Follow

There's 500 millions iPads on the planet, half of them sold before 2015, 22 different models. That's a lot of computers that need/will need repurposing at some point. Given the explosion in production in this kind of electronics this past decade, it might be interesting to target this kind of system :) Also includes old android tablets and phones!

@electret One of the things I say to IRL people that ask me how to learn to operate small servers, or host their own website, is that they don't need Raspis or VPSs. Just use an old phone!

Jailbreaking iOS devices gives them a few more functionalities, but I agree with you that, especially with Apple devices, there should be more options!

Know of any interesting projects?

@raelzero this thought come from me getting a 2012 ipad for my music making. Don't know any projects but it made me think :)

@electret Look up here: ipadlinux.org/

I can vouch for both iSH and UVM - installed them both, though it might be a bit troublesome. Both seem to work decently enough so far!

@raelzero @electret i use iSH quite a bit, especially to ssh into a tilde, and to use amfora

@electret Do you have any more info about this? The one old android tablet I tried to re-purpose was resilient to any efforts I made. I have also heard that most recent apple gear is nearly impossible to jail-break. I gave up and write pretty much all of it off as e-waste but I would be very happy to learn otherwise. In the meantime commodity PC hardware and SBCs seem much more open to hacking.

@praxeology as an artist, I don't really care about jailbreaking devices, I just think that instead of buying new guitar pedals, I can pick up unwanted ipads and turn them into music devices :) giving them a single purpose is still repurposing! For more open hacking, picking up second hand laptops is simpler yeah!

@electret But how would that work if you can't jailbreak them? Do you put in your credit card and then download the GeetarFX app from the app store? Does the app store even work any more if the device is too old to get updates?

Or do you buy a mac mini and then get xcode installed, learn the apple APIs and then code your fx pedals that you side-load?

@praxeology app store still works, even on a too old to get updates ipad. if an app has a version that would work, it will provide this one. Your second path makes me think I should have a look in open source apps for ipad, might find some interesting things!

@electret Yes! Many of these systems will also (or have already) end up in third world countries being used by people without access to the same data rates and bandwidth caps that we have.

@electret Hard agree. There's plenty of real life left in those devices for those who are interested.

@electret that's very true. I wonder, have you heard of existing projects that target these platforms with the idea of reuse?

@electret Giving new life to an Apple mobile device is like trying to feed a large pill to a small child. I'm sure it can be done, but I'm also certain that there's a lot of kicking and screaming involved.

The closest I ever got to trying was an old iPad Mini that someone wanted to hand down to me. We did a factory reset so I could create an Apple account on it, but the iPad refused - it wasn't allowed to be responsible for the creation of a second account.

@eviloatmeal maybe I got lucky here :) Installed the apps I wanted, then disabled the wifi :D

@electret That's a good point. In a similar vein I think we're going to need to develop a lightweight mobile UI specifically for those older devices. Phosh and the KDE thingy strike me as relatively heavy.

@electret Checkra1n/PongoOS can help if you are trying to write custom iDevice OSes

@electret considering most of them will have worn out batteries and or broken screens, the solution for them will have to involve turning arrays of iPad motherboards into compute clusters.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Merveilles

Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.