hardware hacks - page 3

Jailbroken iPhone Hacked To Dual Boot Between iPhone OS and Android



It’s way buggy still, but hats off to jailbreak hacker David Wong who not only figured out how to get the iPhone to dual boot, but to actually run Google’s Android operating system.

Of course, the entire exercise is one of utter futility — why would you run Google’s inferior Android operating system when you can tool around in iPhone OS (my only tentative answer: maybe tethering?) — but even so: this takes some brain meats. Well done, sir.

Video: 17-inch iMac G4 Hacked Into Multitouch Windows 7 PC


This heavily modded iMac G4 boasts a touschscreen, courtesy of Windows 7.
This heavily modded iMac G4 boasts a touschscreen, courtesy of Windows 7.
Photo: Jon Berg/YouTube

Jon Berg injected some fresh life into his broken 17-inch iMac G4 by cramming a touchscreen PC’s guts inside and re-skinning the desktop to resemble OS X.

I wonder, though, why he didn’t decide to make it a dual-boot hackintosh. Windows 7’s multitouch is a total hack job. It’s hardly worth sacrificing OS X as your day-to-day operating system.

Jailbreakers Get iPad Root Access in Less Than 24 Hours




Always plucky, ingenious and defiant, it already looked pretty good that the iPhone OS hacking community would manage a zero day jailbreak… and it looks they they’ve done just that in under 24 hours, courtesy of hacker Musclenerd.

It appears that this jailbreak is using the same “Spirit” technique that Geohot demonstrated working on 3.1.3 last week, strongly implying that iPhone OS 3.2 doesn’t close any of the previous firmware’s exploitable holes.

When can the command-line-disinclined expect an idiot-proof iPad jailbreak? No word yet, although Geohot has said that he’s waiting to release his software until Apple rolls the 3.2 firmware across all devices.

Video: Geohot to Release Zero Day Jailbreak of iPad?




You may want to put your Mac on mute — audiophonic doofus explosion incoming — but what you’re looking at here is the first working, untethered jailbreak of the iPhone 3Gs and iPod Touch G3… and if its developer is to be trusted, it should work on the iPad when it comes out next Friday too.

According to jailbreaking wunderkind George Hotz (aka geohot), the jailbreak should be out soon, although asking for a release date “won’t make it happen any sooner.”

If geohot’s right about the iPad jailbreaking technique being similar to the iPhone 3Gs and iPod Touch G3, we could be looking at a zero day iPad jailbreak. Oh, good. I don’t think I could do without 5 Icon Dock HD.

Insanely Mac Launches MyMacNetbook.com, a Resource for Hackintoshing Netbooks



My guilty little secret is that my ugly Asus Eee PC 1000HE netbook is my favorite Mac laptop.

It’s certainly not the prettiest (a Frankenstein) or the most powerful (a sloth) but it’s the one with the twenty hours of battery life spread between two interchangeable batteries always swinging from a satchel (read: man purse) on my hip.

What was once a lackluster Windows XP lilicomputer is now, thanks to the OSx86 project and this wonderful guide, the one Mac I’m always guaranteed to have on me.

Apple keyboard clocks, cufflinks and jewelry



Of all the eccentric Mac-lover accessories out there, these clocks might be some of the most phoned-in I’ve ever seen: they’re basically just old Apple keyboards clawed out of an electronics dump with their keys shaken loose and stuffed with cheap horological guts.

Even so, I’m sort of tempted by the iMac Bondi Blue Clock: it seems like just yesterday when I was bringing one back home for the first time. Oh, how time passes for an Apple fan.

What do the crafters at Geekware do with all of the keys they’ve got left over after they make a clock? No surprise there, really: they try to convince you they’re jewelry. Again, I’m guilty here of thinking these Apple key cufflinks are absolutely ridiculous and yet kind of wanting to own a pair.

MSI Wind netbook hackintoshed into a poor man’s iPad



In the Hackintosh community, the MSI Wind is somewhat legendary for being the first netbook out there that could essentially run OS X out of the box, with all features working and no hardware hacking required.

Now it looks like the venerable Wind has another Apple bragging point: with its keyboard ripped out and its display replaced with a touchscreen and reversed, the MSI Wind U100 makes a good poor man’s substitute for the iPad.

Sure, it doesn’t use the iPhone OS — it’s running Snow Leopard 10.6.2 — and it’s got some rough edges (it can only be turned on and off by wiggling a little paperclip in a hole), but if you were hoping that Steve Jobs was going to announce a MacTablet on January 27th instead of a big iPhone, this might be just the project to devote your weekend to.

Panic Are Watching You Watching Them



This, ladies and gentlemen, is today’s Best Thing Ever.

Panic are the people who make fabulous Mac software like FTP client Transmit and web dev box-of-tricks Coda.

Now they’ve made their own status board – it’s a monitor hung on the wall, displaying an internal web page that aggregates stuff from different sources and displays it beautifully.

One of the things on there is tweets sent @panic – so while you’re watching them and saying how amazing their status board is, they’re watching you right back.

Thank you, Panic, for brightening up the internet this morning.

(Via Gruber and Hacker News.)

Turn Your MacBook Packaging Into A MacBook Stand



The best ideas are always the simplest. This is a fantastic tip from one of the team at Massive Studios, who needed a stand to rest a MacBook on.

Why bother spending money on something made of metal or plastic, when everything you need came in the box, wrapped around the MacBook?

Some Instructables are complicated but this one’s dead simple. All you need provide is a couple of screws – yep, screw them right into the styrofoam, apparently it works just fine – and a blade to slice the foam in the first place, and that’s it.

And if you’re wondering whether someone’s thought of turning an iPhone box into an iPhone dock, the answer is most certainly yes.

Boxee Beta Is Finally Ready For Apple TV



The Boxee beta is finally available for Apple TV.

Boxee is Apple TV done right. It’s a great, Net-connected, “social” media player that allows you to play video from all over the Web as well as files from file-sharing networks. It streams content from sites like Netflix, Pandora and Last.fm, and makes it easy to get entertainment recommendations from friends. It transforms the Apple TV into a truly-useful internet video device.

The beta adds a much-improved that’s easier to navigate. Boxee on Apple TV was previously available only as an early alpha version. The latest beta was released in January but was unavailable for Apple TV users — until now.

A group of Boxee users have updated the ATV-Usb creator to install the Boxee Beta.

Users who already have Boxee Alpha installed on their AppleTV can simply update Launcher and then update Boxee to install the beta, no patchstick needed.

Link to announcement on Boxee blog.

Take a screenshot tour of the Boxee beta after the jump.

Lego iPhone Steering Unit Made of Awesome



This video is all over Twitter this morning, and you can see why.

Never mind a rotating Lego iPhone dock – here’s one with added steering wheel, so you can use it to play all your fave tilt-to-steer racing games.

Expect crappy plastic versions of this to appear pretty much everywhere in the coming months, all of them priced 20 bucks and none of them any good. If you really want one, build your own.


Maker creates iPhone controlled, solar-powered Arduino death tank




As a smartphone, the iPhone is hard to beat, but as a tool capable of inflicting extraordinary acts of physical violence, the handset is less impressive… even when compared to Apple’s other products.

A MacBook Air, of course, can be stealthily drawn across a carotid artery, but the iPhone’s rounded, lozenge-like design makes it a poor weapon for either stabbing or slashing. Neither can it be dropped like an anvil upon an unsuspecting brain pan, like the iMac, or used as a blunt, aluminum club, like the MacBook Pro. In battle, an iPhone — at best — can be hurled at an opponent as a distraction while you sprint, comically hooting, in the other direction. It’s a bizarre misstep in Jonathan Ives’ oeuvre of gladiatorial product designs.

Still, where Apple may have failed to deliver, enter the makers to transform the iPhone into the weapon of mass destruction it should be. Christopher Rojas took the TouchOSC application and used his iPhone to remote control a fantastic, solar-powered Arduino Tank, built out of parts from Sparkfun.

Psystar will pay Apple $2.67 million in damages



We posted yesterday that Apple and Psystar had reached a partial settlement in their age-old legal conflict over Psystar’s manufacturing and marketing of PCs with OS X pre-installed. The only thing up in the air was exactly how much those Hackintoshing upstarts from Florida would end up having to pay.

Now the number’s out, and it’s not pretty: Psystar has agreed to pay Apple $2.67 million dollars in damages.

iFixit Releases Huge Library of Repair Guides For iMac, Mac Mini



The repair and teardown experts at iFixit are releasing more than 240 repair guides for every Mac mini and most iMacs produced since 2004. The company is also now selling iMac repair parts, from hard drives and RAM to power supplies and disassembly tools.

“The repair manuals include in-depth disassembly guides, model identification tips, troubleshooting techniques, and upgrade information. The 241 new repair guides use 1,452 photos to clearly communicate each step of the repair. iFixit repair guides are well known for world-class photography and clear, concise step-by-step directions.”

  • iMac repair manuals — cover all 17″ and 20″ iMacs manufactured since 2004, including both G5 and Intel models.
  • Mac mini repair manuals — cover all Mac minis since its inception in 2005.

10.6.2 Drops Atom Support, It’s End Of Line For Hackintoshes



From now on, all Hackintoshes may be stuck at 10.6.1.

Hackintosh hackers have confirmed that 10.6.2 drops support for Intel’s Atom chips.

Writes leading hacker StelaRolo:

“The netbook forums are now blowing up with problems of 10.6.2 instant rebooting their Atom based netbooks. My sources tell me that everytime a netbook user installs 10.6.2 an Apple employee gets their wings.”

What’s this mean? StelaRolo says that a hacked kernel will likely appear, but Apple is clerly nuking the Hackintosh market.

In addition, Apple will not likely release any future hardware based on Intel’s Atom platform. Instead, Apple will concentrate on ARM-based hardware, the same platform as the iPhone. That includes the upcoming tablet.

As Seth Weintraub writes on Computerworld.com:

“Apple bought a processor-building company called PA Semi two years ago, in order to build chips for iPhones, said Steve Jobs. The chips that this new Apple division make will likely be the chips that power Apple’s tablet and even future laptops.”

How To: Hot Rod Your Mac Pro Into An HD-Editing Beast



Convert your mild-mannered Mac Pro into a hard drive speed demon.  Stuff it with drives fast enough to work with full-quality, uncompressed video. Get more than 300 MB/s on your internal drives! It’s so easy even I can do it!

I’ve been working in video production for the last 20+ years. When you’re working with video you need as much storage space as you can afford. You need a badass computer with big fat hard drives that scream.

You think you might wanna Hot Rod your Mac Pro?  This easy, step-by-step guide will show you how.

Support For Atom Processor Mysteriously Reappears in OS X 10.6.2



Last week’s bombshell that Apple’s upcoming OS 10.6.2 update dropped support for Atom processors seems to be unfounded.

The Atom is the chip of choice in netbook hackintoshes, and many speculated that Apple was trying to kill the hackintosh market.

But Stell, the hacker who first sounded the alarm, now says support for Atom is mysteriously back.

“… in the latest development build Atom appears to have resurrected itself zombie style in 10C535. The Atom lives another day, but nothing is concrete until the final version of 10.6.2 is out.”

Taking a Bite Out of a PowerBook is Harder Than it Looks



Kara Johnson, a material scientist at design and engineering firm IDEO, has just posted up a fun behind-the-scenes look at how some of her colleagues created the above shot of a 12″ PowerBook for dinner as part of her book I Miss My Pencil.

It’s actually surprisingly hard to wreak such meticulous havoc, and it’s fun to see the process of great engineers up close — especially since IDEO and its predecessor David Kelley Design engineered a huge number of Apple products from the late ’70s into the mid-’90s.

Hit the link to see the full process, if you’re not traumatized by the sight of violence against a Mac.

“Taking a Bite Out of Apple” [IDEO Labs]

Palm Gets the Official Smackdown For Hacking Pre to Sync With iTunes



In an embarrassing turn of events, Palm has gotten the smackdown from a USB industry group over a software hack that enables Palm’s Pre smartphone to sync with iTunes.

When Palm released the Pre earlier this year, the company cleverly spoofed Apple’s unique USB identifier to fool iTunes into thinking the Pre was an Apple device, allowing it to sync songs and playlists. It was a sneaky but daring move for Palm, ensuring the Pre was compatible with the market-leading music software.

But Apple repeatedly disabled the hack with a series of iTunes updates, so Palm sent a letter to the USB Implementers Forum, an industry group that oversees the USB standard, claiming Apple is “hampering competition.”

But in a response to Apple and Palm on Tuesday, the group sided with Apple, saying Palm’s spoofing of Apple’s ID likely violates USB-IF policy.

“Under the Policy, Palm may only use the single Vendor ID issued to Palm for Palm’s usage,” “the group said in a letter obtained by Digital Daily.

“Usage of any other company’s Vendor ID is specifically precluded. Palm’s expressed intent to use Apple’s VID appears to violate the attached policy,” the letter continued.

Embarrassing. Clearly not the response Palm was hoping for.

The USB Forum asked Palm to clarify its position and respond within seven days. Palm told Digital Daily it is reviewing the Forum’s letter and will “respond as appropriate.”

Awesome Home-Made iPhone Kit From The Place Where Lego And Macs Collide


It rotates and everything

This fantastic rotating iPhone dock is made entirely of Lego. It’s the work of Steven Combs, a long time Lego and Mac enthusiast who runs web sites for adult fans of Lego and fans of technology generally.

Here’s a video showing the rotating mechanism in action:

I wanted to know a little more about hacking Macs with Lego add-ons, so I bombarded Steven with a few questions. And here’s what he said.

Restore Visual Voicemail in iPhone 3.1 Post-Tethering



I’ll admit to it — I used and loved Internet Tethering on my iPhone with the help of the ridiculously simple hack found at Benm.at. But I also love to keep current, so I updated to iPhone OS 3.1 on day one (though I’m now wondering why, a topic for another day). Unlike some reports, my tethering menu survived the transition, but my Visual Voicemail went down in the process.

And after two weeks of living with this situation, I ultimately decided I was happier with the VVM than I was with tethering. In the same boat? It’s really easy to get things back to normal. Just go into your iPhone’s Settings, then General, Network, Profile, and remove the AT&T profile that enabled tethering. Voila! You’ll have any missing visual voicemail back on your phone in a second.

The one downside — and it is a big downside — is that tethering is a goner as soon as you sync your phone. Sure would be nice if AT&T would go ahead and release an official solution, huh?

For $35, Hacker Will Swap MacBook Optical Drive For Blazing SSD Drive



For just $35, a professional hardware called Reid will swap out your MacBook Pro’s optical drive for a super-speedy SSD drive.

Why would you want to do this? Because the SSD drive is an unbelievable 7x faster than a traditional hard drive, even a fast one. Use it as your boot disk, and the OS will fly. Store your movies and pron on the regular hard drive, which remains intact.

Reid already has this two-drive setup running on his new MacBook Pro. Reid took out the optical drive, which opened up a spare SATA interface. Apple doesn’t use standard SATA connectors, so Reid had to make his own by chaining together a couple of adapters from Fry’s and Amazon. It’s not pretty, but it works.

Reid is using the SSD as his boot disk and discovered that it runs an incredible 7x faster than his already fast 7200 rpm hard drive (which he’d upgraded also).

It cost about $300. “So, FOR LESS THAN APPLE CHARGES for the single 128GB SSD upgrade (which really is a POS, if you ask me), I got 280GB of reliable hard disk space. FmyWarranty!” he writes on his blog.

He’s now offering to sell the adapter for $30 apiece (plus free shipping). Or he will perform the upgrade himself for $35 (he’s a pr0). The customer supplies the parts. An 80GB SSD runs about $200.

“Just send me a heads up, a check, a second sata drive*, and your MacBook Pro (with a tracking #, PLEASE) and I’ll return the computer to you a day after it arrives (UPS $14.00).”

Email Reid at: reid.ttmmgwtf@installstuff.com

Via Gadget Lab.