This is Todd.

I don’t know Todd really well, but he (and his wife and their brood of children) are going to be missionaries in Turkey. In the short time I did know him, he taught me something very important, that I remembered tonight…

I have never seen Todd without a smile on his face. We worked together at our church in New York, where I was a part time production director for our weekend services, and Todd was our audio guy. The first time he came in on a Sunday, there was a mis-communication about times. He ended up there early, and I ended up there late.
When I arrived at the church, Todd was standing outside the front door. Since they were saving up for a missions trip, they only had one car for the whole family, so he’d been dropped off — an hour and a half before I got there. It was the dead of winter in New York, and the guy was standing there in the cold waiting for me.

With a smile on his face.

This guy was a professional audio engineer, well into his career, who’d given it up to get ready to go the missions field. And because of where God had called him to go, he had to make some money working for us. We were a bunch of 20-somethings pulling together an intensely fast-paced ministry by our shoestrings, some bubble gum (literally, on at least one occasion) and the seat of our pants. And we probably didn’t give him half the respect he deserved.

But I never once saw him without that smile on his face.

One time, stressed out about something or other that had probably gone wrong, or was about to go wrong, or might go wrong if the solution we’d patched together at midnight the night before fell apart, I asked him how he could always be happy. And he told me:

You get to choose your attitude.

And he was right. Right now, things aren’t terribly fantastic in our lives. For everything good we want to do, or give, or accomplish, something comes along and craps on it, or somehow screws us out of more time or money or resources than the little bit we could manage to share. And it looks to be continuing that way for at least another two months. But I was reminded tonight that I’m actually pretty spoiled. And that my idea of a rough week, or a rough month, or a rough summer… well, it would probably seem pretty good to a lot of other people in the world.

So I’m trying to choose a better attitude.


Configuring TwonkyVision on a LaCie MiniNAS

Derived from this forum post that solved the problem for me.

Sometimes (most of the time) the limited configuration for TwonkyVision that the MiniNAS config pages gives you isn’t enough. Trying to go to http://yournas:9000 results in the red error page. Apparently LaCie thinks they know better than their users.

To enable TwonkyVision config, upload this signed patch file (mirrored here, in case the original source goes away) in the Configuration page of the MiniNAS config, as an update.

Tested with of the MiniNAS firmware.

Hacking the AppleTV – Fourth time's the Charm!

So last night, after 4 passes, I finally got the AppleTV hacked to my satisfaction. I had to give up on a few features in the name of keeping things stable and easy for the family to use, but it does everything I really wanted it to, and runs smoothly…

This morning, they released the AppleTV 2.1 Update.

I did manage to get Nito TV’s Smart Installer and Turbo’s Kext Loader running in 2.0.2, but the result was a system so jam packed with stuff it wasn’t supposed to do that video play-back suffered badly. Here’s the steps I took, in case anyone else wants to try it:

  • Do a clean restore on your AppleTV. Any previous failed hacking attempts will confuse the installer.
  • Patchstick
  • Copy over the Nito TV Installer and run it
  • sudo bash then mount -uw / to get write access
  • Run Nito TVs Fix Permissions script: sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/
  • Make a directory called Documents in ~/
  • Copy the 10.4.9 Combo Update into that folder
  • Install Turbo’s Kext Loader via the Nito TV UI on your AppleTV
  • Run the Smart Installer
  • Assuming it succeeds, use a 10.4.9 install to copy the necessary libraries, per these instructions.
  • You’ll probably also need to fix permissions on the AppleShare stuff
  • Then try a manual mount: mount_afp -i afp://user:password@ /Users/frontrow/Movies/
  • If that works, you’re in business! Reboot to clear that mount, and check out Sapphire to load content from your mounted folders.
  • Finally, install the MPlayer Codecs from the NitoTV UI, then Perian.

Also, I do not recommend using Perian for H.264 decoding. Let the AppleTV built-in stuff do that — seems to work better for me… and once you switch, there’s no easy way to go back.

Now about 2.2 and 2.3…

All of this seems to work on 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3.