Book Review - Hacking The Xbox by Andrew Huang
Since my son is into hardware hacking and also into his Xbox, I got a review copy of Hacking The Xbox by Andrew Huang. While not my particular area of interest, he really thought the book was great!
Chapter List: Voiding The Warranty; Thinking Inside The Box; Installing A Blue LED; Building A USB Adapter; Replacing A Broken Power Supply; The Best Xbox Game: Security Hacking; A Brief Primer On Security; Reverse Engineering Xbox Security; Sneaking In The Back Door; More Hardware Projects; Developing Software For The Xbox; Caveat Hacker; Onward!; Where To Get Your Hacking Gear; Soldering Techniques; Getting Into PCB Layout; Getting Started With FPGAs; Debugging: Hints and Tips; Xbox Hardware Reference; Index
Within 10 minutes of getting this book, Cam was hunting for my toolkit and shortly thereafter had his Xbox opened up all over my office floor. I knew basically that the Xbox was a PC disguised as a gaming system, but I didn't realize how true that was until Cam opened it up and showed me the internals. It was like opening up my desktop system! Huang does a great job in showing what tools are necessary as well as illustrating via pictures what needs to be done to "lift the lid" of your system. Once there, he shows you some of the basic modifications you can make like adding custom lighting or replacing power supplies. Beyond the basics of hardware, Huang takes the reader into very in-depth examinations of the system structure of the Xbox and what needs to be known in order to understand how to modify software and hardware. For me, the most interesting chapter covered how you can modify an Xbox to turn it into a low-cost Linux machine. Although it's not what Microsoft envisioned, there really is a lot you can do to and with this machine.
If you're ready to dig into your Xbox and go beyond just playing games, this is the first book you should get your hands on.