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MiBook Hacking? (Work in Progress)

MiBook Hacking? (Work in Progress)

I recently acquired an old Photoco MiBook. (Photoco LLC had its assets sold off by creditors, and many MiBooks and associated software are being sold on clearance by stores like The Source by Circuit City). Photoco LLC magically reopened under the name of MiBook LLC, and is currently the subject of a nice big lawsuit from Scripps Networks, the owners of Food Network, etc. It’s an interesting read.

MiBook Reader #1

My first of two MiBook readers that I’ll be looking at is this one, which I got from The Source by Circuit City in a “Home Decorating and Gardening” bundle for $29.96, and a set of “books” on 512MB SD
cards for $1.96 each.

The sticker on the back reads “miBook”, along with voltage/amperage requirements, Serial Number (no barcode) and the FCC logo.

  • Screen: 7″ Color TFT: Unknown Manufactuer M1P82BNB03170  “TS0700AAAD01” on LCD glass, “81P81N27 8C021” in small
  • CPU: Amlogic AML6210A (128-Pin QFP)
  • Memory: 64MB SDRAM: EtronTech EM638165TS-6G (54-Pin SSOP)
  • Boot Flash: 16Mbit Flash: Spansion S29AL016D70TF102 (48-Pin TSOP)
  • Real-Time Clock: Intersil ISL1208 (ISL1208IB8Z, marked “1208 ZI”) (8-Pin SOIC)
  • DAC (96kHz, Stereo): Cirrus Logic 4334-KSZ (8-Pin SOIC) (Probably)
  • Op-Amp: JRC 3414A (8-Pin SSOP)
  • Unknown/Audio Amp?: STH 63BJRC STH49S6H0 ??? (20-Pin QFN)
  • Unknown/Power-Related: 8A068 3213D (8-Pin SSOP)

MiBook Reader #2

I also have another MiBook reader which I got as a prize from DigiKey. It came as just the MiBook/charger/USB/Remote combination, and didn’t have any SD-card “books” like the Source’s bundle. This one is a little newer, and is better-built overall: the stand snaps into place, the charging LED is more visible, the buttons are better quality inside, the plastic pieces are formed better, the exterior screws are larger and much easier to remove, etc.

The sticker on the back reads “PHOTOCO miBook”, along with voltage/amperage, Serial Number with Barcode and the FCC logo. (It is interesting to note that this one is labelled specifically a PHOTOCO product. Old stock that they brought over from Photoco LLC to Mibook LLC? Check out the link at the beginning of the article for information on Photoco/Mibook/etc.)

  • Screen: 7″ Color TFT: Unknown Manufactuer HLLB-0302A1 HL080414D010075
  • CPU: Amlogic AML6210A (128-Pin QFP)
  • Memory: 64MB SDRAM: EtronTech EM638165TS-6G (54-Pin SSOP)
  • Boot Flash: 16Mbit Flash: MXIC 29LV160CBTC (48-Pin TSOP)
  • Real-Time Clock: S35390A (8-Pin SOIC)
  • Unknown: “C” or “e” C04558 (8-Pin SOIC)
  • Audio Amplifier (300mW Stereo): National LM4853L (20-Pin Mini-SOIC)
  • DAC (96kHz, Stereo): Cirrus Logic 4334-KSZ (8-Pin SOIC) (Probably)
  • Power Conversion/Adjustable VREG: STMicro LD1117A (3-Pin package)
  • Power Conversion/Switching PS Converter: Aimtron AT1380P (8-Pin TSOP?)

See also

CueCat Hacking

CueCat Hacking

I bought 3 nice, new, and almost shiny CueCats in a package deal from eBay. :-D

As far as a tutorial for hacking CueCats, here goes.

Disclaimer: This hack is for the 2-screw, PS-2 CueCats. Don’t try this if your CueCat has 4 screws, or if it is USB. (Google is your friend). This tutorial is provided with no guarantee of accuracy or completeness, and I am not responsible for any damages this may cause.

  1. Open up the CueCat by removing the 2 screws on the bottom and gently removing the top. [CueCat Opened Up]
  2. Remove the cable gently [CueCat, Cable Removed]
  3. Remove the two pins as directed in this picture by applying heat from a soldering iron and bending the pins upwards.
  4. Check your work to make sure there is no left-over solder or any pins touching one-another.
  5. Reassemble the CueCat.

For more information, look on Google or read “Hardware Hacking: Having Fun While Voiding Your Warranty“. :thumbsup: