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


[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…

professafresh vs. 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…

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]

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.