How To

Getting around the patchstick creation problem under Leopard

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on November 20, 2007

As many of you are aware, if you have just upgraded to Leopard, you can no longer create patchsticks on your Mac.

According to Maraklov’s wiki post on AwkwardTV.org, the system extensions from Leopard are incompatible with those on Apple TV, which are based on 10.4.x. He is still working on trying to making this work. So, good luck, Maraklov. You have our support.

If you can’t wait for Maraklov’s solution, however, here’s a “duh” way to creating patchsticks on your Mac again: re-install Tiger.

No, I don’t mean re-installing the old operating system over your brand-spanking new Leopard; that would not be wise. What I meant was installing Tiger on another bootable flash/hard drive. You can then boot your Mac up into Tiger then run the patchstick script under that OS. Just make sure you do the minimum install and also update it to the latest version of Tiger first. Oh, and please keep track of which drive is which since now you have a Leopard drive, a Tiger drive and then a patchstick drive. Don’t overwrite the wrong one.

Can’t afford another hard drive? A reader named Vak suggested using Bootcamp to get around booting from another drive altogether.

Here’s how to do it:

  • run Bootcamp
  • allocate some space for the Windows partition (10GB should be plenty)
  • at the end, when asked to insert the installation CD, choose to install later.
  • quit Bootcamp
  • run Disk Utility
  • change the newly created Windows partition to Apple HFS+
  • reboot and insert the Tiger installation CD
  • install Tiger onto the newly created partition. Again, make sure to choose minimum installation

So why not just run Disk Utility and repartition your main drive without Bootcamp? Because Disk Utility doesn’t allow this. You can only do this via Bootcamp or use other commercial utilities for this.

So there you have it. I know some of you are going to say that these solutions are “LAME”. But, hey, they work!

Update:  OK, call me a liar.  You can, in fact, use Leopard’s Disk Utility to repartition your main hard drive without running Bootcamp first.  Thanks, Hugin777, for correcting me.

I apologize for this.  I, myself, am holding off on upgrading so I was not aware of this new feature in Disk Utility.

Detailed Guide for enabling USB storage

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on November 8, 2007

Over at AwkwardTV’s Wiki, a poster by the name of Simplicity has posted a detailed guide on how to enable the USB storage using our very own patch that we published a few months back.

We feel very grateful for him to do this.  We did not ask him for his help; he did it on his own time.  From what we read, we couldn’t have done a better job ourselves.

Great job, Simplicity.  Thank you.

Aspect ratio correction using displayutil utility

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on October 25, 2007

Here’s a tip from one of our readers, Jordan Shinall from Gainesville, Florida.

Jordan tried connecting his Apple TV to an LCD monitor via a DVI connector (using an HDMI-to-DVI connector). His monitor’s resolution was 1440×900; this was confirmed in the settings menu as “1440x900p”. When he changed the display resolution to 720p, the “1440x900p” disappeared from the menu. Not only that. Since the aspect ratio of his monitor is 16:10 and 720p’s aspect is 16:9, the image displayed got stretched vertically.

To remedy this problem, he used a utility called “displayutil” by Jonathan Bringhurst. The utility was meant to be used under OS X but since Apple TV’s OS is a specialized version of OS X, he tried using it anyway.

After many attempts of running the utility on the Apple TV, he stumbled upon the following combination:

./displayutil -r1440x900 -b32

kill `ps aux | grep Finder | grep -v grep | awk {\’print $2\’}`

./displayutil -r1440x900 -b32

Here is his logic:

Now the important thing here is to type in the display util line first so that it is kept in the bash history. Then when you enter the second line (which just parses the ps output for the pid of the Finder and kills it) hit enter and then immediately hit the up arrow twice and then enter. What you are trying to do is sill the Finder and run display util before it has a chance to restart. If you did it correctly, you should see a grey screen fade in and out for a moment. When the Finder loads again, head into the settings to verify the resolution.

So far this solution worked out for him. There might be a better way. If you think you have a better solution, let us know.

You can download displayutil utility here.

Not just Firefox, Skype too

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on October 17, 2007

skype on appletv Not just Firefox, Skype too

James Mandy of the InvertedReality blog just got Skype working using the pretty much the same technique for getting Firefox to work.

I did get a few emails asking if Skype would work on a hacked Apple TV. Well, here’s the proof that it can.

Now, all you need now are just a mic and a webcam and you’ll be Skyping on your big screen.

Play DivX movies from a NAS: a step by step guide

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on October 12, 2007

divx nas Play DivX movies from a NAS: a step by step guide

Playing DivX files is nothing new to the Appe TV hacking community. It was probably one of the first hacks done since the release of the Apple TV. And playing files from a NAS (network-Attached storage not “Nas” the rapper) is nothing new either. But it is good to see a step by step guide on how to combine a bunch of hacks to get this working.

Thank you, Jonnytech, for putting this together.

Get color output from Apple TV’s composite video output

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on October 12, 2007

composite hack Get color output from Apple TVs composite video output

Mauricio Pastrana has figured out how to get color output via the composite video connector. This is good news for people who want to use the Apple TV with regular non-HD TV sets.

Here’s what he did:

  • Plug your composite-yellow in the green “slot” (this will give you an image, but BW)
  • head over to resolution and set it to 480i (not sure if this step is needed tho)
  • now STAND on 480p and unplug the composite-yellow, plug an HDMI-DVI adapter
  • press “ok” on the remote and count to 5
  • unplug the HDMI-DVI adapter and replug the composite-yellow, when the image comes back, it comes back full color!

Great job, Mauricio.

Update:

As noted in one of the comments, you can also enable composite video via software using instructions found here.

Thanks, drag0n.

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