Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Modifying the S100

Hey out there,

I just bought a T-Online Vision S100. That's a media settop box for streaming movies over the internet directly to the TV. As the service was discontinued here in Germany, many of them are sold @ ebay for around 40€. Here are two pictures:
As you can see, it's quite stylish and gives enough possibilities to 'pimp' it. Some technical facts: Intel Celeron 733Mhz, 128MB Ram, Intel 830M for Graphics, USB, LAN, WLAN, Audio Analog/Digital, SVideo, Scart and also an infrared remote control. As there is no fan, it's runs completely silent.
So it's a perfect target to modify it to a personal mediabox, for watching movies, listen to music, surfing in the net or playing old games, all via TV. There are many fansites and tutorials about modding the S100, just use google.

The first thing I did is to tinker a custom cable for enabling the VGA output on the motherboard, similar to this one (picture is from here):

Attaching a monitor enables you to enter the Bios and disable booting Windows CE from the flash memory. You can either boot from usb or embed a harddisk (preferably a 2,5" notebook harddisk as they are more silent and require less power). I am going to choose the second option but therefore I have to modify the power supply and braze additional connectors. After that, an OS and some cool tools are installed, an LED for harddisk usage will be inserted and maybe the LED frontpanel will be removed, but let's see...

Here is picture of my home activity area:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What's currently going on..

So folks,

I had last week off as my company has closed for four days due to the financial/economical situation. I used this 'forced spare time' to go on holiday - I went with my girlfriend to Vienna, Austria for some days. This was really nice - it's a really cool city with many, many places worth to visit, so we were the whole day on the move. Additionally we had awesome weather - look at this:

What else I have done in my spare time? Well, I must admit I began to play a video game which I came across in the net. It's a quite old one (dos game) which I own for about ten years but never fetched again from my rack because of lack of time and motivation. Then I saw the screenshots on the net and read that is has been drastically improved by hobby programmers which reversed the whole game and made it open source. Moreover it's now running under Windows (also under linux and mac, just for information!), I tried it again and nearly became addicted again. I'm talking about Transport Tycoon, more precisely Open Transport Tycoon - go and check it out (but you need the game data files from the original game). Here a screenshot:

What's about coding, reversing and your homepage you ask? Damn, a good question. Of course, it's not dead. I have just only little time... But I read about many topics I am interested in and some really cool ideas for projects in my head but everything is taking much time so new coding activities just progress slowly.
But I do my best :-) Let's see...