The iPhone wasn't in the cradle where I'd thought it was. Like a flash, I got up and raced to the bathroom where my wet cut-offs were dripping onto the tile. In the pocket was my iPhone, a very dead and unresponsive iPhone. I dried it off, and removed the little memory card. It had water on it, not a good sign. Until that instant, I'd hoped the tight fitting design of the iPhone had protected it. But even with the outside dry, and shaking it in hopes there was any water that could be removed that way, there appeared no hope. I set the iPhone between two routers where the heat would gently bake it and went to confess what I'd done to Mary Ann.
The day before had been a lovely day, a road trip to celebrate our anniversary, but Thursday was a bit depressing. I worked on getting my third book ready for submission to the printer, but I would intermittently check on the iPhone. All day long, there was no sign of life. I began planning how to survive the days until the next generation iPhone would arrive. Even if I couldn't afford it, it's arrival would lower the price of replacement originals.
But after sunset, I tried again, and there was a flash of life. The boot up apple appeared, several times in a row, and there was a few minutes where, when I put it in the dock, the charging battery sign would show up, showing a drained battery. There were also diagonal lines, across the screen, almost like scan lines. Overnight I put it back between the ISDN router and the ethernet hub to bake some more.
Morning came, and there was only a few seconds of white apple, and then no sign of life. I lost hope. Surely it would have gotten better overnight. Maybe water had finally corroded something critical. I put it aside and thought about ordering a cheap throwaway phone to use for a few weeks.
But this evening, as the kids came over to use the pool, I pushed the buttons, and it booted up! I couldn't believe it. I tried to flip the unlock slide, but no response. The phone showed it was December 31st, and it turned on or off using the hardware buttons, but that was it. Still, signs of life. Then the screen changed. "Sync in Progress". Yes, it was sitting in the dock and iTunes began backing up the phone. I was tempted to abort it, rather than risk a corrupted back up, but I had already taken the precaution of backing up the iPhone's backups, so I let it run. As far as the laptop was concerned, the phone was fine. I brought up iPhoto and extracted the ten photos of the snakes in the pool that I hadn't gotten around to saving before and everything went smoothly.
Step by step, functionality returned. I saw the wi-fi status show bars. Then the cell signal showed phone activity and a couple of SMS messages from earlier in the day appeared. The date changed to June 6th and superficially, all seemed well.
But the touchscreen was unresponsive and the diagonal lines (upper left to lower right) still showed. After playing with it for several more minutes, the unlock slide jumped as I touched it. A minute later I actually got it to unlock. With maybe 5% touch screen responsiveness, I tested out feature by feature. I made a couple of telephone calls, and was afraid I'd never be able to hang up without pushing the power button. I took a photo.
I started a video, and was afraid something was wrong when the video frame showed tearing at the top, but I checked it on the laptop and saw the same defect. I'd captured the movie with EyeTV and must have recorded it wrong.
So, that's where I sit. It's barely usable, if I have lots of patience. I'm sure the keyboard would be useless. But as I run it, the visible diagonal lines are slowly disappearing (it will take hours at this rate). I just hope that the touchscreen will return to usability as well. At least I won't have to buy a throw-away phone.