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Yipee! Flash on the iPad - for reals!

Yes, it's finally happened. When the iPad was first launched in the Spring, the excitement of fans at finally having the perfect tool for surfing the web while watching TV was tempered by the fact that the web on the iPad had an awful lot of strange blue boxes where cool stuff like videos should be.

This was because Apple didn't allow the iPad - or, for that matter, the iPhone or iPod touch - to run Flash, the 'plugin' program which powers most web video and slideshows. The matter escalated into a full-blown row, with Steve Jobs slagging off Flash in a post on Apple's website and Adobe hitting back.

It still looks like Flash will never come to the iPad in an official capacity, but now, thanks to some valiant hackery, you can get it working through unofficial means. You'll need to 'jailbreak' your iPad, which is well worth doing anyway as it allows you to use applications banned by Apple such as the excellent Wi-fi sync.

Once you've done that, you have to use another program to get into your iPad's file system, and upload a special unofficial version of Flash to your device. It's serious geekery, but this Engadget how-to guide should see you through.

The bad news is that right now, it can't handle video, just basic graphics. But that will still make a lot of websites work that didn't before, and video is surely to come. Just be prepared for a telling-off if Steve Jobs finds out you're breaking his precious 'walled garden'...

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