professafresh vs. AppleTV

AppleTV

When everyone’s favorite fruit company announced the AppleTV, not many people were too psyched about it. Maybe it was the bad timing, being given about 20 minutes in the keynote after Steve demoed the iPhone for two hours, maybe it was the assumed lack of format support, maybe it was something else.

I have all my DVDs transcoded into various formats (DivX, XviD, a couple Oggs) so once I heard the AppleTV would only support MP4/AAC, I was unhappy. I’m not about to either find all my DVDs and re-rip them into MP4, nor was I ready to transcode my existing Xvids into MP4. The AppleTV didn’t appeal to me.

Some SA Forum Goon by the name of Awkward cracked open his AppleTV, ripped out the disk, and installed Perian, the self-proclaimed “swiss-army knife for QuickTime.” It’s a QT component that adds native support for all kinds of video formats to QuickTime. Perian is to OS X as DefilerPak (nowadays ffdshow) is to Windows.

After following the work of the newly-founded AwkwardTV crew, I finally broke down and bought one yet another Apple product.

After I got the machine, I plugged it in to a monitor via a HDMI–>DVI adapter, found a flash drive, and followed the Patchstick Testing procedure from Awkward’s wiki. I was impressed how easily it worked.  My warranty is still valid, too!

Once that was done, I killed watchdog, downloaded and installed ATVFiles, and upgraded the sshd. For some reason, even though it’s the exact same sshd that’s on my MacBook, it would only let me use sshv1, which both PuTTY and MacFUSE didn’t play nice with. Perhaps it was becuase I hadn’t generated the RSA/DSA host keys, or something.

Now I’m pretty much done with any other mods and stuff, but I’ve got to figure out how to make this thing mount my Windows server full of movies. There hasn’t been much luck getting Samba running, and I’m pretty sure I can’t run an AFP server on Windows, so it looks like NFS via Windows Services for Unix is one of my last options…

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Finally, a good MP4 metadata editor

I finally found a good MP4 metadata editor for the Mac called Lostify via MacMerc.com. iTunes’ built-in editor works, but it’s a pain in the ass.  I’m seriously debating purchasing an AppleTV, and this will be useful for tagging up all my TV shows and junk.

Posted in Mac, Tech. 1 Comment »

I could really use a Drobo

While flipping through a ton of old news caused by a holiday weekend, I came across the Drobo. Basically it seems like it’s a big JBOD array that uses the hot stuff known as ZFS. One or two of these would be invaluable for me, since I’ve had to deal with a hard drive failure somewhere at home or at work once a week for the last 15 weeks.  I wish I was making this up.

Now, the problem is digging up the necessary $700 for just the unit itself, then a couple hundred bucks per disk…

[Via Gizmodo]

ScribeFire

Further proof that the Firefox platform is just that, a platform.  Since I started this blog about an hour ago, I wanted some sort of plugin for Firefox or a Dashboard widget or even a standalone OS X app that I could hide/show as I wandered the web.  ScribeFire fits the bill perfectly.

Posted in Firefox, Web. 1 Comment »

On the Wii and Gamecube games

Why does the Wii make launching a Gamecube game so difficult? It’s somewhat of a pain in the ass procedure, outlined below:

  1. Load game
  2. Find Wiimote
  3. Click through the health/safety warning
  4. Find cursor on-screen
  5. Click on Disc Channel
  6. Click on Start
  7. Find Gamecube controller
  8. Put Wiimote away to eliminate step 2 in the future

I understand the need for the health/safety warning, but it’d be nice if the next firmware upgrade included facilities to allow the Gamecube controller to navigate the main menu and startup GC games.