Tag Archives: Hack

Great TV Remote Mods

Electronics manufacturers still don’t seem understand how to design easy-to-use controls for their devices. This is particularly true for the thousands of TV/cable box combinations that exist in our homes. While we wait patiently for some specialty company to meet this need, check out this arts-and-crafts modification I found online:

What I don’t understand is why companies don’t simplify their remotes and move to a screen-based menu system. The iPod gets away with only a few buttons and a very basic hierarchy of choices. Seems like a good business niche to me. Of course, you-know-who has already entered the arena with their Apple TV:

This is pretty basic design — almost like it is a working prototype of the cardboard cutout version above. I like this approach because shifts burden of design away from the physical object to the software under the hood. Anybody else?

I Love a Good Hack

I can be a bit of a procrastinator sometimes and the rapid pace of software development can occasionally leave me with a lot of old and/or corrupt files lying around. Normally, that isn’t such a big deal but every now and then there’s a pretty important file I’d like to access … like a logo or a major document. Trying to jumpstart a web site is hard enough without having to redo a bunch of old work. That was my dilemma when I tried to open some old Illustrator files with a new version of the Adobe application. The old versions were just not compatible with the new program. Bummer.

Fortunately, the human race is a pretty creative bunch and the amazing technicolor interweb can help me find all sorts of tips and tricks for resolving these kinds of issues. The Illustrator version problem was cleared up by a simple text edit in the header lines of the Postscript file. Check out the whole solution here.

Simple and brilliant, my friend!

What I really like about this hack is the author’s use of the fact that all file formats are text files at heart … and some of them (like PostScript) are actually legible.