Installing OSX on commodity PC hardware has advanced a lot since the early days of OSx86 when Apple switched to Intel. With the advent of netbooks, a new target platform has emerged; one that doesn’t have an official Apple equivalent. The small subset of models means that it’s easy to find someone else that has the same machine as you, but it still takes some forum walking to bring all the pieces together. Gizmodo has done this and compiled a comprehensive guide for the Dell Mini 9. The Mini 9 is a very nice machine and according to Boing Boing Gadgets’ chart, one of the most compatible with OSX. Earlier this week you could purchase a new one for just $200.
For Gizmodo’s install, they used a Leopard retail DVD with [Type11]’s bootloader. They’re breaking the EULA, but at least it’s not piracy. They had to use both a DVD drive and a USB hard drive because device recognition was flakey. Despite this, the actual install process doesn’t appear to be too difficult. They say all the hardware works, “The Mini 9 is a beautiful OS X machine.” Check out this Hackit to learn about netbook OSX experiences from other Hack a Day readers.
File this one under: “Wow, that’s even possible?” xbox-scene hacker [RDC] has been hard at work converting his Xbox 360 to slot loading. To start, He removed the slot loading drive from a blueberry iMac G3. The loading mechanism is the top half of the drive. He split this off and married it to the reading mechanism in the Xbox’s Hitachi drive. The difficult part came with getting the drive to properly signal when it had a disc. He put together a custom circuit to do the detection and has a thorough description of how he solved the problem.
[Aaron Shephard] at mini-itx.com just finished a backup DVD burning robot based on an EPIA M10000 Mini-ITX motherboard and scavenged parts. A Perl script interacts with stepper motors, LEDs, and sensors through the parallel port on the motherboard. The robot inserts DVDs for burning, flips them for labeling, and stacks completed discs in a pile. Coasters are rejected to a ‘penalty box’ for easy disposal.
We’ve also covered some other optical disc duplicators in the past.
Nintendo Wii Fanboy explains how to watch DVDs on your Wii using the new MPlayer application. Although the reviews are mixed, some claim it works and others claim it doesn’t, most are excited about this new feature which has been missing since the Wii’s launch. To get this working, you need to run the Twilight Hack and get the Homebrew Channel. Then you download the MPlayer software onto your SD card and install that using the Homebrew Channel. From there, you can launch the application and play your DVDs with ease using the minimalistic DVD player interface.
Although this seems like a lot of work just to watch a DVD, especially considering this might not work for you, it is interesting to see people trying to push for media center software on the Wii. Now they only need to find ways to get past the Nintendo’s attempts to stop this Homebrew movement.
There’s an interesting thread discussing mods to improve the inexpensive Oppo 980 DVD player for better performance. The power supply, capacitors and opamps can benefit from some higher end components. [Occam] suggests several replacement opamps options for upgrading the audio output. The realatively low cost of Oppo gear makes it a better risk than modding a multi-thousand dollar DVD player.
A recent report from Futuresource Consulting states that just under 1/3 of Americans and just over 1/3 of UK residents have engaged in some form of DVD ripping in the last 6 months. Though [Jacqui Cheng] of Ars Technica was unphased, we were very surprised to learn that one of the most common methods is possibly the most low-tech, yet certainly cross-platform: hooking a DVD player to a DVD recorder via coaxial cable or composite. Our toolbelt is somewhat different, as we imagine yours is.
Continue reading “Hackit: Ripping DVDs”
For $99, Apple will happily sell you a slick USB superdrive (aka DVD burner) that only works with the MacBook Air. [tnkgrl] swapped out the USB-IDE interface with a generic $9 unit to make it work with everything else. The generic board required a few mods: relocating the crystal oscillator along with the amputation of its daughter-board that carried an external power connector, usb connector and some caps.