Tag Archives: virtualisation

The Playstation 3 finally and completely hacked

Playstation 3 in dark city

Geohot has outdone himself again, not only the first person who unlocked the iPhone, but now also the Playstation3. In his own words…

I have read/write access to the entire system memory, and HV level access to the processor. In other words, I have hacked the PS3. The rest is just software. And reversing. I have a lot of reversing ahead of me, as I now have dumps of LV0 and LV1. I’ve also dumped the NAND without removing it or a modchip.

3 years, 2 months, 11 days…thats a pretty secure system

Took 5 weeks, 3 in Boston, 2 here, very simple hardware cleverly applied, and some not so simple software.

Now we really get to see how powerful the playstation 3 really is when its not being crippled in a virtual machine. I’m much more likely to buy one if I can see a whole homebrew community of stuff on it in the near future. The source code for the hack isn’t available quite yet but its just a matter of time. I wonder how long the Xbox 360 can stay closed?

Xbox media centre on a linux PC

Xbox media centre on linux

I've made up my mind. Forget the XboX 360 and PS3, they suck for a home entertainment centre. MythTV and Windows Media Centre are too heavy and too focused on replacing the DVR/PVR era of devices. To hell with the seriously underpowered AppleTV and Wii, I might as well stick to the Xbox if I was consider one of those. Nope its all about Xbox media centre on Linux, Mac and even Windows. Jon's experience of the next XBMC is certainly of interest to myself, however Jon doesn't go into details about how to install it.

It's been a long time. I haven't even been an XBMC user since May. In May I got a new HDTV so I needed to move to something that could render my HD content. That path brought me to MediaPortal. The old xbmp fork. And well… its garbage.

I don't mean to sound like an ass, but compared to the codebase of XBMC, MediaPortal is junk. Its full of bugs and just feels terrible. The devs at least know this, and are working on MediaPortal 2. So that should be interesting to watch. But all in all, running my mediacenter on Windows just blew.

So last Saturday I decided to check on XBMC for Linux's progress. And to my surprise it is practically feature complete! It all works! Now, for how long is another question. Lets just say that I wrote a trusty Ruby script to watch for XboxMediaCenter, and if it crashes, it gets relaunched. So yeah, its not really primetime, but it works great and is fast.

So I decided to go check it out myself. First port of call was the xbox media centre linux wiki. For Windows users the easist way to get XBMC is to run VMware's Player and grab the virtual environment images. Theres a few staticly hosted files or a torrent file. There's a whole thread here on setting it all up in VMware. I opted for the compile your own which is detailed in a readme file in the VM image.

The steps are pretty simple for Ubuntu 7.x

  1. # sudo apt-get install subversion
  2. # cd $HOME
  3. # svn checkout https://xbmc.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/xbmc/branches/linuxport/XBMC
    1. For Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn):

      # sudo apt-get install make g++-4.1 gcc-4.1 libsdl1.2-dev libsdl-image1.2-dev libsdl-gfx1.2-dev libsdl-mixer1.2-dev libsdl-sound1.2-dev libsdl-stretch-dev libcdio6 libcdio-dev libfribidi0 libfribidi-dev liblzo1 liblzo-dev libfreetype6 libfreetype6-dev libsqlite3-0 libsqlite3-dev libogg-dev libsmbclient-dev libsmbclient libasound2-dev python2.4-dev python2.4 python-sqlite libglew1 libglew-dev libcurl3-dev g++ gawk x11proto-xinerama-dev libxinerama-dev libxrandr-dev libxrender-dev libmms-dev pmount
    2. For Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon):

      # sudo apt-get install make g++-4.1 gcc-4.1 libsdl1.2-dev libsdl-image1.2-dev libsdl-gfx1.2-dev libsdl-mixer1.2-dev libsdl-sound1.2-dev libsdl-stretch-dev libcdio6 libcdio-dev libfribidi0 libfribidi-dev liblzo1 liblzo-dev libfreetype6 libfreetype6-dev libsqlite3-0 libsqlite3-dev libogg-dev libsmbclient-dev libsmbclient libasound2-dev python2.4-dev python2.4 python-sqlite libglew1.4 libglew1.4-dev libcurl3-dev g++ gawk x11proto-xinerama-dev libxinerama-dev libxrandr-dev libxrender-dev libmms-dev pmount
  4. # ./build.sh
  5. # ../BUILD/Xboxmediacenter

Its not working for me right now, because (I think) Compizfusion is screwing up the display. But I'll know for sure once I try it on another machine. Stay tuned…

IT WORKS! Ok its 4am and I've just got Xbox media centre working on my workstation which doesn't have compizfusion enabled or installed. Like Jon said its all there except 3d and special effects. I found it very slow at larger resolutions and unstable at anything over 800×600 but it could be my cheap onboard graphics or slow single 2.8ghz AMD processor. I've uploaded a load of screenshots on to Flickr before going to bed. More about this when I get home tomorrow.

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What just happened? Xbox 360 and PS3 did what?

Xbox 360 and Playstation side by side

So I heard rumours that the next Xbox 360 dsashboard upgrade would support Xvid and Divx but I didn't think it would be this soon? Everyone seems to say it works fine even with ac3 (dolby digital or dts audio), shame this is still not enough to make me switch. See xbox media centre is just too damm perfect and using the Xbox 360s blade system sucks in comparison. I mean I would need to unrar files before I could play them on the xbox 360, that just sucks. However the other interesting news is the break through on the PS3's graphics sub system (link is extremely hacking geeky, skip to bottom) (cheers JohnT) is something very special. Think about all the progress thats been done on xbmc already, add the fact the PS3 can already run linux without a problem, then throwing some real access to that cell processor and its heavy weight HD graphics subsystem and boy oh boy you have an amazing machine. Knowing Sony, I'm sure the next update of the virtualiser will lay another wall between Virtual machine and hardware.

If Sony knew what was good for them, they would let the hardware hackers do what there doing, even help them out! These guys are adding value you to your market failing console! Microsoft just released xvid/divx support and the wii is about to outstrip both ps3 and xbox 360 in the next 5 months in europe and japan. Sony needs something and let me tell you Home isn't it. Bear also in mind these hardware hackers are not bypassing the copy protection of the games or even hacking the sony master virtual image. So no intellectual property is being broken here. If running xbmc on it means another 10000+ people run out and buy a PS3. Thats a good thing…! Put another way, the xbox 1 still commands a reasonable price online because people are picking them up and running xbmc on them today. Go figure Sony., then send some hardware developers to help them.

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