The Blind (And A Little Bit Drunk) Leading The Blind (And However Much Drunk You Are)

This post gets a little sideways, but I will tell you how I made my iPhone into a modem if you have patience and/or just scroll down.

It is a Christmas miracle.

We leave for Massachusetts bright and early on Wednesday morning, and so in lieu of packing tonight, Ish and I exchanged our gifts to each other and drank some very, very good wine and I made like, three lists. Which is nearly as good as actually packing. KIND OF it's like packing three times even.

Oh, wine.

BUT! The reason I'm blogging is because on one of those lists was a line item that said, if I'm reading my handwriting correctly, which is really 50-50 at best but I'm pretty sure I remember making the list so I'm probably right: figure out iPhone-as-modem.

(At least, I'm pretty sure it said that. It may have said "flyer at plum & modern.")

So remember when I was telling you about how my sister is currently separated, and how she's renting a house that doesn't have ANY internet connectivity at all? And how we're going to be staying there for a week? And how you were all, "Is your sister renting a yurt?" and I was all "I don't know, my sister and I inherited different internet genes"? And then I didn't even tell you about how she ventured to go on an internet date (I guess she accessed it at work? WHO KNOWS) without doing any internet due diligence and then, when I asked what his contact info was so that bossy-big-sister could do a basic Google search, she texted me back not to Google him because she just did and he comes up in the local police blotter?


I thought it would be easy to find a way to get on the internet from my sister's by using a wifi card. I didn't realize they would cost hundreds of dollars for just a week's worth. So stupid.

So then I couldn't find ANY solution, other than "jailbreaking" my iPhone, which totally sounded like something I would never do. But desperate times and fabulous pinot and all that call for pseudo-desperate measures. So I gave it a whirl, and after a few problems, I DID jailbreak my phone and the whole thing ended up working and it's kind of awesome.

Here's what I did:

Step 1: Pour yourself a glass of your favorite wine.

Step 2: Check out this website:
What June or fabric has to do with this whole thing is beyond me. I don't understand any of what I did, though, so I just go with it. There are instructions for all kinds of new phones, too, including the Droid. For what it's worth, I have an iPhone (3G running 3.2.1) and a Mac running OSX.6.1.

Step 3: Go, "Oh, shit. I need to jailbreak my iPhone. I don't even know what that MEANS."
It's my understanding that "jailbreaking" your iPhone simply unlocks its requirement that it can only get apps approved from Apple/iTunes. If your phone is jailbroken, you can download and use apps from ANYwhere. It's not illegal, and while it voids your software warranty, it does not void your hardware warranty. Plus, if something goes wrong, you can restore your phone to its original state through iTunes and everything goes back to the way it was.

Unlocking your phone, by the way, is something else entirely and we don't need to go there.

Step 4: Google "how to jailbreak your iPhone" and spend an hour sifting through the madness before figuring out that it IS easy and IS free, so don't use the first thing you click on.

The instructions that worked for me were these: Jailbreak iPhone 3.1.2 Firmware with blackra1n. You'll click through a bunch of links for instructions, but they all basically say the same thing. Macs follow the same thing as Windows.

Step 5: Basically? Go here:
Scroll to the bottom of the page. Click on the Windows or Mac icon, and download and install the app onto your computer.

My phone was connected to my computer and iTunes was on when I did this.

Then I got two messages on my computer. One said I could reinstall original settings on my iPhones (this is what iTunes was saying), but the blackra1n app was saying it would reboot my phone, so I clicked on that one and did NOT reset my iPhone.

My iPhone then booted itself up (which took a little longer than usual) and when it did, the blackra1n application was there.

Step 6: Follow the prompts on your phone to install Cydia.
I don't know, just do it. Refill your wine glass. It makes it all so much less scary.

Step 7: Open Cydia on your phone as you would any other app, and search for "PDANet" the way you would at the iTunes app store. Install the one that looks like it's in English. (I don't know what that other option is.)

Step 8: Realize you're missing the finale of "The Sing Off" and start playing it from the beginning on your DVR.

Step 9: Follow the instructions at PDAnet. For me, I followed the ones for the iPhone:

I wasn't having luck with the wifi instructions, so then I installed the USB option. And then I installed it again. And again. And on the third try, it worked. By then, I'd rebooted my computer, rebooted my phone, and had my phone plugged into my computer with iTunes on and running (which may not have had ANY impact whatsoever). Also, be sure to have your other internet connections turned OFF. (I was disconnected from my home's wifi.)

Step 10: It works! I have the PDAnet app running on my phone (with the USB option selected in Settings), and on my computer, I have clicked "Connect" from my toolbar where the PDA option has been installed.

It's like magic. I clicked on my web browser (is that what we call these things these days? I don't know, I'm using Chrome), and nothing happened. I waited a few more seconds, saw that my phone said it was connected to my computer, and tried to refresh the page. And next thing you know, I'm using gmail and gchat just through my iPhone. OH GLORY DAY.

I will be able to access the internet from my sister's. But also? FROM THE CAR. And like, who KNOWS where else!

This calls for more wine! luck. I'd like to say I could help you if you run into any issues, but I really can't. If you have more specific questions about what I did, please ask and I'll answer, though.

Like, Papapietro Perry's 2007 Pinot.

Also, Why, yes! My a cappella group DOES sing the very arrangement of "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" that the groups in The Sing Off opened with. Thanks for asking!


  1. I'm so proud of you. Good job.


  3. Thank you thank you thank you! This is going to save me so much money in hotel internet fees this year!

  4. just remember to be careful of your data usage on the iphone, though that'll still be less pricey than hundreds of dollars per week!

  5. I luv Papapietro pinos! (try saying that 5 times fast)


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