During the update of my iPhone it got stuck in the so-called recovery mode. This means that everything on the iPhone is lost, and that you need to restore everything from a backup. Thankfully, the last backup was made 10 minutes before the upgrade process began. So no worries there.
The panic started to kick in when the actual recovery process terminated with an unknown error (17).
An unknown error occurred (17)
No matter what I tried, the error kept re-occurring
Searching the Interwebs, I founds several forums mentioning modifying the hosts file on your computer. Any entries referring to the apple.com domain should be removed.
Checking the hosts file out (located @ /etc/hosts on a Mac), I found a reference to a gs.apple.com with a specific IP address. At that point things started to dawn on me....
A couple of years ago I started to experiment with creating your own MobileMe thing (so I would have no need to purchase a MobileMe account back then). In that process you needed to fake some Apple web-servers. One of those servers was gs.apple.com.
After removing the entry from my hosts file and rebooting my iMac, the recovery process went flawlessly.
This 'experience' made me wonder; Did the 'crash' of the iPhone happen because of the hosts file entry? If so, this could be disastrous if someone made these servers unresponsive (e.g. DNS hack, or whatever), since the iPhone would become a brick. At least for as long as these servers are not accessible....