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MacBook Air USB hacks


TUAW reader Rowan Pope pointed us to this insane MacBook Air hacking post. How many USB ports does the Air support? Apple says just one; this post says up to 7. Apparently, the Air has a few extra live USB port connections built into that thar skinny little computer. How do we know this? Because the guy downloaded developer documentation for the ICH-8 chip, which offers 5 low-speed and 2 high-speed USB controllers.

He popped open his Air and measured the voltage at each pin. He then used a hacked memory key with a modded USB extension cable (with an extra resistor just to be safe). After connecting the memory key to one of the pins, his MacBook Air system log reported a USB error. A few more tests and adjustments later, he actually got his laptop to recognize the drive. In total, he found three working USB connections plus an unused SATA controller.

TUAW is awed. Be sure to check out the other mod on this much-opened Air: a carbon-fiber bottom case. Sleek!

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