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The Almighty Buck Businesses Apple

Hacker Turns $300 Apple TV into Cheapest Mac Ever 169

Posted by Zonk
from the another-bite-at-the-buck dept.
An anonymous reader wrote with a link to a Wired story about a fun play-along-at-home project: Turning Apple TV into a very tiny workable computer. "Apple TV is dead, long live the Mac Nano. Sort of. Just two weeks after Apple released its streaming media box to the public, hackers successfully installed OS X, Apple's desktop operating system, on the $300 device, making it the cheapest PC Cupertino has ever sold. 'The breakthrough is done, OS X runs on Apple TV!' wrote Semthex, the anonymous hacker responsible for the mod, at his website. 'Now we got (the) low-budget Mac we ever wanted.'"
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Hacker Turns $300 Apple TV into Cheapest Mac Ever

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  • Of course.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by michaelhood (667393) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @05:11AM (#18644593)
    This pricepoint is pretty much based on pirating a copy of OS X.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by shmlco (594907)
      Wow. They got a computer than ran OS X to run OS X.

      What I want to know is when is it going to run Ubuntu... (grin)
      • Re:Of course.. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @05:28AM (#18644663)
        Wow. They got a computer than ran OS X to run OS X.

        Well, but it's not that simple: many embedded devices run some kind of desktop OS (Windows, Linux, as opposed to an embedded OS like VxWorks), but running a generic version of the OS on the device is noteworthy because there's more to it than just sticking a shell in it: usually one has to reorganize the bootloading process, making a custom image of the OS, possibly make custom drivers, etc... So making an Apple embedded device running a custom OSX run a generic version of OSX isn't necessarily trivial, and is interesting.

        What I want to know is when is it going to run Ubuntu... (grin)

        If it can boot OSX, it surely can boot Linux without much work at all. That on the other hand is old news.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      No, the relative lowness of the price compared to other Apple products is because the Apple TV is a pretty underpowered PC. If a computer like it were sold not running OS X but just Linux or something, you wouldn't expect to pay a full $300 for it. The cost of OS X is more or less built into the cost of the machine as is.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Exactly right, because all $200 Linux boxes have an HDMI as well as component audio and video ports, come with a remote, run silently, and fit in a shoebox. And please don't reply with a "I don't care about X" post to justify your pricing. That's just retarded.
        • Re:Of course.. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by kestasjk (933987) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:09AM (#18645553) Homepage

          Exactly right, because all $200 Linux boxes have an HDMI as well as component audio and video ports, come with a remote, run silently, and fit in a shoebox. And please don't reply with a "I don't care about X" post to justify your pricing. That's just retarded.
          Don't forget the investment that an appleTV is for Apple.
          When you buy an appleTV you're essentially guaranteeing that you will, in the future, be buying content for it too. The price of the content you buy for the appleTV makes it cheaper, just like most game consoles.

          This is why I expect Apple will do everything they can to fight against people running a flexible system that can run whatever content they want on their artificially cheap hardware. I would be surprised if Apple's lawyers didn't start coming out of the woodworks soon.
          • Re:Of course.. (Score:5, Interesting)

            by keytohwy (975131) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @11:20AM (#18646357)
            I disagree. I own an AppleTV and have yet to buy any content. It's awesome for showing family photos on my HDTV. In addition, its a great, visual music browser for listening. And lastly, Apple makes availabe a shitload of podcasts on the ITMS. I have a lot of those. Some video (even HD), some audio, but all free. I think that the AppleTV will transcend people's initial reaction, which is like yours. There's plenty of content you already own that make this a worthwhile venture for many.
          • Re:Of course.. (Score:5, Informative)

            by Greg Titus (11738) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @11:27AM (#18646425) Homepage

            This is why I expect Apple will do everything they can to fight against people running a flexible system that can run whatever content they want on their artificially cheap hardware. I would be surprised if Apple's lawyers didn't start coming out of the woodworks soon.
            Yeah, that's why an Apple spokesman was quoted as saying "it's your box, do with it what you please -- but be mindful of voiding that warranty" a couple days ago. See http://www.engadget.com/2007/04/05/apple-not-fight ing-back-against-apple-tv-hacks/ [engadget.com].
          • by sumdumass (711423)
            I don't think apple would care one bit publicly. Sure some one sitting behind a desk is is probably constantly knotting his panties up.

            But from a real perspective, lets think about this. First, they are selling the Apple-TV at a profit (even if it is small). Next, using it like this doesn't stop it's intended use. And finally, even if it did change the intended use, people buying it to have a MAC light whatever, wouldn't be buying the thing or any of it's services in the first place so there isn't a loss at
          • by Yvan256 (722131)

            When you buy an appleTV you're essentially guaranteeing that you will, in the future, be buying content for it too.

            Because movies and TV shows, of course, are available for all countries. Oups, they're not.

            Just like there was no iTunes Music Store for other countries at first either, which didn't stop Apple from selling iPods outside of the USA.

            If you think Apple are selling the AppleTV at a loss, you're kidding yourself.

            If you think people only buy the AppleTV to buy online content via the iTunes Store, yo

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by toddestan (632714)
          Exactly right, because all $200 Linux boxes have an HDMI as well as component audio and video ports, come with a remote, run silently, and fit in a shoebox. And please don't reply with a "I don't care about X" post to justify your pricing. That's just retarded.

          Yeah, except a lot of that hardware doesn't even work. From TFA:

          "... the resulting installation is unable to take advantage of all the Apple TV's hardware. Without video acceleration, games can't floor the graphic chip's throttle. There's no audio or
      • the Apple TV is a pretty underpowered PC. If a computer like it were sold not running OS X but just Linux or something, you wouldn't expect to pay a full $300 for it.

        Then where can I lawfully[1] buy such a new[2] underpowered PC with USB and Ethernet ports and a TV output, running GNU/Linux, for 289.99 USD or less?

        [1] A modded Xbox doesn't count. Modders have been prosecuted in the United Kingdom and some other countries. Are you willing to include emigration in the price?

        [2] Or does eBay provide a consistent supply of one model?

        • by topham (32406)
          And how about...

          One that might actually look ok in the living room.
        • by toddestan (632714)
          [1] A modded Xbox doesn't count. Modders have been prosecuted in the United Kingdom and some other countries. Are you willing to include emigration in the price?

          Well, to get your $300 OSX machine, you have to install a pirated version of OSX, and use a hacked kernel in possible violation of the EULA. So what's your problem with modding the XBox?
          • by tepples (727027)

            Well, to get your $300 OSX machine, you have to install a pirated version of OSX, and use a hacked kernel in possible violation of the EULA. So what's your problem with modding the XBox?

            My problem is that people have gone to prison for modding an Xbox. People have not gone to jail for installing a spare Mac OS X license from a family pack on an Apple brand device. But that's beside the point. Even if I'm willing to pay more than $300 (but less than the $600 price of a Mac mini), where do you recommend that I buy a new set-top computer?

        • If a computer like it were sold not running OS X but just Linux or something, you wouldn't expect to pay a full $300 for it.

          Emphasis added for clarity. Yeah, such a computer doesn't exist. But the power in the AppleTV is in the general neighborhood of the original Xbox and Wii, which both sell for less. So, if someone did want to make a computer like the AppleTV but without the OS, and they mass produced it, they might be able to make it a little cheaper.
          • by tepples (727027)

            But the power in the AppleTV is in the general neighborhood of the original Xbox and Wii, which both sell for less. So, if someone did want to make a computer like the AppleTV but without the OS, and they mass produced it, they might be able to make it a little cheaper.

            So why isn't there a company that mass-produces something like the Apple TV, or something like the Xbox or Wii without the lockout chip? What platform is there for a four-player shareware video game by a microstudio that could be the next Bomberman or Smash Bros.? The standard PC has a 17 to 19 inch monitor, which isn't large enough to accommodate four human bodies, and the consoles lock out microstudios using digital signatures.

    • I bought a Dell Dimension 4600 from a pawn shop for $20, "as is" because someone said it wouldn't boot. When I brought it home, I discovered there was nothing wrong with it. I slapped an old Radeon inside, installed OS X, and that's what I call the cheapest Mac ever.
    • Re:Of course.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by daveschroeder (516195) * on Saturday April 07, 2007 @08:52AM (#18645481)
      From three previous comments of mine, that address pretty much all the issues here:

      -----

      People have jumped through a lot of hoops to attempt to justify to themselves running the hacked Mac OS X on non-Apple systems, coming up with ridiculous sophistries like "What if I have an Intel iMac, but want to only run Linux on it, and then want to use that same OS X license on my Gateway laptop???" ...

      AppleTV is an interesting case, because it is an "Apple-labeled" product, which is what the Mac OS X license agreement [apple.com] stipulates. And that's the key.

      The license agreement specifies that Mac OS X can only be run on an Apple-labeled computer. And that is Apple's right. Now, you can ignore it, or ignore legal frameworks that may (or may not) enforce license agreements within certain countries/jurisdictions, and so on, but that's why running Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware is "illegal". There are NO prohibitions to doing things like hacking the kernel, etc. It's open source, and you can do with it what you wish regardless.

      But there are still some interesting considerations:

      - There is no way to legally get a standalone, retail copy of Mac OS X (Intel) for AppleTV, unless you make arguments about transferring an abandoned license from another Intel-based Mac. (And no, there is no conventional Mac OS X license that comes with AppleTV, either explicitly or implicitly.)

      - Technically, you could purchase and run Mac OS X Server 10.4.x (Universal) and legally run it on AppleTV - there would be no prohibitions to this.

      - Mac OS X 10.5.x (Leopard) will be the first version of Mac OS X to have a legally purchasable standalone retail Intel version (actually, Leopard will be Universal).

      But there are some other things to think about:

      - Even when Leopard ships, at retail pricing, it's still $299 + $129 for AppleTV + Mac OS X. It's $171 more for a much more capable Mac mini. However, $171 may be enough to get people to consider this.

      - This will really be interesting if Leopard can run unmodified on AppleTV (i.e., without a hacked kernel).

      - This will still be relegated to the hobbyist/experimenter/hacker crowd, as you need to disassemble AppleTV in order to do this, image drives, have another Mac handy, and so on, not to mention that the warranty is likely void while OS X is installed on the machine (which of course is reversible, etc.)

      So while this is all very interesting, please consider the fact that there are no legal ways to get Mac OS X for it currently.

      This post is obviously not for people who think EULAs are BS, or that since it's an Apple product "it's okay", or that since it has some stripped down OS X on it already, "it's okay" to also install OS X from their friend's iMac, etc.

      I'm simply raising the legitimate concerns surrounding licensing on AppleTV, some of which get interesting with Leopard since it is, indeed, and Apple-labeled computer, and Leopard will be available standalone.

      There are also no prohibitions on using a modified kernel, but one very interesting question might be, does Apple consider AppleTV a "computer", since that is what the Mac OS X license agreement explicitly states?

      -----

      The point is that right now, there is NO way to buy Mac OS X (Intel) separately at all, license agreement or not.

      If people want to make ridiculous arguments like "what if I just dropped four grand on a Mac Pro, but now suddenly only want to run Windows Vista on it, but I still want to use the OS X license on my Sony Vaio," more power to them. They can make their own moral/ethical determinations. If they want to ask if it's "legal", the answer in many jurisdictions is still, "probably not", because of what the EULA says.

      The other consideration is that Apple is a hardware company and prices Mac OS X accordingly. They're also the ones who put hundreds of thousands of manhours and billions of dollars, collectively, into R
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by anothy (83176)
        okay, well i guess i ought to repost my correction to you from that thread, as well: --- Also keep in mind that there are other legal ways of acquiring Mac OS X 10.4.x for Intel Macs, such as membership in the Apple Developer Program. The license there has other restrictions on use, but it is acceptable in a large number of cases. --- generally, i find your post informative, but it'd be nice if you could stop repeating the false portion about there being no legal way to obtain Mac OS X for Intel.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by daveschroeder (516195) *
          Your correction wasn't correct then, and isn't now:

          There is not at present, and never has been, a standalone, installable version of Mac OS X 10.4.x (Intel) available via Apple Developer Programs.

          The only version that is available is Mac OS X Server 10.4.x (Universal), but that is Mac OS X Server, not Mac OS X.

          So the statements to this effect I have made in my post are correct:

          There is no legal way to get Mac OS X 10.4.x (Intel) separately. It only ships with CPUs.

          Further, even if Mac OS X 10.4.x (Intel) we
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ResidntGeek (772730)
        Do you know there was a time when people would see a hack like this and say "coooooool" instead of spending 10 minutes rattling off the various illegalities?
        • Yeah, it's called "today". It is "cool".

          But it's also not a "$300 Mac", since you still, you know, need Mac OS X to go along with it.

          If you want to pirate it and/or don't care about the legal side of it at all, fine: this argument isn't for you.

          If you actually do want to find a legal way to do it that doesn't run afoul of license agreements, and possibly laws, in some jurisdictions, then Apple TV is actually an interesting case, since the big prohibition in the Mac OS X EULA has always been that it needs to
          • needs to be run on an "Apple-labeled" computer

            is certainly an "Apple-labeled" product

            And herein lies the crux. Is your Apple TV a computer? Certainly. Is it sold as such? No. They would argue it is an appliance, and ergo not covered by license. Is my DVR a computer? Absolutely. My PDA? It can use external displays, external keyboards, after all. And so on and so forth.

            • You're right, of course, and I even raised that question in my initial post. However, I don't think Apple will do much about this in a home/hobbyist setting, and this question of whether Apple TV is really a "computer" would only be raised if a vendor tried to, for example, sell Apple TVs preloaded with Leopard (and an associated Leopard license). This question will continue to leave the business of installing Mac OS X on Apple TVs squarely in the fringe experimenter realm, and not that of the mainstream.
      • by fermion (181285)
        I see no reason why Apple should care. Most people are not going to hack a TV computer instead of purchasing an iMac. Such as thing, as is true for *nix and MS OS, only saves money if your time is worth nothing.

        Instead I see the people doing this as people who like to hack macs and have an open licensee on their 5 pack. In this case I think apple would be happy. They sell a machine that otherwise would not be sold, and cost them nothing in support as they will not support that application.

        Apple has

      • by steve_bryan (2671)
        So while this is all very interesting, please consider the fact that there are no legal ways to get Mac OS X for it currently.

        You forgot the section arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. If you want to run OS X on an AppleTV or any other hardware then grow a pair and just do it. Try to restrain yourself from breaking into an Apple Store and stealing anything. Other than that you are pretty much in the clear.
    • Not necessarily (Score:3, Interesting)

      by brokeninside (34168)
      With three Macs in the house, the most economical way for me to legally upgrade is Apple's household bundles that come with five licenses. Meaning that at any given time, I've usually got one or two licenses that I'm not using. I doubt that I'm the only person in this situation.
    • by kad77 (805601)
      How's free for a pricepoint?

      Given we had OSX running on the AppleTV back on March 30, I'm not surprised that the article missed Linux is running with full nvidia hardware acceleration. After 5+ years, the journaled HFS support in the kernel is basically worthless though (FIXME).

      As usual, AwkwardTV has the scoop--

      http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/Linux_on_Apple_TV [awkwardtv.org]

      thanks gimli!
  • Twice! (Score:4, Informative)

    by cabinetsoft (923481) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @05:12AM (#18644597)
    in same week... first mentioned here [slashdot.org]
    • Re:Twice! (Score:4, Informative)

      by aarku (151823) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @05:51AM (#18644739) Journal
      True, but there is actually a worthwhile update to the story, not that I know if it's mentioned in TFA. You can boot Mac OS X on it now without opening the box [youtube.com].
      • by hey! (33014)
        Actually, the ability to boot off of an USB driver was more interesting to me than being able to hack the internal drive.

        I'd actually be more interested if they could boot Linux on the thing. It'd be much easier to experiment with a USB flash drive before risking bricking your device. If you didn't need any ports the thing lacks, it'd be attractive relative to cobbling together a mini-itx system.
  • by oddeirik (970950) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @05:23AM (#18644635)
    "Without video acceleration, games can't floor the graphic chip's throttle. There's no audio or ethernet support either[...]"

    Which means it's of fairly limited use, atleast for now. I'm guessing that'll improve over the next couple of months though.

    And if it's possible to clock the CPU up to 1 GHz (it's underclocked to 350 MHz?), maybe put in some more RAM and upgrade the HD, $300 ain't so bad for a HTPC with a design that your wife can accept in the living room. It having HDMI, DVI and WLAN isn't a bad thing either if they can get that working.
    • by phalse phace (454635) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @06:00AM (#18644765)
      But why bother doing the upgrades to it when an Apple certified refurb Mac mini with

      # 1.66Ghz Intel Core Duo
      # 512MB memory
      # 60GB hard drive
      # combo drive

      is only $519?

      After doing all the upgrades, the price difference between it and the refurb Mac mini won't be that much.
    • by setirw (854029)
      That used to be the case, but not now:

      From the article:

      Without video acceleration, games can't floor the graphic chip's throttle. There's no audio or ethernet support either, making the box useless for its original purpose as a media hub.

      Over the past week, however, enthusiasts worked to solve these problems

      This story is really an addendum to the original, which we saw [slashdot.org] on Slashdot earlier this week.

    • I thought it was the FSB that was underclocked to 350MHz. I've seen reports that Speedstep reduces the clock to 600MHZ when it's downclocked, meaning that 1GHz is probably the clock that it's really running.
  • by poofyhairguy82 (635386) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @05:25AM (#18644647) Journal
    But it is honestly not that useful. With only a 1GHz processor and 256MB of RAM, it might run OSX but not well. If you are gonna hack OSX why not just build a beige box and put OSX86 on it- I recently put together a Pentium D system that would run OSX well with twice as much ram (in a MicroATX case) for less than the Apple TV. Also a well built hackintosh will have use of the audio and ethernet. For those that just want Apple hardware, for around the same price point as the Apple TV you could get an older mini that would be legit.



    I just don't see people going out to buy this for a new (even secondary) Mac.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "But it is honestly not that useful. With only a 1GHz processor and 256MB of RAM..."

      What are you smokin'? Show me something in a 1.1x7.7x7.7 inch package that looks good and can be a media PC (Xvid playpack!) or a auto PC for $300. The closest thing is the Mac mini at 2x6.5x6.5 inches at $600. Double the money will buy you a lot more, but $300 bucks is toy money. I be stackin' me web servers and slingboxes all over the place for that price point. Plug in a 10" LCD and a DC converter and this guy goes in my
    • by Lumpy (12016)
      That's funny, the Old G3 I have here runs OSX on it well. and that is less than 500mhz. Works great for most office tasks and internet tasks which is 99% of what a computer is used for in the home.
    • I am interested in this. It might not be a great primary computer, but for a low-power electronics project where a "real" computer would be too large or power consuming, then this would be an ideal candidate. AppleTV is more compact than most miniITX, and is cheaper than miniITX hardware too.

      Unfortunately, one big problem is that I can't legally sell a product based on installing the real Mac OS X on this, so it would have to rely on non-Apple software upgrades to the machine.
  • PowerMac G4 Tower (Score:4, Interesting)

    by OrangeTide (124937) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @06:00AM (#18644763) Homepage Journal
    Was a whole $80 off eBay. With a $200 upgrade it's dual 1Ghz G4 now, but honestly it ran OSX fine without the upgrade so I could have skipped the big upgrade and saved some cash.

    I won't be impressed until someone shows me a programmable/extendable device for under $40 (for new, not used). The $300 price point is not really an exciting price point when you consider PCs have been under this for a while.

    I recently spent like $65 on an Athlon 64 X2 3600+ Brisbane cpu. a few other parts and it's a whole computer. Granted an Apple TV is a really tiny computer, and it hooks up to a TV in a very convenient way (but doesn't hook up to a CRT/LCD without some effort). For a tiny computer it's not a bad deal, but if smallness is not a priority then there are better bargains out there to be sure.
    • by Megane (129182)
      Blue and White G3s esentially cost nothing now beyond the cost of the RAM and HD inside (and the cost of shipping), and they run Tiger quite decently. They also take the same CPU upgrades as the early G4 systems. The only problem is they don't take 512M or larger DIMMs, and they don't take 8-chip 256M DIMMs (the 16-chip versions have been a bit hard for me to find as salvage). I've got two of them working quite well next to my (purchased new) MDD/Windtunnel dual 1G G4 (which is awesome for having four HD ba
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by OrangeTide (124937)
        I have 1GB of ram in my B&W G3, and yes. they are dirt cheap. You can find 800Mhz G4 chips to drop into those G3 systems pretty easily. No AGP slot though, just a dual speed PCI slot for the video card.

        The little ATI Rage card handles Tiger's fancy graphics quite nicely though.

        I have 4 hdds in my B&W G3 after I put in a SATA controller and got the dual-drive trays to replace the single drive trays. (same trays fit in the early G4 systems too)
    • You bought a used and very old extendable/programmable computer for $80, but you expect that a brand-new extendable/programmable product be cheaper than the used product that you bought? In what bizzaro world would that be realistic?
  • Is VMWare Player with OSX loaded: $0.
  • If a new Mac can cost $300 like a cheap new PC, how come these new little embedded devices still cost $100? The embedded ones don't have HDs, much RAM, displays or even power supplies. They run Linux or other $free OS. And they're supposed to sell many more units to the general public than do Macs, so their scale economy should be better. Why do they cost about 50% their much bigger, more complex cousins?
  • Count in OSX license and it is not so cheap. Apple TV - $300, MacOSX - $150. It means that it costs you $450. For $600 you can get Mac Mini which is far more capable.

    But I would love to see Linux running on Apple TV - for ultimate unix/linux hacker minibox Apple TV looks nice. :)
    • For some reason, my reply has disappeared, so here it is again:

      Try $500 for Mac OS X. The only legal ways of obtaining Mac OS X for Intel as of today are:

      1. Buy Mac OS X Server, 10 licenses ($500) 2. Buy an Intel Mac. Remove OS, install something else (or destroy it or whatever.)

      You cannot buy the Intel version of Mac OS X for $130. You hopefully will once Leopard is released, but that's not happened yet. Kind of sucks, huh?

  • What I want is the AppleTV to act as a MythTV frontend. Either by running mythfrontend itself (unlikely) or by my mythbackend speaking DAAP such that I can use the native ATV software to access my mythbackend.

    Why? I want to velcro the ATV behind my LCD TV or on the ceiling with my projector (haven't decided which yet) and only have to deal with a single power cord. I don't want to put my 2TB mythbackend in the same room as my TV. I want it in my rack in the far corner of the basement where it can happi

    • by nuzak (959558)
      > What I want is the AppleTV to act as a MythTV frontend.

      I want a tiny and inexpensive box that can be a MythTV backend. As in do the actual recording. I doubt the AppleTV is up to the task. I'm not saying this cool hacked box sucks, but it's not what I'm pining for.
      • by nblender (741424)
        I guess everyone has their optimal livingroom setup but I can't imagine why one would care about the size of the backend.. The backend has a bunch of tuners, a bunch of disk, and makes lots of noise.
  • The AppleTV is cheap but it also has a spec too low to be very effective running OSX.

    The main problem is going to be the RAM; only 256MB and not upgradable. The Intel Macs seem to use more memory and I often find Safari using more than 256MB of physical memory on its own. Soldering on new TSOP memory chips is something I'd pay quite a bit to avoid having to do...

    Aside from the small memory, there a stack of other aspects that are missing or diminished compared to the Mac mini. At the top level, the CPU is 6
    • On the other hand it's got a real GPU with real VRAM, not the apalling GMA950 integrated video that eats 64M of RAM, so it's more like the equivalent of a 320MB Intel mini. So long as you don't fire up Rosetta it's going to beat the original PPC minis, and those are still eBaying for more than the AppleTV costs.

      Phenomenal graphics power... itty bitty memory space.
  • I read through the scary, laborious 13-step setup procedure. It doesn't seem necessary. It would be much easier if some kind person who takes the time to do all this would post a disk image that we could just copy directly to the hard drive. Since all the Apple TV's are identical, the data in the disk image could already be from a tweaked and optimized install, hopefully running a good GUI for media playback, VNC, and every single audio and video decoder installed into quicktime.

    Is there a torrent like th

  • by karlandtanya (601084) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @04:07PM (#18649241)
    I didn't know this thing existed, but it looks like it's out-to-TV only.
    It's not difficult to cheez together a MythBox for ~$500.00, but it'd sure be nice to have some of that slick apple hardware running Myth.

    It's got a USB port, and a 40G HDD, so you'd still be at about $500.00 if you added an external USB video encoder (There are has some supported by Myth--Plextor makes 'em IIRC) and boxed up a spare HDD from another computer.

    Still, I'd buy one instead of the MicroATX setup I'm eyeballing today.

    Which is just an overly verbose way of saying...

    Nice...but will it run linux?

    (Sorry, had to do it).
  • Yawn... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by IntergalacticWalrus (720648) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:32PM (#18651709)
    Putting full OS X on this is uninteresting...

    What I'd like to see is putting Linux on it and turning it into a full-blown living room appliance. In terms of hacking the Apple TV has much potential, it could easily replace the XBox as most useful hackable livingroom hardware. It has more powerful hardware, has an HDMI port, and appears to require less messing around with the hardware.

    The only thing that sucks is lack of RCA and S-Video outputs, for those of us who don't give a flying shit about HDTV. My existing TV set works fine, thank you very much. What the hell was Apple thinking?!
  • 'Now we got (the) low-budget Mac we ever wanted.'

    Duuuude! Come on! This almost sentence (even without the parenthetical 'the') is ridiculous!
    Who says that?

    And they lived happily all after...

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