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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.

The Black Art of XBOX Mods by Jonathan S. Harbour
Publisher: SAMS   Retail: $25   ISBN: 0672326833

I get a kick out of Jonathan S. Harbours books. I enjoy reading them and I own several of them. He seems to really enjoy his job and that makes for a good read. He also seems to know quite a bit about what he's doing, which lends the reader confidence.  Confidence enough to try things that may cost you money?  We'll see...

This book is about modding your XBOX. There are several reasons someone would want to do this, and the author covers most of them. The primary reason is to run import DVDs and to install software on your XBOX harddrive. Other valid reasons include increasing the hard drive capacity and turning your XBOX into a Media Center. One reason that isn't valid is software piracy.  Unfortunately 95% of the people who see this book on the shelf will assume that's what it is about. Those people are wrong. Fortunately the author doesn't dwell on that topic for long.

The primary focus of this book is around the Xenium mod chip, although others are mentioned. The author provides tons of photos and references to help you determine which version of the XBOX you have (who knew there were so many??) and includes detailed instructions for installing both soldered and solderless modchips. The is relevant because certain versions will only allow one or the other.

I have to admit I've been leary of cracking open my XBOX but after reading this book, I've changed my mind. After all, as the author states repeatedly, it's just a PC and my 90 day warranty ended well over a year ago.  Even if I don't mod my XBOX, I should at least take a look under the hood.

Will I be adding a mod chip to my XBOX?  No comment. Will I be following some of the tips and suggestions for tricking it out and adding cool stuff like lights or a new case skin?  Probably.  Even if you never crack the case, this is a book worth reading. I read it over a couple days and really enjoyed it.

The book also discusses flashing your XBOX bios, dissassembly (step by step WITH photos), upgrading your hard drive (with more photos) and installing various after market software.

At $25 the book is reasonably priced, although you can find it cheaper at Amazon. ($17 last time I checked)

Posted on Friday, February 18, 2005 10:54 AM | Back to top

Comments on this post: The Black Art of XBOX Mods

# re: The Black Art of XBOX Mods
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amazon is only $4.99 U.S used
Left by kyle on Jul 27, 2009 2:49 PM

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