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Mac Mini

Posted by Ub3rG33k on May 10, 2010 in Apple, Tech

“Dear Mr Jobs,

When I said “Your work here was done”, in my previous post about my iPhone, I may have been telling porkies, as I still had a Windows machine in the house, however you’ll be glad to know, that I’ve done the right thing, and replaced it with a Mac Mini. Sorry for the porkie, and I am now 100% Apple.

Your ever faithful disciple

Darren.”

As you can probably tell from the above, I’ve replaced my last remaining Windows machine with a Mac Mini (Really ? No sh1t Sherlock). To be honest I’ve been toying with the idea since getting the MacBooks last year, as essentially all the Windows machine did was act as a server. It was my media server, my iTunes server, my torrent downloading machine (all legal of course) and a way of dialling into my network from the outside world using remote desktop and port forwarding.

As you can probably suss from my ted post, I spent a little time and ensured that I could still carry out the same functions on the Mac.

I’m using PS3 Media Server to stream to my PS3’s and Xbox,I’m using a uTorrents as my torrent client,iTunes (obviously) for my iTunes server and finally VNC to dial it.

All these pieces of software are available cross platform, so all is good.

The Mac Mini turned up on Monday (unboxing below). The thing that got me about this was just how small the Mac Mini actually is, imagine stacking 4/5 CD cases onto of each other, and that it !

This this is silent, so compact, so tidy, and takes up no room whatsoever !.

As this is just going to be used for the same purpose the Windows machine was, I didn’t really need a high spec, as the Dell I was replacing was only a 2Gb Core 2 Duo, with 2Gb of Ram.

I went for the below, which to be honest it more than adequate for what I need.

  • 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 2GB memory
  • 160GB hard drive1
  • 8x double-layer SuperDrive
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Now unlike the iMac, this doesn’t come with a mouse or keyboard, these are optional, however I had a spare set kicking around. The Mac Mini does have an internal speaker (which to be honest I was a little shocked at, as this device is so small. You do however have the option of connecting external speakers via the 3.5mm jack plug at the back.

The Video out connections are both the Mini DVI and the Mini Displayport adapters, allowing you to connect this to VGA, DVI and HDMI, however you only get a Mini DVI to DVI connecter included.

As with all my apple equipment, I switched it on, entered my details, and done !

This has been the final piece is a very expensive jigsaw, however my household is completely Mac, Goodbye Windows, I hope I never have to use you again ! (well, I do have to use it every day at work…but I don’t really have a choice in that)

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ted (Television Episode Downloader)

Posted by Ub3rG33k on May 8, 2010 in Apple, Microsoft, Tech

If you are anything like me (and god help you if you are :)), and use the internet as a PVR, then this software will be a god send to you.

I’ve just recently ordered a Mac Mini to replace my last remaining Windows machine, and thought I’d better check if I could still do what I do now.

Currently my Dell machine, sits in the corner, and is used as my media server, my iTunes server and my torrent machine. Currently I have uTorrent installed, which downloads each episode using the RSS Feed option. Each of the RSS feeds points to a particular RSS feed for my favourite TV program from eztv, and once a new episode is detected, it’s downloaded.

Once the episodes are downloaded, these get copied to a shared location on my NAS Box, which I can then stream to my PS3’s or Xbox using PS3 Media Server.

I did a little googling last night, and even though there is a Mac version of uTorrent, it’s still in beta, and missing a lot of the functions that the Windows version has, eg the RSS downloader.

After a little more googling, I found a tidy little piece of freeware software called ted (Television Episode Downloader). Essentially it has a list of all the TV episodes that you can select from, and when a new episode appears, it will download the torrent file, and open this with your default torrent client.

Ok, this that fixes the missing functionality of uTorrent, however the software is a lot smarter that the RSS Downloader function in uTorrent, as once you’ve added your favourite shows, you can choose to start from the next available episode, the previous episode, or even download every episode. You then have the option to select “HD Only”, which will only download episodes with the tag of HD or 720.

The interface will also show you the name of the next episode, and when it’s going to be aired.

The good thing about this software is that is available free of charge on Mac, Windows and Linux, and only requires that you have a torrent client installed (I highly recommend uTorrent, Mac and Windows clients available).

Now some people may have a problem with downloading episodes from the internet, I however don’t mind, as I tend to buy the boxsets once they are available. Also this is little different to using BBC iPlayer, or Sky Anytime.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts, and enjoy

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Create Channels for you Wii Games

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jan 28, 2010 in Nintendo

If you are like me, and got very lazy and modified your Wii so you could play your games from a Hard Drive, then this takes laziness to the next level.

Even with the mod, you had to fire up the homebrew channel, or fire up the CoverFloader, or WiiCoverFlow or whichever channel you had for accessing your hard drive, then select the game, then load….you can now remove a step, and have your games as channels, and below I’ll show you how.

Assumed prerequisites.

You have a Wii

You have a homebrew channel installed

You have your games installed to a compatible hard drive connected to the Wii

Assuming you have the above, lets continue.

Download the latest version of WBFS Manager if you don’t already have it installed.

Download the latest version of Loadstructor (Torrent link here)

and finally the common-key.bin (Torrent Link Here)

Once everything is installed, connect your hard drive to you PC. This should appear in my computer but you won’t be able to access it, this is normal.

Fire up WBPS Manager, and select the external hard drive with you games on it from the drop down box, and click load. You should see a list of your game, if so move onto the next step.

Unzip the Loadstructor zip file and copy the common-key.bin into the root of this folder.

Run the Loadstuctor.exe and you should be met with the below screen.

I personally left all the setting as default.

Click on Add from WBFS, and select the game you want as a channel, using the CTRL key you can select multiple games

Once you have your games selected hit the RUN! button, this will create the wad files on your chosen output folder.

Once complete (took around 20 seconds a game on my machine) you will have a number of wad files in the above folder. Copy these to your Wii SD Card into a folder called wads on the root.

Now we head back to the Wii, take your external hard drive and SD Card with you and plug them into your Wii

Fire up your homebrew channel, then run WAD Manager (assuming you still have this on your SD Card from installing your homebrew channel, if now version 1.5 can be found here or here

Select the newly created wads, and install, that’s it, jobs done ! You will now have Wii Channels for all you favorite games

Final Note :

If your game won’t load and you sat looking at a screen saying Loading ISO, try disabling the Fix 002 Error, as not all games need this, and it seems to be switched on by default, and secondly, I’ve found that I have to completely power off my Wii between games, I can only assume something gets cached.

Anyway, hope this of some help. If you get stuck, drop me a comment and I’ll give you a hand.

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