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AppleTV hacked to run Xgrid

Nilay Patel

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It's no secret that the Apple TV is just a stripped-down Intel Mac running a lightly-tweaked version of OS X, so simply getting an app to run on the system isn't really a big deal -- we've seen full installs of OS X running on the device at this point. On the other hand, if you're just using the Apple TV as a media extender, that processor is just sitting there wasting spare cycles when you're not using the device, so this little hack to run Apple's Xgrid distributed-computing client on an Apple TV seems pretty slick. The hack is pretty simple if you've already poked around inside your AppleTV -- it mostly involves copying over the Xgrid Agent and configuring a few preference files. After that, your Apple TV's spare horsepower will be available to your network's Xgrid Controller, but you won't have disturbed the functionality of the device at all. Just the thing to speed up those VisualHub video transcoding sessions, eh? Now, if only someone would wedge the Folding@home client into this thing (hint, hint).

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