I got an iPad. Welcome to 1990.

I’ve been a fan of computers for longer than I care to remember, since Majel Barrett (Roddenberry) was the voice of a talking computer on the Starship Enterprise. Before the days of MS-DOS. When the punch-card reader was still a valid input device. The first computer I owned was a TRS-80.

iPad 2 interface, circa 2011

iPad 2 interface, circa 2011

A couple of years ago I was introduced to the iPhone 3G and immediately had to have one. I’ve been using these little iOS devices ever since, my current collection includes jailbroken iPhone 4 and iPad 2. One thing that’s striking about iDevices is their ease of use. From the first touch, I was somehow already familiar with the interface, though at the time I did not realize why.

Windows 3.0 Retail Box, circa 1990

Windows 3.0 Retail Box, circa 1990

Recently while sorting the bookshelf I came across a copy of Microsoft Windows 3.0 I bought on launch day back in 1990. Then the realization hit me. If you are old enough to remember Windows 3.0 and its Program Manager, you will instantly understand why the iPhone’s interface seems familiar. It’s because twenty years later, the typical smartphone interface is roughly equivalent to Windows 3.0 running DOS-based applications. Consider these striking similarities between Windows 3.0 and iOS 4:

Windows 3.1 interface, circa 1991

Windows 3.1 interface, circa 1991

  • All the icons are found on a central screen or in folders on that central screen (iOS prior to 4.x didn’t have folders).
  • You can only really run one thing at a time comfortably because every app takes up the full screen while it’s running.
  • Some things can run in background, but with few exceptions it’s arguable whether you could call what a minimized iPhone app does “running” in any true sense.
  • Neither runs Flash.

Sure, an iPhone has better graphics, it’s portable and has a touchscreen instead of a mouse and keyboard. But the actual way you get things done is so retro as to be laughable, when you think about it. The interface Apple calls “magical” today, Microsoft did twenty years ago, and has far surpassed since then.

Don’t get me wrong, I use the newest Windows, iOS, and MacOS X on a daily basis, and absolutely find good, valid uses for all of them. The current batch of portable devices are great, but it seems there is quite a long way to go before a phone or tablet can completely replace a “real” computer. I look forward to using the portable devices of the future, when they will inevitably catch up to and surpass their bigger cousins.

Update 2016: I hardly touch the Apple devices anymore since I discovered tablets and phones that run Windows. And iOS still looks antique. And you still can’t get a Mac with a touchscreen.

Update 2019: I have an iPhone again, because Microsoft abandoned the phone platform. iOS still looks no better and Mac screens still can’t be touched. – posted from my Microsoft Surface Pro, a touchscreen tablet with detachable keyboard which runs Windows.

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This is the version of Samba found here but hosted for easy install: http://thebigboss.org/2009/05/22/calling-out-for-tester-samba-for-the-iphone

If you don’t know what Samba is already, best to just leave it alone.

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There are a couple of versions of MobileTerminal hosted in the repository. The original 520-1 and a beta 364.3-12.

No support for either of these so you’re on your own.

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FakeClockUp (tweak)

Accelerates UIKit transition animations. While this does not actually increase the clock speed of your device, it makes it just feel faster.

This is the known stable 0.1-1 version. There are a few newer ones out that break things.

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Retrofuturist More Icons (Theme)

This package installs more application icons for the Retrofuturist theme. If you do not already have Retrofuturist, it will install automatically. Activate in Winterboard.

Most of the icons were copied from existing icons in the theme, renamed to match the apps I needed them for. These include:

  • Angry Birds
  • AptBackup
  • Banking
  • FML
  • iBooks
  • iMovie
  • iTeleport
  • Jaadu RDP
  • Kindle
  • Messenger
  • Ms PAC-MAN
  • Power88
  • SlingPlayer
  • TouchTerm
  • Tweetaholic
  • Twitter
  • wbhy

Revision History:

  • 1.0-1 Added depends on Retrofuturist.
  • 1.0 Initial release.
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Fireball 3G and 4G Themes

These Winterboard themes provide the familiar AT&T icons for 3G, 4G and LTE when you are connected to the appropriate network.

The Fireball 4G theme substitutes the 4G logo for 3G. Hey, it was good enough for AT&T marketing department!


Revision History:

  • 1.0 Initial release.
  • 1.1 Compatible with iOS5 (tested on beta 6)
  • 1.2 Now includes 4G icon for iPhone 4S (AT&T) and separate 4G icon theme for all devices.
  • 2.0 Added 4G LTE logo (blue flame), certified working on iOS6 and iPhone 5.
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MacOSX Lion Icons Theme

This Winterboard theme provides a collection of application icons based on Mac OSX 10.7 “Lion”

MacOSX Lion Icons

Revision History:

  • 1.5 Began the work of eliminating SummerBoard mode requirement, which causes crashing on iOS 6. This is a work in progress.
  • 1.4 Miscellaneous fixes.
  • 1.3 Fixed icon size for iPad calendar. You need to enable the “MacOSX Lion icons – iPad” theme also.
  • 1.2 Works on iOS5; includes fix for ugly dock and switcher shadows.
  • 1.1-2 Added an icon for PerfectBrowser.
  • 1.1 Copied some icons that had been renamed for iOS 4.2 so they show up again.
  • 1.0 Initial release, from com.modmyi.macosxliontheme, split into a new folder so the icons can be applied separate from the background.
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Pepper dot Net Cydia Repository is online!

Daddy is excited, he has brought an experimental Cydia Repository online.

In case you don’t know what that is, Cydia is the app on jailbroken iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices that allows you to install stuff not available from Apple’s App Store. You can add additional sources (repositories) to Cydia to get access to additional software (packages) to Cydia. If you’re interested in jailbreaking your device, I recommend you visit http://jailbreakqa.com/ to learn more.

As of today it contains only one package, the AT&T Carrier Logo for iOS 4.2 and above.

To use this repository, launch Cydia and go to the Manage tab. Choose Sources, then tap Edit and Add. In the pop-up, type http://www.pepper.net/ and then tap Add Source. Wait for things to refresh, then you can browse the PepperdotNet repository.

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AT&T Carrier Logo for iOS 4.2+

The first package in the new Pepper dot Net iOS Repository is the AT&T Carrier Logo for iOS 4.2+

This package replaces the text AT&T with a graphic that looks like this:


It originally came from BigBoss. Unfortunately Apple changed resource path locations with the release of 4.2, and my attempts to contact the developer were ignored. So, I have fixed the problem.

NOTE: Doesn’t work for iPads (they use a different path to the carrier bundle) and I have received some reports of install failure on 3G[S]. Please use the WinterBoard version (attTheme) instead if this one gives you troubles.

Revision History:

  • 1.1-2, 1.1-1 More package settings adjustments.
  • 1.1 Includes low-resolution images for iPhone 3G and 3G[S].
  • 1.0-2, 1.0-1 Minor adjustments to the package settings.
  • 1.0 Initial release, supports iPhone 4 only.
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Hello world!

Guess what. Daddy has upgraded my website again. I am so excited!

Maybe this time he will keep it up to date.

You can see photos of me in the “About” area above. Enjoy!

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