Apple TV’s new remote: the iPhone

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on November 26, 2007

iphoneasremote Apple TVs new remote:  the iPhone

Didn’t we have this discussion a few months back about making an Apple TV remote out of the iPhone?  Well, somebody did it.

A posting on the Romanian blog, Pic Poc, has detailed steps in order to turn your iPhone into a full-fletched Apple remote.   It requires these “simple” steps:

  • install XAMPP (OS X web server)
  • install Brandon Holland’s IR keyboard kext
  • edit  edit /etc/sudoers and /etc/rc.local
  • install the Apple TV remote web app on to your iPhone

Give it a try and let us know how it goes.

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.

$50 off Apple TV at Costco

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on November 8, 2007

fifty dollar rebate costco $50 off Apple TV at Costco

It’s time to stock up for Christmas.  Costco is offering $50 instant rebate on the Apple TV.  The deal will run until either November 23rd or 26th, according to the Costco rep I talked to.  Since Costco is already selling Apple TV’s for $250, this means you can get one as low as $200.

Could it be because of the slow sales?  Or is it that a new version is coming out?  Whatever the reason, if you’ve been wanting to get one cheap, here’s your chance.

Enabling ssh and adding plugins the easy way

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on November 1, 2007

Every now and then, I still get emails asking me if there is an easy way to enable ssh on the Apple TV. Yes, we have tutorial for that but that one requires an uncivilized way of opening the Apple TV up, take out the hard drive, put it in an enclosure, etc. (you know the whole drill). That’s just old school and so cruel to your Apple TV. Besides that method actually voids the warranty on your Apple TV.

It is much easier to use the Patchstick method, which has been around for a while now. All you need is a USB stick and an Intel Mac. You have probably seen the Patchstick in action on the Jaman post a month back. However, Jaman’s version is specifically designed to get the Jaman player on to the Apple TV and nothing else.

Francesco Cerofolini has written a simple tutorial (in both Italian and English) of how you can get your Apple TV ssh-enabled. It is pretty much the same as what I have written for the Jaman post. The Patchstick file used in his tutorial also adds access to the Plugins directory from AwkwardTV. This makes it much easier to install new plugins from AwkwardTV.

To many of the frequent readers of the site, I know that this is nothing new. However, my intention was to simplify hacking for a lot of the newcomers out there.

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.

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