I came back home and tried finding it online. I found something which looked very very close to it:
The box is exactly the same, except for the fact that mine didn't have any brand on it. The media center itself looks a bit different, but it's similar. Mine has a 250gb hard drive in it, so I guess that was the part that was refurbished as I don't see any model with a 250gb hard drive. In any case, I got it for 189$ canadian, which is quite good (I know you guys will find some of those for a similar price in US dollars, but if you add shipping price on top of currency conversion, I made a good deal).
What convinced me to go and buy it was the fact that I found the firmware was Linux-based:
http://www.cirago.co...adsfirmwire.htm (if you extract it, you'll find a Linux kernel, and some MIPS binaries)
What risk would I take in buying it? Not that much. The thing is pretty cool, and seemed it looked pretty hackable. I was surprised when I unpacked it, it really is well made and robust. It was trivial to disassemble, just a few screws and I could easily take it apart. Not only it was easy to disassemble, but the hard disk inside is just a regular desktop PC hard disk, not one of those smaller hard disks for laptop. Here are pictures I took of the parts:
I tried reading the part numbers:
RTD1262 PA 93H26Q1 G918C GL850A MS1FA01G06 916SK04801 NANYA 0820 NT5DS32M16BS-5T 807239Y1BF JM81RD LM1085 IS-ADJ MX 8091931 25L6405DM1-126 JM20330 0922 TGAZ0 C0 3715M0031 GL811S MN1BB03G03 913AA904 UTC LD1117AL 33AGBWGAR
I took the hard disk out and connected it to my desktop PC. It's ntfs-formatted, and doesn't hold the OS. I booted the media center without the hard disk, confirming that the OS is installed somewhere else, probably on some small memory chip on the main board. I need to figure out which one it is.
I have two ways of approaching the problem:
1) Figure out the chip where the OS is installed and attempt to modify it. It's risky, as if I break it, it won't boot anymore.
2) Figure out a way of booting on an alternate media. I would much more prefer this way, as it's less risky, and easier to use later on. For instance, I could put debian on an SD card and try to make it boot on the SD card, as it has an SD card reader.
The source code for the firmware doesn't seem to be available, so I'm going to send them an email about it. In any case, this thing definitely looks hackable. Installing debian on it would simply make it an awesome media center I would have gotten for cheap.
Any help is appreciated! Thanks
This thing has an RTD1262