The innovation came at a price -- the phone became slower and more crash-prone.
When the App store was available, I quickly upgraded to the Apple-approved iPhone OS 2.0 and all my jailbreak hacks and apps disappeared.
Except, strangely, one hack.
Erica Sadun, who writes for TUAW and really makes use of Ping, wrote a bit of code that let me change the clock in my taskbar to text. The text I chose, on one fateful day 2.5 years ago, stayed with me through the upgrade back to an official Apple OS.
Stranger still, the clock-to-text hack stayed active when I upgraded to the iPhone 3GS, last year (when I restored my backed up data and apps, the text came with it).
Newer OSes were released, I never went back to jailbreaking, but still the hacked text remained. It followed me to the iPhone 4 this summer and iOS 4.1 this fall.
Yet surprisingly, upon upgrading to iOS 4.2, the clock returned, and my little bit of text was gone.
I'm sure there's a good explanation for this, rooted in code that's well beyond my understanding. And, truthfully, Apple was right: having the time displayed on my taskbar is a lot more useful than my little bit of personalization.
I'm just reporting this in the same spirit as my bizarre case reports: it's good to notice and share unanticipated findings in complex systems, so that others may learn and maybe use that information, going forward.