[tnkgrl] is back with part three of her Acer Aspire One hacking. This time she’s adding in 3G. You may look at the picture the above and think, “Cake. She just plugged the card in”. No, the Acer doesn’t ship with the mini-PCIe slot or the SIM card holder. First you have to solder a right angle mini-PCIe connector to the board pads and bridge two others to provide power. The SIM holder was another problem. She wasn’t able to find a pin compatible one. The one she installed is mounted to a riser so she could change the wiring order (let her know if you can find the correct part). This mod definitely requires some good soldering skills and she warns that even she managed to destroy a SIM in the process.
The Dell Mini 9 is another netbook that doesn’t have the appropriate connectors soldered on board, but JKK has a work-around. You need a 3G modem that has the SIM card on board. You plug it into the WiFi slot after taping over a few pins and then use a USB WiFi card instead.
Watch in wonder as forensics expert [Jonathan Zdziarski] takes you step by step through the process of bypassing the iPhone 3G’s passcode lock. Gasp in amazement as he creates a custom firmware bundle. [Jonathan], creator of NES.app a Nintendo emulator for the iPhone, is well respected for his work on opening the iPhone. In this presentation, he sheds some light on the forensics toolkit he helped develop for law enforcement agencies that we covered earlier.
The iphone-dev team hasn’t been resting on their laurels since releasing the iPhone Pwnage Tool 2.0 nearly two weeks ago and decided to update everyone on their progress. Despite the iPhone 2.0 jailbreak, there still isn’t a way to unlock a 3G phone. They’ve managed to do other things like downgrade a 3G to an older baseband firmware, which demonstrates their ability to bypass security checks and run unsigned code on the baseband. A nice side effect of all the downgrade work is that they’ve perfected the percautions they take to prevent bricking. The team has been following threads about using SIM proxy devices for unlocks as well, but concluded that the devices are a kludge at best and reliability can vary wildly depending on the phone’s location. They also pointed out the fine work that RiP Dev has been doing on Installer 4 which will help you install software that isn’t from the AppStore.
TechOnline has cracked open the iPhone 3G to find out what makes it tick. They’ve released detailed diagrams as well as some videos of the dissection.
Calling this an incremental update, they note that the changes seem to be additions and improvements rather than a total rebuild of the original platform. They get into the nitty gritty, discussing not only the layout and structure, but even the importance of each chip manufacturer.
Some of the improvements are obvious, like 3G. Others include the battery not being permanently attached, and the headphone jack being flush mounted. Most of the changes were in who manufactured each chip.
Oh, iPhone Dev Team, you are a hoot. It isn’t that you managed to jailbreak the iPhone 2.0 firmware on the day of its release, although we can’t help but smirk at that. It isn’t even that you revealed your handiwork in a playful way. We simply love that you expertly work us into a frenzy for the new jailbreak installer with few casual images and some aloof words. Now give us the installer before we get too antsy, please.
Not to be outshined, though, iFixit has posted a full iPhone 3G teardown, stripping away the sleek casing to feast on the goodness inside. They found some interesting changes from the last model: the glass screen, for example, is no longer glued to the LCD, which will no doubt make repairs less expensive. The battery is also unsoldered, meaning you won’t have to send the phone in for repair if the only battery needs maintenance.
There’s a new iPhone 3G coming out in July. If that statement shocks you, you might want to check your connection. We love new shiny hardware, but what we’re really interested in is the number of “old” iPhones that are going to be hitting the market. Many people will be ditching their 1st generation iPhones just to get GPS and 3G. This abundance plus the new $200 price tag is bound to depress the price for used phones.
A used 1st generation iPhone is actually a pretty attractive device. It’s already been laid wide open by hackers so you can run pretty much anything you want on it instead of waiting for the App Store to tell you what you can and can’t do. You could use it as a WiFi Voip phone, a simple web pad, run an NES emulator, use it as a musical instrument, or build an army of robots.
What will you do when the price of used iPhones bottoms out?
Our friend [tnkgrl] has successfully added HSDPA to a Vulcan Flipstart. The Flipstart is a palmtop Windows machine with 1.1GHz Pentium M, 512MB RAM, 30GB hard drive, and an EVDO option. Before starting, you need to come up with a mini-PCI Express HSDPA card. Instead of trying for a random bare mini-PCIe card on eBay, she purchased an unlocked AT&T Sierra Wireless Aircard 875U USB dongle. Inside of the dongle is a battery, SIM slot, and a mini-PCI Express card. The Flipstart lid comes off with just a few screws and the card drops into place. Even though the antenna isn’t tuned for all the possible bands you should still get good signal most of the time. The best part of this mod is that it doesn’t require any obvious modification, so your warranty will be intact… as far as anyone can tell. Embedded below is the video of the easy swap. In the past, she added HSDPA to the OQO 02, which definitely takes a lot more work.
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