Too old for [i]Phone two-oh?


The punchline: my shiny new iPhone is currently sitting on my kitchen table, resembling something of an iBrick.
The joke:

“Wait, wait, wait,” you say. “You bought an iPhone? You?!”
Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know.
But it was a really natural progression… or so it seemed at the time.
A bunch of us were at spitzer’s place on Friday to have some good BBQ and wish John a safe flight home. ss “OMG JUST HAD TO HAVE” an iPhone, so he showed up late, having gotten in line earlier in the day to get one.
We start playing with the phone… and I must admit, it’s a pretty cool phone. As we start playing more and more with it, Stuart is the first to fall. I think it was when he compared the iPhone to his (comparably massive) Sidekick.
So at we’re going to the Apple Store now, anyway.
Then Stuart and Sam start in on me: “Oh geeze… you phone looks like crap. Can you browse the web on that? Does it get email?”
Well, the answer is no and no, and secretly, I’ve always wanted a phone that could do that. And despite the fact that the iPhone runs a Safari-ish browser, the web experience is pretty nice… none of this “Web-lite” stuff. When I let slip that I was thinking about getting an iPod for myself, it was all over. Partnership for a Drug Apple Free America would’ve been appalled at the amount of peer pressure that let fly after I (stupidly) mentioned that.
So Stuart and I walked out of the store with two new iPhones.
Now I knew going into this situation that the iPhone was heavily reliant upon the Apple application stack. Since I don’t have a Mac or a Windows machine at home, I figured VMware would come to my rescue. I’ve been playing with it for a couple of days now, though, and I can’t seem to get it to work.
It looks like the iPhone needs USB 2.0, which only Workstation 6 has support for. So after upgrading my machine from 5.5.3 to 6.0 and upgrading the virtual hardware and upgrading the guest, I figured I’d be browsin’ and playin’ AACs and makin’ phone calls.
For some reason though, whenever I plug the iPhone in, Windows notices a new USB device is there (the “lil’ ding tells you it’s working”), but iTunes refuses to speak to it as a valid device. (Yes, I installed the new version of iTunes; in fact, I’ve installed it four or five times!)
Now, before you start laughing hysterically at my pain (ok, I’ll give you a moment to collect yourself, and stop laughing hysterically at my pain… … ok… we good now?), I really figured the VM thing would work. I’m surprisingly un-angry about it not working though, because… let’s face it, who expects Apple to support non-Mac-non-Win32 users.
I guess I was just really excited about the new toy and some of the cool features, and now it’s just… ho-hum, because it’s not working. And probably because I’ve had to sit through an iTunes install five times now.
I’ve been considering biting the bullet and using someone else’s computer to activate the phone, but that seems like a recipe for disaster, especially since it’s through iTunes, and Apple loves them some DRM. I would hate for my phone to say “Hey, dock me to that machine you originally installed me on!” and me go “Well, I can’t, because he’s on the East Coast right now,” and my phone going “Well, oops! I think I’ll just shut off now.”
And you know how Apple is about these things… “no one buys new computers. Oh, yours broke? Well, go re-purchase all of your iTunes music. Kthx.”
I’ll probably end up doing that (after I clean up a few things on my old phone, like voicemails I’ve been saving) and hope that it’s a stupid bug on my part, a reinstallation of XP on WS 6 directly will work, or Workstation 6.0.1 comes out soon and fixes it (depending on whose problem it really is).
I’ve started a thread on VMware’s forums about this… so maybe that will bear some fruit. Of course, it’s hard to convince yourself to go forward with spending $650 on the phone plus $175 on the cancellation plus the time it’ll take to transfer all your data plus the frustration if something really does go wrong by saying “oh, I’ll just hope it gets fixed in the next release.”
At this point, I could take the iPhone back immediately and have no penalty at all (save the a) embarrassment and b) moving back a suckPhone).
The greatest irony (in a cosmic sense) of this whole thing: I used to hang out all the time with the guy—the guy—who wrote much of the USB 2.0 stuff for Workstation.
I don’t see him much these days though.
He could probably figure this out in thirty seconds flat. On the other hand, he’s the kind of guy that would solve my problem, but only on the condition that I let him crack open my iPhone afterward, so he could poke around its innards.