My High Def Life: Recovering from a big crash

by Erica Sadun

I'm running out for the weekend, so I have to make this short. Sorry! Earlier, I crashed my Apple TV. (You know, blue screen of death, but Apple style, so there's a nice Apple logo to look at).

When this happens, you need to run Finder to reboot and restart properly. But I'd swapped Finder out with QuickTime. So I had to take my hard drive back to my mini, switch Finder back to itself, put the drive back into AppleTV and then go through the whole "Select Language", "Can you see the Apple Logo 720 p" routine. Once this was done, I was able to ssh over to my baby, kill ripstop, dekext Watchdog, and put QuickTime back as my Finder.

Summary: Apple didn't kill my Apple TV. I'm guessing I did it myself with my relentless testing of software and plug-ins. If you mess up, make sure Finder is available for your reboot. Hopefully soon, someone will come up with a USB flash drive fix that doesn't require anyone to move hard drives around physically.


Michael Ball
2007-03-30 17:50:38
Engadget just posed something about hacking the USB port. Don't know everything it let's you do, though.

2007-04-01 11:39:40
2007-04-02 11:12:54
Erica, one question you have not covered yet: how is the output quality compared to the MacMini's? Does the difference in video card affect the performance and quality of displaying pictures or movies?

I am still thinking about buyng a MacMini as soonas they update them beacuse a) we don't have TiVo available in this part of the World and b) no iTunes store videos either. As I already own an eyeTV (for DTT) and a mini-matching external hard dirve, this seems to be a more reasonable investment than an AppleTV. Except that I am worried by the Mini's graphic card, and the performance of FrontRow compared to AppleTV's interface (it hangs for minutes quite often in my PowerBook G4 12", but then it is not the "standard" FrontRow....).

2007-04-02 11:22:40
Hi Erica. One thing I have not yet seen in your series: how does the AppleTV compare with the MacMini, as for output quality? The AppleTV has a better grapahics card but does this reult in noticeable differences when displaying pictures or movies on the TV?

In fact I am leaning towards buying a MacMini (as soon as they get the next refreshing..) as a) we don't ahve TiVo services in this part of the World and b) we don't have iTunes Store videos or TB shows either. As I already own an eyeTV (for DTT) and a mini-matching external HDD, this seems a more logical path: get what ApppleTV does + PVR + computer functionalities. The hacked AppleTV might solve the "additional codes" side, but I can't imagine Eye TV 2.x running on such low specs... The real "but" on the Mini are the absence of n-type AirPort and, most specially, the limited graphics card. But does this really matter for movie displays?

(another issue might be the peformance of FrontRow, which often hangs on my PowerBook G4 12", but then it is a "non-standard" version.....)