The Apple TV is a media streaming device first introduced in 2007. It’s essentially a miniature Mac, running a special version of iOS optimised for playing music and video on a TV, and operated using a remote control. Although I personally have no need for such a device, I couldn’t resist when I found one for just €2.50 in a second-hand shop. It wasn’t that useful anyway since it was missing its remote control, not to mention the fact it was an old and unsupported third-generation model, sold between 2012 and 2015. But it presented a very good opportunity to tear down some modern Apple hardware and get an up-and-close look at their custom silicon.Continue reading
Today we’ll look at another piece of obsolete computer hardware: a Skype handset, officially the “Logitech Cordless Internet Handset for Skype”. It’s a cordless phone that you can hook up to your PC so you can place and receive voice calls over Skype while still holding an actual phone-like device in your hand. I don’t think these things are still popular: in offices you generally find “real” phones, whether connected to an actual phone line or through VoIP, while home users either use a headset for teleconferencing software or their mobile for voice calls.
Again, I forgot to take pictures of the complete device, but this is the main PCB found inside. It feels quite cheap, with these radial capacitors soldered horizontally and big blobs of solder on the clock crystal and the battery terminals. It is very well integrated however: all major functionality seems to be packed inside a single IC (the large one in the middle), with two smaller chips implementing the RF interface.Continue reading