iamthekiller

The lights are blinking but I can't see anything.

What I’ve been up to.

I’ve been busy since my last formal post in February of 2010. I’ve moved and started getting involved in more film creation. I’ve wanted to start posting more of the things I shoot so expect more videos on this site.

I apologize that this site isn’t formatted for widescreen video. Since WordPress decided that custom themes cost money I’ll be getting my own host soon.

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I’m back.

It’s taken a while. I posted back in May that I was trying to resurrect this website and I finally managed to get somewhere. In the mean time I’m switching hosts and sort of starting over. I want to get my site back to where it once was and it’s going to take some hard work, so please bare with me.

Coming back

A quick update on my absence and lack of posts. I will be bringing this blog back from the dead soon so if it goes offline for a bit it’s all a part of the plan. Look for new posts soon.

This is a backup site

This weblog exists for the sole purpose of being a backup while I migrate iamthekiller.net to a new hosting platform. Sorry for the inconvenience.

AppleTV updates

Well I’ve been busy recently as I’m in the middle of moving to Texas. I have been working on a definitive guide for the AppleTV and should be posting it in the coming weeks. I hope to cover the CrystalHD, converting HD video as well as a new guide for using MKVDTS2AC3, unlocking AFP and general usage guides.

The purpose of this guide will be so anyone can get the most out of the AppleTV, hopefully I can cover all skill levels however the MKVDTS2AC3 conversion process is quite tricky. The guide will get its own link at the top so look for it soon.

Accessory is not made to work with iPhone

This annoying popup appears every time I plug my iPhone 3G into my iPod dock. Sure, I could buy the iPhone dock but why when I already have a dock that essentially does the same thing. I quickly looked for a way to disable this popup and found a few guides, unfortunately they all had consequences. The only guide that blocked this popup made the service it replaced crash constantly. This made the crash reporter run the entire time at about 50% CPU utilization. Luckily Apple realized this popup is very annoying.

 

This accessory is not made to work with iPhone

This error message is quite annoying.

After a few days of hitting “No” every time I docked my iPhone before I went to bed I noticed that the popup just goes away after about 15 seconds. This is on 3.1.2 firmware so I’m not sure if it was included in earlier firmwares. I mean sure the fact that I can’t disable the popup annoys me but since it disappears automatically I can at least ignore it.

 

The iPad: My thoughts

Everyone is talking about Apple’s new toy and I can tell you I’m not the only person disappointed. We were all waiting for a tablet computer than ran a full operating system and knocked us out with multitouch controls. We wanted a $1,000+ computer that could replace our MacBooks from time to time and actually be a feasible couch computer. What we got instead is a larger iPod touch with a bit more horsepower.

It doesn’t do ___!

This was my first complaint. It doesn’t seem to do multitasking, no camera, hardly any storage, no file system, I could go on. But after the initial shock of such a crippled device I came back down from hatesville. The reason the iPad doesn’t have the stuff mentioned above is because it’s not a computer, it’s a tablet. That last sentence might not make sense but just think about it for a minute. This is a new platform, and Apple knows what they are doing.

Don’t get me wrong, I will never buy an iPad. It isn’t what I want. In the next year however it may mature into something I lust over. We saw the possibilities of this device with the introduction of iWork for the iPad and I can bet more is coming down the pipeline. The race to the bottom for the iPhone AppStore won’t be as aggressive on this device. I can see OSX like applications being developed for this device, coming with it OSX like abilities, and not to mention the same prices.

The future

The iPad isn’t what I want but it’s going to sell like hotcakes. The price seems high but compared to what? I remember when people were double fisting the 1st gen iPhone at $600 a piece. Yes, I just said double fisting. At $499 unlocked these babies will sell. I don’t feel like they are a netbook killer, yet. You can still pick up at Dell Mini10 for $300 and a Nook for $259, my ideal setup. We’ll see how rapidly the applications mature on the iPad and I believe the software is what will make this thing take off like a rocket. When there are a few killer apps in the AppStore (MIDI Controller anyone?) let me know how much of a flop you think it still is.

Spoof your MAC address update

AirportClown logoMy Automator Service to spoof your MAC address didn’t appear to work as well as I had hoped. For some reason it was hit or miss on any Mac that wasn’t my own but luckily a reader took my code and fixed it. Not only is the code fixed but it’s wrapped up in a nice GUI. Head over to Manuel’s site and download  AirPortClown.

SIMBL: the Swiss Army tool of OSX

To put it simply SIMBL (like cymbal) is a neat way to add functionality to an already existing application. I swore it off a few years ago when all it seemed to do was make my system unstable. Since then the project has matured and with it comes convenient application mods. Just recently I got excited for one such mod.

First a word of caution. SIMBL isn’t exactly what I would call a stable tweak, there can be quirks so if you don’t like rock solid performance then this isn’t for you.

Tabbed Finder

Basically the holy grail of Finder fans comes from a SIMBL mod called TotalFinder. This tweak basically rips the tab functions from Google Chrome and injects them into Finder. You read that correctly. I’m surprised at how intuitive this is not to mention how badly Finder needs this functionality. 

This is what Finder should have been in 10.6

Right now TotalFinder is in Alpha testing and will be shareware once it hits the Beta stage. This is one application I can get behind.

The next SIMBL mod I use constantly is Afloat. Afloat is a bit difficult to explain but essentially it allows for applications to go transparent and maintain focus. Why you would want to do this can also be difficult to explain. For the most part I use it when bashing away on a terminal all while I have video playing on top. Multitasking at its finest. I also use Afloat to just quickly hide windows by making them transparent. Below you can see my Pandora player is kept afloat.

All in all people seem to complain about SIMBL mods because they either crash or make their Macs unstable. That was the case for me a while ago but I have been using Afloat for what seems like ages now and have yet to experience a crash or bug. Your mileage may vary like always but SIMBL gets praise in my book.

 

1080P Playback from an AppleTV or Intel Mac

The XBMC team has unlocked the ability to play 1080p H264 from an AppleTV or Intel Mac using a Broadcom decoder chip. You won’t be able to do this without purchasing a decoder board so don’t even ask. You can find these cards for ~$25 on Ebay, just search for “BCM970012” and you will see a plethora of vendors. Unfortunately this support is still quite alpha so you’ll have to build the kext driver yourself, but once you do that you can expect performance like you’ve never seen.

Mac Mini Reborn

So not only does the AppleTV support this card but any Intel based Mac with a mini PCI-express slot, which is just about every one of them. Unfortunately that slot is usually occupied by the Airport Express so it’s give and take. So take any Intel Mac Mini, swap the WiFi card for this bad boy, and get 1080P playback while using XBMC. Mac Mini’s that suffered from lag while playing high bit-rate H264 can now offload the task to this card and become a perfect HTPC.

How the hell do I get in on this?

Well first go out and buy the card and then head over here. You can grab the drivers from the Google Code link in that post as well as the walkthrough to build the binaries. Again, this is alpha stage work so the drivers have not been built into XBMC yet. I look forward to the day when the drivers are built in by default but I’m sure that’s coming soon.

Once I get the card in from Hong Kong and installed and running I’ll be sure to post my guide. I may even try to streamline the install process to make it easier if they don’t include the driver sometime soon. Be sure to look for my guide in a few weeks.