How to Unlock your AT&T iPhone

So you want your iPhone 3, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S or whatever version unlocked?

Just a few minutes ago, I tried following the steps found at Unfortunately, AT&T is no longer unlocking iPhones over their chat system. After trying on two separate occasions, I was informed by AT&T’s chat representative to call their customer support center to verify whether my iPhone was eligable to be unlocked.

To have your iPhone unlocked the phone must be out of contract. AT&T is starting to filter out more of these iPhone unlock requests by also requiring that you provide the phone number that the iPhone was under contract with. In my case, the phone line was eligable for an upgrade so my iPhone 3GS was no longer under contract after the upgrade had been used.

So, after preparing to deal with a begrudged AT&T representative, I called the customer support number (AT&T Customer Support). In my experience, tech support representatives are the most reasonable people to deal with over the phone, so I went through the automated phone system to get tech support. Sure enough, I got a layed back tech support representative who was very willing to help. After simply stating that I have an iPhone that is out of contract and providing the IMEI number and phone line that it had previously been used with, he submited a request to Apple to have the phone unlocked. He assured me that it would take up to 24-hours for the request to be processed.

He also provided insturctions over the phone that were also emailed to me on how to backup and restore the iPhone. Upon doing so, a message would be received stating that the iPhone has been unlocked. On a side note, he mentioned that on occasion this message will not appear and offered to have a phone call scheduled for the next day to see if I needed help with the final steps.

So here is a list of things to have ready before you call…

  • Your phone’s IMEI Number (found under Settings > General > About)
  • The phone number that the iPhone was previously used on
  • An active AT&T phone number
  • An active AT&T account number

HowTo get Canon Pixma MP495 All-in-One Printer Working with Linux

Canon Pixma MP495After a few years of wanting one of these printers they are actually very cheap. We picked ours up from Walmart for $49 and they are getting cheaper every time I go there! After looking around online for a wireless all-in-one printer that would work with both of our laptops over wifi network we found that this one was well supported. It was actually easier to setup this printer with my Linux system than it was on our Mac running OSX! (To install this printer with your Mac, running OSX, just follow the instructions on the disk.)

Below are the steps for setting the Canon Pixma MP495 on a Debian, Ubuntu or any other Debian based distro. These instructions can be done without any system tweaks!

The following steps have been tested with Debian Squeeze (kernel 2.6.32-5-686), Ubuntu 11.10 (3.0.0-15-generic, on a 64-bit system), Backtrack 5 r1 ( and Linux Mint 11 successfully.

  1. Download these files:
  2. Place these files in their own directory. Extract them (tar -xvf *.gz)
  3. Install your respective .deb packages found within the extracted folders, inside the packages directory (dpkg -i *i386.deb). In all there are four packages that need to be installed.
  4. Change the SSID of your wifi router to BJNPSETUP.
  5. Activate wifi on the printer by hitting the “maintenance button” 13 or 14 times… until you see a character that looks like a capital “G” without the horizontal line. Then press the color start button.
  6. Find out the IP of your printer by viewing the list of clients that are connected to your router. The IP address of the printer seemed to be automatically assigned by the router.
  7. Open your web browser and type in the IP address of the printer.
  8. Change the SSID to whatever SSID you want the printer to connect to. Hit “Okay” at the top.
  9. Change your SSID back to whatever you set the printer to look for.
  10. Print a test page… and if it worked you’re done!

NOTE: scangearmp (actually none of the apps) was not added to my Application menu. You’ll have to create a launcher and add it to your menu yourself, if you want.

If this worked for you too, please leave a comment with the distro and kernel you are currently using (uname -r). Enjoy!

Vibram Fivefingers Sprint – Barefoot Toe Shoe

After getting the feel for my KSO Treks over the summer (read review of KSO Trek) I decided to get another pair of Vibram Fivefingers for a recent trip to the Bahamas. After searching the blogs and forums about wearing Fivefingers for swimming, I wanted to share my experience.

Choosing the Shoe

The KSO Trek is a great shoe but I knew I would need a different barefoot shoe that was more lightweight that would dry fast and hold up in salt water. Since the KSO Trek has a leather upper, I didn’t want to take the chance of exposing them to salt water. Since the Sprint has an upper made of polyamide fabric that slightly exposes the foot, it seemed like the best toe shoe for the situation.

The Sprint has the thinnest sole available which is great for situations where you know you will be on relatively tame surfaces such as sidewalks, roads, tile, dirt or grass… you get the idea. Compaired to the KSO Trek, the sole on the Sprint is noticably more thin as soon as you put them on. As a person who strays from the beaten path I was worried about this, since I wasn’t sure what I should expect to find. Those worries were quickly put to rest after exploring a trail that lead off into the woods. Once I reached a point where the only noise I heard was the breeze passing through the leaves, I left the trail to find my way through the woods to a beautiful beach, scattered with large chunks of jaged coral which I could easily walk accross comfortably. Other chunks of coral were erroded and had sand all over them, I was still able to get good traction and balance on these pieces of coral. That brings me to another point…

Traction, Balance & Comfort on almost any Surface

Fivefingers Sprint - Men's

Another one of my concerns was put to rest when dealing with wet surfaces. The razor siped sole handled very well from smooth wet vynil and tile to wet cobble stone roads. These soles are so thin, I could feel when surfaces beneath my feet were wet, without even getting my foot wet! That is how “barefoot” these shoes are!

Walking the sand on the beach on the other hand was somewhat of a hassle. Since part of your foot is exposed, it allows for sand to get into the shoe, which made for very uncomfortable walking. However, once you get in the water they rinse out very well. If you are a barefoot kind of person, you will most likely prefer to actually walk barefoot on a beach anyway. After all, who doesn’t love the feel of the beach beneath there feet. If you do need or want to wear a shoe on a sandy beach, the KSO would be a better choice.. After all “KSO” stands for “Keeps Stuff Out”. While hiking through the woods tredding through lakes and swamps and running up rocky mountain sides, I haven’t had anything get into my KSO Treks.

A Genaral Note: When Purchasing Vibram Fivefingers

Another note that deserves mentioning that applies to the purchase of any Vibram Fivefingers is the fit and comfort. While the size may be correct, I have experience discomfort due to a poorly sewn seam wich hurt my foot after wearing the shoes for an hour. If the shoe does not fit correctly, inspect it. If something doesn’t look right, send it back for an exchange. It pretty much goes without saying that these shoes do have a fit that is different than any other shoe. So, wear them around the house for a little while before sending them back. Before purchasing a pair of these shoes, consult Vibram’s website for sizing instructions and size charts.