Serial ports are as vintage as CRT monitors, but serial communication itself is still widely used. Some devices feature serial communication via USB as a standard protocol, but certainly not in an iPhone. But! A group of network engineers have found out how to create a serial connection to the iPhone.
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“So…what’s good is it?” you ask. For one: a jailbroken iPhone with a serial port can be used to connect with servers. Instead of lugging around laptops, network engineers can use the pocket sized iPhone and downloaded applications from Cydia to turn an iPhone into a near computer and troubleshoot networks.
The complete how-to with a slideshow makes it easy for someone who knows his way around an iPhone and a soldering iron. The little known secret lies in hacking the dock connector of an iPhone to make it work as a serial port. Next is jailbreaking the iPhone, installing Terminal, OpenSSH server and Minicom. The last slide tells you where to find the $80 worth of parts to build your own