Will you buy the Kinect?

yes, at launch or during the holiday season
maybe later


Crave Online

Xodus/Matrix review 02 Oct 2002

What's in the easybuy2000 package:
-The Modchip
-The Programmer
-a Washer

What you need to install it:
-a v1 Xbox (build prior August 2002)
-a BIOS/Kernel
-a TORX 10
-a TORX 20
-a 9V battery
-milk (flashsofware for win32 and linux)
-the xodus installation guide : here
-good illumination in the room
-concentration ;)

First let's check what they advertise :
*No Wires : true
*No Solder : true
*No technical experience needed at all : true
*Flash upgradeable (with programmer - included) : true
*All bios features currently available on competing "mods" (can use any bios) : true , no bios is included in the package thought. (but this is a good thing 'cause it keeps the Xodus/Matrix legal)

1. Flash the Modchip:
I got no problems at all with this step. I connected the modchip with the programmer and the programmer with my PC (via LTP port).
Downloaded milk (available for win32 & linux) and got a 256k bios/kernel image.
I ran "wmilk -c -a ffc00000 -v -p mybios.bin" ... and it flashed the chip first , then it did an error-checking.
Flashing the modchip is slower then with openxbox/pc-bioxx ... it takes about 2mins. (for 256k)
You can only flash 256k-images , but all 'normal' bios/kernel releases (all evox , x-ecuter , enigmah , xtender , ...) are 256k so it's not a problem for normal users.
If the bios you got is 1MB , don't worry ... it's 4x the same bios. Just split it in 4 parts and use the last part to flash.
Only those who need a devbox bios/kernel (512k) will need to find another modchip.
The modchip is also flashable via Xbox software , but the software isn't released yet , so at this moment you have to flash it with the Programmer connected to a PC.
Also important is that the modchip has a "Xbox-flashing protection" , only in "Writing mode" (mode4) it will be possible to flash the modchip via xbox.

2.Install the Modchip:
Opened my xbox and removed the dvd so I could easily access the LPC points.
To be honnest : I had to try several times till I got a green led after fixing the screw , but once you get used to it you can install it in 10secs.
The risk while installating it is very low , all you have to take care of is to ground yourself before the installation (duh) & not to scratch the motherboard while moving the chip.
Remove the screw near the LPC and put the washer on it. Then put the Xodus on the motherboard and put the screw back.
Screw till about 50% and make sure the 3 holes match the 3 points showed in the installation guide. It's easier to see if you point a small light between the modchip & motherboard.
Power on your xbox and press on the pogo pins , if the led shows red , move it very(!) slighty till you get a green light.
Keep the modchip into position and slowly screw till it's fixed. Don't overtighten the screw , there's no need to anyway , once it "feels harder to screw" the modchip is firmly fixed into position.

Put modchip into position2.
Xbox booted fine , flashed bios/kernel was active.
I tried to shake the xbox ... the modchip was still working fine afterwards.
I managed to de-align the modchip by pushing with my fingers on one of the sides of the modchip. But once again ... there is no risk this would ever happen in 'reallife' ... the DVD-drive is on top of the modchip , so there's no way something or someone would push against the modchip.
The pins are gold plated , so there should be no corrosion.

+ Easiest Xbox modchip installation
+ No soldering , everyone can install this mod
+ Low risk installation
+ Legal (the tool itself atleast)
+ Flashable
+ Xbox-flashing protection
+ No need to take the xbox motherboard out of the case
+ Very easy to remove

- Only 256k BIOS/Kernel (not a problem for normal users)
- Price ($59 is the most expensive xbox modchip , but you get a quality modchip & Programmer ... compared to some PS2 modchips it's still very reasonable)
(- Stability in the long term? - no problems whatsoever encountered , only the future will show how stable these spring pins connections are compared to normal soldered points)



XanTium 02 oct 2002


Giganews Newsgroups