freedom to tinker

Last week, I installed a modchip in my XBox.

The process itself was pretty simple. I went with the Xecuter-3 chip, which I guess is the latest-and-greatest, but really, they all seem to do the same thing. The hardest part of the whole deal was finding a Torx-20 and a Torx-10 screwdriver with which to open up the box. While I was in there, I also installed a quieter, larger fan and a quieter, larger hard drive.

One of the nice features of the new modchips is that you can upgrade their firmware over the web. The modchip arrived with a stub BIOS that allowed me to load a real one via my web browser (I ended up having to use Safari, as Firefox and IE both crapped out in different, maddening ways).

What can I do with my new, modified XBox? Well, I can copy games to the hard drive and play them directly from there, instead of the (slower, noisy) disc. Using the XBox Media Center, I can watch movies and listen to music stored on my home network’s server. In theory, I’m also able to download ripped games from the internet and play them, but this seems to only be possible if you’re 13 and wear saggy jeans.

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