Reinvent Your Xbox
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Although the sleek new Xbox 360 is all the rage with gaming geeks these days, that chunky old first-gen Xbox has something the 360 doesn´t: a legacy of hacks that give it a life beyond gaming, including the ability to take that episode of The Office you just downloaded and stream it to the flat-screen in front of your sofa.
Fortunately, unleashing your Xbox´s hidden talents no longer requires soldering skills or Linux savvy. Since we first wrote about modding the console, in May 2004 [â€Let Your Xbox Looseâ€], hackers have devised programs known as softmod installers that make unlocking the box a simple â€click Nextâ€ process anyone can follow. Once complete, you can copy dozens of applications, including Xbox Media
Center (XBMC), from your computer.
The free XBMC gives you what´s called a 10-foot interface, which you can navigate from your couch with a standard Xbox controller. In addition to playing audio and video files (including your iTunes library) from the Xbox´s hard drive or any computer in your home, XBMC can display digital photos, weather forecasts, even RSS feeds. It supports more movie and music formats than Microsoft´s Media Center
Edition OS, and you can customize its appearance. There are several XBMC tutorials online, but the easiest one I found is
(For Detailed Instructions, see the next page)
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.