Ok, so I finally got frustrated with the whole situation in my previous post and decided I would try to revert my firmware back to 1.1.1 (what the iPod Touch shipped with when I bought it). It was slightly tricky but not too difficult. In a nutshell, you will need:
* A Windows computer (can be 2000 or XP)
* iTunes 7.5
* The 1.1.1 firmware
* Nerves of steel
Just kidding about that last one. Seriously, I don't understand why you can't do this on a Mac, but whatever.
First, download iTunes 7.5 from here (link) and install it.
Next, download the 1.1.1 firmware from here (link) and put it in a safe spot.
Now, the fun part. Hope your iPod's data has been backed up. Connect your iPod to your Windows machine with the USB cable. iTunes will tell you it belongs to another library and that you will need to erase it if you want to sync it to this computer's library. Go ahead and do so. I think you can probably ignore the warning but I'm not sure if the iPod will show up in iTunes.
Once that's done, make sure you are on the iPod sync screen. Next, hold down both the home button and the power button at the same time. The home button is the round button at the bottom of the iPod and the power button is the small square button at the top. Once the iPod disappears from iTunes, release the power button but continue to hold the home button. A screen should appear saying you're in recovery mode. Bingo!
Now, hold the shift key on the keyboard and click the restore button on the iPod sync screen. You should now be able to select the firmware file you just downloaded. Select it and let iTunes restore the firmware. Now you're back in business! You can now re-jailbreak your iPod (if that's what you wanna do) or just bask in the glow of not having to see that annoying nag screen again. If you buy music from the iTunes store you will want to follow my previous post to undo the changes you made to your hosts file. Though, if you're as frustrated as I was, I doubt you'll want to anymore.
As an aside, I find it a bit saddening that Apple is becoming the new Microsoft. They really have changed into something I no longer like. I remember early this decade when Mac OS X first came out and it seemed as though Apple was the little guy who had finally had some legs to stand on. Now they just want to sell you overpriced hardware and could care less about treating you as a customer. I guess when you're winning you don't care who you walk all over. Lame.
Looks like Apple is turning into the IRS. Now they're nickel and dimeing you after your purchase. As if their users don't pay enough for pretty hardware that does the same thing as a beige box PC... Ok, seriously Apple, why the need to annoy the shit out of your users by nagging them to buy software for the iPod touch that comes free with the iPhone? OK, I'm done complaining (for now).
I'm usually hesitant to upgrade the software on my iPods since they rarely add new features and are more commonly used to clamp down on users (see the iPhone bricking debacle) or refresh DRM but I thought the 1.1.4 update might be worth it. So lo and behold, I plug my 16 Gig iPod touch in, hit the upgrade software button and let it do it's thing. Afterwards I expect to just have to resync all my content back to it but what am I greeted with? A nag screen telling me to buy a bunch of crap software I don't even want. I gave myself a day to cool off before figuring out how to block this since the only options are to "Take me to the iTunes store" or "Remind me later". So much for choice when it comes to Apple, huh?
Here's a quick and dirty way to block this annoyance. Be warned though, that it will likely block some or all of your access to the iTunes store, but you don't really buy crippled music anyways, do you?
Pop open a terminal and type "sudo vi /etc/hosts" (without the quotes) and hit enter. You should see two to four lines with 127.0.0.1 and possibly ::1 and fe80::1 if you're using IPv6. Type GG to go to the end of the file and insert the following:
Hit ZZ to save the file and exit. Now type "sudo dscacheutil -flushcache" to flush your DNS cache. This effectively prevents your computer from using the iTunes store, which is precisely what happens when you plug your iPod Touch into your docking cable (By the way, thanks for including an actual dock with the IPT Apple. Real elegance there...) and it loads a web page inside iTunes that nags you to buy the January software. You'll get an error message about the network connection to the iTunes store being refused but you only have to hit OK to be dropped back to the iPod management screen.
Obviously all Apple has to do to disable this is to change the hostname you connect to but they wouldn't really do that to further annoy you, would they?
It does appear that when you do actually buy the software, a file called nikita_receipt.plist is placed in /private/var/mobile/applications. I'll be looking for a way to add the necessary data to that file. For now I'm not sure since all plist files seem to be just a binary blob instead of the XML format they used to be in versions of OS X past.