Posts tagged hack
So, a friend of mine… “Steve” we’ll call him, uses an iPhone 3G as an iPod touch. Never had a problem with it. Basically, the advantage of this is that he has access to a camera. Nonetheless, before iOS4, there was no activation requirement on these units that would prevent you from using the device without a SIM. Such is no more. After upgrading to iOS4, he was locked out of his phone; and without AT&T here in Montana, he was pretty screwed. I gladly took his phone home as a project and jailbroke it back to 3.1.3 for him again.
So, originally I found this great writeup on how to do this process, but of course there were a few things I didn’t feel were clarified very well, although it got me from point A to B. They cover a few different methods of this; but chances are that if your an iPhone developer and pay for the xcode dev license, you probably know about the firmware settings through it — and most of the population doesn’t have access to that, so I won’t even waste my breath. Instead, here’s how the average joe can get the job done… if they have a mac. There are far too many windows-only tutorials on these things.
Anyhow, you need to gather a few things to begin:
Once you’ve downloaded all of this stuff, (it’ll take a few minutes) install libusb and unpack iRecovery. After this, plug in your iPhone. Open iTunes and hold down the “alt/option” key and click restore. When the box pops up (if you did this correctly… tested and working in iTunes 9.2.x) navigate to where you saved your firmware and select it. Upon restoring, iTunes should error out with a 1015.
Now it’s time to run iRecovery. If you get the “faster” version, it may not be compatible with Snow Leopard… so be warned; you may have to do some command-line stuff… which I find fun, but you may not. Some people get mixed results here. Namely, some phones are fully restored after this and require no additional work. In my case, however, the phone became stuck in an “endless DFU mode”. It was time to resort to some dirty work.
At this point, if you are in my boat, you should download and run blackra1n. Written by a badass named “George Hotz”, blackra1n will solve all of your woes. Open up the program, hit the single button that says “make it rain”, and let it run it’s course. In my case, it solved the endless DFU and came prepackaged with a blackra1n app that allowed me to instantly install Cydia, Icy or Rock My Phone. (These are homebrew repositories, FTWDK) Awesome installer, and a relatively easy process.
If you or anyone you know needs some help with this, shoot me a comment or an e-mail. Always here to help!
Since I posted my PS3 YLoD DIY Reflow article, there has been an onslaught of messages to my inbox from people concerning it, and the many facets of what that entails… so I decided to compile the most-asked here and to maybe give some more quick answers to people desperate for information.
Please, please… I urge you to take any of my advice with a grain of salt, and always get a second opinion. Also don’t forget to actually contact Sony and see if you are still under warranty before attempting a reflow like this. You will void your warranty and may ruin some perfectly good hardware in the process. Anywho, on to the questions…
My PS3 constantly has strange dots all across the screen. As I go through the menu the screen freezes up but I can still hear sound. Would a reflow help?
Yes, this is classic behavior of a GPU’s solder connections going bad. A reflow at this stage may yield better results considering that the solder from the GPU has not completely separated yet.
If I pay for shipping will you fix it for me?
I’m sorry to say that you’ll have to pay for a bit more than that. In order to keep demand down, I have begun charging $80 before shipping and possibly parts for a PS3 reflow. All I can guarantee is that it will work when you receive it — There are no guarantees on time as it seems that each model number takes to the reflow differently… (small hardware revisions are the culprit IMHO) so to be blunt, I think you should learn to do it yourself… and then do it for your friends for a bit of dough!
I’ve tried the reflow a few times now, and it worked the first time. Since then the PS3 has died and I think I’m doing something wrong. Any suggestions?
My suggestion for you would be to get an infrared non-contact thermometer (home depot, 30 bucks) and use that to tell how hot your getting the board during your reflow. Solder melts at about 410-420 fahrenheit, and you’d be surprised how cold the board is during most reflows. Once I got mine, it was quite eye-opening.
I’m overseas and my PS3 broke, who do I contact?
Just contact Sony USA by phone. You will end up paying $169.99, which is an outside of the US cost. You are paying for international shipping rates three ways + labor charges + cost of the item that needs to be repaired. It’s a bit ridiculous, but they will do it. Also, I’m not sure on international calls to 800 numbers, but I wouldn’t think that you’d be charged.
I don’t think I’m applying the Arctic Silver 5 correctly. Have some tips?
Well, the thing to keep in mind here is that less is more. Use a small dab about the size of an uncooked grain of rice, and spread thinly and evenly with a card. It’s not really rocket science.
I don’t have an infrared no-contact thermometer, is there any other way to judge how hot the board and components are?
You might try leaving a bit of solder somewhere that’s not important, and where no circuits lie… but still near the gpu and cpu in order to gauge when the solder points are hot enough underneath the chips to reflow. Don’t forget to level out the board first!
Do you have to use a heat gun, and where can I get some thermal compound?
Thermal compound is carried by most any computer shop. Radioshack also carries Artic Silver 5, it runs about $10 for a small tube. Don’t use generic products or “thermal grease”. They aren’t as good. Also, for this method a heat gun is essential, and only $20 from Home Depot. Some have used their ovens, but I would never do that myself and I don’t recommend it.
Can I use a hairdryer instead of a heat gun?
The burning point of hair is somewhere around 140°F, so I assume the average hairdryer does not even get that hot. Solder in general will not even begin to soften or melt until about 190°F, and that’s for cheap stuff. Alloys that melt between 180 and 190 °C (360 and 370°F) are the most commonly used. Basically, no.
So I hope some of this helps, and drop a comment here if you have any other questions!
Hey guys and gals,
There was a problem I ran into recently with an iPhone where the subscriber had purchased a data package for their SIM card, but was not able to access any data-related features. In a WAP browsing phone, everything seemed to work; but as soon as the SIM was swapped to the unlocked iPhone, the functions were limited to calling and SMS. With WiFi enabled, everything ran great. With a little searching and some deduction, I came across the APN setting for the cellular network.
To the nay-sayers or those who are currently crying foul: unlocking your phone is not illegal. The Copyright Office issued six exemptions to the DMCA last year, one of which allows consumers to unlock their cellphones “for the sole purpose of lawfully connecting to a wireless telephone communication network.” Still with me? Let’s move on.
I suppose I should preface all this by telling you that in Montana, there’s only one certified GSM provider, Cellular One. There’s only one possible connection setting for people in this area unless they have a different service. (see: AT&T, T-Mobile, Worldphones, etc… most providers will kick you off for roaming 60% of the time or more) Also, this is not a workaround for not having a data subscription… it won’t work unless you pay for a data package, as you should. It just so happens to be the same GSM system that the iPhone uses, and it works just like any other smartphone. The company recently purchased and took over Chinook Wireless as well, prompting the cellphone communities to dub them “Chinookular One”. Duly noted… and class dismissed.
Originally, I scoured the free Nokia phone that came with the activated SIM and found an APN address… “wap.cellular1.net”, but as you can tell by the URL, the Nokia phone had been defaulted to run as only a WAP browser. That wasn’t going to do me any good. With that set, safari would pull up some pages, but still throw the error — and e-mail, weather, etc were all down as well. Eventually I stumbled across this pdf for an HTC Touch where Cellular One gives out the data connection address. I came across the correct settings, as detailed below. Super confusing and difficult, I know. Note: This is for iPhone OS 3.0.
Navigate in your iPhone’s system preferences to:
Settings–>General–>Network–>Cellular Data Network
And then type “internet.chinookwireless.net” in the APN field. Leave username and password both blank.
Seems to work great around here! Let me know if you experience any problems… I’d love to document them. If your a subscriber for a different service, have a look through some of their help and setup articles for smartphones as you can easily find this address for any carrier worth it’s salt.
P.S. – A fellow Montanan from Missoula, Evan Lovely, has a great write-up about iPhones in montana, with some more info on MMS settings (the phone I was working with didn’t have this for some reason) and some great comments after the article. Too bad I found this after the fact… could have saved me quite some time.
So, a buddy of mine has had this iPod forever… and throughout snowboarding and such, the screen got progressively worse. At first it was a couple of lines, and it got all the way to the point of the first photo… so bad you couldn’t pick a song. To make a long story short, I made my first order from iFixIt (always used their guides, but never ordered from them) and these guys are great! I don’t know how big they are, but they have that small company feel and their salesmen are incredibly knowledgeable. Safe to say I will be purchasing my apple replacement parts through them every time I can. iFixIt kicks serious ass.
Anyways, on with the fix. I used their iPod Video 5G disassembly guides, which have great hi-res photos and step by step instructions for how to pry open the case without denting it, disconnecting the cables without damaging them, etc. I not only ordered the replacement screen, but a couple of sets of the ipod opening tools — I figured it was worthwhile to stock up. The iPod came up in iTunes with everything seemingly intact… all the music was there and the headphone jack was working, although it was basically a glorified shuffle. So, time to take ‘er apart!
With the iPod tools, I started at the docking port, worked up the left side and around the top. Once the back case was separated, I had to undo a ribbon cable before the case would flop out book-style. Once the case is open like that, the harddrive will just come up as you see in the shot. Beware of it’s ribbon cable as well — these things are everywhere. Once the battery/headphone cable and harddrive are out, it’s time to take the screws out of the frame.
Now, the frame is glued in, so this is the part to treat delicately. Once you get that front faceplate off, make sure you keep the center button with the click wheel… or touch wheel or whatever they call that damn thing. This one had seen some use, and didn’t just magically stay together anymore. We need to focus on replacing the screen, however… so unclip it’s ribbon cable safely and slide it right out. At this point it’s almost completely unattached save for that cable, so be extremely careful with it. In reading some forum threads, a few kids thought the screen could just be pulled out at this point, but I will refrain from calling them names. I figured that the old screen would be WAY more destroyed than it was, so this part went without a hitch.
After swapping out the old faulty part, the last steps were to reassemble! Put it all back together in reverse order, the 1.8″ PATA drive being the most important (and expensive). The bumpers are not necessarily attached to the drive itself so be aware of their positions when dis- and re-assembling. You don’t want to crack one of those ribbon cables through pressure over time in your pocket or backpack. Srsleh.
With everything in place and back together, I gave her a quick boot and magically… BAM! New screen works like a charm. I’d say the fix would normally take me maybe 20-30 minutes to do if I didn’t have to shoot photos and stop working every five seconds for the purpose of documentation. I ordered the parts on Friday, so the shipping was fast and cheap and iFixIt is my new go-to place; but you already knew that. This really is an easy fix that most anyone could do, and the replacement screen was only 25 bucks.
Whaddup kids, Mic-B here back with another slick fix. I had one of the many 360′s I’ve fixed from the RRoD come back to me with the dreaded E74 error. I had already previously done the X-Clamp fix on this beast; so voiding the warranty wasn’t a problem — sadly, out the window was sending it to Microsoft as well. I was already in knee deep on this box, so I had to finish it out right.
Be warned… this error *can* be caused by a faulty AV cable; but if you can see the error code on the screen when you turn it on (see the first photo below) then the cable is definitely not to blame. At this point, it’s either a pin of that scaler chip itself that has become unseated or a broken trace between the GPU and the ANA/HANA chip. If you’d like to see the forum thread I gathered information from, you can check that out on xbox-scene.com. There really is a scarce amount of information on this fix at the time of this writing.
In order to make sure that I did it up right, I went out to trusty ol Home Depot and purchased a Ryobi Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer. This thing is cheap, wicked, and I highly recommend it to anyone attempting ANY reflow as it takes all of the guesswork out. Before, when I had to play it safe and would try two or three times on some units, I can now know when the solder has reached its melting point, exactly how hot the board is and whether or not the board is heated evenly, etc… it’s awesome to say the least. Wordemup.
So, this fix is pretty straightforward, with a few exceptions. Instead of reflowing from the top, you should hit this one from the bottom. Ensure that you clean off the thermal paste and remove the heat sink from the GPU (the short one — on elites and 2nd edition hardware, this heatsink also has the secondary sink with the copper pipe attached to it) so that your work area is clean. Thermal paste, on average, will melt at about 248F, whereas the solder will start to melt at 423F. If you don’t take that heatsink off and clean the chip you’ll definitely fry it playing games afterward.
For where to reflow, check the video below. Ensure that you remove all of the cables (SATA and power for the drive) and the little cushions on the four black chips you see in the photo above. Also, after your done, ensure that you play test your unit extensively because these can slip back into submission much like the PS3s with the YLoD.
Hope this information helps, and if you need some advice, drop me a comment on this article or snag my e-mail from the “About Mic-B” page.
Welcome back everybody; hope you had a fabulous weekend. I know I sure did, LT and I repaired a bunch of Xbox 360s with the famed Red Ring of Death. As much as I hate Microsoft’s crappy hardware, I’m glad that we can now fix them easily. For about $20 in parts and a few hours of time you can have your crappy crap machine of crap working like new! We’ve even used this method to “ring-proof” a unit or two — even though my motto is normally “don’t fix what ain’t broken”. But it’s all good. We found this method posted by P!nk Thr3@t on the i-hacked site. She has a list of the hardware you’ll need, but don’t necessarily follow the video to a T… she does her repair on a carpet, which could have adverse effects if you don’t make sure to ground yourself repeatedly. Basically, just use some common sense in a few areas.
Now, this is the time to tell you that this process will void any warranty provided by Microsoft, you *CAN* destroy your Xbox if you aren’t extremely careful (especially while taking off the X-Clamps), and I take no responsibility for you ruining your console by doing this. This is for educational and entertainment purposes only! Don’t ruin your units… If you haven’t done anything like this before, you should *NOT* attempt this. Get your nerdiest friend to do it for you… like I said, LT and I did a few this weekend, with a couple more to do during the week… seems like everyone is having problems these days. Trust me, if your uber-nerd friend can’t fix it for you, he probably knows a dude who can.
OK, now to the tools. If you’ve seen or read the iBook G3 Reflow article, you probably know that I used this nifty little multi-tool with a whole bunch of different heads, considering that individual tools would be expensive. A word to the wise — that little tool will break easily. I went through three in a week — luckily, Home Depot has a great return policy and excellent customer service. However, I’ve opted to use my shiny new Snap-On Electronics Screwdrivers and Electronics Torx Drivers, but that 16-in-1 precision driver will work just as good… it has the right heads… just be careful with it. You don’t want to break your tools with your console still in pieces. You’ll also need some Arctic Silver 5, Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol (99% if you can) and a bunch of Cotton Swabs. We went through a good 30 in one repair. Srsleh. With all the setup aside, we got on with the fixin’!
First things first, we dove into tearing the case down. If you need help with this, or a link to the instructions, you can catch up through P!nk Thr3@t’s link above. In that second photo, you can plainly see that we just kept the video up on screen and kept pausing it as we went through different steps. When you get to removing the X-Clamps, be extremely careful! You don’t want to damage anything important! With the clamps and heat sinks off, it was time to clean up the OEM’s thermal paste. They really did NOT care about how they applied it — another reason I hate mass-produced PC’s. If you ever have to repair a Mac in the future, check out the precision of how their compound is applied. Seriously a world of difference, IMHO.
This part took the longest of the whole repair. We probably spent a good hour and a half cleaning the old thermal compound off of the chips… you want to make sure you have that mirror-like finish on all 3 chips, as well as clean heat sinks. Trust me, you will have an FML moment if you have never done anything like this before. Circular motions work the best for me, but trial and error are the only ways of truly getting your method of choice down. Also, don’t be afraid of having a little extra moisture from the Isopropyl around… it dries fast in open air, and its a solution lots of cats use to clean computer parts, so a few extra drops won’t hurt the chips. With them clean, it was time to break out the Arctic Silver 5 and apply a fresh coat to the fully polished GPU and CPU before adding our new hardware.
Now, when you add the new hardware, ensure that the nylon washers are the ones pressed up against board, with the metal washers against the screw heads and the heat sinks. We recommend doing the shorter one first, especially on second-gen hardware. It just made things easier for us overall, but don’t feel like you HAVE to do it that way. You can see in the photos above what was replaced, and how we have them setup. The first time you attach the hardware, you don’t want to tighten things down all the way — just get them “snug”. Make sure that the chips are touching the Arctic Silver on the bottom of the heat sinks. This is considerably easier to do on first generation Xbox boards, as there is less in the way and you can just hold the board at an angle and look. Also, make sure you use a cross pattern to tighten the screws to avoid warping the board. These things are pretty flimsy.
At this point, we were ready to make the chips reflow themselves. The new hardware we’ve added won’t move at all, so this repair is considerably less risky than the iBook reflow, but don’t think this repair is fool proof! What you need to do is hook up the video cable and power cable to the motherboard, but do NOT hook up the fans! If you want, you can put the motherboard back into the bottom case shield. We found through multiple repairs that the new hardware screws are easier to access, and there is less risk of burning yourself on the heat sinks if you do this outside of it. The dotter board still hooks up the same whether your in that case or not, and the hardware you’ve added will lift all components above your work surface, so it’s all about personal preference. Once you have the cables in, just hit the power on the unit. Sometimes the box will spring to life right away, especially if those solder joints are only semi-broken or worn down. DO NOT LET THIS FOOL YOU! What we’re here to do is re-set the chip, and in this case we can get the board itself to do it for us. If it just pops on right away, it may not be permanent, so don’t think your done and reassemble… you’ll probably just have to tear into it again down the road. We’re here to fix things for good, none of this temporary crap.
If you power the system on (RRoD or not) and it overheats right away, you probably don’t have the heat sinks touching the chips physically. Either that, or your connection isn’t solid enough to transfer heat to the sinks, and the chips will overheat too fast. LT and I found that the average overheat time is somewhere between 5-10 minutes, and fluctuates depending on the room your in… basically, we just shut the windows to kill the breeze and sat around waiting for the overheat error (two red blinking lights) to pop up. Once we hit this point, I set the iTouch timer to 2 minutes, and once that was done we turned the unit off and unplugged it. With the chips and sinks still hot (seriously be careful, you can burn yourself) we turned the board up on its side and tightened down the screws all the way (ensuring we did opposite corners to avoid warping, and to get even pressure)… this process not only cooks the Arctic Silver 5 a little bit, it also reflows the solder underneath the chip and softens the nylon washers for a tight, permanent fit. All in all, once you have the new hardware tight to the board, it’s time to put the unit back together. Yeah, you read that right… YOUR XBOX IS NOW FIXED. Kind of ridiculous, really.
So, all in all, good luck to anyone trying this. It’s definitely a fun repair to do, but make sure you set aside a bunch of time to do it. It’s not necessarily technically difficult, it’s just very labor-intensive and time-consuming. If anyone has questions, feel free to post them in the comments. If you’d like to have LT or myself fix your Xbox, you know what to do… just send me an e-mail. It’s available from the “About Mic-B” page.
P.S. — Check out this sweet Red Ring of Death review!
I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated, but a lot has gone on in the last month. I’ve planned my ACMT certification for early next year, and in preparation for that I’ve attempted my most risky repair yet: the legendary iBook G3 reflow. Basically, Apple put it this way:
“The Expanded iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program covers iBooks that have a specific component failure on the logic board, resulting in the computer starting up but the built-in and attached external displays exhibiting one or more of the following symptoms: Scrambled or distorted video, Appearance of unexpected lines on the screen, Intermittent video image, Video freeze, Computer starts up to blank screen…” see more here
Sadly, apple ended their warranty extension program years ago, so this repair would cost somewhere around $300.00 US to have done officially. Of course, there are a few popular ways of fixing this problem, namely the “burn the house down” method and the “shove crap in the case” method. I happen to like my house and shims made me worry about the harddisk (as well as being incredibly unreliable and non-permanent) so I opted for the most permanent, most insane option… taking a heat gun to the motherboard. The model I’m working on is the iBook G3 Dual USB 14.1″ 700MHz. (Mid 2002)
Now, this is probably the perfect time to go though the motions and tell you that this *will* void your warranty, I don’t suggest that anyone do this themselves (especially at home), and there is a very high risk of failure when performing this repair. I took every precaution I could think of while attempting this, and advise anyone planning on trying this to do the same. Also, iFixIt’s repair guides were literally indispensable in learning this computer inside and out. To be thorough I also downloaded a copy of the iBook G3 Service Manual (here’s the site — don’t wanna direct link content) to aid in any small discrepancy I might encounter. (I know, overkill right? Well, it’s all or nothing with this one…)
Ok, now to the nuts and bolts. First off, ensure that you have the right tools. The iBook G3 has a ton of different screws, so I made a list of what I would need to get into the case, and priced out the cost. However, I got to home depot and found a nifty little multi-tool with all the heads I needed for only 10 bucks! The wagner heat gun was in the paint department, and only cost another 20. The only other expenses I incurred were through parts orders on eBay. The RAM upgrade is still in the mail at the time of this writing, but I had already received the DVD-Rom and the AirPort card, so I set to work.
Now, as you can see in that third photo, the laptop was already running with the shim installed, but would still crap out after a half hour or so of use, usually while typing. Rather than push that case out even more, it was time to send that piece back to it’s maker. (oh, wait… that’s me) Below you can see the new parts I received… the CD-RW/DVD and the AirPort card. I also added a shot from under the back casing of my attempt at a shim. I made mine from cardboard and aluminum foil, but it really is a worthless fix. Never worked right, case bulged… a good way to damage salvageable hardware if you ask me, so off I went dismantling the bottom half of the laptop. I didn’t want to install the other parts if the reflow didn’t work (I have another one of these units) so I decided to do the heat gun madness first.
After the bottom shield was free and clear, it was time to start MacGuyverin’. The thermal foam that was on the chip originally had become quite brittle and cracked when I tried to remove it altogether, so the remainder was quite a bit of residue. I took my time with a fresh exacto blade and scraped all the glue from the back of the ATi chip. With the chip clean (effing 20 minutes later), I whipped out the trusty iPod Touch to do some leveling. Having a level surface is important, because if that chip slides or moves *AT ALL* while you are in the process of heating, you’ll screw the whole logic board royally. With the table level and the components prepared, it was on to the heat shield!
You should probably do your own research for this part as it’s quite involved, but here’s my basic summary… I made my heat shield from 4 layers of foil, and pressed it lightly over the board to get the basic outline of the gpu. I then cut the layers with my exacto and folded them inwards, sealing off the space between them. This ensured that the shield wouldn’t fly up during the heating process. (The wagner emits heat like a blow dryer, only hotter) With the heat gun on the low setting, I timed myself and slowly lowered the end of the nozzle from a distance of around a foot from the board to about 3 inches away over a period of 10 minutes. This was done to prevent temperature shock on the board, which could adversely effect the rest of the system. Also, when completing the process I followed a similar vein… I backed the heat off slowly as well (not too slow… you don’t want to over-heat the chip) so as to not temperature shock the board when it cools, either. My biggest tips for this part are: 1- to have a metal object to spread heat across the silicone. I used a metal punch out from an electrical box. aaaaand 2- to put a piece of solder onto your metal object so that you know it’s hot enough to make the solder flow. Once the solder on top melted, I gave it another 60 seconds or so before I began the process of backing the heat off. My hands were definitely shaking after a good 20 minutes of that, I tell you.
After quite a bit of cooling, it was time to give booting a shot. Lo and behold, the reflow was a success! I astonished even myself. With the GPU working, I moved on to replacing the stock CD-Rom with my brand-spankin’ new CD-RW/DVD-Rom. This involved pulling the top of the case, the keyboard, ram shield and the top shield off, pretty much completely dismantling the computer altogether. Make sure you label your screws!
With the new DVD drive installed, all that was left was to reassemble the entire laptop with my organized set of screws. I used baywatch barbie cups, but feel free to concoct a hilarious organization system of your own. With the entire laptop reassembled and the AirPort card in, it was time to fire the unit up, download my photos and write this article! Sadly, I ended late at night so I’m completing this now, on said unit, the morning after. Definitely a fun project, and an expensive paperweight hasn’t only been fixed, it’s been upgraded! Worth the time if I do say so myself.
Hopefully something here is helpful to someone considering doing this. Again, I don’t endorse it and there are companies that will do this for you with the proper equipment, so be informed. However, I’m a DIY guy and I know how important testimonials and experience re-counts are when considering a risky repair, so I figured I’d document the process and pass my knowledge on.
Photos taken by LT Hartly.
Well, I recently installed redsn0w on my iPod Touch, and I have to tell you… this was seriously the EASIEST device hack ever. Take it from a guy who’s hacked almost every console he owns — this one is child’s play. redsn0w works with the iPhone 2G and 3G (not the 3GS) and both 1st and 2nd generation iPod Touches. It installs with a few clicks. Blew me away.
The hardest step in the whole process is finding the*.ipsw files that iTunes downloads when you pay the god-awful price of $9.95 for the 3.0 update. (Yeah, I know I could have downloaded it from a torrent – by why not legally modify firmwares if we can?) IpodTouchFans was an indispensable site for finding all the info I needed, as well as good tips and little tweaks further on down the road. Anywho, here are the coveted IPSW locations on Windows XP and Mac OS X:
Mac – “User>Library>iTunes>iPod Software update”
Windows – “C:\Documents and Settings\<USER NAME>\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPod Software Updates”
Aside from that, the only thing I found trouble with was getting file transfer through SFTP to work. AFP has always been sloppy and slow in my experience, so i went the other route. Turns out Cyberduck could only connect to the iTouch through the MBP’s wireless connection. Whoda thunk it, huh?