this aspect later, but this post will focus solely on the jailbreaking process.

One important note is that I have used this method on Windows XP only (SP2 and SP3). It may work on Vista, but many iPod Touch users have had multiple problems on Vista. While these problems can be fixed after a quick Google search for the solution, I strongly recommend using XP, as Vista is a big pile of dogcrap anyway. Another thing is that jailbreaking is not illegal, so white knights can find someone else to annoy, and black knights can praise me!

NOTE: You will lose all the files and apps stored on your iPod Touch during jailbreaking, and there is no way to avoid this.

To jailbreak your iPod Touch, you will need the following:
  • Windows XP (doh!)
  • Your iPod Touch 2G
  • The 2.2.1 firmware, which you can dowload here. The file size is close to 300MB, so depending on your Internet connection speed, the download may take a while.
  • QuickFreedom.
  • Apple iTunes, which you need for anyway and without which your iPod is useless. Much has been made about the fact that the latest iTunes version may hamper the jailbreaking process, but I always use the latest iTunes version and have never had a problem. And I am certainly not one of those lucky guys (unfortunately).
Now that you have everything you need to jailbreak your iPod Touch 2G with the 2.2.1 firmware, grab a beer and settle down. Or rather, forget the drink since it seems many users frequently spill drinks on their keyboards.

Here's how to jailbreak your iPod. If you stick to this tutorial and provided that your PC or iTouch are not those few that will cause all kinds of problems, the entire process should not take more than 20 minutes.

  • Install Quickfreedom (doh!).
  • Plug in your Ipod. This should cause iTunes to open up -- if it doesn't, launch iTunes.
  • Launch Quickfreedom, and you will be presented with the following screen:
QuickFreedom screen - Jailbreak your iPod Touch 2G Firmware 2.2.1
  • Click on the Install LIBUSB button.
  • Once LIBUSB has been installed, click on the Browse button and select the 2.2.1 firmware you just downloaded. If you have not downloaded the iPod Touch 2.2.1 firmware, you can also click the Download button to get it. I however recommend using this link to download the iPod Touch 2.2.1 firmware.
  • After these 2 straightforward steps, click the Next button to go to the next screen.
QuickFreedom screen - Jailbreak your iPod Touch 2G Firmware 2.2.1
  • Note that at first, the Use Custom Boot Logo option will be grayed out. The Install Installer option will be available, and you should leave it selected. Here, just click Create Firmware, and the process should take around 7-10 minutes. If you want to get a custom boot logo, once the Create Firmware process is completed, you will be able to choose a custom boot logo, but you will have to click the Create Firmware button again to apply the changes. QuickFreedom will create a new firmware called Custom Firmware on your desktop. This is the file you need to restore to your iPod, and it will contain both Installer and Cydia, as well as the custom boot logo if you have selected on. Click Next after ensuring that you indeed have the Custom Firmware file on your desktop.
  • You will then have to put your iPod Touch in DFU mode. To put your iPod Touch in DFU mode, simply hold the Power and Home buttons for exactly 10 seconds. After these first 10 seconds, release the Power button and keep holding the Home button for at least 8 seconds. This is probably the step where most people have problems. I have however already covered this, so simply read my blog entry on How to Put an iPod Touch in DFU Mode and you will have no problem at all. Note that you cannot jailbreak the iPod Touch 2G without putting it in DFU Mode, so make sure you get this right.
  • When your iPod Touch is in DFU mode, click on Start Pre-Jailbreak. You will know whether your iPod Touch is in DFU mode as the QuickFreedom status bar will read "iPod connected in DFU mode". When you click Start Pre-Jailbreak, your iPod Touch screen will go white. There is nothing to worry about, as this is perfectly normal. As a matter of fact, if your iPod screen does not go white when you click on Start Pre-Jailbreak, you will not be able to properly jailbreak your iPod, so you might as well start over again.
  • QuickFreedom will let you know once the pre-jailbreak process is done. Simply click next, and you can exit QuickFreedom if you want as you will no longer need it in the iPod jailbreaking process.
  • Now, go to iTunes and while holding the SHIFT button on your keyboard, click on the Restore button, as shown below. You will then be able to choose the Custom Firmware and apply it to your iPod Touch.
iTunes screen - Jailbreak your iPod Touch 2G Firmware 2.2.1
  • iTunes will then process to apply the custom firmware to your iPod Touch, which is now fully jailbroken. If you have selected a custom boot logo, when your iPod restarts, the custom boot logo will appear to confirm that the jailbreaking process was successful. Once your iPod has fully launched and you can use it, you can now use Installer and Cydia to download all those slick apps and to fully customize your iPod Touch via Winterboard and other handy applications. I will later talk about how to use Cydia to customize your iPod Touch, and the must-have applications for your iTouch 2G. Otherwise, this is all you need to successfully jailbreak your iPod Touch 2G.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Understanding the Human Psyche . . . through Google

If you want to look into the human psyche, look no further than Google (images follow).

Understanding the Human Psyche through Google - Ashvin Sawmynaden's Blog
Understanding the Human Psyche through Google - Ashvin Sawmynaden's Blog
Understanding the Human Psyche through Google - Ashvin Sawmynaden's Blog
Understanding the Human Psyche through Google - Ashvin Sawmynaden's Blog
Understanding the Human Psyche through Google - Ashvin Sawmynaden's Blog
Understanding the Human Psyche through Google - Ashvin Sawmynaden's Blog
Understanding the Human Psyche through Google - Ashvin Sawmynaden's Blog
Understanding the Human Psyche through Google - Ashvin Sawmynaden's Blog
Understanding the Human Psyche through Google - Ashvin Sawmynaden's Blog

Monday, April 27, 2015

Why you should become a member of the Alliance Française library

I couldn't find a better resolution logo.

The Alliance Française library, like its name implies, deals exclusively with French books. This article will however still be in English entirely because I'm crazy.

It's no secret that reading is dying in Mauritius. Facebook, movies, videos games, television in general and Facebook (Twitter gets no love here) have literally ripped reading to shreds, and librarians and book stores have often pointed out that the business of selling and even renting books has steadily declined over the recent years.

I'm not sure how many paid libraries are still operating in Mauritius but I know for a fact that several libraries I used to take books from several years back have closed down. I'm mainly a reader of English novels and my quest to find a good library where I could borrow books from was an epic failure. I could not find one and eventually gave up.

I however one day read an article in a newspaper which was about the renovation and subsequent opening of the Alliance Française library in Bell Village. The pictures looked interested and I figured it would not hurt to go there and check whether it was worth becoming a member. I was especially interested in a family package deal where members could borrow 15 books for up to three months. Since my reading habits nowadays can be pretty hectic and having to change books every 3 or 4 weeks is a huge problem, the three-month deal looked perfect.

Loan durations however is not yet the holy grail of borrowing books, and my main problem was that I almost never read French books (whether these books were originally written in French or were translated from English). A trip to the Alliance Française library was thus essential to determine whether a membership was worthwhile.

One thing I forgot to mention was that I read that article in 2013 and that I first visited the brand new Alliance Française library in July 2013 to enquire about the process to become a member. The formalities were a breeze. After filling in some light paperwork, I had to choose the membership type I wanted - I opted for the 15 books and paid the annual membership fee, which is only around Rs 750.  There could be an additional fee for new memberships, but I can't remember whether it's the fact as two years is a lot of time and my memory gets flushed every two months.

It's almost two years since I joined the library. I mentioned earlier that I was reluctant about reading French books but it turns out it was just a habit thing. Once I started borrowing books from the Alliance Française and reading them, I soon started enjoying them. And there is a lot to enjoy about borrowing books from there because the collection they have is amazing. I have been able to (re)discover some favourite authors such as Pierre Bellemare, Leo Malet but especially Maurice Leblanc, the father of the legendary Arsène Lupin.

Even the other Arsène is happy.

Even beyond these authors which I already knew, I have also discovered some amazing books from both international and local authors. Three years back, I probably would not have considered even picking up a book by a Mauritian author but have since become a huge fan. The best thing about the 15 books deal is that I'm not just borrowing books for myself but for the entire family. Of course, I always pick up some books that only I will read (my family unfortunately does not seem to agree that Arsène Lupin is one of the best fictional characters ever) but there are books available for every type of reader.

It does not matter what kind of reader you are, you will find books that will perfectly satisfy your needs at the Alliance Française. There is a restriction that you can only borrow a maximum of two books by the same author at any time but it's not a big problem since you sign up for an annual membership anyway. So you can just go for two more books from your new favourite author when you visit the library another time.

The library does not have its own website but you can find a page on the general Alliance Française website.

Their contact info:
Alliance Française
1 rue Victor Hugo
Bell Village
Port Louis

Tel: (+230)  212 2949
Fax: (+230) 212 2812

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Online moderation by the newspapers of Mauritius

The newspapers of Mauritius have often complained that they are not treated as they should and that sometimes their voice cannot be heard due to governmental interference.

Maybe they should rethink their comment moderation strategies on their website first as my comments are rarely posted on their websites. And my comments are perfectly innocent: no swear words, no insults, no trolling and no spamming. Yet, it's a miracle if one of my comments is posted on a newspaper website ,whether it be L'Express or Le Défi (which I'm not even going to bother visiting again because the layout is so bad).

Or it could also be that they don't bother moderating comments that are posted several days after the articles have been published.

...I need to rethink my comment posting strategy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How to sign up for fiber optics in Mauritius

  1. Rejoice at Orange's decision for finally seeing the importance of having fiber optics in Mauritius, the "cyber island" of Africa
  2. Plan your downloads list but be aware that piracy is still illegal
  3. Phone Orange to know when your area with be covered
  4. Wait forever
Alternatively, you could just phone them every two weeks to be told that your area has been included in the North when you actually live in the centre of Mauritius. I do it when I'm bored and I need a good laugh.