Using an iPhone in the US

For some reason, despite countless Australian travelers to the US taking their iPhones with them, I found it hard to find decent information on how to get a US prepaid SIM with data and use it successfully. A friend of mine had used T-Mobile when he was here, but the iPhone works only on 2G with their network. Being a bit of a fusspot, I wanted 3G and therefore AT&T was the obvious choice. Unfortunately, AT&T are a big fat pain in the arse.

I won’t bore you with the tedious 2 day ordeal that was trying to get the whole thing going. Instead, here is a recipe so that you needn’t suffer the same annoyance.

You’ll need a carrier unlocked iPhone.

1. Go to an AT&T outlet and buy a GoPhone prepaid SIM. (iPhones are not normally allowed on prepaid, but the shop assistant was able to put some other phone’s IMEI in to the system when activating my SIM. It’s possible the store you go to will refuse to sell you a prepaid SIM for an iPhone- in that case, either try another store or bring some other handset for the IMEI.)

2. Add credit, and a data pack. I chose the $2 per day unlimited talk and text plan. $28 for 2 weeks isn’t too horrible. The SIM itself is $20. 500 MB is $25.

3. Go somewhere with free wifi (Starbucks, McDonalds, Borders, many others).

4. Go to unlockit.co.nz in mobile Safari.

5. Select “Custom APN”, then US – AT&T (should be wap.cingular)

6. Install the certificate.

7. Restart the phone, then hooray- data should be working!

I found data craps out a couple of times a day in NYC- just switch briefly to airplane mode to get it going again.

Voila!

Philips NMS 9100 – our first PC

A wee bit of nostalgia today – I found a few pictures of what was our first home PC. It was a PC/AT compatible 286, running at 8MHz.

As seen in the image below, it came with 768kB of RAM. If I remember correctly, at some stage we upgraded it to 2MB.

On it, I played such immersive games games as “Dark Heart of Uukrul”:

And wrote up school projects in WordPerfect:

Now I can look at stuff like this with the phone in my pocket. The CPU in my phone is (at least) one hundred times faster, has more than 250 times as much RAM. It can tell me where I am using satellites in the sky. I feel old:

HDR on iOS 4.1

I updated my phone this morning. Definitely snappier, snappier for sure.

Snappier.

Anyway, I took an HDR photo with the new-fangled HDR option. Here, have a look (click the photo for a bigger image, full 5MP resolution image is here)!

It can save a non-HDR copy as well, so you can say “ooh! aah! that’s so much sna^H^H^Hprettier!” (full 5MP resolution here)

Seems like it’ll be quite useful for those odd occasions where it’s really hard to get an evenly exposed photo.

momento – the diary i could never be arsed to keep

I downloaded Momento about a week and a half ago now and have been trying it out. Ever bothered to keep a diary or a journal? I never have, for a few reasons – if I don’t have it on me all the time I’ll never remember to write in it and I’ve never been much good with organising books and paper anyway. Momento’s a journal app which seems like a pretty cool way to keep track of what I’ve been up to and what’s going on.

I’m quite looking forward to being able to look back on private thoughts that I would otherwise have completely forgotten. Oh yeah, it hooks into Facebook and Twitter and whatnot and pulls your status updates/tweets into the journal which is pretty nifty. It remains to be seen whether or not my regular contributions continue but I’m enjoying the novelty for now!