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Peripherals: Hardware Hacking book review
Thursday, Apr 1st, 2004   |  Issue: 7   |  Volume: 4   |  Read the Full Article

Hardware hackers are the pimp daddies of the nerd world, and this bitchin’ 537-page tome allows you to enter their ranks – although you’ll need both patience and intelligence, and preferably much more than I’ve got. If you aren’t scared off by the mere title of Chapter 2, ” Electrical Engineering Basic,” you’re ready to get geeky. While the majority of the book is devoted to such eminently hackable objects as the Macintosh, iPod, Nokia 6210 cell phone, and home-theater PCs, 30 pages are dedicated to hacking the Playstation2, and another 100 to hacking the old-school Atari 2600, 5200, and 7800. The PS2 section discusses modchips, opening a PS2 without destroying it, installing a serial pot, and boosting code from a Memory Card; wade through the heavy-duty tech-speak and you’ll learn many interesting things about America’s favorite game console. The Atari section i equally fascinating, and the hacks are both more useful and more entertaining to perform, such as adding stereo audio to the 2600, or circumventing the wretched 5200 four-port switchbox. (Yet another reason to appreciate the games systems of yore; they’re a lot of fun to root around in.) I haven’t learned this much from a book since Sex for Dummies.

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