Ben Long has posted an excellent The iPhone Hacking Kit, step by step article on iPhone Central. Want to pop the hood and have some fun? Here you go…
What makes this any better than the other tutorials out there? It's not as if this article includes any information on dealing with any of the myriad of errors that can pop up. Like numerous other "How To Hack" instructions available via Google search, it blindly assumes that everything will work great the first time. If you run into a roadblock, you're stuck.
The difference with this walk-through (having been through it and lived to tell the tale) is that:
1. It links to a solid set of tools. When Ben and I worked on this, we found tools scattered all over the Web and some of them didn't work because they weren't compiled for the Mac or were out of date. Ben made a real effort to get tools that worked on the Mac.
2. It tells Unix newbies *why* they're doing something. The iPhone hacking tutorials I've seen assume you know Unix inside-out and don't bother to explain what the various commands do. In the process of following the steps you can learn something about basic Unix commands.
3. When something is likely to throw up an odd result, Ben tries to explain why it either matters or doesn't and what you can try to work around it.
4. It's been tested by Unix dopes like me and a few other Macworld folks. If I can get through the tutorial successfully, just about anyone else can too.
In the end it's possible that even by following these steps you're going to run into issues. That's one reason the tutorial has comments attached to it. If you get stuck, post a comment and someone's likely to offer an answer that helps you through it.