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Four things you might not have expected to find on Apple TV

Erica Sadun, @ericasadun
March 29, 2007
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Apple TV is proving to be a hacker's delight, a kind of subMini with a complete (if variant) OS X operating system, wireless networking, and many other useful features. It also has a lot of legacy associated with it. Here are a few things you can find on Apple TV that you might not have expected:

  • Internet Explorer favorites. Dating back to 2003, you can find a list of Apple-related sites in /Users/frontrow/Library/Preferences/Explorer
  • Perl. Apple TV ships with a full 5.8.6 Perl installation for your scripting pleasure.
  • Screen capture. You'll find the utility screencapture in /usr/sbin. It works perfectly, allowing you to snap pictures from your Apple TV and store them in the frontrow account. e.g. /usr/sbin/screencapture -tjpeg ~/applelogo.jpg
  • Sounds. All your standard sounds (Basso, Frog, Pop, Sosumi, etc) are located in /System/Library/Sounds. If you so hack your system, you can play them in VLC or QuickTime Player and they sound exactly the way you expect. However you have to bring over a copy of System Preferences if you want to assign them to your non-existent Apple TV alerts.

In this article: Factoids, Hacks, Oddball, Strange
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