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Apple’s October Event: What is coming?

Apple’s October Event: What is coming?

All signs are that Apple will be announcing new iPad Pro models with M2 chip and some new Mac models also powered by the M2 chip.

Of particular interest is the possibility the a new line of MacBook Pro models with the M2 chip. There is also a rumored Mac Mini with the new M2 chip.

Although Apple TV is due for an update, it is unclear whether this will be included in Apple’s October event.

Also due for an update are the iPadOS and MacOS (Ventura). The release dates of these operating systems be be announced at the October event.

Sharing Content Wirelessly From an iPad

Sharing Content Wirelessly From an iPad

I’m using my iPad2 more and more for business.

I haven’t found the additional features of the new iPad compelling enough to buy one. Since Apple dropped the price of the iPad2, I find these to be even more attractive for most folks. The new iPad’s faster chip and higher resolution display may be more targeted towards gamers. But I don’t often use my iPad for games.

I do find that I’m using the iPad to do more presentations in meetings. Often in these meetings, several people have iPads and want to present referenced content to an HDTV in a conference room. In these cases, passing around an HDMI cable is awkward and time consuming. Now, there’s a better way.

Apple TV and AirPlay

Apple TV ($99) and AirPlay allow you to wirelessly mirror your iPad’s screen to an HDTV or any HDMI-capable display (like a portable HDMI projector). The setup is easy and relatively quick.

Setup Apple TV for AirPlay

AirPlay under Settings

The first thing to do is to set up the Apple TV for AirPlay, Apple’s wireless streaming technology. To do this, connect your AppleTV to an HDTV (or HDMI projector) via the HDMI cable. Once in the Apple TV menu system, navigate to the Settings menu.

AirPlay Setup

Then navigate down to the AirPlay selection. There you can toggle on or off the AirPlay service, and you can set a password for connecting a device to your Apple TV. (Setting a password is highly recommended.)

Join Wireless Network on Apple TV

Join the network

The iPad and the Apple TV must be on the same wireless network. To do this, select Settings, then General, then Network, then select Configure Wi-Fi. This screen will display the available wireless networks. Click to join the desired network.

Join Wireless Network on iPad

The last step is to join the same wireless network on the iPad, and then to turn on AirPlay with mirroring.

Join Wi-Fi on iPad

On the iPad, go to Settings, then Wi-Fi and choose the same wireless network you joined on the Apple TV.

Once the network is joined, you need to turn on AirPlay. To do this, double-click the Home button on the iPad. This will bring up a list of recently used apps along the bottom of the screen. Scroll to the far left of this list. There you will see the AirPlay icon.

Select mirroring

Click on the AirPlay icon to reveal the Apple Tv on your network. Under the Apple TV will be the option to toggle on the mirroring setting. Once this is toggled on, your HDTV (or HDMI projector) will begin displaying your iPad screen.

The iPad in Business

So, now you can imagine a meeting in an HDTV-equipped conference room with participants on iPads, all joined on the same wireless network. As each person presents, they toggle on the mirroring option on their iPad. When done, they toggle off, and the next presenter toggles on.

I’m excited about this method of presenting with the iPad. The weight of an iPad and Apple TV is still less than a laptop. The convenience of presenting wirelessly is huge.

NOTE: It appears that Apple’s next OS (Mountain Lion) will allow this same type of mirroring via AirPlay from your laptop.

Apple TV Hack Redux

Apple TV Hack Redux

Although I have heard good things about Apple’s new AppleTV, I have yet to buy one for myself.

The reason for this is simple. I have a first-generation AppleTV and still find it to be quite functional. In fact, I prefer to have the luxury of built-in storage. Sometimes I prefer to turn on my TV and just start listening to my music library or watch from my movie library without having to get up and go turn on another streaming device.

The latest AppleTV OS (3.02) is still hackable with the ATVUSB-creator patchstick (version 1.0.b13). This patchstick can be created with both the OS X and Windows platforms. But there are a few things you should know if you plan to hack your first generation AppleTV.

Preparing Your AppleTV

If you have an un-hacked AppleTV, then you need to make sure that you first update your OS to version 3.02 using the Update Software under the General Settings menu.

If you’ve previously hacked your AppleTV, the best advice I can give you is to do a factory reset, then update to version 3.02. I have had nothing but problems when trying to apply this hack on top of a previous hack, and found that I’ve avoided wasted time and grief by simply resetting, updating to version 3.02, and then applying this hack. ( NOTE: THIS WILL DELETE ALL YOUR EXISTING DATA – MUSIC, MOVIES, ETC. – ON YOUR APPLETV. BE SURE TO BACKUP YOUR EXISTING DATA BEFORE DOING THIS FACTORY RESET! )

At this point, you should be starting with an un-hacked AppleTV at version 3.02 of the operating system.

Creating The Patchstick

To create the patchstick, you’ll need a flashdrive that is no smaller than 512MB. This process will completely wipe clean the flashdrive, so be sure that you first backup any desired data on the drive.

Follow these steps:

    1. Download the ATVUSB creator files (Mac OSX (intel/ppc) version of atvusb-creator; Windows (XP/Vista) version of atvusb-creator)
    2. Plug your flashdrive into a USB port on your computer.
    3. Unzip the file and double-click the atvusb-creator file. You should see this window with these settings:

The atvusb-creator settings window

IMPORTANT: Make sure the USB Target Device is pointing to your flashdrive!

  1. Click on the Create Using -> button
    This process can take up to 10 minutes, depending on the speed of your flashdrive.

    The progress screen will indicate completion.

  2. That’s it. Now you’re ready to bring this patchstick to your AppleTV!


Applying The Patchstick To Your AppleTV

Unplug the power to your AppleTV and insert the patchstick into the USB port. Then, plug in the power to your AppleTV.

You will see an unusual icon:

And then, a long series of text will scroll by. This process usually takes about a minute or two. Once the text stops scrolling for longer than 20 seconds or so, the hack has been completed.

Pull the patchstick out and unplug the power to the AppleTV.

Now plug in the power and let your AppleTV go through the start up process. If the patch has been successful, you should note the addition of two menu items in the navigation: Software Menu and Launcher.

Note the addition of Software Menu (left) and Launcher.

In a future post, I will go over some of the new capability created by this hack. For now, go forth and explore!

Apple TV Hack

atv-bootloaderI’ve written several post here on how to hack your Apple TV to allow FTP access and open up a wide range of useful and fun apps. Back then, the process was more complicated and involved several steps. But things have changed.

There is now a very easy way to hack your Apple TV and not only allow FTP access, but also give you the ability to watch TV from Hulu. This is quite cool.

The first thing you do is download atvusb-creator from this site: The instructions on this page are simple and easy. This software will create all the necessary installation files onto a 1GB or larger USB flash drive.

Read more…

Accessing Local Files on Apple TV

Note: Please see a more recent post on Apple TV hacks.

ATVFiles is an application (or plugin) that lets you browse part of the ATV file system using the Apple Remote. This allows you to navigate to files that do not normally sync to the ATV. ATVFiles allows you to play any of your media (with the proper codecs installed) right from the Apple TV interface.

Note: These steps assume that you’ve already enabled SSH on your Apple TV using the procedures in this post: Hacking The Apple TV to Enable SSH.

The first step is to download the ATVFiles package. Unpack this file to the ATVFiles-1.1.0 folder. In this folder you’ll find another folder called ATVFiles.frappliance. Copy this folder (see this post for using Fugu) to the following folder on your Apple TV:


Now restart your Apple TV (hold down the ‘-‘ and ‘menu’ buttons on the Apple Remote for 6 seconds).

You should now see the addition of a Files menu item on your Apple TV. This will allow you to navigate to any files placed in your /mnt/media directory.

Browse The Web on Apple TV

Update 12-11-10: Also see this post on hacking AppleTV with a patchstick.

Note: Please see a more recent post on Apple TV hacks

Once SSH is enabled on your Apple TV, the world is your oyster.

Note: These steps assume that you’ve already enabled SSH on your Apple TV using the procedures in this post: Hacking The Apple TV to Enable SSH.

CouchSurfer is a web browser created to work on the Apple TV. To get CouchSurfer, point a browser on your Mac to Brandon Holland’s site for the download. By the way, this guy has done some great work here and I encourage you to support his efforts. For our purposes, you’ll want to download CouchSurfer 0.3(2.0) Installer (circled below).

Once it’s downloaded, unzip the file to reveal a CouchSurfer folder with 6 files inside. You will copy this folder over to your Apple TV before running the installer.

If you are comfortable with the UNIX command line, you can upload and tweak your Apple TV from a remote Mac using the Terminal application. I find it much easier to use an SFTP program to move files. My SFTP application of choice is Fugu. Fugu is intuitive, it’s fast, and it’s free.

Setting it up to move files back and forth from your Apple TV is easy. Enter your Apple TV’s IP address, enter “frontrow” as the Username, and check the box next to Force SSH1 connection to server. Then click the Connect button and enter “frontrow” as the password.

Copy the CouchSurfer folder to your Apple TV. It can be copied anywhere, but I suggest the home folder of the Frontrow user. Next, you will need to open the Terminal application on your Mac and type the following:

ssh frontrow@<your_apple_tv_address>

When prompted for a password, enter ‘frontrow’.

Now navigate to the directory where you copied the CouchSurfer folder on your Apple TV.

Note: Basic navigation in the command line is done with the ‘cd’ command. For example, to navigate to the CouchSurfer directory in the ‘frontrow’ home directory from root, you would type the following:

cd /User/frontrow/CouchSurfer

Once there, you can verify that you are in the right place by typing the following to see a listing of the files:

ls -al

You should see a listing similar to this:

Now type in the following command to install CouchSurfer:

sudo ./installcouchsurfer

Again, use the ‘frontrow’ password when prompted.

Once this finishes, reboot your Apple TV using this command:

sudo reboot

When your Apple TV menu reappears, you’ll notice the addition of CouchSurfer in the Menu items. Now you can surf the web freely just like on your computer!

Note: CouchSurfer is still a work in progress. The Settings menu has not been implemented yet. Brandon claims that this installation allows you to use a USB keyboard and mouse plugged into the USB port on the Apple TV. I have not tested this yet. Also, while CouchSurfer allows you to bookmark pages, I have not found a way to delete bookmarks from the user interface. For that, you’ll need to navigate to the /Users/frontrow/Documents/Bookmarks.plist directory and edit by hand.

Happy surfing!

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