Last Saturday morning I was summoned to the front door. My doorbell was rudely heckling me. Groggy from my lack of sleep and sudden awakening, I was very surprised to see a small blonde Latina womanmoving to some music (indiscernible to my muddy consciousness) playing through her cellphone. She’s my mail carrier. Without looking up from the mail she was sorting and inserting into the mailboxes, she handed me a package. I thanked her, and it was a most genuine expression of gratitude: the USPS, for the longest time, refused to deliver even the smallest of packages to me, forcing me to wait an entire day until I could go and bring my peach slip to the post office.

The small box was unexpected. I had recently purchased an iPhone 3GS, but wasn’t expecting it until Monday or Tuesday: that’s what the eBay seller told me. I looked at the label and saw that it was the printed postage labels that most eBayers use, the ones that are taped on, cut from a sheet of paper and not an actual self-adhesive label. It was from New Jersey, and that’s when I knew it was my iPhone. I happily brought it inside and opened the box.It was filled with purple tissue paper. Parting the soft sea of crinkles, I saw a white drawstring bag and removed it. It was from an Apple Store. I pried the bag open and reached in, my hand emerging with a small, solidly built black box in tow. I looked at it. The wrapper was still mostly on: only the bottom piece was sliced off. It was obviously opened, but it was also very clear that this eBay seller took great care to ensure that I felt it was a brand new iPhone, opened only to unlock it.I inspected the sides of the box. It said that it was an iPhone 3GS. But one can never be too sure: there are many unscrupulous people on eBay. So I booted up the device and saw that there was a compass app. I launched it and tested it out. Bingo, we have 3GS. At that moment, I felt proud to be the owner of an unlocked and jailbroken iPhone 3GS.

Since then, I’ve been gone on a downloading spree. I downloaded something like 13 GB of apps, the vast majority of which are unused. I am not a pirate though. The main thing that I don’t like about the App Store is that there are no demos. Most of the time, you’re stuck with a product description and static screenshots. I’m a huge fan of having a hands-on experience to see whether or not you should buy something. This includes even apps that cost less than a dollar. Because really, if you buy an app for 99 cents, and then find out that you don’t like it at all and will never use it again, you just threw away 99 cents. That money would be better spent going towardsacharity or something. Of course if there are “lite” versions of apps, I always spring for those first.

Anyway, I’ve been test driving an enormous number of apps, seeing which ones I use and don’t use. Once I settle in, I’ll be paying my dues. So far though, I must say that there quite a number of very fun little games and diversions that intrigue me. I purchased Stick Wars and have been having a blast with that. One game I was glad I test-drove first was Aqua Forest. The frame rates on that were unbearable, and I’m glad I saved my money. I’ve got a penchant for anything that’s physics based, or games that have a particular “indy” graphical polish to it. Like Doodle Jump.

One app I am waiting for the update for is Red Laser. What a great app: this thing will scan barcodes for you. I have for the longest time wanted to be able to take a quick inventory of all the DVDs and books I own. Once Red Laser comes out with the update that allows for books to be scanned in (they have a different amount of numbers in their EAN or something like that, I forget), I’ll be paying for that convenience.

On the physical side, my home button was stuck upon receipt. The bottom half kind of clicked in normally, but the top half of it just wouldn’t click in. I had to press it hard just for it to register. At first, I thought I got ripped off on eBay, but I did a little research and saw some others who had purchased their iPhone from an Apple Store or through AT&T had this issue out of the box. I asked my eBay Seller about this and they reassured me that it was only opened the day of the auction ending, and then only for unlocking. I believed them because of all the evidence pointing towards their extreme care and attention to detail. No fingerprints, all the accessories were untouched and in factory shipped state, etc. I considered using the warranty, but wondered whether or not I’d be out an iPhone while they repaired it. Then I considered bringing it to a local shop, and then finally thinking of buying a PDA Case Removal Tool. I still have a messed up button, but it actually has improved quite a bit since the first day. Now almost all of the button depresses correctly. I suspect it’s only a matter of time before it fixes itself entirely. And finally, I installed the InvisibleShield for my iPhone. Rather poorly I might add: it’s kind of dusty from my various attempts to reapply the skin.

I’ll probably post a list of apps that I use after I’ve tested them all out. In the meantime, I’m off searching for more and more apps to enrich my life. Well, I don’t know about enriching…maybe just marginally spicing it up.