I have an XBOX at home. To be honest, I believe it to be the only product Microsoft has done right. Yeah, there are still problem with it, but those things are immaterial.

Reason being, MODCHIPS... or as Microsoft sells them as part of the XBOX Development kit.

I just purchased an [link|http://www.extreme-mods.com/xecuter-3-ce-modchip-p.html|Xecuter 3 CE Modchip](which I am putting soldered header pins in not using the solderless sockets, because I can solder and don't want to pay the extra $20-30 for the solderless adapter), an [link|http://www.extreme-mods.com/x3-control-panel-black-p.html|X3 Control Panel - Black{X3CP)] (really well done), an [link|http://www.extreme-mods.com/xtender-2-hydra-p.html|X-Tender 2 Hydra](allowing for more HDs, If I don't like the pieces, I'll fix em to look right), [link|http://www.extreme-mods.com/xtender-80-pin-ide-cable-p.html|X-Tender 80 Pin IDE Cable] to play with or incase I fsck up the one in the Hydra kit and lastly a [link|http://www.extreme-mods.com/1-to-3-ide-power-cable-splitter-p.html|1 to 3 IDE Power Cable Splitter] so I can have additional power connectors for the Hard Drives.

But, the kicker here, this modification will allow me to intergrate my XBOX as a Network Appliance/Multimedia Player/Music Streamer/File Server/etc... There is a kit for and IR controller/remote that is nearly ready from [link|http://www.teamxecuter.com/|Team Xecuter], which should make this too easy. The X3CP has an information LCD on it customizable to nearly anything you want on it. There are 2 additional USB ports on the X3CP, which makes this easily able to handle a wireless mouse and keyboard. Also there is a better power supply supposedly coming along for another MOD-Designer and a Memory kit to put upto 512MB on this thing in the works, supposedly read ~July 2005 timeframe.

Now, the last piece I need to figure out, a new DVD Drive. There are reports that you cannot easily replace the DVD Drive... due to an essentially proprietary (wires all colored the same) connector for the Power/Redbook Audio/Digital Audio connections. Plus, some other comparable drives will not read the XBOX DVD Disk Signatures, them being on the XDFS section of the DVD vs. the ISO9660 section. Well, I have a couple of DVD+-R-R/W/CD-R-R/W combo writers that are pretty featureful (One is a Plextor used in CD/DVD Mass duplication facilities)... I guess I'll have to whipout the ole AMP connectors catalog and purchase some connectors to plug into the one on the M/B.

One thing about the Solderless Connectors, they effectively eliminate the need for anything more than a screw driver (torx 10 and 15) and some patience. Me, I can solder very well. I will make it happen without the solderless adapter (hence $20 cheaper).

Oh, the usualy "caveat emptor" to take into consideration, there are a lot of off-brand clones (you can pay as little as $13 for the real ones made for the "On The Cheap" Modders). There are numerous websites only looking to take your money and have no actualy product other than a CC Number collector, Checking account info, Debit card stuff and so on... making you poor is the actual product they sell. Keep with the "Recommended Sellers" from the big sites Like [link|http://www.xbox-scene.com/shops.php|xbox-scene's shops link], etc... you'll notice mine was on there.

There are so many things available, insanity seems to be the best description. But my referring you to a "4th Generation" Mod-Chip is a good thing. It really does pay to have a product with a nice feature set, coming with everything you need to do the MOD and so on.

More to come, as things progress, or fall on thier face.