Monthly Archives: October 2008

Review: Twinhan Alpha Mac Edition (DVB-T USB 2.0)

Harris Technology have these for under $60. I thought that was a bargain so I picked one up. I have recorded a TV show and was very impressed (it is my first foray into digital TV as well). Here is a brief review:

  • It’s cheap;
  • It includes EyeTV (version 2.x, still great);
  • It works exactly as advertised.
  • The box is big (and mentions that you need a FireWire port?);
  • The printed documentation is average (thankfully you don’t need it);
  • The included aerial is useless unless you live under a transmitter (use a rooftop antenna).

Mission Accomplished

I have finally finished re-building my PowerBook G4 12″ (1GHz). I have upgraded the hard drive (40GB to 160GB), replaced the broken combo drive (got one cheap off eBay) and upgraded the operating system (10.4 to 10.5).

To others considering a similar mission:
  • The hard drive is much easier to replace than the optical drive;
  • The 160GB 5400 RPM Western Digital Scorpio disk runs warmer than the stock disk (to be expected really *);
  • Remember where all the screws came from (I didn’t);
  • Use the right tools for the job;
  • There are a few service manuals available on the web. Use them.
I can’t really justify a new laptop at the moment. I think these upgrades have extended the life of my old one a bit longer.

* Edit: this may be due to the fact that the original disk was 4200 RPM.

List = List + 2

Went on a Birds WA walk on Saturday and added two more birds to my life list:

  • Inland Thornbill (Acanthiza apicalis);
  • Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica).

Both were seen in the Dell Forest in Kalamunda. Thanks to Maris Lauva for helping me find the Grey Shrike-thrush – it helps if someone knows it’s call.

Thousands of tiny screws…

The 12″ PowerBook G4 is a real pain to take apart. I am in the process of replacing the HDD and optical drive and you have to strip the PowerBook down completely. Everything from the motherboard up needs to be removed before you can extract the optical drive. The HDD is only marginally easier to get to.

Anyhow, last night I reached a milestone. I am now putting things back together instead of taking them apart. In all honesty I probably have another 6 hours of tinkering to do.

The end result will be a very usable PowerBook with a working optical drive and a 160GB HDD. I think it’s worth it…