This will likely unlock a ton of cool projects…PodConsole adds a DB9 serial interface to your ipod, via the plug next to the headphone jack. This can be used for a tty console if your ipod is running linux or you can control your ipod with your computer and the ipod protocol. [via] Link.
If you are like me you get really excited when you find two Nintendo controllers at the Salvation Army. One was priced at $1.00 and the other at $.37 (i didn’t fight the pricing). Of course, they get home and meanwhile occupy a part of my brain that is like a broken stove. There is this back burner that is constantly on. Ideas get on there and just simmer away. So the idea for one of the controllers was to make it a card reader that i can plug my sd or compact flash cards into to transfer files. Sunday morning i came up with my idea for the second one… make it a mouse. Link.
Here’s another great HOW TO on hacking the CVS Disposable Camcorder. It’s pretty much the same as our MAKE HOW TO but uses a Palm III sync cradle as opposed to the cable in our HOW TO that was also used for Palm devices. Photos, instructions and software download…Link.
Like the desk in THE ISLAND…HP has created a futuristic concept coffee table that will allow you to share images and information with others from the comfort of your sofa rather like a large web tablet with legs. The large coffee table design with a touch screen has been designed to complement other media devices in the home and will allow users to view information without having to rely on the television as the main point of call. Users will be able to interact with the “Misto” table by grabbing images or content and moving them around just as you would if you were sorting papers on a table or desk. Thanks Blue! [via] Link.
A CPU based moonshine maker. The basics of distillation are simple, you heat alcoholic fluid until the alcohol starts to evaporate, then you cool it so it condenses elsewhere into pure alcohol. To put it simply, the key components are a heating device and a cooling device. Now the average PC, has both a heating device (The processor) and a cooling device (The fan). The question we asked was “By separating the processor from its fan and adding a few small components, could we convince an ordinary PC to distil alcohol?” [via] Link.
Update: Here’s a note from MAKE reader…
“I have read this article that was linked to your site. This is not only dangerous it’s deadly. Ethanol(Consumable) Alcohol his distilled between 172 F and 204 F. Processors don’t get hot enough for Ethanol Production. Processors run between 100 F and 165 F. This is not enough heat for proper and safe ethanol production. However 148 F is enough for methanol Production (Deadly to Drink). Someone is going to do this experiment and die from drinking it and thats if all goes right. As if the methanol wasn’t poison enough it’s being distilled in plastic tubing which is poisoning it further. Also he used copper for the case and some tubing but what was it saudered together with? Was it lead free sauder? Does the average person visiting the page even know to ask? This is all assuming that everything came out ok. What if it didn’t!
If just one thing goes wrong… Alcohol+Pressure+Heat = BOOM! Even with professional distilling in an approved facility there is still a very short distance between Booze and BOOM!
Imagine some mental giant trying this in your apartment complex next to your childes room…
If people are interested in building stills and producing alcohol they should look at books like: The Lore of still building or The Alaskan bootlegger. These two books have enough to get you started. They also prepare you for the dangers both physical and Legal. It is a federal offense to produce ethanol without a permit from the ATF to do so…
Illinois Valley Fire Department”
NPR_Nut writes “A group of musicians took centuries-old instruments from the forests of Congo, brought them into the city – and plugged in! Their do-it-yourself amplification devices conjure up garage bands. African punk music from Konono Number One.” Link (WindowsMedia audio). Wow, this is really great- they also talk how they made the DIY pick ups.
Decent HOW TO for USB IR receiver …the construction is not that easy as for the serial IR receiver, but it should not be a big problem for an amateur solderer to solder the circuit referring to the following instruction. Since I wanted to build up everything as small as possible, it took me quite some time fiddling around to develop the following circuit. Link.
Nice hack! I have connected a Lassen iQ GPS module to my serial interface. Maps are downloaded from Google Maps servers with a small script. Google maps consist of 128×128 pixel tiles. You have to specify your address, so that map tiles around your area are downloaded. There is also a parameter for number of tiles you want. Zoom levels are possible but require to have a few tile-sets, one for each zoom level. Link.
John Carmack is working a potentially disruptive technology: A throatless rocket engine. Its made from plain aluminum pipes with few machined fittings. Carmack says: “The great thing about these engines is that it only takes me two nights to machine the parts, so we can test two engines a week if necessary.” It scales too: “If this line of tube engine development works out, we can make a 5,000 lbf engine with very little more effort than the test engine. [via] Link.
Perry writes “I invented this new type of cutting tool and have been having a blast with it. I want to see the cool things people can make and mod with them. The MP series cuts metal foils and plastic sheets. The other lines work great on paper, photo and vellums. If you make some cool stuff and I’d like to konw about it”. Clever, it’s a blade, inside a marker. Link.
Wow, I rarely use Excel, but here’s a good reason to keep it around- If you have Excel 2003 and use the social bookmarking tool Del.icio.us, you can backup your bookmarks in Excel. Link.
See our HOW TO…At $30 each these video cameras could be really useful for indymedia in latin america. The problem with expensive equiptment is that it centralized the means of production, you only have one camera, and when it’s lost it’s gone. But with $30 devices which record audio for interviews, video, and you can grab still’s from you can do some amazing work. It’s not so expensive that it’ll get stollen quickly. We could get one of these in to the hands of many media activists instead of the one digital camera per imc which is not the standard in most imc’s in countries with ‘under developed’ economies. Link.