iPhone hack steps in Moscow

Posted 6 May 2008 by moscowblog
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , ,

I’ve hacked more than a dozen iPhones for people here Moscow. Each time I do it, I have to remember the steps to fix certain problems. So, I’m going to document them here for my own benefit and perhaps for your benefit, too.

  1. Turn off iPhone.
  2. Hold down “Home” button while connecting iPhone to dock or cable.
  3. Restore to 1.1.4 using latest version of iTunes (7.6.2).
  4. Run ZiPhone. (I had to run it twice last time to get Installer to appear.)
  5. Connect to a wireless network. (Might be easier with no password.)
  6. Install Community Sources using Installer.
  7. To fix “Call Forwarding Active” message:
    1. Add source: http://www.sendowski.de/iphone
    2. Install ForwardMSGFix in Tweaks 1.1.3
  8. To display contact name instead of number for international numbers (+1.234 567.8901)
    1. Install AppSupport Patch 1.1.4 by timschuerewegen
  9. To add russian keyboard
    1. Add source: repository.ripdev.com
    2. Install Mobile Enhancer
    3. Install Русская клавиатура

That’s what I do. Takes about 10-15 minutes.


my iPhone….

Posted 29 April 2008 by moscowblog
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: ,

I have an iPhone. It used to work. But about a month (!) ago, I dropped it. It landed flat on its face. I picked it up, washed it off, looked at it – still had an image, glass seemed intact, even appeared responsive at first glance.

But, 10 minutes later, I wanted to actually use it. Oops. Lower half of the screen was unresponsive. Top half was, but not the lower half. You know, the lower half where you “Swipe to unlock”. Upon closer inspection, there was a hairline crack in the top-left corner. You can barely see it; you have to hold it up to the light and look at a strange angle. But, it’s unmistakeable.

I found iphone-service.ru but they haven’t had the parts in stock since that fateful day. Plus, their website is misleading at best. It says 1500r to fix it but that’s just the labor. They don’t mention the parts cost, which is considerable. Full cost will be about 6000r. <sigh>

If they ever get the parts in.


Metro, McDonald’s and Leningradskoe Shosse

Posted 18 July 2007 by moscowblog
Categories: airport, food, Metro, traffic

I’ve been away for two weeks and have noticed several changes…

First, when I bought a new 20-ride ticket for the metro, I was pleasantly surprised to note that some of the turnstiles now have digital readouts for multi-ride tickets. So, when I used the card to let my wife through, instead of just showing the standard green light, I was presented with a green “19”. When I went through, it showed “18”. Very cool indeed. It’s not all the turnstiles, yet, but I’m sure they are upgrading them bit by bit. If you look closely, or watch people go ahead of you, you can pick out which ones display the count and which don’t.

After coming home, I had to go pick up my son from Sheremetyevo. I jumped in the car, whipped around the Garden Ring to Tverskaya and gunned the motor up Leningradskoe Shosse. I already mentioned once that they had opened a new by-pass or highway-without-stoplights which got you from the 3rd ring all the way to Sokol metro. That was great, because you skipped right by all the construction, stoplights and usually traffic jams. But, there did seem to be a bit of congestion at the end as the other traffic tried to merge with the new highway at the end to go through the underpass on the way to Grand, MKAD, IKEA and the airport. Well, again, they’ve made more progress. The underpass is now being used for oncoming traffic and the traffic heading north-west is all on street-level. No merging. Again, a very nice improvement which felt like it was much faster.

Finally, I went to McDonald’s for breakfast, as is common. I get the same thing every time: Egg McMuffin with sausage, hash brown and children’s orange juice. Until late March, it cost 97 RUR. Starting in April it cost 98 RUR. Now it’s 101 RUR. Over 4% increase in 4 months. I hope this trend doesn’t continue… Other prices have changed, too, but I don’t always get the same thing at other times during the day so I can’t compare so directly….

Wither Tropicana orange juice?

Posted 23 June 2007 by moscowblog
Categories: food

As most people, I’m a creature of habit, perhaps more so than others. Sometimes it’s irrational, other times, it’s quite rational.

I like Tropicana orange juice because it tastes better than the other brands which are too watery, too acidic, or are otherwise not to my liking.

So, I buy exclusively Tropicana OJ. Except, not for the last 3 weeks, since it’s not to be found.

7th Contintent, Ramstor, Magnolia, Perekrestok – nope.

Does anyone know why? Is it temporary or permanent? If temporary, when will it return?

In the meantime, I have to slink off to McDonald’s to get my OJ fix.

New variation on old scam

Posted 21 June 2007 by moscowblog
Categories: exchange, money, scam

I live near Prospekt Mira and used to change money at any conveniently located Пункт Обмена. I would also grumble when I saw the phrase до 10,000 USD, because that exchange rate was 1 rouble lower than the от 10,000 USD rate.  Eventually, I looked around and saw some other places to change money including some which didn’t have two different rates. Plus, the rates were even better than the “over 10,000 USD” rate the others had.

So, I began to use these exchange points.

The other day I went to change $200. I said hello, put my money in the teller drawer, the one which closes as the teller pulls it towards her and opens on the other side, preventing customers (or unsavory folk) from reaching through and threatening the teller.

She carefully counted out the roubles: 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 5100, and the rest. She put it in the drawer, I picked up the stack, stuffed it in my wallet and went on my merry way. I got home, fired up Quicken to record the transactions of the day, and came up 1000 roubles short.

I hadn’t done very much and since it was exactly 1000 roubles, I quickly realized I’d been shorted. But, I remembered quite distinctly seeing her count each 1000 note. But, there was no denying it. I only had 4 1000 rouble notes; she had stolen $40 from me.

I went back to yell at her, but there was a line and I was late for something else.

But, I went back a few days later to change a mere $100. I thought for sure it would be another person and that the amount wouldn’t be enough to short me.

It was amusing to watch the lady carefully count out 1000, 2000, 2500, etc. It was so blatant now, as if to say, “look, it’s all there. Don’t worry about counting it after it comes through the drawer. You’re feeling sleepy, very, very sleeeeeepy.” Then, in the drawer, close on her side, open on mine, pull the money out, fan it open and…. well, whaddya know?! I only see one 1000 rouble note. I look in the drawer. Nothing. I bend over look to the far end of the drawer, so far I can barely reach, and there’s the second 1000 rouble note.

Very clever.


New Nestle Invoice/Receipts

Posted 29 May 2007 by moscowblog
Categories: delivery, nestle, Services, water

Recently, Nestle changed what documents they provide when they deliver water.

It used to be a two page, carbon-copy document with the little holes on the side which were used for a form-fed, dot matrix
printer. Now it’s printed on a laser printer.

The first time, I thought the change was great – one clean page, all information clearly displayed.

But since then, they’ve given me three A4 pages and another document which is torn off the long side of an A4 page. It’s not stapled together. It’s not clear why they have so many documents. What do I need to save?

Honestly, at this point, I prefer the old documentation.

What I want:  one A4 page with all info and stamps. Nothing else. C’mon, I’m sure you can make it happen.

Russian Ingenuity – no, really!

Posted 28 May 2007 by moscowblog
Categories: car, ingenuity, parking, traffic

The Russians do a lot of jury-rigged things to get things done or make things work. While this is impressive in a certain sense, mostly the examples I’ve seen or made note of make me cringe at the sloppy way something is done, or unsafe, or whatever. Yes, it works, but how long before it breaks again? Yes, it works, but is it safe? Yes, it works, but <insert concern/comment here>.

Today was an exception. I’m thoroughly impressed.

I was walking along Birzhevaya, which is parallel to Red Square, towards Gostinniy Dvor. As I passed the metro entrance, I noticed there were 5-6 cars stopped on the one way street with two big trucks in front of them. Obviously, they were somehow blocked. My first assumption was that the first dump truck had stopped in the middle of the street – others be damned! – blocking everyone else despite their desperate honking.

When I got to the front, I realized that, in fact, it was some parked cars which had prevented the truck from getting through. Naturally, parking is not allowed there, but the policeman watching the intersection was oblivious to the infraction.

So, what to do? What would you have done? I have no idea. Well, actually, I’ve seen it happen once or twice that several men will pick up a car and move it. As a prank, they’ll turn it around 180 degrees to face the opposite direction. This was usually done on a small, light car like a Citroën Deux Chevaux / Ente / Duck (what’s the official name?).

When I saw 5-6 men gathering around the front of the car, I thought maybe that’s what they are going to do, but why are they all on one side of the car?

One guy said, “1-2-3” and they all pushed down hard, lifted, pushed down, lifted, several times – the front end began to bounce! While it was in the air, they pushed it to the side a bit. Three shoves over, and it was enough. They repeated this with the next car and they were – barely – able to drive through.

That was cool. Really cool.

Respect, man.