GRYNX

19th 2009f February, 2009

DIY High quality Macro lens

by @ 17:27. Filed under Camera and Webcam, Hack, Other, Projects
Canon DIY Macro
Have you ever played around with the macro mode on a camera (you know the ‘flower’ mode)? Most people have, but it’s not that impressive. Mostly because it’s not really close up. A regular macro shot will give you something like 0.5-0.7x magnification, which is… not very impressive.

So lets do something about that!
In this article we’ll show you one way to convert a Canon EF-S 18-55 standard lens to a super macro lens giving you from 1 to 4.5 times magnification! Then we’re talking an object of .2 inches (5mm) wide filling the whole picture!

This image on the side is a long time exposure of an alligator clip up close taken with the lens.

Pages 1-5 shows you the lens works and ideas behind it.
Page 6 contains some sample pictures made with the lens
Page 7 shows you the difference in different focal lengths (how much magnification)
Page 8 demonstrates the practical differences in aperture and what’s useful
Page 9 shows you in detail the different depth of fields with different apertures

Link: DIY High quality macro lens out of a Canon EF-S 18-55

18th 2007f March, 2007

Wine in laptop – is that really a good idea?

by @ 17:32. Filed under Projects
Wine in laptop
How often do you think people (maybe you?) spill beverages onto their laptops?
Apparently more often then you think. After the ‘liquid spill’ article last year I’ve been contacted numerous amount of times by people that spilled a bit of wine on their keyboard or that had their cute little three year old pour milk over the laptop.

With this in mind and a bit of time over I decided to sacrifice a laptop with a damage screen and see if it could be recovered after having a glass of wine and one of lemonade poured over it.

So, was it a sacrifice in the end? Have a look at the article which also includes a video (god, I’m a director all of a sudden) of how it was done.

Link: Wine in laptop

23rd 2007f January, 2007

Greylist – freeware Grey list for Exchange v1.3

by @ 13:51. Filed under Programming, Projects
Greylist for Exchange

First my apologies to all people who come back here day after day and wonder why there’s no action on Grynx. Well, try working 10 hours a day, studying for your MCSE every evening and then take care of your family as well. I’m simply not allowed into my garage any more :)
Hopefully this will change in the next coming months – but I make no promises.

In September 2007 I published an little application of mine called Greylist. At that stage Greylist was a bit unpolished and rough but it did evolve during the next coming months whenever I could stick a bit of time into it.

Today I published v1.3 which now is more of a grownup and handles both stress and problems in a more correct way.
Some interesting statistics about the artice: Over 8500 people has read the article in the last three months and it has been downloaded over 1500 since end November.
Not bad for me that didn’t have a clue about programming 6 months ago. Pat Pat on my own back :)

Since I have had a lot of problems with false positives with the black lists that I’m using on my Exchange 2003 server I started looking into another way of filtering spam…
The problem with this is that there doesn’t seem to be any free products out there for Exchange and as I don’t want to set up a Linux box ( yet another box in the rack ) I decided to write one myself…

Features of today includes selective blocking (sender ip and/or sender address and/or recipient address), stores data in a access db or in MS SQL, the database can be shared across the enterprise, automatic pruning. In the latest version I added functionality for different actions upon grey listing a recipient as well as custom server messages.
And in many scenarios it block up to 98% of all spam!!

If you’ve read this far and don’t have a clue about what I’m talking about then let me say this:
– Grey listing temporarily blocks an email in an attempt to filter out spam servers.
– Greylist (the program I wrote) only runs on Exchange 2000 and 2003.

If you’re an Exchange admin and you have problems with spam then be sure to check out my implementation Greylist – freeware Grey list for Exchange

23rd 2006f October, 2006

Another hard drive clock

by @ 1:36. Filed under Hack, Projects
Hard drive clock
I made one of these back in December last year (link) and then I saw another interesting version from Rick.

OK, everyone has seen the dude who made an LED POV (persistence of vision) clock out of a hard drive, and we’re all very impressed (no, seriously). But not all of us have those skills. This is a hard drive clock that requires only a power drill and some basic hand tools. No electronics knowledge is necessary. Total project time: 60-90 minutes.

I think this one is interesting as you can actually see that it’s a hard drive. The one I made had a different goal though – to only have hard drive parts visible.
Anyway – I like’em both.

Link: Harddrive clock
[via]

18th 2006f October, 2006

Wireless remote control out of a Ding-Dong

by @ 11:38. Filed under Hack, Projects, Wireless
Wireless remote
John Schuch did what I’ve been thinking about for quiet some time. To take a existing RF device and turn it into a power (AC) control.

With the addition of one capacitor, one relay, and a small piece of wire we can convert an inexpensive wireless doorbell into a remotely controlled relay useful for a wide range of applications. These include remote PC starting, lighting control, Halloween effects control, or virtually anything that can be controlled by a pair of relay contacts.

And here’s some food for thought for you DIY’ers. How about taking one of those cute small radio controll cars and turn it into a dimmer control? The benefit of using these small cars as a build base would be that the rf reciever cards are very very small.

Link: Turning a wireless doorbell into a remote control relay

17th 2006f October, 2006

DIY Microscope Webcam

by @ 11:36. Filed under Camera and Webcam, Hack, Projects
Microscope webcam
Jose Luis Garrido slaughtered an old cdrom reader… and put the lens for the laser in front of his webcam.
What did he get? A DIY microscope webcam – kind of cool actually!

The page is in Spanish so I also give you the option to read it through Google’s translation engine.

Link: DIY Microscope webcam (Spanish)
Link: DIY Microscope webcam (English)

16th 2006f October, 2006

RBG Mood Lamp

by @ 21:02. Filed under LED and IR, Projects
Mood lamp
Toon Beerten sent us this wonderful DIY mood lamp.

On this page i will explain how i created my own colour changing lamp with red, green and blue leds that fades between all colours of the rainbow. It really comes out well at night when other light are dimmed. In daylight conditions the colors aren’t noticed well. Although it’s low budget i must say the result is nice.

Link: RGB Mood Lamp

15th 2006f September, 2006

Greylist – a free grey list for Exchange.

by @ 3:29. Filed under Programming, Projects
Greylist
I know – I know – I know. Programs don’t really fit into Grynx’s profile – but hey – I make’ed something and now I’m sharing it with you. It might not interest you that much if you’re not an Exchange admin or have an Exchange server, but that’s just the way things are.

Greylist is simply a greylist program for Exchange 2003 ( should work on 2000 ) which will delay incoming mail for a couple of minutes. In my environment it blocks 98% of all spam and so far it hasn’t blocked a single ‘good’ email.
And as I like the whole idea of open source, I’m publishing it just like that – for free. Or rather freeware.

I wrote this as I couldn’t find any free grey list programs out there. Lots and lots for free for Linux, but only commercial products for Exchange.

Link: Greylist v1.0 for Exchange

2nd 2006f July, 2006

Binder clips and cables

by @ 14:56. Filed under Non electric hacks, Other
How about making without making??

This is such a thing which actually isn’t a project in itself – but if it will give you a tenth as much help as its given me in the past years then it’s something I just have to share with you.

In short – attach your cables in a smart way with an ordinary office supply and keep them movable/slidable.

Link: Binder clips and cables

18th 2006f April, 2006

How to build a versatile and compact 9v LED lamp

by @ 12:47. Filed under LED and IR, Projects
9v LED lamp
P.O. got so excited by all the responses from the TicTac flashlight project that he sent us another of his creations.
This time it’s a LED lamp created from the scraps of an old 9v battery and three LED’s. No need to use a resistor here as he’s used three 3.5v LED’s which adds up to a required voltage of 10.5v… which the battery can’t supply.
The benefit of this is that you don’t have any losses in a resistor and the battery will end up lasting longer – but the LED’s will not operate on 100%.

Take it or leave it, this is a great project that involves few components and has a compact and robust design.

Link: Versatile compact 9v LED lamp

11th 2006f April, 2006

TicTac flashlight

by @ 11:41. Filed under LED and IR, Projects
TicTac flashlight
P.O. sent us this how-to on building a very handy flashlight out of a old TicTac mint box. It consists of a empty TicTac box (duh!), three batteries (that fits perfect), a small switch, a resistor and a bright LED.
It might not take a rocket scientist to figure out how to connect it all, but still…

Go to the TicTac flashlight page.

6th 2006f April, 2006

Grynx in the slow lane…

by @ 13:03. Filed under News
Grynx community
…but no way we’re gone in any sense.

Status I managed to get myself a new job far far away from home and with working long hours and spending a lot of time on the road I really haven’t had that much time for my baby (Grynx that is) in the last month. It’s really unwillingly, I promise! There’s nothing better then to have crazy idea, realize it, publish it and reading your comments about it.
So okay, I haven’t been posting that much lately but that doesn’t mean I’ve giving in. No way José!

Forum Some of you have notice that little G in the right hand side navigation. Most haven’t. That’s the link to our community, or forum if you’d rather call it that, where it’s a bit easier to discuss things then in the comments area on these pages.
I’ve added an area there called Hatching ideas which is really a good area for brainstorming, something that I’ve actually missed myself.
There are more areas there but I take it that this one is the most interesting one in the long run.

Visit community.Grynx.com

Ongoing projects I have two project in the pipeline right now and we’ll have to see when I can complete these. One is a non-electric cool iPAQ accessories and the other is a interesting LED dingy (as everyone else are building LED things now) which based on some LED’s I bought
from China recently.

HELP I don’t want Grynx to stagnate! We have between 80-120.000 unique visitors and we’re serving aroung 300-500.000 pages every month. Never though that when we started a year ago.
But with my limited time right now I need your help more then ever. You can send me link tips if they’re good and related to what we do here, or whole projects. What to be part of Grynx.com? The contact information is in the right hand top of all pages.

I’d also like to say thanks to all the people keeping the discussions alive on Grynx.com. Especially the ones on the VoIP related pages as the Siemens Skype, Build your own chat cord, and Simple Skype VoIP analogue adapter.

Thanks!

Cheers,
Chris
_______________________________
Grynx.com – Why? Because you can!

7th 2006f March, 2006

How to catch a mouse in a humane way

by @ 23:41. Filed under News
Mouse trap

I had a little friend visit my apartment the other week, and for a while there I was ready to make peace with him and co-exist. But after I cleaned up the place and ordered pizza one night, and it crawled up the side of my chair onto the sleeve of my shirt, I knew it was time to bid farewell.

Link: How to catch a mouse

1st 2006f March, 2006

Snow light – iglo for a candle

by @ 4:25. Filed under Other, Projects
Snow candle
Entertaining children in the snow is my favorite waste of time! There’s just so much you can do with them and building a snow light if one of those things. Build it during the day and lit it as soon as it get dark.

In this how-to Chris will take you through the collecting of the neccessary items (candle, paper and snow) and the assembly of the product step-by-step (e.g. make the snow balls)

Link: How to build a snow light

27th 2006f February, 2006

Nice activity meter for your hard drive

by @ 2:27. Filed under News
Hard drive vu meter

micsaund writes:

On all computer cases I’ve seen, the HD LED is just a single, boring light. Yeah, maybe it comes in blue or purple on your fancier cases, but it’s still just a boring light. I wanted something a bit more flashy and dynamic. For years, I’ve had a Radio Shack 10 segment LED bargraph floating around in my parts box, since I’m a nerd, I naturally love blinking LEDs (das blinkenlights), so the LED bargraph HD light idea was born!

Link: Hard drive LED bar display
[via]

25th 2006f February, 2006

Combat winter depression with LED’s

by @ 4:26. Filed under News
Lumileds in action
Winter depression occurs when the body is not exposed to enought light in a day. This is a known phenomena especially in regions on the top of the globe. To combat this there are special light boxes that you can buy and put next to your monitor that will expose you to extra light during half an hour a day, but now new research shows that blue light works better and that it’s more efficient in the early hours of the day.
So as high power LED’s are a hot item right now let’s look at a DIY with these beutiful 3w Lumiled’s.

Build your own blue LED light box to combat SAD and winter blues. Sleep better and wake up with more energy while exploring the world of high-power LEDs. If 18 watts of LED power isn’t enough to wake you, just add more LEDs!

Link: Build your own blue LED light box

24th 2006f February, 2006

Making your own PCB’s easy

by @ 7:53. Filed under News
Etching laser
To make your own Printed Cuircuit Boards is something most people never do because it’s just way to many steps that need to be done before you have it ready. That thing with UV lights, rubbing symbols and special papers just puts me off. But here’s an easier way to do it.
I’ve read about something similar to this before but this guy has really brought it down to an ‘easy’ level.

To wrap it up: With your laser printer print your layout on semi glossy paper. Quickly cut out the etch and place it on the PCB. Iron on the paper for 5 minutes pressing hard. Soak the PCB with the paper in soapy water for 5 minutes. Remove paper and then etch as normal.

Link: How to make PCBs with a laser printer
[via]

23rd 2006f February, 2006

Bluetooth speakers

by @ 15:47. Filed under News
Bluetooth speakers
Wireless is cool, hot and it’s very practical! That’s why I built the bluetooth audio reciever for my car some time back.
Another solution is to take a wireless headphone with a separate sender (like a traditional wireless headphone has) and build a (or a pair) wireless speaker which they’ll show you how to do over at Engadget.

Link: How-To: Build Wireless Speakers from RF Headphones

Another one that is kind of related to my project mentioned in the beginning would be to Turn an iPod into a wireless bluetooth remote…

22nd 2006f February, 2006

DIY Keylogger

by @ 8:51. Filed under News
Keylogger
Did you ever wonder what Mr. X is doing all that time behind his computer in the office? Thought of installing a keylogger but didn’t dare to as it might get detected as spyware? Then you should get a keylogger which plugs in between the keyboard and the computer. As it’s a piece of hardware that only listnens to the traffic from the keyboard it’s undetectable.

Try a hardware keylogger instead of a software keyboard logger! This hardware keyboard recorder is system independent, undetectable for software, and installs in seconds (even with the PC off).

We present the prototype version of the KeeLogger with full documentation, electrical schematics, and program. Operation of this device is similar to the KeeLogger Pro version, although download is initiated by a special button. Also the DIY keylogger version logs all data on the PS/2 keyboard line, so memory isn’t used as efficiently as in the commercial version.

Ok, a device like that would be nice to buy for a mere $32 – but why not build one yourself?
It’s easier then you think as they will show you over at www.keelog.com.

21st 2006f February, 2006

One of many solutions to messy cables

by @ 3:35. Filed under News
Organizing cables
You walk over the floor and something grabs you leg. You fall. That’s not that bad… But you also take your laptop with you down. That is bad!

Excess cables is a problem that keeps on coming back to haunt you and we all have our solutions to solve it. I usually make a knot on the excess lenght of a cable or I’ll take a piece of velcro.

Intruducing another solution: The Cable Bone.
It’s simply a piece of plastic cut into the shape of a bone and both you, your wife and your dog will appreciate it.

There are very few things in life that get right under my skin, triping over cables is one of them. I think I may have seen a product like this somewhere – not sure, inspriation being the mother of invention and these are fairly easy to make.

The full instructions on how to build your own is over at instructables
[via]

20th 2006f February, 2006

Wire your home – really!

by @ 15:07. Filed under News
Screenshot
I had this idea some time ago to get a hole bunch of one-wire sensors and wire my house to measure everything that could be measured, but that’s a lot of wires so I never did it.
Over at www.bwired.nl they made a reality of this and this is just something you gotta see if statistics over everything! turns you on.

Some of the things logged and measured are the telephone calls (including recordings), motion sensors, energy consumption (gas and electricity), water consumption, lights on off. There are also a bunch of live webcams of the surroundings.

Link: www.BWired.nl

15th 2006f February, 2006

Magnetic art for $1.45

by @ 8:14. Filed under News
LED Throwie
Take one battery and connect a LED directly to it, add one magnet and wrap it together with some tape and you have a LED Throwie. Accoding to Graffiti Research Lab, that developed this, one of these units will keep on glowing for about a week and with a hole bunch of them you can run downtown and do some electronic graffiti.
And yes – they did it and here is a video of it.

What you see on the picture is a whole bunch of these throwies stuck together. After all – they’re magnetic.

Read about them over at Instructables
[via]

14th 2006f February, 2006

Aesthetic TFT panel

by @ 3:15. Filed under News
Modded LCD display
While LCD’s are getting more popular there is still one thing that the cheap ones miss. Design. More like a rule then an exception they’re plain and simple ugly and this is what Antti was faced with when he got his hands on a cheap one to use with his laptop.
So what does a true maker do then? Rebuild it of course!
He writes

I bought an old 15″ tft display from my friend because the display of my laptop didn’t offer enough workspace. This monitor just happened to be too ugly to be tolerated for long. I never had the guts to modify my laptop, so this new screen of mine offered a great opportunity to refresh my building skills. I turned some of my ideas into a 3d model to see how they look. The leading idea was to show the parts of the tft and of course: it shouldn’t be too hard to build.

Link: 15″ TFT panel transformed to something more aesthetic
[via]

9th 2006f February, 2006

Call for free with the Sipura

by @ 7:01. Filed under Projects, Telephony, VoIP
Sipura SPA3000

I’ve been a regular user of Skype for about a year now and have been using my own solutions to try to make this as user friendly as possible. But it was never perfect and I’ve always been the only one in my house using it as it hasn’t been user friendly.

Then I heard about the Sipura and started looking around on how to use it, and then I heard about VoIPBuster which provided free VoIP calls to land lines all over the world.

But – there’s always a but – it wasn’t as easy as I wanted it to be to get everything up running. I eventually figured out how to actually get a user friendly, transparent, phone solution up running and now anyone in my house can pick up any phone and the Sipura takes care of routing the call the cheapest way.

In this how-to I will explain why I made the choices I made and show you how easy it can be to have this up running in your own house.
Calling nationally and internationally for free to regular telephones.

Here’s the How-To VoIP for free with the Sipura

8th 2006f February, 2006

Building a home made G-meter

by @ 12:30. Filed under News
Accelerator meter
Jesper writes on his page about his AccelR8 project:

This is a fun project. Unfortunately, it takes some time to develop the code, so this is a work in progress and here i’ll just present the project so far.
Basically the AccelR8 is a device for measuring acceleration. It can measure +/- 2 g.
As it contains a microprocessor, it an also measure time.

AcceR8 will tell you :
Acceleration 0-100 km/t (0-60 mph),
Braking distance 100-0 (60-0), and
Maximum Horsepower

Maybe not something you’ll do in the coffee break but have a look at the AccelR8 project
[via]

7th 2006f February, 2006

Soldering like an expert

by @ 12:56. Filed under News
LED organ
A organ (when you speak electronics) is a device that flicker and blink a couple of lights in motion with music or other sounds. This is such device and there are two things that are interesting with it. The first one is of course how to build one and there is a piece of schematics on the linked page where it’s described in detail how you would go about to build one.

The second one is just the looks of it! It’s built like a birds nest, which is quiet common when you build small things – not when you have hundreds of components on such small space!! None the less it’s very impressive. Very!

Link: The electronic peasant’s LED color organ [via]

6th 2006f February, 2006

Custom made L-pod for slim cameras

by @ 9:47. Filed under News
To make something useful doesn’t always have to involve rocket science – that’s something I’ve said before and I’ll say it again. Papydom has a small compact camera that is nice and thin, which unfortunatley means that it lacks a proper hole for a tripod mount. He writes:

I love my Sony DSC 7 camera. It is really thin, and I can finally go to a wedding or a family party with a camera in my pocket and still have a straight jacket. The point is that it is so thin you cannot screw a regular tripod in it. You have to use an adapter that looks like a big socket for the camera, and accepts a regular tripod screw. This adapter is not heavy, but it is too big for my pockets. So I decided to build my own accessory. I call it the “L”-pod, because this is its shape when in use, as you can see in the last pictures.

Link: Build a L-Pod

5th 2006f February, 2006

Computer in a whisky bottle

by @ 16:15. Filed under News
I’ve seen a lot of great custom cases during the years but I think this one beats most of them. Janos Marton took computer casing to a new level with his computer in a Ballentines whisky bottle.
It’s not extreme in terms of either power or performance but it fulfills its designers wish to be small, handy and quiet as he already has a powerful computer when that’s needed.

Link: Small whisky computer [via]

4th 2006f February, 2006

DIY T-Shirt folding machine out of paper

by @ 4:16. Filed under News

I’m very bad in folding t-shirts. Plain and simple, it takes me forever to fold a t-shirt in what my wife considers a proper way and she usually comments my folding with But – it’s so simple.. Well, I just don’t have it in my fingers and if you’re anything like me then you will appreciate this instruction video on how to build a t-shirt folding machine.

God – it’s so simple when you see it. [click on the image to play]
From Alltribes, streamed by SW, [via]

3rd 2006f February, 2006

DIY Led flashlight

by @ 11:06. Filed under News
LED Flashlight You can buy these LED flashlights for not to much money, but why buy one when you can build it yourself? The benefit of using LED’s instead of a regular glowing lightbulb is of course its efficency where about 90% of the energy is turned into light comparead to a lighbulbs 10%. With these LED’s consuming about 90mA you should be able to use this flashlight for about 25 hours before it’s time to charge or replace the batteries.
As this curcuit needs 3.3v to function there is a IC taking care of the stepping up of the voltage from 1.5 to 3.3v. And no, you can’t pop in more batteries as we’re talking a pocket flashlight here.

Link: DIY Led flashlight
[via]

2nd 2006f February, 2006

DIY POV

by @ 9:28. Filed under News
POV LED Clock For being a beginner in working with clocks I must say that Bob has succeded very well. This is a POV, Persistance of Vision, clock that works like this:

A motor spins the “propeller”, and a small microprocessor keeps track of time and changes the pattern on seven LEDs with exact timing to simulate a 7 by 30 array of LEDs. It is an illusion, but it works nicely. If you want to build this clock, you will need a few things, including: Skill with motors and mechanical things. Prior electronic experience. A dead VCR or floppy drive or other source of a suitable motor and miscellaneous parts. A programmer that will program a PIC16C84 or 16F84 microprocessor.

Link: ‘Propeller Clock’ Mechanically Scanned LED Clock

Contest: Run Windows on a Mac

by @ 9:21. Filed under News
100 dollar Colin is convinced that XP can be run on the new MacBook that starts shipping on the 15th of February. They’re intel based for anyone who has missed the news flashes. He’s so convinced that he’s holding a competetion on who will be the first to boot the mac into XP.

I am pledging $100 of my own money and offering anyone else who would like the instructions on how to Dual boot these two operating systems the ability to donate some of their money into the pot as a reward for the person / group that can make dual-booting Mac OS X and Windows XP happen on an Intel Mac. Good Luck, Colin

At the time of this writing the total donated price money is $9842
Want to go for it? Have a look at Windows XP on an Intel Mac

26th 2006f January, 2006

Make a glowing keyboard

by @ 16:11. Filed under News
Glowing keyboard
Wakazashi and Arkku a has been creative with LED’s and made their keyboards ‘glow in the dark’. In both cases this mod is on a Mac usb keyboard but as both regular (pc) and usb keyboards use +5v I don’t see a problem applying this to any keyboard.
The mod is easy enough for basically anyone to do and could be a interesting beginners project.

Have a look at Wakazashi‘s version which is more detailed and Arkku‘s with nicer pictures.
[via]

24th 2006f January, 2006

Inverted gardening

by @ 11:24. Filed under News
Upside down gardening
Nerdy as we might be we still need oxygen and that is provided to us by the plants. And plants might not be the most erotic subject for maker’s but there is a solution to that – plant them upside down. As a true DIY’er this is just something that you have to spend half an hour to do and I’m sure you can do it with a higher finish then what has been done on this site.

Hey! What else can we plant things in? This brings me to think about my currently still standing Things to do with 20 hard drives project. A plant in a hard drive? Hmm, maybe…

Link: OhCripes

23rd 2006f January, 2006

How To Make Your Own USB Car Charger

by @ 19:46. Filed under News
usb charger
To charge your devices in the car is something that you usually want to do but never actually do. Well, I can only speak from my own experience with an iPAQ charger, phone charger, and iPOD charger and so on. The biggest reason are all these charging devices you need to bring with you and you could fill a plastic bag with them.

This USB charger is not the perfect solution to the problem but what it does for you are to let you use the smaller and smarter USB chargers that take less space. So, leave this USB charger in the car and put the USB dongles in your computer bag and then you can choose to charge you iPAQ or what you have either in the office or in the car.
Anyway, it’s a very straight forward project. Have a look.

Create a USB car charger for any iPOD or other Device that Charges Via USB by splicing together a car adapter that outputs 5v and USB Female plug. The most important part of this project is to make sure that the output your chosen car adapter is between 4.75v and 5.25v otherwise you risk damaging your device. Please verify voltage with a voltmeter.

The full story over at Instructables

19th 2006f January, 2006

Revive water damaged router

by @ 14:05. Filed under Other, Projects
Water damage
I think everyone has heard about the anecdote about the engineer, the user and the coke – but anyway.

The user calls the support department: “My keyboard doesn’t work.”
Engineer: “What have you done?”
The user: “Nothing, it just stopped working!”
The engineer comes by with a new keyboard and as he lifts up the old keyboard and holds it against his chest – coke pours out…

This might be an anecdote but accidents still happen and if it’s your own stuff then you’d rather fix it then buy a new one. Every dollar saved….

On the picture is part of the PCB from a Linksys WRT54g. Used to be broken – but works fine now after cleaning it.

See how you can Salvage your device after liquid spill

16th 2006f January, 2006

404 – Page not found

by @ 19:15. Filed under News
404
404 – The page cannot be found is a well known term around the net and for the one that is not accustomed with the term it means that the address you typed doesn’t exist according to the serving server. The page itself is actually generated by the server so you can put anything you want there – if you’re running your own server that is.
One of my favourite 404’s are Cannot find Intelligence which at a first glance looks completely normal, but spend a minute or two to actually read the text. Quiet funny actually.
Other interesting 404’s are this one or this collection or do a google for 404 images.
This one
is also a bit funny.

Have you got any favourites yourself?

9th 2006f January, 2006

Converting a laptop keyboard for stationary use

by @ 20:32. Filed under Hack, Projects
Keyboard controller for laptop
Have you ever felt that your keyboard was to big? I sure have and I’ve looked at these small replacements your can buy more then a couple of times. Then again, they’re expensive and are usually made for people who needs small keys to prevent RSI – not for people who just want a small keyboard. A laptop keyboard on the contrary is small an has a lot of keys so they’re more suitable for the purpose. They’re also (usually) more quiet.
Lee Char got his hands on an old Compaq 486 laptop keyboard and took upon himself to educate us on how to do this by using the controller from a regular keyboard.

Have a look at the laptop keyboard conversion

6th 2006f January, 2006

RFID Zapper

by @ 11:52. Filed under News
RFID zapper
Maybe this is something for Amal when he realizes that his implant wasn’t a good idea.
Anyway, this project was awoken as a response to those implanted RFID tags you can find sewn into some clothes. Instead of cutting them out with the risk of damaging you goods this device will send a small EMP pulse to (hopefully) zap the RFID chip or one of it’s components to permanently disable it.

Link: RFID Zapper
[via]

5th 2006f January, 2006

Pimp your computer with a scanner light

by @ 14:26. Filed under News
Scanner light
A lot of people pimp their computer chassis with lights and they’re actually not that expensive. But why buy one if you have an old scanner (or fax or copier) around that you’re willing to sacrofice? Most of them contain a light tube that shines on the paper so that the actual scanner can see what it’s looking at. This project in it’s essense is to take out the light and the reactor (that makes the light work on 12v) and simply put it inside your computer.
I could thing of a bunch of other applications for this kind of light source would be useful for but this would be the most obvious.

Link: HowTo: Using the scanner lamp inside your computer

[via]

4th 2006f January, 2006

Project: Chipped

by @ 14:15. Filed under News
RFID implant
Wearable clothing in all its honor, but Amal Graafstra installed or rather implanted an RFID chip in his hand. I guess this is just the first step to what we all fear is coming – Big brother sees you!!
On his page he has two instructual (!) videos of how to install the RFID tag and an interview with Jimmy Goldstein.
I don’t know if I’d dare to do this myself but damn it’s tempting..

Here’s the project at Electric clothing and Makezine also has an interview with him here.

2nd 2006f January, 2006

Vodafone prepay flaw allows unlimited upgrades

by @ 11:10. Filed under Hack, News

Trick Vodafone to upgrade your prepay phone again and again when travelling abroad

Amsterdam A Dutch anonymous reader contacted us with this scoop regarding a flaw in Vodafone’s ‘Pay as you talk’ system. He has a Dutch Vodafone prepay card, known as Pay as you talk in the UK, and went to Sweden after Christmas. As he arrived he realized that his account was empty and went to a gas station to buy some more credits.

“I bought the equivalent of €20 and called the local number for activating it. That didn’t work as I didn’t have any credits left, but after a minute I got an sms telling me to call 1200 for the Dutch menus and I got connected. I then entered the 16 digit code that was on the receipt and the lady told me that it would take up to an hour to activate the credits and that I would get an sms when it was.
Patiently I waited over two hours and nothing happened, so I called the number again and entered the 16 digit code and the lady ensured me the same thing that it could take up to and hour and that I would receive an sms when the transaction was completed. Nothing happened.
After another hour I called the same number again and wondered if I had done something wrong so I listened extra good at the options given and after hanging up it stroked me that it actually said on the receipt that the code was the first 12 and the last 4 was the control number. That would explain why it didn’t work, so I decided to call 1200 again and choose the option to talk to customer service to correct this problem. Do you know what happened? I called 1200 and got the automated reply that ‘You’ve called this number to many times today. You will now be disconnected.'”

(more…)

24th 2005f December, 2005

How-to add internal USB to your laptop cheap

by @ 13:14. Filed under Hack, Projects, Wireless
Disected USB dongle
Bluetooth is cool but unfortunatley I don’t have it build into my laptop. There is an empty mini-pci slot available but after trying to find a good Bluetooth card to put in there without spending a fortune I simply dropped that solution. And using one of these dirt cheap USB Bluetooth dongles is a hazzle as I don’t like having that sticking out of my laptop the whole time.
Well, why not build it in as Tom did! I’ve seen this kind of projects before – but this one really only uses a Bluetooth dongle plus some cables. No hub or any other electronics so it’s actually a no-brainer to get this one working. That is as long as you have the space within the laptop to hide the dongle away…

Read about how he did it in Adding internal Bluetooth to a Dell Latitude

23rd 2005f December, 2005

Circuits that come in handy

by @ 16:25. Filed under News
5v regulator
While designing all kinds of different curcuits I usually pick the designs from my head, or I go seaching on the net to find what I need. Over at DIY Live they put together a good top 10 list of curcuits that often come in handy. Like a 5v regulator, how to drive a transistor as a switch, USB pinout, a simple amplifier and lots more.

They write:

I have decided to compile a list of the top ten most needed circuits that are a must know for anyone interested in DIY projects. These are the basics that can all be interchanged and used in conjunction with each other to make many of the projects that we all love so much.

Link: Ten most needed circuits for the DIYer

22nd 2005f December, 2005

Charging you iPOD in different ways

by @ 16:40. Filed under News
iPOD bicycle charger
When I leave my house I always make sure that my iPAQ (don’t have an iPOD) is fully charged and ready for a full days work. I also have a charger in my car and in my office so even though I might forget to charge it during night this is not really a problem.
Mark though, he realized that these options not really are sufficient while riding his bike or while out camping and therefore he developed the ‘Hand crank charger’ and the ‘bicycle charger’ for his iPOD. Both are based on a hand crank flashlite.

Link: Hand crank your iPOD
Link: Using the above but on the bike
[via]

21st 2005f December, 2005

Force feedback racing simulator

by @ 21:04. Filed under News
Force feedback racing chair
Do you want to build something that scores 9.5 on the geek scale? Wanna have a ‘real’ force feedback simulator that is as close to the real simulators as possible?
Then have a look at Jared’s little project where he uses the classical ingredients as a stearing wheel and the standard pedals, but also a electrical winch for a car…

He writes:

I remember when I was younger taking a family trip to Universal Studios Hollywood. While the experience was overall a snore, there was this one ride that really captured my imagination: Back to the Future. For those who don’t know, its a Delorean simulator with a back to the future theme. … For some time I have wanted to make my own, seeing the NASA shuttle simulator and other similar training simulators all over. Well one day while playing mech 4 I realized that I had the power to do so literally in the palm of my hand. So I decided to mod out my simulator. Well a lot of
R & D went into this and this is actually a prototype for the main build to come.

Link: The force feedback racing simulator
Thanks Tom Needer for the tip!

Simple but powerful bench power supply

by @ 0:04. Filed under News
Power supply
I find myself in my garage way to many times in the small hours of the day trying to find a suitable power supply to power what-ever-I’m-doing at the moment. And everytime I do this I look at an old atx power supply and thing – Hmm, I’ve got that 12v there… but…
But of course someone has done this for you already and have a look at this if you need a small project to hide yourself away with during the long christmas dinners coming up. It should take about an hour or two to complete and you get a ps that can give you +5,+12,-5 and -12. Connecting between +5 and -5 will give you 10v and so on, so you also get +7, +10, +17 and +24 to play with.

Read about at wiki.ehow.com
[via]

16th 2005f December, 2005

Extreme macro on a budget

by @ 20:27. Filed under News
Macro photography
In all pictures for my projects (and other photographs also) there’s always that moment when I need to take an close-up on something exceptionally interesting, like a ball point pen… On my Canon S40 (compact 4mp but still good) I have this feature which lets me snap a picture as close as about 10cm (~4 inches) which is usually sufficient if you take the photograph in high resolution and then crop it down. But it could definitely be better, like as on this picture.

Hajejan took this a step further – on a budget. He has a removable lens on his Canon EOS which is not something that I could do so maybe it’s time for me to get a new camera? To wrap it up (aka spoiler) – he mounted a Pringles can in-between the camera and the lens which allows it to get into real macro.

Read about the ‘Extreme Macro Photography on a budget

15th 2005f December, 2005

Hacking santa

by @ 16:48. Filed under News
santa claus
This is something I’d personally would love to have standing in the hallway during christmas to welcome all my guests.
Josh writes:

If you’ve ever gone to Wal*Mart during the Christmas season, you’ve seen it. I figure that at least a quarter of the US population has been exposed to it by now. A 5 foot tall Santa Claus that sings and dances to holiday music. Head moves left and right. Mouth opens and closes. Body sways from side to side. They’ve got white Santas and black Santas. Around here, they even have Spanish speaking white Santas. But do they have… hackable Santas? It took me $49.84 to find out.

He has several videos on his site where you can hear and see the hacked version in action.

Link: Animated Singing Santa Hack
[via]

14th 2005f December, 2005

Line following robot

by @ 16:54. Filed under News
Line following robot
Greg starts with warning us for a long article in this DIY article. And while we’re at it have a look at this one also over at ELM, it’s really small and neat.
He writes:

…we will start out with a problem and a solution. The problem is going to be to build a Lego robot with sensors, a motor controller, and a microcontroller that 1. Follows a black tape. 2. Upon reaching the end of the tape will pause for three seconds. 3. After pausing for 3 seconds will return back to the starting point.

Link: Line following robot
[via]

11th 2005f December, 2005

DIY Snow

by @ 18:32. Filed under News
Snow machine
Making snow is always something that seems complicated but after reading this article about on how you can build a snow machine yourself I must say it’s something I’m definitely will try when (if) it finally goes below zero here.
The article itself is very straight forward and I myself have several question marks after reading it, but it’s a starting point. I’ll let you read it for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

Link: SnowatHome.com
[via]

9th 2005f December, 2005

The real hard drive clock

by @ 12:01. Filed under Hard drives, Projects
Hard drive clock
Hard drive clocks has been around for as long as hard drives has been around. The first ones simply had a disc and the regular hands, the second generation had a whole hard drive and regular hands, and I’ve also seen a very nice one which is using light and a spinning disc to show the time. But except for the last example they still look like a clock with those plastic hands.

In part 3 we take a look on how to build The real hard drive clock. Even though this clock might not fit into every home, it definitely has something about it that makes it nice to look at.

Read about how it was done in The real hard drive clock

7th 2005f December, 2005

Hard drive storage box

by @ 20:27. Filed under Hard drives, Projects
Hard drive jewel case
In part 2 of ‘Things to do with 20 hard drives’ we will build a storage box out of one hard drives. The goal is to make the box look exactly like to original hard drive complete with screws and everything.
And the finished box made that goal and looks exactly like the original except for in one angle.

A note to anyone following these series, all parts of this projects end up in the ‘hard drive category’.

Read more about the Hard drive storage box

6th 2005f December, 2005

Things to do with 20 old hard drives

by @ 21:48. Filed under Hard drives, Projects
Half a meter of hard drives
I have twenty 3.5″ hard drives collecting dust in my garage (10Gb and all working) and I will use them to do things. What things I haven’t decided yet, but I already have a couple of ideas. The first one is almost finished and will be posted here in a day or two.

-But- I need your help to come up with more ideas!
We have 20 nice shiny discs, as many read/write heads complete with arm, 40 very powerful magnets, and so on. It’s actually only the imagination that sets the limits.

In this first part we go through the, maybe trivial but vital, task of taking the drive apart in its components without damaging anything.

Read more in Things to do with 20 hard drives

5th 2005f December, 2005

The Belt Buckle Project

by @ 21:50. Filed under News
Belt Buckle
We’ve featured the wearable LED display before and thought that this might compliment it. A belt buckle made out of a personal video player, or PVP, based on the DmTech Av-10.
In short it’s a PVP attached to a belt but it’s actually a lot more sofisticated then that. Have a look for yourself.

Link: Lepow.com
Pics: The photos at Flickr

4th 2005f December, 2005

Cheap LED’s for all your christmas projects

by @ 16:32. Filed under News
cheap blue led
Christmas time is comming and with it the urge to build all these nice blinking things that will drive your family crazy. I prefer building these ‘toys’ with LED’s much because there reliable, look good and are easy to control. But they come at a price and a good blue one is usually around $2-$3 which becomes wery expensive when you need a lot.

Clyde Jones has a solution to this and writes:

“They come disguised as “Christmas Lights” – the “Forever Bright” line is especially good. And they are the subject of this article. Why bother? Cost. A string of 75 BLUE LED lights costs $10 on sale – and up where I am there’s a $5 rebate per string for “Energy Saver” lights. So that’s five bucks for 75 LEDs – or about 7 cents per LED for the expensive BLUE ones. Cheap.”

Link: Inexpensive and Abundant LEDs
[via Make]

2nd 2005f December, 2005

Sorting out your M&M’s

by @ 13:11. Filed under News
M&M sorter
TCS230 is a simple colour sensor from Parallax and they’ve finally found the ultimate usage for it. To sort you M&M’s! Just imagine the possibilities to serve sorted candy when having friends over for the Friday night movie…
Well, what it comes down to is that they have this available in several different kits starting with the frame and then growing to contain the micro controller and the sensors. What they won’t give you is the software and initially they held a contest of who could write the best source code for it. The winner got $300 cash and $200 worth of software.

Link: Parallax M&M sorter contest and kits
Video: Video of the machine sorting M&M’s
[via Make]

TomTom with other Bluetooth devices

by @ 13:10. Filed under News

When I bought my HP Bluetooth headphones I ran into compatibility problems with TomTom and it took a couple of turns before I got around it. A lot of people has the same problem with all kinds of Bluetooth devices in combination with TomTom which installs its own Bluetooth drivers even though it’s not really necessary for it to work properly.
Here’s my take on the problem.

(more…)

1st 2005f December, 2005

Sub $100 (mostly) gift guide

by @ 22:39. Filed under News
Guiding elf
It’s that time of the year which always make me nervous. You just -have- to buy -everyone- all these presents and usually keep me awake later and later each night as we get closer to the end of December. WHAT SHOULD I GET EVERYONE screams a voice in my head.

Don’t fear – make is here! Makazine has compiled a great list of mostly sub $100 cool things to please at least your tech friends and your children of the technological sex. Everything from FM transmitters that are plugged into your USB port ($25), to a kit to make these ‘spinning wheel’ displays ($15).

Link: MAKE’s Mostly Under $100 Gift Guide 2005!

30th 2005f November, 2005

Stereo photography with the Dakota

by @ 22:24. Filed under News
Dakota disposable camera
Ok, here’s a guy who converted the disposable Dakota digital camera to (1) have a standard USB port and (2) use two of them for stereo photography. Stereo photography in this way is simple and is done by taking two pictures where the second one is taken 5-7 cm to the left of the right one. Then you put the pictures next to each other, and look at them at a close distance while crossing you eyes.
Usually you need to be very steady on your hand when you do this, but as he has two of these converted Dakotas he has mounted them on a rail of Lego (!) and can then take two pictures at one time.

Link: How to make a cheap digital camera
Link: More 3d pictures sorted from all over the world
Link: Guide to making your own 3d photographs.

What a home computer will look like in 2004

by @ 22:04. Filed under News
Modern home computer
When I grew up in the seventies then the TV series pictured the future computers on the future space ships with a lot of blining lights and bells and whistles. That was of course sooo cool – back then that is.
I found this picture some time ago, and frankly I don’t know where it origially comes from, but it must be from the 50’s as they talk about ’50 years from now’. One thing that makes me wonder though is what on earth they need that big wheel for? It just doesn’t make any sense to me…

Link: What a home computer will look like in 2004

25th 2005f November, 2005

Revive your old remote control

by @ 16:08. Filed under Other, Projects
Remote control
Remote controls are a consumption product. They fall in the floor, the get coffee spilled over them, the get stepped on (maybe not..) – and they wear out.
The second and last one are usually fixed by the handy-man in the house by opening the remote and cleaning it in one way or another. But when it comes to wear then that won’t work more then one or two times, then it simply fails.
In this how-to we try to revive your remote by swapping the buttons around. Easier then you think actually.

Link: Revive your old remote

23rd 2005f November, 2005

Simple Skype VoIP analog adapter

by @ 14:52. Filed under Projects, Skype, Telephony, VoIP
Skype telephone mess
Now this is an initeresting addition to the two previous VoIP hacks ( the Chat-cord and the Wireless Skype phone ). It’s achieving the same as the chat-cord project but as it doesn’t use a transformer it’s easier to build.
Vitali writes:

You can walk with your wireless phone chatting with Skype friends for free, you can make free call to your mom if she is connected to the Internet. You can make your telephone network with servises, voicemail, etc and chat there using your old phone. Skype wireless phones are expensive, VoIP adapters cost ~$60, but you can make it for free if your have details.. from old TV, Radio or other electronics.

Link: Simple Skype VoIP analog adapter

21st 2005f November, 2005

Wireless audio in your car with Bluetooth

by @ 23:55. Filed under Hack, iPAQ, Projects, Wireless
Bluetooth audio stereo
Using an MP3 player connected to the car stereo is cool. Connecting your iPAQ is cooler. But coolest is definitely to play your MP3’s through the iPAQ to the car stereo using bluetooth! Completely wireless!
HP’s FA303A Bluetooth stereo headset gets slaughtered to get a Bluetooth stereo receiver, then we follow the principal of trial and error and hope that nothing burns before we get the receiver into its box with a 12v power supply and into the car.

And when you have the box ready then you can use it anywhere your imagination takes you. In the car, by the stereo at home or at a friends house, or you can connect it to a high quality headphone!

You will definetly loose your warranty on the headset on this one!

Link: Bluetooth stereo in the car

16th 2005f November, 2005

Wide angle wifi sector panel

by @ 22:01. Filed under Projects, Wireless

Dan lives in Saudi Arabia and getting a good sector panel antenna there is not easy due to the import restriction. After spending numerous months on the net trying to find a good DIY about building one himself, he found some pages about the Franklin Array design.
Using this as his starting point he finally developed a 2.4 GHz 14 dBi sector panel that he was satisfied with and he has been kind enough to share his findings with us in a nice six page article.

Link: Wide angle sector antenna

15th 2005f November, 2005

Outdoor Wi-Lan enclosure

by @ 14:51. Filed under Projects, Wireless
Wi-Lan enclosure
Dan wanted a true outside enclosure for his Wi-Lan equipment that could withstand the forces of nature where he lives.

He writes:

This box will house my proprietary Wi-Lan HP45-24 radio unit and set as a client, a 2.4ghz 500mw HyperLink Amplifier connected to a Linksys WRT54G with a third party firmware and set as an access point, the Wi-Lan HP45-24 radio will be the main link back to my base radio.

The whole idea of this enclosure is to be as “modular” as possible, i.e. if the PSU blows-up i can simply remove the PSU and replace it, OR if i need to relocate the whole box, i can simply unscrew all the antenna and take it away with me.

Link: All weather Wi-Lan enclosure

9th 2005f November, 2005

Build an egg timer wakeup clock

by @ 12:30. Filed under Other, Projects

Rafael writes:

I am unemployed at the moment, but I’m very busy. I tend to work late nights and wander over to bed when I run completely out of steam. The problem is that this happens at a different time every day. I end up being too lazy and stupid to re-set the alarm clock, so I don’t bother. I oversleep. Recently I realized that I need a special alarm clock that instead of going off at a particular time goes off after a set duration. Like an egg timer, but grand!.

In a brief DIY he explains how to put this together.
If you’re new to programming PIC’s then you’ll find some links at the end of the article to get you started.

Link: PIC wakeup clock

Build an record cleaning machine

by @ 12:26. Filed under Non electric hacks, Projects
Record cleaning machine
Everyone (!) knows that vinyl sounds better then CD! Or… maybe not everyone. But there’s still a lot of people that really care about the quality of the music and they tend to prefer vinyl to CD’s.
The one thing that causes most people to believe that CD sounds better then vinyl is that CD’s don’t produce that irritating background noise. Well it can be irritating, but the noise is caused by dust and fat on the record and that gets picked up by the pickup – if you don’t clean it. Back in the good old days people very often had a fine brush to lift off the dust but they only work partially.
To really clean you record you first need to apply a special cleaning liquid, then brush it with the brush, and last suck off all the dust, fat and liquid.
Chris at Teres Audio made a record cleaning machine to solve this. Less then $50 and you have a professional tool to take care of your old records.

Link: Record cleaning machine

Outdoor webcam enclosure

by @ 11:13. Filed under Camera and Webcam, Projects
Outdoor webcam
I’ve had my own webcam standing in the window of my office for the last two years. It’s standing there because it’s nice, warm and dry. I’ve been thinking of taking the webcam and putting it somewhere outside but…. then I’ll need to buy an enclosure or an outdoor webcam and both of these solutions will cost you more then a bit of money.

Or build your own enclosure like Alek did. Actually he needed it outside at the neighbours house to view his own halloween and christmas decorations!
Add an wireless indoor webcam from D-Link to the mix and you’re set.

Link: Cheap Outdoor Webcams Enclosure

Op-Amp Hot Tub Temperature Controller

by @ 10:59. Filed under Cooling and heating, Projects
Hot tub temperature controller
A temperature controller is something that can be used in many scenarios.
Jake writes:

One evening late in the summer, I decided to take a little dip in the hot tub before bed. I went out to the patio, swung back the cover and slipped in. As usual, there was the sting of hot water that always goes away after a moment or two. However, this time it just got worse! I quickly got out and discovered that the temperature was 112 degrees and climbing! The temperature controller had gone bad.

In this DIY Jake will build a new controller to replace the broken one in his hot tub. I guess this curcuit could also be used for a ton of other applications, use your own imagination.

Link: Op-Amp Hot Tub Temperature Controller

2nd 2005f November, 2005

How to mount your iPAQ in the car

by @ 11:33. Filed under iPAQ, Non electric hacks, Projects
iPAQ vent mounted
I’ve tried suction devices, fixed holders, snap-lock holders, commercial vent mounts – and they’re never as good as you want them. The stable ones are expensive and often fixed to the vehicle, and the mobile ones are not stable.
In this article we’ll build our own vent mount that fixes the stability problem with four washing pegs. And it takes 5 seconds to mount and 1 to remove. Neat!
And as it’s spring loaded, the pegs can flex a bit and this will allow you to mount the holder instantly in most car vents available. We have at least not run into any problems yet.

Link: Mount your iPAQ in the car with pegs

25th 2005f October, 2005

Pointless is fun – three mobiles by Brian

by @ 10:08. Filed under Projects, Robotics
Dancing bug
Brian is a funny guy who likes to build mobiles… that actually don’t do anything interesting. Well not interesting might be the wrong word – they do move ya’ know.
His efforts are described in short and each mobile comes with a short avi or two.

Meet the Dancing bug, the Frog racer and the Spinning Bishop at: Brians three mobiles

24th 2005f October, 2005

Telephone tapping

by @ 15:26. Filed under Projects, Telephony
Telephone tapping
By using an old laptop, a home made chat-cord and some parts from an old telephone you can build a telephone tapping device. Add Atropos to the mix and you have yourself an telephone call archiving system that will save all incoming and outgoing calls. Maybe not that legal if you actually use it, as it’s illegal to tap phones in most contries. It’s probably even illegal to tap you own phone but a fun project non the less.
Step by step instructions and and even a sample of an incoming phone call.

Link Telephone archiver tapping device.

18th 2005f October, 2005

Build your own Robotic WebCam

by @ 21:25. Filed under Camera and Webcam, Projects, Robotics

Ever thought about building a web controlled webcam? I sure have! Even though you can buy one today for not too much money, the challange is still interesting.

Based on the parralax basic stamp starter kit 2, Jawed did just this. The project is mostly focused on the ‘difficult’ part (the programming) and you will have to use your own imagination for the attachment of the servo to the webcam.

You’ll need the starter kit, a servo from an R/C car and a couple of cables to get started. And oh, yes – a webcam can come in handy!

Read in full in the Robotic Webcam project

13th 2005f October, 2005

VoIP dect OSS Linux

by @ 15:55. Filed under Projects, Skype, Telephony, VoIP

Onny looked at the Siemens Skype project and said to himself: Hmm, what about continuing on this and build in a Linux SIP server and make the phone ring when I have an incoming call.

In five looong pages he describes in an amazing detail how he proceeded with his project, and this is not something for the faint of hart! It’s a lot of text!!!

Read about the whole project at VoIP dect OSS Linux

Silence your mouse

by @ 13:43. Filed under Hack, Projects

Click click, click, click click click!
Some people are immune to the sound of the clicking from a mouse, and some are not. Especially if you’re not behind the mouse, but like reading or something, then it can be very irritating.
Hayma is one of these persons that don’t like the clicke-di-click all the time so he decided to do something about it.
In a three page article he will take the mouse apart and modify the buttons that are responsible for generating the click.

Read the further in Silent mouse – The second encounter

12th 2005f October, 2005

Chewing gum makes you smarter

by @ 11:17. Filed under News

Who doesn’t want to become smarter? Or at least give yourself a boost in mental capacity?

Maya writes:

Research has shown that chewing does indeed increase our ability to concentrate and to retain what we’ve learned. In fact, studies indicate that, for both kids and adults, mental tasks are completed up to 20% more effectively when we chew gum.

Here’s why: When we chew–whether it’s food, gum or just air—we respond by salivating, which releases a surge of insulin. Our body gets ready for a meal. The insulin leads to an increased heart rate and sends glucose and oxygen to our brain.

Read on at real-worldmindfulness.com

And while we’re talking gum, Rob (on the picture) asked himself: How much is inside a pack of gum?. Not something that you think about every day, but still quiet funny!

Thanks Michael for the tip!

11th 2005f October, 2005

Peltier beer cooler

by @ 20:55. Filed under Cooling and heating, Projects

Per Øyvind Arnesen writes:

While drinking certain dark beers in the sun, I came to think about how to keep the beer cold until I finished it.
Normally this isn’t a big problem as I usually finish them before they get warm, but on really hot days this can be a problem. Having some hardware lying around in my apartment, I decided to build something that could keep the beer cool.

And the best of all – it’s powered over Cat5!

Read on to see how he made his own PeltierBeer

Build your own tripod

by @ 20:53. Filed under Non electric hacks, Projects

Sometimes you need a tripod to put things on, like a camera or a telescope. A tripod. Plain and simple three legs that go together in one point where you attach whatever you want to attach. The problem is that the cheap ones available are not stable, and the stable ones are not cheap.
This was the problem that Doug Nelle faced, and using his experience from building tripods earlier he now decided to build one that was stable enough – using crouches!

Yepp, you read it right – crouches. By taking three old-style crouches that he bought from a nearby recycling center he made a stable tripod that can carry some serious weight.

Read how he did it in Your own tripod, cheap!

10th 2005f October, 2005

Automated chicken feeder

by @ 21:10. Filed under Non electric hacks, Projects

It’s a cold and rainy day, and your flue isn’t making things better. And at the back of your house your chickens need to be fed, so you don’t have another choice then to bulk up and get out and do it.

And then you have people like Tom Boschman who rather sit inside with a nice cup of coffee on a day like this. He saw it as a challange when his friend Tim came up with the idea.

In a three page article he will show you in detail how to build everything from the grain container, the transport for the grain and the electronics to make it work.

Have a look at The Automated chicken feeder project!

Make your own wearable LED display

by @ 10:37. Filed under LED and IR, Non electric hacks, Projects

Leah Buechley (on the picture) has got it right!! She combined programming, with soldering and sewing! Now that’s what diy is all about.

In a 7 page article she will show you from a-z how she put together a ‘wearable led display’, perfect for club hopping! ( Or maybe… NOT! ) The purpose of the whole display is to show off the ‘Game of life’ which is a mathematical simulation of life. You can read more about the game of life here.

The project contains a lot of good close ups on her work in progress, and even a short movie where you can see the simulation running. I only wished that she would dance a bit at the same time.

But for now – read about her project in it’s full glory!!

30th 2005f September, 2005

Black toilet paper

by @ 22:11. Filed under News

Renova is releasing an all black toilet paper. I have pretty much spent the entire day pondering this concept, dreaming and wondering what kind of advantage using black would have on me and my posterior end. Well after finally reading the Renova press release I have unfortunately come to find out that this toilet paper doesn’t have a point.

Elegant, sophisticated, rebellious, alternative and eternally fashionable, black has become virtually synonymous with chic and style. But while this colour is often present in avant-garde creative work, no one has ever dared to use it for toilet paper until now. Black in the loo, how chic and sophisticated can you get?

Hey Renova, when I want to be chic and elegant while in the loo, I will probably wear a dress, not use black TP.

Source: Gizmodo.com

Wearing a tie is fun – making it might not be!

by @ 21:58. Filed under News
It has all happen to us, sometimes in the early years of our life and sometimes in the middle or the end.
Forgetting how to actually tie that nice tie! Some people just do the simple small and sqew Shelby, but myself I believe that a knot should be symmetrical and of a good size where it shows so to speak. I’m using (when I wear a suit that is (which isn’t that often by the way)) the Windsor knot and sometimes the half Windsor knot, but that’s beside the point.
Imagine – you’re late for the wedding/funeral/board meeting, and you just can’t get it right. What do you do? Well you dig out this page that you ofcourse should bookmark.

Read all about it and bookmark this page: Neckties.com

29th 2005f September, 2005

A picture is worth more then a 1000 words

by @ 13:39. Filed under News

Duckrace.

Source: nu.nl

27th 2005f September, 2005

The live lobster vending machine!

by @ 16:17. Filed under News
Who? What? The Japanese!

You can buy almost anything from a vending machine in Japan. So it’s no surprise to find a machine fashioned after the old UFO catcher crane-and-claw-based arcade games vending live lobsters in Sapparo. 100 yen (less than a buck) is a bargain price for a potentially tasty dinner — not to mention the hearty guffaws to be had watching children (and Alec Baldwin) scream in horror.

Source: BoingBoing.net

Puppy swallows kitchen knife, lives

by @ 15:51. Filed under News

Elsie, a Saint Bernard puppy, swallowed a 13-inch serrated knife and survived. From the Associated Press:

“I was just flabbergasted,” the vet, Jon-Paul Carew of Imperial Point Animal Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Elsie, a Saint Bernard puppy, apparently had the blade between her esophagus and stomach for about four days before it was removed earlier this week in a 2-hour operation.

Source: New York daily news

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Get ready for a dry article

by @ 15:46. Filed under News

..but none the less one of those pages that it’s fun killing a minute or two at.
Over at yourDictionary.com, it has a good reference on the top 100 often misspelled words for English. On top of the word list, it also describes the reason of why it is easy to misspell. Examples such as:

changeable: The verb “change� keeps its [e] here to indicate that the [g] is soft, not hard. (That is also why “judgement� is the correct spelling of this word, no matter what anyone says.)

committed: If you are committed to correct spelling, you will remember that this word doubles its final [t] from “commit� to “committed.�

experience: Don’t experience the same problem many have with “existence� above in this word: -ence!

lightning: Learning how to omit the [e] in this word should lighten the load of English orthography a little bit

occurrence: Remember not only the occurrence of double double consonants in this word, but that the suffix is -ence, not -ance. No reason, just the English language keeping us on our toes.

Source: YourDictionary.com
Via: lifehack.org

How to Hack Hotel Room Pay-Per-View

by @ 15:37. Filed under Hack

So you’re sitting in a hotel room, bored, and the few channels that they give you have nothing good on – Gilligans Island re-runs, Golden Girls, and maybe a Pirates game. Nothing good, so you want to watch pay per view – a good movie or a “good” movie – but you don’t want to put up the 10 bucks to get it. Well, here’s how you can still watch it in most hotel rooms:

Step 1: Get a Universal Remote. These are everywhere, so this shouldn’t be a problem. Buy one for 10 bucks if you have to.
Step 2: Program the remote to “000”…this should work in most cases. If it doesn’t, mess around with it until you get the right code.
Step 3: Press “Menu” to go to the TV’s administration.
Step 4: Use the Channel and/or Volume keys to navigate to the “Channel List” option.
Step 5: Use the Left/Right buttons to change to Channel List B. We want to use Channel List B because Channel List A is where we’ll restore the defaults so no one notices later.
Step 6: Go down to “Channel Memory” and here you can use the up and down arrows to tune any and all channels. When the PPV channels come up, tune them.
Step 7: Enjoy free pay-per-view!!!

In addition to getting free pay per view, you can do a lot of things with this “hack.” For example, changing the name of the channels is possible. Instead of “FOX News” it could be “Breast Milk BreakDance.” That would be good.

Source: theDamnblog.com

6th 2005f September, 2005

This isn’t a picture from a game – Nor is it just a girl in the water

by @ 16:11. Filed under News

The narrow view experienced by snorkellers and divers alike can be rather claustrophobic – which is why Jon Kranhouse began a mission over a decade ago to create Hydrooptix’ first underwater mask that allows you to have a distortion free view that’s almost 5 times wider than conventional flat masks! The Hydrooptix’ lenses restore natural panoramic vision to the user underwater. With the mask’s overwhelming success propped by rave reviews all over, the company has 2 new designs planned for release before the year is over. [Via The Gadgets Blog]

Read the full story at Gizmag.co.uk

2nd 2005f September, 2005

Sexy hard drive – with Plexiglas window

by @ 0:59. Filed under Hack, Hard drives, Projects

Chris once had a dream – a childhood dream – a dream about being able to see his hard drive in action while it was working! And now he realized that dream…
Well, we have seen this before – or have we? This project is not unique in terms of mounting a viewing window on top of the hard drive, but what makes this project stand out is the detail of it and the full description on how you should actually do it. And it comes with thirteen highres pictures. Not to speak of the end result. Wow!!!

Read the whole article here
(you might want to skip the first two pages and go directly to page 3 where the action begins!)

31st 2005f August, 2005

A Simple Guide to Shaving

by @ 23:58. Filed under News

Todd is a smart guy. He knows that a man’s face is not something that you mess around with, and therefore he wrote what some of us but not all of us already knew – How to shave!
In five easy steps he can actually improve the way you shave your face for the rest of your life and with a good result.

Todd writes:

Your mileage may vary, but this process has always given me excellent results and I find I don’t have to shave as often, either. This also reminds me of an article I read in Men’s Health a while back comparing razors—disposable, midrange, electric, and a professional barber. The winner? The midrange one, because of the job it did and it resulted in fewer knicks.

And I can only agree when he says “I’m going to stick with this process for a while, I think. I can’t argue with results and no batteries required.”

Read it in full at A Simple Guide to Shaving

Using a bluetooth headset with Skype

by @ 23:35. Filed under Wireless

Some time ago we wrote about the Wireless Skype Phone project and I remember someone mentioning to me that it would be so much more convienent to use a bluetooth headset. And I do agree with this as long as you sit by your computer or within the range of the bluetooth antenna (which by the way is up to a maximum of 10m). If not – then the Wireless Skype Phone still kicks ass.

So here I present you with two links utilizing a bluetooth headset with Skype.

Treonauts.com is a Palm Treo oriented website and Andrew shows you a step-by-step on how he did it.

A thread at forum.skype.com with the subject “This is how to make a Bluetooth headset work with XP SP2” also has a lot of pointers on how to do this and is more general then the Treo article

26th 2005f August, 2005

The EX – Voodoo knife holder

by @ 9:15. Filed under News

CSB Commodities has launched a knife holder out of the ordinary. The product is called “The EX” which I guess implies that this is a perfect way of keeping you ex wife/husband in mind everyday – if you have one. Even if don’t have one I do believe that this is a great product and I surley want one on my kitchen zink to replace all those knifes in the drawers.

From their website:

A radical alternative to the typical block o’ wood!
* Unique Artistic Holder
* This display will be the talk of the party
* Innovative Knife Suspension System
* Individual Protective Knife Sleeves
* Heavy Gauge Durable Stainless Steel Blades and Hollow Handles
* Razor Sharp Precision Cutting Blades
* 25 Year Warranty

The EX is currently out of stock but they say it will be available again by September, but we’ll see if they can live up to that.
It seems to me that this company doesn’t sell to the public though so we’ll have to wait and see if we can find this in the kitchen supply stores before christmas.
$79.99 usd is what they’ll charge you for this beuty – knifs included.

You can see a larger picture here.

23rd 2005f August, 2005

The return of PacMan?

by @ 11:46. Filed under News

One would easy be lead to think that this is something completely different then what it actually is. It’s a picture of a exploding baloon, one picture out of 15 similar ones made by Chris DiBona visiting the foocamp’s high speed photography session set up by MAKE. The pictures has been taken at the moment the baloons are in mid-pop and they really look great.
It would be interesting though if they’d also made an article about how they actually did these…

See all of these great photographs here.

22nd 2005f August, 2005

Caffine will kill you. But what does it take?

by @ 9:47. Filed under News

Everyone knows that caffine is addictive, and as so many other addictive substances it’s harmful for you. This guy has actually build an small caffine calculator where you fill in your poison (Pepsi, Coke, Jolt) and your weight and it will calculate how much you need to drink of this to commit suicide. For example: I’m 72kg so the calculator says… After 230.50 cups of Tea (Iced), you’d be pushing up daisies.
Hmm, let’s see. 230 cups of ice tea. It must be a cheaper way to terminate yourself.

Have a look at the calculator at energyfiend.com

7th 2005f August, 2005

Sam, “World’s Ugliest Dog”

by @ 11:30. Filed under News

I didn’t know that dogs coult be this ugly, but apparently they can be… Sam & Susie (his mom) has put up a blog where they among other things link to some live footage taken by CBS. Here are some funny comments that they put in their blog:

    “At first a friend and I looked at it and screamed. . . but after taking a closer look, well still ugly, but probably the sweetest thing.”
    “If they remake the movie “The Omen”, Sam will have a career!”
    “If Satin had a dog, this would be it! He is Ug-ly!”

Read everything about him at samugliestdog.typepad.com

5th 2005f August, 2005

200 very handy tips and tricks

by @ 23:39. Filed under News

Some time ago I stubled on this page, and finally I thought that this is actually something for everyone.

It’s plain and simple 200 collected secrets, like sort of grandma’s tips. I don’t know who’s actually collected these – but it’s a really qualitative collection!
Here’s some that I personally like.

  1. Keep potatoes from sprouting – Store apples with them.
  2. What to do about grease spills – Pour ice water over it, it will lift off before it can soak in.
  3. Cheese cutting tips – A dull knife is more successful than a sharp one.
  4. What to do when shoes get stiff – Cut a raw potato and rub all over. They will come back to life
  5. Prevent flowers from fading – Use a few drops of chlorine bleach in water, add an aspirin for life

Read all secrets here

FedEx kittens – Don’t try this at home folks!

by @ 17:54. Filed under News

A South Carolina man packed up a brush trimmer for a FedEx return to Country Home Products in Vermont and inadvertently included five kittens with the shipment. Apparently, the box was in his barn and the kittens snuck in before he sealed it. Fortunately, they survived the two-day trip. From the Associated Press:

“My co-worker Alan Bean opened the box. Something moved. He jumped; and he looked in again and there was five kittens,” (Country Home Products employee Deb) Peters said. “Three black ones, a gray one and one that looked like a Siamese.”

Country Home employees dashed to the nearby Vergennes Animal Hospital and returned with bottles of kitten formula, which the kittens devoured.

The 3-week-old kittens were taken to Addison County Humane Society in Middlebury, where they met Hazel, a black domestic cat whose kittens had just been weaned. Hazel is a now a surrogate mother to the kittens…

Source: SeaCoastOnline.com

Hack an elevator into express mode

by @ 15:03. Filed under Hack

We reported earlier on the cross walk button hack, and this goes kind of in the same spirit.
Imaging sitting on 23rd floor (which wouldn’t really happen over here – but anyway) and wanting to get down to the ground floor. Now, typically you would have a stop at every 2-3 floors on your way down and thus the ride will take a long time.
Well try this – press the close doors button and the ground floor button at the same time and if you’re lucky the elevator with skip all the inbetween floors and go directly to the requested floor.
Neat huh?

Read it in full at thedamnblog.com

20th 2005f July, 2005

Photo Radar Defense

by @ 14:57. Filed under News
Now this would definetly be something very illegal in most countries – but non the less it’s a great product. After all, the cops has to see that you have it before they can arrest you for it, but as it’s visible from ‘normal’ angles that shouldn’t happen.
A quote on their website states: This product may not be legal in some cities or states. The buyer assumes all responsibility for using this product in compliance with local motor vehicle codes.
It’s a thin film that you stick in front of your license plate which will only be visible when viewed from a straight angle or a slight angle. If you look at it from the side or from above (where cameras are usually located) the you won’t see anything.
The film is $27.99 for US plates and $39.99 for international customers. If you need to have one for outside the US then your film will be made to your own countries specifications.

From their website:

The Super Protector is your defense against the red light camera and the speed camera. It is a cover for your license plate that makes the numbers on your license plate(s) unreadable by a photo radar or red light camera. When you view the license plate straight on, the numbers are perfectly readable, but from the angle of the speed camera or red light camera, the numbers can not be seen.

(more…)

Smooth Wake-Up Light

by @ 14:49. Filed under News

Japanese company Matsushita has released a wake-up light that gradually brightens at 30 minutes before a set time. That in itself is nothing new, but the lamp also makes bird-chirping sounds two minutes prior to the alarm time, rendering horrific, shrieking demon birds in your dreams. If that “chirp chirp� is too cheesy for you, you can opt for a slightly less cheeky version and set it to wake you with a “melody that blends the sounds of a music box and tinkling glass.�

The noise is emitted at a frequency of 3,000 to 4,000Hz, which, according to the company, is specially calibtrated to awaken the brain. -RD

Source: Gizmodo.com

Tattooed Fruit Is on Way

by @ 14:46. Filed under News
It was bound to happen, and now it apparently did. You now these small stickers that they put on all fruit so that you know what you’re actually are eating? They can be very hard to get off and as Ms. Lemeaux, 76, said

“I was picking all the little stickers from the Piggly Wiggly off my plums and my avocado pears and my peaches. Then I had to make fruit salad out of the ones that got hurt when I took the stickers off, and then I had to wash the glue off the other ones before I put them in the fruit bowl.”

, I can understand her frustration.
“If they are sticky enough to stay on the fruit through the whole distribution and sales network, they are so sticky that the customer can’t get them off,” said Michael Hively, general manager of Bland Farms in Reidsville, Ga., the country’s largest grower and packer of sweet Vidalia onions.

(more…)

15th 2005f July, 2005

DIY outdoor cooling system

by @ 18:59. Filed under Cooling and heating, Non electric hacks, Projects

Summer time is here in the northern hemisphere and with it comes the heat waves. Cooling indoors is of course not something new, but how about cooling down your sitting area outside? In this article we will show you how you can make use of some ordinary things you can find in your home and garage, and put this together to an efficient cooling machine.
I can only say this – you’ll need some cleaning deturgent in an spray bottle and a garden hose.
Read the full article at Grynx.com

13th 2005f July, 2005

My robot vs Your robot?

by @ 17:33. Filed under News

One of the largest robotic happenings in the world starts today in Osaka, Japan. Now this is really something that would be worth seeing, especially as it is expected to have around 120.000 visitors this year. Last year in Lissbon only 2.000 visitors came.

330 teams from 31 countries will compete in 10 different classes, 7 senior and 3 junior. They will compete in among other things football and search and rescue. On top of this there will of course be a lot of different robots on display.

Links:
Official homepage
More information from Akihabaranews. Lots of nice pictures
Schedule for the middle size league

Glowing Hansa Sinks

by @ 17:20. Filed under News

A sink is a sink, but not when it has LEDs. Then it’s a Super Sink. This Hansa tap has LEDs that light up in response to the water temperature. Blue is for cold, red is for hot, and white is for plasma. The image shows them looking like blood and toilet water, respectively, but I suppose this sort of LED water UI can help those with no nerve endings in their hands.

Source: Gizmodo.com

Beer with Nicotine

by @ 17:19. Filed under News

Now this is just excellent. A German brewer has created a frosty lager for smoking cessation. Each can contains 6.3 percent alcohol by volume and drinking three cans of the stuff, called NicoShot, is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes. I think the implications are obvious: smoking makes you skinny and beer makes you fat. So if you add the two together, you get to your ideal weight.

Source: Gizmodo.com

12th 2005f July, 2005

How to poach an egg

by @ 9:49. Filed under News
Eggs in all honour, they’re lovely – but not poached!? At least that is the opinion of many people as they’ve had an ‘bad poach experience’ in the past or are simply revolted by the looks of one. Rob, an egg lover, were of the same opinion but decided to give it another shot – with Google in one hand and the fryingpan in the other?

Rob Manuel writes:
I love eggs. Scrambled, soft boiled, hard-boiled, fried, or an omelette, I’ve yet to find a way of serving an egg that I didn’t fundamentally think was wonderful.

And yet I haven’t eaten a poached egg in 15 years.

Why? Fear. Fear of getting it wrong. Fear of “stringy egg soup”. Fear of stinky vinegar stinking up the house.

So I thought to myself, “surely there’s a website that’ll give me advice on the perfect poached egg?”

And to google I go, and of course there is a thousand and one bloody sites. And guess what? It’s a hotbed of conflicting advice. Every chef has a different method. I’m confused, I don’t want choice – I want results.
Read the full article here

10th 2005f July, 2005

Google and spelling mistakes

by @ 0:07. Filed under News

You just got to admire where Google came from and what it is today. I mean, it can ever guide you in the right direction when you spell something wrong. That’s a good thing! It’s just a shame that people making websites doesn’t spell check their work before publishing – something that a misspelled search on ‘Deaf and hard of hearing’ will show you. Go ahead and try it here.

So, who’s are these websites where the authors can’t spell? The local kinder garden? Well, not really. Boston university and Georgetown university among others – and frankly I would expect more from such institutions 😀

9th 2005f July, 2005

Sony Ericsson W800 – A good looking phone

by @ 13:33. Filed under News

I’m the last person to fall for a cellphone, and I’m still running around with my phone from 4 years ago (Nokia 6310) as my true partner. But I must say it – the new SonyEricsson w800 is veeery nice.
It doesn’t look like a toy, the camera actually looks like a camera, it’s a Walkman (yes a Walkman, that’s how SonyEricsson has branded it!), and it’s Orange!!!

Over at Bengalboy they’ve managed to get their hands on one and made a full review over it.

It can be summarized as this (more…)

E-mail traffic doubles after London bomb blasts

by @ 13:09. Filed under News
It’s amazing what an wide effect a bombing (like the one in London) can have on all of us outside that area. Everything seems to just stop while everyone just starts thinking about what happened. Offices closes, people turn on the TV, business looses money on lost sales, and the most spoken about subject on the net is “the London Blast” in all it’s shapes and forms.

cNet reports:
A snapshot of e-mail activity from security company MessageLabs found the number of customer e-mails it monitored grew from the average of 500,000 to 1 million an hour after terrorist attacks began.

“Sometime after 9:00 a.m. BST (1 a.m. PDT) we saw e-mail traffic rise,” said Alex Shipp, senior antivirus technologist for MessageLabs. “That’s ignoring spam–that’s half a million legitimate e-mails an hour up to 1 million.

“We don’t know what the traffic is, but we’re guessing that it’s ‘Are you OK?’ and ‘Have you seen the news?’ messages. But that’s based on the e-mails we’ve been getting.”

Vodafone, the U.K.’s largest mobile operator, is asking customers to avoid using their phones following the attacks. All the United Kingdom’s mobile phone networks were intermittently crippled by the sudden rise in calls and text messages early Thursday morning.

Source: cNet.com

How to build a cardboard chair

by @ 11:21. Filed under Non electric hacks

It’s not anything new that when you need a chair – you don’t have one. But what if you could have a low weight, low cost, foldable chair inside your backpack or briefcase?? Designboom held a competition which ended in the summer of 2003, (what do you mean? old news? Naaa!) and it resulted in a lot of foldable chairs in both cardboard and plastic. I just love this concept, and I wonder where I can buy my own… Read more here

Source: Designboom.com

8th 2005f July, 2005

AVtech Solutions VDPF2 Digital Picture Frame

by @ 9:31. Filed under News
We recently reported on the ‘do it yourself’ project about how to convert your old laptop in to a Walltop, but here is a smaller (commercial) version that might be interesting. What this has and the Walltop misses is a compact flash memory card reader, and this is where it takes the pictures from. Handy I must say, but still – the Walltop has WiFi which makes it more versatile.
So, what it comes down to is that this frame is 210 x 150 x 45mm and has a 5.6″ active matrix display. It can play jpg, mp3 (!), MPEG-I and II.
You’ll find a full review and the details here.

Source: www.i4u.com

7th 2005f July, 2005

TomTom Fishes Out A Wanda-ful Deal With John Cleese

by @ 19:36. Filed under News

Now you can have Tom Cleese guide you trough the streets with ‘his smart comments’. I really don’t know if it’s a good idea, I mean, just imagine being late to a meeting and all stressed up and everything and then your navigation system says: ‘Is this how you usually drive’ Fun? Yes – very. But….

Anyway, here’s the press release.

29 June, 2005 UK – TomTom, Europe’s leading navigation solution provider, today announces a first-of-its-kind partnership with Monty Python and A Fish Called Wanda star John Cleese that will see the actor/comedian provide his unique voice to TomTom’s full range of personal navigation devices.

John Cleese, the award winning actor who has starred in some of the funniest and most memorable films and TV programmes can now direct you anywhere across Europe or straight to Fawlty Towers if you like. Cleese’s voice can be simply downloaded onto any TomTom product* through TomTom PLUS, TomTom’s personalised navigation services.

(more…)

Hamster thrown from remote-control monster truck

by @ 0:51. Filed under News
MILTON, MA—Tragedy was narrowly averted in the Bourke household Monday, when Harry, the family’s pet hamster, was violently thrown from the 4″ by 4″ payload of a toy Ford F-350 monster truck.
The site of the accident that nearly claimed the life of Bourke family pet Harry (inset).
Above: The site of the accident that nearly claimed the life of Bourke family pet Harry (inset).

According to reports, the toy vehicle was racing through a living-room obstacle course—which included a coffee-table-coaster slalom, a cardboard ramp, and a Dixie-cup pyramid—when it swerved out of control and crashed into a Lincoln Log structure, sending the hamster flying through the monster truck’s driver-side window and knocking over three nearby Fisher-Price Little People.

The scene quickly devolved into pandemonium, with the launched hamster tumbling humorously in mid-air several times before landing at the foot of the sofa and fleeing in shock. A frantic, living-room-wide search for Harry ensued and, after extensive search efforts behind the sofa, under the recliner, and behind the bookcase, the hamster was found between the vertical blinds and the sliding glass door, shaken but alive.

(more…)

Drug dealing really may be rocket science.

by @ 0:42. Filed under News

Two accused methamphetamine traffickers apparently rigged up their car so that if cops closed in, a small rocket carrying their stash would pop up from the trunk and launch itself far from the long arm of the law.

For some reason, the rocket never achieved liftoff when Missouri State Highway Patrol (search) officers pulled over Michael Ray Sullivan, 41, and Joseph C. Seidl, 39, both of Kentucky, on June 24 in Kingdom City.

The $13,534 in cash in the 1990 Ford Thunderbird was interesting enough, Kansas City U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Don Ledford told the Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune.

Far more intriguing was what was in the trunk: three dud pipe bombs and a “hobby-style” rocket, three to four feet long, all packed with meth worth up to $145,000.

Ledford explained that a web of ropes and pulleys lifted the rocket into launch position when the trunk lid was opened. The rocket could then be ignited from inside the car using the dashboard cigarette lighter.

Cops are pretty certain the rocket was meant to be an escape pod for the drugs, but Ledford diplomatically declined to speculate.

“But they did have the meth inside the rocket,” he admitted, “and it could be launched from inside the car.”

— Thanks to Out There reader Jen J.

Source: foxnews.com

Graphics cards going over $1000

by @ 0:26. Filed under News
How much is a graphics card worth to you?
Ronnie Lindsay writes:
We’ve already seen a number of cost-conscious Geeks complaining about the price of the FX-57, the Extreme Edition Pentium processors, and other super-expensive silicon for high-end gaming computers. It now appears that the CPU is not the only thousand dollar component to be found in next-generation top-of-the-line computers. GPU component prices are heading over the megabuck mark, and high-end next-generation parts are likely to see the US$1,200 price point. And why not? BFG, a major supplier of NVIDIA-based graphics cards, says that it is selling out of its $999 high-end graphics cards; in fact, supply has been so short for such chips, cards costing $600 last year now cost over $1,000 on eBay.

(more…)

30th 2005f June, 2005

Pedestrian Hacker Group Releases Crosswalk Button Hacks

by @ 21:37. Filed under Hack, News

By Nikolaj Borg
Kansas City , MO – A shadowy group of pedestrian hackers called Cross Anytime announced their discovery of several back doors or “cheats” using crosswalk buttons at many intersections. The 3658-item list has been released on their website www.crosswalkbuttonhacks.com. (this site has been closed by the FBI so don’t bather testing it. Chris)

Crosswalk ButtonTom Walker, leader of Cross Anytime said, “There have always been rumors that these codes existed. Mostly, they’re used by politicians and city officials to get an edge in crossing the street. Now, we’ve freed the codes to the world, and everyone can walk without oppression.”

(more…)

29th 2005f June, 2005

Build your own Chat-Cord

by @ 21:06. Filed under Projects, Skype, Telephony, VoIP

Ever wanted to connect a regular phone or a wireless phone to your computer to use with Skype or MSN? Jeroen, aka Mr. Blond, has done the thinking for you and has given us the schematics and pictures to do it. It’s easier then you think!

Jeroen Theeuwes writes: “This whole project started with the fact that my girlfriend (we’re not living together) stopped using her home-phoneline (the contract became too expensive for one person), and I didn’t want to have to call her mobile every time, or using those stupid headsets. And as the chat-cord was not an alternative (not available where I live) I started thinking of building my own.” Read about his findings and see how you can build your own.

23rd 2005f June, 2005

Hello Kitty SD card

by @ 11:06. Filed under News
Kitty
Being odd is being cool. At least if you as a grownup man walk around with one of these in your PDA. Available in pink and blue and 128 and 256Mb.

Source: Akihabara News

Programmable pet dish

by @ 10:52. Filed under News
Food
Now this is just something you must have – if you have a dog. It’s the intelligent programmable pet dish, and it has four compartments on a rotating dish that you can fill with food and then program the little thing to rotate when it’s time for food.
Just a gotta have…

Read more at Smarthome.com

16th 2005f June, 2005

Laptop on the wall – WallTop

by @ 11:36. Filed under Hack, Projects, Wireless
WallTop in the middle
Ever wanted to put a laptop in the living room, but the misses didn’t allow it? Have a laptop over and the guts to take it apart?

Then this DIY article is something for you. I will take you step by step though the process of converting an laptop into a WallTop to hang next to your other pictures. Making use of wireless takes away the cable problem, and with no hard drive makes it completely quiet.
And the result is astonishing.

You need a laptop and picture frame and -the guts to do it-!!!


Read on

15th 2005f June, 2005

Wireless Skype phone – success stories

by @ 22:00. Filed under Projects, Skype, Telephony, VoIP

Ever wondered if people liked the Siemens skype project / Wireless skype phone project?
Here’s the answer with a couple of pictures and experiences from other people who has done it!

Link: Success stories

13th 2005f June, 2005

The love toaster

by @ 14:48. Filed under News

Love toaster
Straight up, this is the coolest thing I have ever seen (you mean this week, right? – Ed!). This bad boy is gonna get you some lovin like you wouldn’t believe! The Love Toaster ($78) toasts the message ‘I Love You’ onto every round of freshly toasted bread, thanks to a special metal plate inside the unit. Like it matters, but you also get a removable bread crumb tray, variable browning control, and cool touch walls. Don’t say it with flowers – say it with toast. And tell her that Chopper sent ya! Yeah, man.

Source: Gadgetryblog

10th 2005f June, 2005

Create a plasmoid in your microwave oven

by @ 12:18. Filed under News

If you’re anything like me then this is something you must try. It’s an experiment to create an plasmoid in your microwave oven using things you’ll be able to find in your home.

Plasmoid

(more…)

9th 2005f June, 2005

Webcam in the dark – part 2

by @ 21:45. Filed under Camera and Webcam, LED and IR, Projects
Night webcam
In our previous night webcam project we got it running – now it’s time to make it work at lot better. We have a look at different IR LED’s and angles and see what works best.

Link: Webcam in the dark – part 2

NASA Interactive – if… you have bandwidht

by @ 21:41. Filed under News

If you like flashy sites with a lot of bling-bling, and you like space things, then you should have a look at NASA’s interactive show about their space shuttle program. Jonathan Archer (!) is the presentor!!

NASA interactive

Cold Fusion in a Breadbox Instead of a Bottle

by @ 21:15. Filed under News

rawbytes writes “For
the last few years, mentioning cold fusion around scientists has been a
little like mentioning Bigfoot or UFO sightings. After the 1989
announcement of fusion in a bottle
and the subsequent retraction, the whole idea of cold fusion seemed a
bit beyond the pale. But that’s all about to change. (more…)

Nerds make better lovers

by @ 21:12. Filed under News

ultimabaka writes “The New York Daily News, fine bastion of reporting that it is, released an article today discussing the rise of nerd popularity
among women in general, and famous women in particular. Detail is given
into the dating exploits of Christina Aguilera and Elin Nordegren
(nerdy Tiger Woods’ supermodel squeeze), among a bunch of regular
Janes. Apparently being a nerd is now in?”

Microsoft is getting scary!!

by @ 20:56. Filed under News

Microsoft is watching you! Or at least that is what they want you to let them do!
Two products in their new series are a teddy bear and a wall clock.

MS Bear MS Clock

And if that was not enough, now Intel is starting to get into your house seriously with a baby monitoring madrass and an RFID tracking system for elderly people.
What is the world coming to???

Go to school – Get an iPod

by @ 20:27. Filed under News

LONDON – Unemployed and love music? If so, a British school is offering teenagers a deal — take a summer course and bag an iPod.

iPod

Out of work teenagers are being offered digital iPod music players if they complete courses aimed at helping them find jobs, officials at school in southern England said Wednesday.

Critics say handing out the players — which cost around 170 pounds (US$300; euro230) in Britain — to students embarking on the “Step Up for Summer” course at Bournemouth and Pool College amounts to bribery. (more…)

8th 2005f June, 2005

Female orgasm in genes

by @ 23:03. Filed under News

LONDON, England (Reuters) — Women who have difficulty reaching orgasm can blame it on their genes.

Female

Like heart disease, anxiety and depression, scientists discovered in a study of 1,397 pairs of female twins that there is a genetic basis to female orgasm.

“We found that between 34 percent and 45 percent of the variation in ability to orgasm can be explained by underlying genetic variation,” (more…)

$1 Million dollars for the first America map

by @ 22:26. Filed under News

$1m for first America map. A 500-year-old map which was the first to use the word “America” is sold at a London auction for $1,018,000.
First America map
Source: Cnn.com

Holy Men in Tights! Academic Superhero Conference

by @ 22:05. Filed under News

Malfourmed writes “The University of Melbourne‘s Cinema Studies Program, School of Art History, Cinema, Classics & Archaeology is hosting a four day conference (and fancy dress ball and movie programme)
on superhoeroes and supervillains. (more…)

I am the Most Spammed Person in the World

by @ 22:01. Filed under News

jefp writes “In November 2004, Microsoft’s second-in-command Steve Ballmer made some headlines by mentioning that Chairman Bill Gates was getting four million spams per day. At the time, I was dealing with a little spam problem of my own – I was getting around a million spams per day. I found it a little comforting that my problem wasn’t quite as bad as Bill’s. However, a couple of weeks later Ballmer corrected himself, saying he mis-remembered the stat and Gates actually gets four million per year. This means I was getting one hundred times as much spam as Bill Gates. I’ve written a tutorial explaining why I get so much crapmail and how I deal with it.

Source: slashdot.com

Modificar un teléfono inalámbrico para usarlo con Skype

by @ 21:54. Filed under Projects, Skype, Telephony, VoIP

Con sólo un teléfono inalámbrico convencional, dos conectores de 3.5 mm, soldadura y algo de paciencia, un usuario de Skype fue capaz de construir un teléfono compatible con el popular sistema gratuito de llamadas por Internet.

El procedimiento, ampliamente documentado en el sitio Web de Christoffer Järnåker, permite ahorrar los casi 120 euros que cuesta uno de los adaptadores disponibles en el comercio, según informa Mouse.

“¿Cómo funciona? ¡Espectacular! La entrada de audio es perfecta y la salida suena algo fuerte pero se puede ajustar fácilmente desde el computador. Se siente como si realmente hablara por teléfono y ahora tengo un radio de 300 metros en el que me puedo mover”, relata JärnÃ¥ker.

Eso sí, el entusiasta usuario advierte que una vez modificado, el teléfono no puede volver a ser usado en forma convencional. “¿Pero qué importa?. Funciona como lo quería”, exclama.

En su sitio, también destaca un procedimiento para agregar luz infrarroja a una cámara Web, permitiéndole ver en la oscuridad.

Link: modificar un teléfono inalámbrico para usarlo con Skype

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How to make a night webcam

by @ 21:43. Filed under Camera and Webcam, LED and IR, Projects
Infrared webcam
Have you ever been using a webcam in a room with low light? Or have you ever wanted to have a webcam monitoring your dog, driveway or baby? Well, I have – both. Using a webcam in a room with low light usually works bad, and in most cases it doesn’t work at all. You can get around the problem in low light by using a webcam with high sensitivity, like the Philips PCVC740k or PCVC840k (they’re actually the same inside!). It has a sensitivity of 1 lux which is very little light, and it can be compared to the light from one candle.

Link: Webcam in the dark

Disposable digital camcorder

by @ 0:05. Filed under News

Camcorder
shamowfski writes “CVS Corp on Monday began selling a disposable digital camcorder. The $29.99 pocket-sized camcorder was developed by Pure Digital Technologies Inc., a San Francisco-based start-up company. The camcorder weighs under 5 ounces and holds 20 minutes of digital video and sound. It features a 1.4 inch color playback screen and an ability to delete video, and it saves video on a memory chip instead of tapes.”

6th 2005f June, 2005

Martian rover rolls free of trap

by @ 21:54. Filed under News

Oppertunity is loose
The US space agency’s (Nasa) Mars rover Opportunity has finally broken free of the sand trap that has prevented it from rolling over the Red Planet.
What it comes down to is that they deployed it, it got stuck, and now it’s rolling again.

Read the full story here

Source: BBC

Pimp my rack

by @ 21:04. Filed under News

Pimp my rack
“The ugliest rack wins!”
The Swedish website PimpMyRack.se holds an contest in who has the ugliest rackspace. If you win, then you’ll get an new rack for €30.000!!!
See the sent in entries direct here

A mix of Harry Potter and stiffness, a man without an ounce of carisma

by @ 13:26. Filed under News

Balkenende Harry Potter
Look-alikes?!
Apparently the Belgian foreign minister De Gucht called the Dutch prime minister Balkenend this!
What can I say?? After all, this is what everyone in Holland thinks – but never says.

Source: nu.nl [In dutch]

25th 2005f May, 2005

Wireless Skype phone

by @ 22:26. Filed under Projects, Skype, Telephony, VoIP

So, the problem. You have a computer, your friend has a computer, you both have a broadband connection, and you make use of Skype or like the voice chat in MSN or something like this – And – you’re sick and tired to sit by the computer all the time when you talk. And you might even sit with one of these ridiculous headset (hmm, yes I also have one) on your head just because the echo cancellation feature isn’t that great in reality.

Link: DIY Wireless Skype phone

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