Recently I bought one of the new Apple TVs. So far it has been a pleasure to use this clever device but by default it lacks some personality. Additionally I’ve became quite annoyed by the National Geographic pictures the device uses for it’s default screen saver.
The screen saver’s default display mode is called “floating”: Selected pictures slowly move upwards in different layers of distance – looks like bubbles in a glass of water. I love it.
Suddenly I had that great idea: “What about having the album art of your favorite music floating around? A great thing for parties, too.”
We’ll achieve this by uploading the album art to Flickr, because Apple TV’s come with the option to use pictures from any Flickr account as the source for its screensaver.
- Create a Flickr account and write down it’s username
- Upload all your favorite album art
Keep in mind that Apple TV isn’t afraid of scaling up your covers to its own full screen height (i.e. 1080 pixels in most cases). You should avoid album art with less than 800 pixel width/height. In my opinion the best sources for Album Art are Album Art Exchange (they have pictures of outstanding quality – all free) and Google Pictures.
- Add all pictures to an album and make sure their visibility is set to public
- Select Screen Saver in Settings on your Apple TV and navigate to Photos. Now choose Flickr and Add Flickr Account – type in your username
- Select an album of your choice and your’re done
Other cool ideas could be uploading some movie posters or game art. I’m waiting for Tumblr and imgur support, Apple.
Trim Support Enabler for Lion is now available!
Compared to the last version this one uses native OS X 10.7 files instead of “outdated” ones from OS X 10.6 to enable trim support for your non-Apple SSD…
This guide is about how to achive the following:
- Boot A Linux Live System From A USB Drive On A Mac Running OS X Lion
- Update An OCZ SSD’s Firmware On A Mac Running OS X Lion Without Installing Another OS
Interested in installing Linux on your Lion-driven-Mac permanently? Go here. But you didn’t buy a 1000$+ combination of hard- and software just to exchange it’s superior personal-computing software, or did you?
Some Problems I Experienced
- A Mac uses EFI instead of BIOS to manage bootable devices. I experienced a decent lack of EFI support when I used Linux live systems. Everything crashed or froze or didn’t even show up in the boot menu. A common workaround seems to be rEFIt but it isn’t compatible with OS X Lion and I don’t like to modify system tools. (Update: Things have changed, but I still don’t want to mess around, just to update my SSD)
- There is no SSD firmware update tool by OCZ for OS X so you’re forced to use a Linux live system unless you want to make changes to your hard drive setup – like using Bootcamp.
- I replaced my optical drive with a HDD to insert a SSD in the original HDD-Bay – a common modification – but obviously a Mac hates to boot from an external optical drive. As mentioned earlier boot processes crashed or froze.
My Solution How To Boot A Linux Live System
Okay, I found an EFI-loader that has been able to boot nearly every version of Ubuntu and is very easy to setup and it even doesn’t need rEFIt. I found it in a German Mac Forum and it comes with a very detailed description how to use it but this description didn’t work for me. Here’s what I did to boot Ubuntu 11.04 Desktop Edition 64 bit as a live system from an external USB Drive on a MacBook Pro 13’3 early 2011 that was equipped with a 320GB HDD and a 120GB OCZ Agility 3 :
- Get the ISO-2-USB EFI-Booter for Mac 0.01 beta and a recent version of Ubuntu Desktop Edition 64bit.
- Format a USB drive to provide a single FAT32 partition featuring MBR.
- Create the following directories on your USB drive: /efi and /efi/boot
- Copy the bootX64.efi from “ISO-2-USB EFI-Booter for Mac 0.01 beta” into /efi/boot on your USB Drive.
- Copy the Ubuntu image into /efi/boot/ on the USB Drive, too and rename it to “boot.iso”.
- You should have 2 files on your USB drive now: bootX64.efi and boot.iso – both in /efi/boot.
- You’re ready to reboot: During the startup of your Mac hold Alt/Option. You should see “EFI Boot” which has a nice little USB Drive Symbol on it in the appearing boot menu. Boot from your USB Drive by clicking on the little arrow below it.
- Good Luck!
- Ubuntu should be booting now…
- I didn’t test any 32bit systems. But in case you wish to do so I guess you ought use “bootIA32.efi” from “ISO-2-USB EFI-Booter for Mac 0.01 beta”.
- This shouldn’t be restricted to Ubuntu. In general you need a distribution that supports loopback. You can check this by browsing their ISO for a loopback.cfg or loop.cfg.
- I used a generic 2GB USB thumb drive a friend of mine forgot at my place. Nothing special.
Updating an OCZ SSD’s firmware
After you’ve booted into Ubuntu just follow the official guide. Don’t forget to enable TRIM!
Feel free to ask me anything…
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