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Sleeper
08-25-2003, 09:27 PM
I just came across this url while searching for info.

http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/tivohks/inx.html

I can't believe that this guy is profiting from the hard work of many of the posters of this forum. I even wonder if the author has created one original hack or contributed to this community.

TheWickedPriest
08-25-2003, 10:22 PM
There are a couple more similarly-named books:

Hacking the Tivo
by William Von Hagen

Hacking TiVo: The Expansion, Enhancement and Development Starter Kit
by Jeff Keegan

If you want to support someone who HAS contributed a lot to the Tivo hacking community, get the Keegan book. However, I haven't read any of the three books myself.

FauxCaster
08-26-2003, 06:14 AM
Judging from some of Keegan's posts, his book will include lba48 kernal hacking and the locking problem with Maxtor drives. I expect his book to be really complete and worth the money.

MuscleNerd
08-26-2003, 01:07 PM
All three of the authors consulted, or in some cases were technically edited by, various people like embeem, lightn, and others.

Zirak
08-29-2003, 02:56 PM
For what its worth, Jeff Keegan is the only one of the three that was known to the hacking community, has provided some hacks of his own, as well as provided valuable feedback to others. The others were totally unknown prior to the books.

Jeff's book will also include a CD with the current versions of most hacks.

I also think Jeff has the most tivo knowledge of the three.

Your mileage may vary.

David Bought
08-29-2003, 05:30 PM
Originally posted by Sleeper
I can't believe that this guy is profiting from the hard work of many of the posters of this forum. I even wonder if the author has created one original hack or contributed to this community.

If it's any consolation, an O'reilly representative contacted me and offered me a complimentary copy of the book for being an important contributor to the TiVo community. I will let everyone know what the book is like when it arrives. :D

cobalt_z
08-29-2003, 09:27 PM
If it's any consolation, an O'reilly representative contacted me and offered me a complimentary copy of the book for being an important contributor to the TiVo community. I will let everyone know what the book is like when it arrives.

That's a laugh. What have you done that make you an important contrubutor other than give wise ass cracks

mrblack51
09-14-2003, 12:00 AM
While I have no idea about mr. bought, I actually did receive a complimentary copy of the Tivo Hacks book from Oreilly, so I thought it would be appropriate to provide a review.

Title: Tivo Hacks - 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools
Author: Raffi Krikorian
Publisher: O'Reilly

Rating: Experienced users - 3/10, Novice users - 6/10

The book itself is in the traditional form, and appears to be laid out in similar fashion to other books in O'Reilly's "Hacks" series. Specifically, the book is laid out as a series of 100 numbered tips, which can essentially stand alone as one task. The tips are grouped into seven chapters, which cover stupid remote tricks, drive expansion, getting and using bash, PPP over serial/tivonet/turbonet/airnet, tivoweb/tivoftpd/etc, video extraction, and development.

The content itself seems well laid out, and easy to understand. Web links are provided for clarity, and tips which need prior things (like bash) will reference back to the appropriate tip. The writing seems to be targeted toward what I would call an average technical audience. Essentially, I got the feeling that there was an assumption of basic PC knowledge on behalf of the reader.

The book makes it clear that two specific areas are not discussed in the book: hacking series 2 units and hacking the tivo subscription. As such, if you have a series 2, the basic knowledge in the book will be useful, but not necessarily applicable in a command by command comparison. What isn't mentioned (or at least didn't notice it being mentioned) is that the book does not have any directivo hacks discussed. Again, some hacks may still apply, but some may not.

I was pleased to see the development section at the end of the book. While very short, it seemed adequate to jumpstart someone with coding experience, giving them enough introductary information to get started on a project.

While the book was decent in its coverage, I felt there were a few places that were lacking. First, the author implies that extraction can't be done on series 2 stand alone units. While this is in keeping with the statement that he didn't want to discuss the hacks, but the statement "Series 2 users are out of luck when it comes to video extraction" is blatantly false. A more appropriate response would be that there is encryption, and bypassing it is beyond the scope of the book. When discussing drive upgrades, the author mentions the "TwinBreeze" but never describes it. There is mention of dealdatabase, but the url he mentions doesn't include the "/forum", which could make it difficult for a new user to find us. Also, the credits in this book are pretty out of whack. None of the tools mentioned in the book have their author mentioned. This is a minor detail to some, but it seems like a valid issue.

The bottom line is that this book is clearly targeted at an individual who has a tivo and is interested in seeing what more they can do with it. Unfortunately, it focuses solely on stand alone units, and roughly 30% or more of the tips in the book can't be used with series 2 units based on the flow of the book. If you have an S1 SA unit and are still learning, this isn't a bad read. If you have an S2, expect the only useful information to be stuff that doesn't require bash, such as the interesting HMO section. If you are willing to use the book in concert with this forum, then newer individuals could find some good information, regardless of what unit they have. Experience users (not surprisingly) will have limited use for the book.

captain_video
09-14-2003, 05:31 PM
Also, the credits in this book are pretty out of whack. None of the tools mentioned in the book have their author mentioned. This is a minor detail to some, but it seems like a valid issue.


I would not see this as a minor issue. The only reason I can see for not givving the originator of the hack his or her due is that the author simply did not know their real name. I think if I were writing a book based on the work of others, I'd at least make the effort to give them credit for their work. I know that most, if not all, of the developers here generate the hacks as a labor of love but it would still be ethical to acknowledge them for their hard work and devotion to a hobby we have all come to enjoy immensely.

Sleeper
09-15-2003, 10:42 PM
Mr. Black - Great review of the book

However,

My original point is that there are many individuals that have developed these hacks and have openenly and freely distributed them to the public. Most importantly, they have spent countless hours documenting them and supporting the technically inept tivo community owners. Nowhere on this board I have I seen or read anyone expecting to profit from their or others hard work and continued support.

If the author of this book has contributed then he should step up and identify his work.

I strongly suspect that he has not contributed at all. If this is the case, he is even lower than a leech, and certainly lower than a technically inept Tivo owner that merely wants to soop up their unit without investing the time or possessing the necessary skills. What I find puzzling is that this community seems to be fairly complacent with this type of behavour.

I personally have purchased many O'Reilly books. I will not purchase this book because I will not support individuals and companies who profit from the hard work of others without compensating them or even giving them proper credit

mrblack51
09-16-2003, 12:23 AM
Originally posted by Sleeper
Mr. Black - Great review of the book

However,

My original point is that there are many individuals that have developed these hacks and have openenly and freely distributed them to the public. Most importantly, they have spent countless hours documenting them and supporting the technically inept tivo community owners. Nowhere on this board I have I seen or read anyone expecting to profit from their or others hard work and continued support.

If the author of this book has contributed then he should step up and identify his work.

I strongly suspect that he has not contributed at all. If this is the case, he is even lower than a leech, and certainly lower than a technically inept Tivo owner that merely wants to soop up their unit without investing the time or possessing the necessary skills. What I find puzzling is that this community seems to be fairly complacent with this type of behavour.

I personally have purchased many O'Reilly books. I will not purchase this book because I will not support individuals and companies who profit from the hard work of others without compensating them or even giving them proper credit

no offense, but i have to respectfully point out that I think you missed my point. I chose to post the review in a pertinent thread, rather than making a new thread. I was fully aware of your opinion regarding the matter, but my intent was to give a fair and unbiased review.

I agree that people profiteering off of others work is not cool, but inevitably there is some grey area as to whether books on any technical subject can be written. In short, few authors are ever true hackers, but rather outsiders who choose to report on a given topic. In that sense, the true hackers who publish should be celebrated. As such, I chose to buy the "Hacking the Xbox" book because it was written by one of the true hackers out there, as well as it being a tome of great knowledge.

billywiggins
09-29-2003, 01:37 AM
Ive noticed that thorughout the Oreilly book, there are some errors in syntax. When trying certain commands I couldnt get them to work per the book, but putting a little *nix knowledge to work finally got the desired result. I consider this a somewhat major issue considering I am a Tivo newbie and I wouldnt really have been able to figure some of these problems out with the exception that I do have some *nix experience to clue me in to what the writer was trying to get me to do. Ill try to go back and find some examples but Im busy right now, Ill have to post them later.

mrblack51
10-10-2003, 01:47 AM
For those interested in one of the other TiVo hacking books, I just posted my review of "Hacking the TiVo" by von Hagen.

http://www.dealdatabase.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&postid=121707#post121707