Haven't blogged in quite a while thanks to exams and whatnot, but this week I've been in San Francisco for Apple's World Wide Developers Conference with a sizable group of other Irish developers. And wow what a week it's been.
Asides the obvious Apple awesomeness, there's been even more cool stuff happening: at Monday lunch time Symbian held an event in Jillians just across from Moscone West, where the first 100 attendees got a free Nokia 5800 Xpress Music and t-shirt (as well as food and drink!):
Very nice move by Symbian I think; I would never have even bothered looking at Symbian even for making sure my websites run on it, but now with a free 'high-end' phone I have an excuse to do so. I'd also be really interested in writing S60 apps… except there's no Mac-native SDK. If Symbian actually wants to attract iPhone developers, as they seemed to at the event, then they better MAKE A MAC SDK!
On Tuesday, I decided to be adventurous. I was able to buy a Palm Pre from a local Sprint Wireless store without activation or a contract (apparently I hear it's very hard to do? $602 including tax), so I instantly ran off back to my hotel room to see if I could A) hack the activation out of the OS, and B) get it working so I can develop apps for it and run them on device.
Well, success :-) I gave up Tuesday eve because I couldn't get the device into restore mode no matter what I did, but on Wednesday morning I figured it out: you have to hold the volume-up button while the device is off before plugging it into USB, and from there you can use Palm's firmware flashers to do whatever you like with it. As the device can run unsigned firmware (!!!) I was easily able to hack out the activation check, and get up and running and enable the root shell. In that respect, I may just have the first jailbroken Pre in existence.
I gotta say; this week at WWDC I've used my Pre more than my iPhone. It's not better than the iPhone in any respect, BUT it's as-good-as for most people. Everything 'just works', whether it be syncing with iTunes or even using the iPhone headset with the Pre. It's a fantastic device and OS, and I really wish Palm well with it.
After revealing my exploit of the device, I was invited to a small Palm meetup nearby where I got to chat with the actual WebOS engineers, thoroughly validating my efforts :-D
Staying in San Francisco 'til Tuesday next, so hopefully I'll get some more free stuff somewhere (I'm *such* a student). This has seriously been the best week ever.