It was fun while it lasted — my iPad’s jail break, that is.

But after frolicking around the file system at a shell prompt for these past several weeks, freedom — with the baying of the hounds of Cupertino ever present — is not what I dreamt.

Gone are the days of simple JPGs sitting in a directory waiting to be caressed and fondled in place. Today, they’re woven into databases and scattered to the four quadrants of the solid state drive, accessible only in third normal form and then only if you know the 48-bit key.

Gone, too, are plain ASCII files, readable by ‘cat’ and ‘less’. No longer are they amenable to the simple tweaks of ‘vi’ and ’emacs’.

“‘sed’ me no more”, they cry.

Today they’re obfuscated in XML, Unicode and GKW. A plain old ‘strip’ now reveals private parts as obscure after as before when fully clothed.

And so it ends.

I’m upgrading to IOS 6.0 as I write and, with it, committing my poor little iPad-2 tablet back to prison for the remainder of his life sentence.

But the judge says, “Bring him over here, first.” (The simple upgrade has failed. What’s to become of the little fella now?)

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio.

[Addendum: iTunes had to be updated too. The iPad is now back in his cell and looking forward to a daily three square.]

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