Critical Section

my iToy

Wednesday,  01/02/08  12:59 AM

So Aperio had a good year, and celebrated by gifting each employee a spiffy new iPod touch.  To say they have been well received would be an understatement.  Right out of the box the iPod Touch is an amazing little device, with some great capabilities; I've enjoyed my little iToy quite a bit, and spent the New Year's weekend watching football and figuring out how to display big digital slides on an iPod touch, under Safari.  (More on that if I ever get it to work :)

However did you know you can install third-party applications on it?  Yes indeed!  This helpful article explains how to do it – you end up with a fully functional iPod Touch which is also a computer with a new application called Installer, from which you can install various third-party applications.  There’re a ton of games, utilities to change the look and feel, a word processor, a spreadsheet, graphics editors – you name it.  There’s even an eBook reader and various eBooks available – including the Bible, the Encyclopedia Britannica, and Godel, Escher Bach.  (Heck, there’s even the apache webserver – yes, you can actually run a website from your iPod touch!)  My favorites so far are Summerboard (which modifies Springboard, the iPod’s launcher), Mobile RSS, and iRadio, which lets you listen to Internet radio stations!  The instructions are mildly technical and the whole process takes about an hour.

The term for modifying your iPhone / iPod in this way is called “jailbreaking”; a reference to the fact that as the device comes from Apple it is closed, or “in jail”, and by making these changes you make the device open, by “breaking it out of jail”.

Here’s what mine looks like right now:

Ole's iToy - a spiffy iPod Touch

Of course you don’t have to do anything – you can just enjoy it unmodified as a wonderful little device.  But what would be the fun of that?

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