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AppleTV 2nd Generation and SHSH Blobs

I am a huge Apple fan, and I have three 2nd generation AppleTVs that I use to watch streaming media in different rooms of my house. I have hacked them all so I can stream a wide variety of formats and stream directly from a large SMB file share I have. I also like checking out new versions of the operating system, but insist that I can roll back to previous versions in case something breaks.

Sadly, Apple works really hard to prevent this, they (understandably) want fewer versions out in the wild to support… so once a new version comes out they stop signing the blobs needed to roll back to the older version; which is frustrating to someone who wants to be able to back out a recent change.

iOS 8 has been announced and will likely trigger a new version of the AppleTV software in the next few days… so I went about backing up my current versions (all running AppleTV version 5.3, aka: iOS 6.1.4) and the current version from Apple (AppleTV 6.2, aka: iOS 7.1.2). Normally I use TinyUmbrella to do this, but TinyUmbrella has become fussy… and I can’t save my SHSH blobs with it since 5.2/6.1), and one of the three cannot even do that (it has always been more finicky).

iFaith can download the current version (6.2/7.1.2) but it is a different kind of blob, and I can’t use that to generate a new OS yet (still learning though) and iFaith can’t grab the current firmware in complete format from any of the three AppleTVs I have – though it was able to grab 5.2.1/6.1.3 according to documentation… I can’t verify as Apple is no longer signing those blobs.

RedSn0w does not support AppleTV at all as near as I can tell, at least none of mine.

Seas0nPass fails to save the new blobs, but can reliably get be back to 5.3/6.1.4 (the last known jailbroken version) every time so I get my XBMC back… Note: Seas0nPass depends on iTunes, and sometimes having an older version of iTunes helped a lot.

My other iOS devices (iPhones, iPads) all backup easily in all the above programs, it is only the AppleTVs that are giving me fits… Is anyone else have success with TinyUmbrella since iOS 7 came out?

The slow death of POP3 and services that still use only POP3

Way back in the early 1990s there was an awesome new way to use whatever email client you liked with your email service, so long as both the email program and the server used the same version of the Post Office Protocol, also known as POP3. This was awesome, in the early 1990s. We only had one client device, so POP3 had no facility for managing email on multiple devices. A few years earlier, a new email protocol called Internet Message Access Protocol, aka: IMAP, was introduced and it was superior to POP3 in both security and the ability for multiple devices to all manage your email remotely. IMAP did not catch on right away, but was firmly established as the dominant method for multiple client access to the same email box by about 1993.


Over two decades ago.

Yet, as recently as a few weeks ago people complain that their modern day smart phone is broken because they cannot delete emails from their computer and their phone… and every time it turns out they are using POP3, in 2014! The service providers are often to blame, as Verizon Broadband, Comcast, and Yahoo! (Free version) only offered POP3 for many years, but it is 2014 and even most of these email service providers all offer IMAP. Unbelievably, Verizon FIOS does NOT! But you can still use FIOS for broadband and sign up for any real email service (Yahoo, AOL, Gmail, etc).

If you have multiple devices connecting to your email, and you don’t like not being able to delete messages from more than one of your devices; contact your service provider and switch to IMAP and you will be much happier.

Switching Comcast Email to IMAP:

    Once on IMAP the new settings are:
    Incoming server:
    Outgoing server:
    Authentication ON
    Incoming Port: 993 with SSL ON
    Outgoing Port: 465 with SSL ON

Switching Yahoo! Free Email to IMAP:

Verizon does not support IMAP – so don’t use Verizon for email at all – switch to a free GMail, Yahoo, or AOL account… it will be less trouble.

Review of Resurrection Ale House, Philadelphia PA

I give Resurrection Ale House four out of five stars based on my visit in September 2014.

Resurrection Ale House
2425 Grays Ferry Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 735-2202

Wow, lucked into some good reviews and was amazed by the delicious twice fried chicken and oyster scrambled eggs and rice balls and quiche! Nice selection of beer.

Update: Resurrection can be a bit tricky to find as the places in this neighborhood all look like private homes, pay attention to addresses and you’ll be fine, and look for the sandwich board on the sidewalk outside.

Update: Resurrection appears to be changing ownership, but possibly for the better as the staff seems to be taking over… time will tell.

Review of The Savoy Restaurant in Rome, NY

I happily give The Savoy four out of five stars, based on an August 2014 visit and memories of many years ago.

The Savoy Restaurant
255 E Dominick St
Rome, NY 13440
(315) 339-3166

Family run Italian-American piano bar and restaurant with excellently seasoned steaks and East Rome Greens that remind me of the legendary greens server at Hollywood restaurant during he wee hours of the mid-1980s! Enjoyed excellent and reasonably priced wine as well an very friend service from Sue from Booneville.

Garlic mashed potatoes were good and the house salads with any of their excellent dressings is delicious!

Review of Cafe J in Clinton, NY

I gave Cafe J three out of five stars in August 2013 and again in August 2014.

Cafe J
1 W Park Row
Clinton, NY 13323
(315) 853-6656

I enjoyed a very good spicy chai tea during the music festival and have had wonderful food and chocolate flavored iced coffee at Cafe J a year ago when I last visited. Fun staff with character, fun customers, prime location, worth a quick or relaxing visit.

Expect a little banter and attitude and have fun with it. The visit will be better.

Review of Peter’s Cornucopia in New Hartford, NY

I gave Peter’s Cornucopia four out of five stars in August 2014.

Peter’s Cornucopia
38 New Hartford Shopping Ctr
New Hartford, NY 13413
(315) 724-4998

Delightful cafe/bistro inside a healthfood store; counter service is fun and excellent, food is fantastic: had Picasso wrap and sala an coffee for only $11 and loved it!

You can socialize at the bar or enjoy a quiet table or take your food to go. Everything is fresh and cooked to order, so there may be a small wait but it is well worth it. No heat lamps here! Whole kitchen is in plain view and is immaculate and a delight to observe in action.

Oh, I realized that my review is for the cafe only. There is a whole grocer here as well.

Review of Tomato Pie Cafe, Lititz, PA

I gave Tomato Pie Cafe in Lititz five out of five stars in August of 2014.

Tomato Pie Cafe
23 N Broad St
Lititz, PA 17543
(717) 627-1762

What an amazing gem to find! We stopped briefly in Lititz for Wilbur’s chocolates and popped across the street for a snack, discovered patio seating out back and had a spectacularly lovely meal!

We started with watermelon and serrano soup and then I had grilled peaches on arugula salad with goat cheese and peach pie for dessert. Wonderful staff and location on a beautiful day. The child’s grilled cheese sandwich my friend’s daughter enjoyed was made with very colorful bread! Fun place and a delightful visit. We will be back.

Update: Since that magical original visit, we discovered a second location in Harrisburg, which was also very good – but did not have the magic of the one in Lititz.

Review of Fresh & Organic, Ashburn, VA

I gave Fresh & Organic five out of five stars in April 2014.

Fresh & Organic
20693 Ashburn Rd
Ashburn, VA 20147
(703) 726-9629

Best chai tea I have ever had started my first experience at Fresh and Organic off nicely, then following that with amazingly delicious gluten-free sour cherry cake and friendly service made my day!

I ordered “Smoked Salmon and Eggs Benedict” and got a really good bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, fresh capers, onion and Benedictine eggs and it was spectacular and my partner’s Belgian Waffles were delicious too! She would not share her bacon but it looked perfect.

We liked the cake so much we ordered A whole one to go.

Review of Origins Thai Spa, in Sterling, VA

I am a raving fan of Origins Thai Spa in Sterling, endorsing them for five out of five stars since January 2014.

Origins Thai Spa
46179 Westlake Dr
Sterling, VA 20165
(703) 376-8711

I was not a frequent professional massage customer, but I will be now; I have had perhaps fifteen professional massages in my life, and the massage I got from Tida tonight was the best professional massage I have ever had.

Origins Thai Spa is clean, quiet, comfortable and feels very wholesome. The staff is very welcoming and calm, and even after a stressful day at work I was relaxing just entering the lobby and enjoying a cup of tea (which was especially welcome as this was a very cold and windy night). We filled out a little paperwork and were taken to a couples massage room after our massage therapists introduced themselves. We made ourselves comfortable on the massage tables covered with beautiful silk brocade coverlets over the usual sheets.

Tida was assigned to me and she asked me if there were any places that were bothering me and I told her my neck and shoulder on left side and my lower back; and she wasted no time starting with a hot cloth and then just the right amount of pressure – which is impressive, as I like really strong pressure and she was not a very large therapist at all. She has an amazing touch and very strong hands, and she did deep tissue massage and added a little stretching. I have never had anyone get effective results massaging my shins before, she did; and she came close to eliminating a stress not in my left neck/shoulder area with just one session; which is very impressive. My lower back feels wonderful!

We liked both massages so much we decided to become members of the spa and will be going at least monthly for the next year; not a bad start from a Groupon deal!

I am so very thankful my friend urged me to go – it turned out blissful and I feel I have been on vacation. I will be trying traditional Thai massage and deep tissue massage again and again.

Update: Tida has retired, but I continue to enjoy excellent and relaxing massage at Origins Thai Spa whenever I go.

Review of Monsoon Siam, Charlottesville, VA

I gave Monsoon Siam four out of five stars in May of 2013 when I wrote a review.

Monsoon Siam
113 W Market St
Charlottesville, VA 22902
(434) 971-1515

Tried Monsoon Siam on a Sunday night at 9:30 when pretty much everything else was closing down for dinner; and we were stunned. Really, really exceptionally good papaya salad and nam tok (strips of beef with onions, chilies, cilantro, pepper seasoning) – delightful service and tasty cocktails.

I also had a special called Jade Island that was scallops (less than wonderful scallops) with a green curry that was amazing. Very good, though I hope the scallops are usually better (it was Sunday night – so I suspect they usually are better).

I’d skip the Thai Iced Coffee here – it did not stand up to other Thai restaurant experiences, but the food was very good and staff enthusiastic despite the late hour.

A surprise to find really good Thai food – and we were happy with it.