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Apple TV hacked to enable USB

Ben Drawbaugh

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The Apple TV may go down in history as the most rapidly hacked Apple product ever; the news comes in so fast if we wanted to covered it all, we'd have to spin off Engadget Apple TV. That said, since upgrading the ATV's drive we've been tracking these hacks, and the first really big milestone since has been achieved: use of the disabled USB port. Apple claims the USB is there as a service port, and to make sure no one gets any funny ideas they disabled it in software. Thats where the crew at AwkwardTV come in. After six days on the case, they finagled a way to enable the port, and with it keyboards, mice, external hard drives, and who knows what else. Before you run out and expect to externally expand the storage on your Apple TV, you need to realize that the newfound space will only be available to the applications you added, and not (yet) for media playback. This is certainly an admirable accomplishment, but we wonder, what's the point? If you really wanted to run OS X applications with a keyboard and mouse in your home theater, wouldn't it be more sensible to buy a Mac mini? At least with that you get lots of other goodies, including the ability to make it a proper DVR. Regardless, for those who want a $300 Mac-like product that is small and quiet, this might be the best news you heard all day.

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