Path Finder

I was playing support for a coworker who got a shiny new MacBook Pro a couple days ago, and he highly recommended I download Path Finder as a replacement for the regular built-in Finder. 20 minutes later, I’m hooked.

If there was a standalone app that Apple should buy out and slap into the next release of OS X (R.I.P. CoverFlow, Dashboard, etc.), this is it.

Emergency Party Button

I require one of these. It’s a big red button that does exactly what you think it does. http://www.plasma2002.com/epb/

[via The UberReview]

AppleTV “Take 2” Software Update Released

AppleTVApple has at long last released Apple TV (Software Update 2.0|Take 2).

We’re picking it apart on the wiki and in the forums, and there’s already a preliminary safe update for it (which I haven’t had time to test, I’m brewing beer 🙂 )

Of interest, it doesn’t seem to shut down the USB port like in 1.x, you can stream iTunes from the computer to it, a-la Airport Express, and the 10.5.2 update I fought last night lets me choose mounted network volumes as Time Machine drives… HMM!
The new “startup movie” is pretty cool too, Leopard-ified.

God damn, four months without updating…  I should get back on this…

ATV 1.1 Safe Update

Finally after a few weeks of putting it off, I have safe-updated my AppleTV to 1.1. Instructions are here.

HandBrake 0.9.0 Released

HandBrake IconThe HandBrake crew has released version 0.9.0 of their excellent DVD ripping software. In this release are a new GUI, much faster encoding, way more advanced options, Matroska containers, a “send to MetaX” option, and a bunch of other updates. Hit the jump for the full changelog.

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More hacks

AppleTV
Looks like the guys over at AwkwardTV have been pretty busy. They’ve managed to Enable USB Storage, got Bluetooth working, and have gotten SMB shares to mount with Apple’s kexts. (No more sharity light!) Big thanks to Turbo at 0xfeedbeef for coming up with a kernel extension enabler which blows most of this stuff wide open.

I have yet to try any of these yet, but it seems like the YouTube patch needs to be removed. You can downgrade to 1.0 by rebooting by holding menu-minus and then choosing Factory Restore. From there, break out your Patchstick and go nuts.

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MetaX: An Even Better MP4 Metadata Editor for the Mac

I forget where I found it, but MetaX is an even better MP4 container metadata editor based on AtomicParsley. Dump some movies into it, and it’ll query Amazon for things and fill in even more than Lostify. Stuff it can grab:

  • Cover art
  • Actors
  • Directors/producers/screenwriters
  • Release date/rating
  • Batch processing

Best of all, it’s free and it moos at you upon completion.

Xgrid running on AppleTV

I got Xgrid running on my AppleTV for no real reason other than to see if I could do it. I’ve documented what I did on the AwkwardTV wiki and past the jump.

Update: I found a few bugs in the startup/shutdown of the xgridagentd. All relevant changes are now on the AwkwardTV wiki.

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holy AppleTV network speedups, batman!

Once you’ve gained SSH access on your AppleTV, add the below to your /etc/sysctl.conf and reboot

kern.ipc.somaxconn=512
net.inet.tcp.mssdflt=1460
net.inet.tcp.sendspace=98304
net.inet.tcp.recvspace=98304
kern.ipc.maxsockbuf=1048576
net.inet.udp.maxdgram=57344
net.inet.udp.recvspace=42080
net.local.stream.sendspace=98304
net.local.stream.recvspace=98304
net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack=0
net.inet.tcp.rfc1323=1
net.inet.tcp.rfc1644=1
net.inet.tcp.newreno=1

[Via /dev/root]

professafresh vs. AppleTV: Round Two

I recently moved and my new setup involved running my AppleTV wirelessly instead of wired, as in my previous residence.  Everything worked ok in an offline mode.  It wouldn’t associate to my AP for some reason.

Me being an idiot, I reset the ATV to the factory defaults using the onboard recovery partition and the Menu and Minus keys while booting up.  I rebuilt my Patchstick and reloaded Perian, ATVFiles, SSH, killed Watchdog, and all that fun stuff.  Creating AFP shares on my Windows fileserver was a pain in the ass.  Cygwin’s NFS server felt and performed way too hackishly.  I looked to see if anyone had figured out a SMB/CIFS workaround and I was happily surprised with what I found

Sharity Light is an open-source userland SMB/CIFS mounter that doesn’t require any additional kernel modules/drivers, and I compiled it for Intel Mac use.  Since the AppleTV is an Intel Mac at its heart, sharity works perfectly.  Compile on my MacBook, SCP to the AppleTV, move it to /usr/sbin, and done.

Another note, once I was able to get the SSHD upgraded and enabled SSHv2, I was able to mount frontrow’s home directory via SCP on my Mac, thanks to Amit Singh’s incredibly useful MacFuse project.  No more using the old (but still excellent) Fugu for SCP.

I think I’m going try to see if I can make any progress on the $1000 bounty, but I’m sure I’ll lose interest after about five minutes of failing…