The latest version of Google Earth contains a hidden feature: a full-fledged flight simulator! Press Command+Option+A in OS X or Ctrl+Alt+A on a PC or Linux box and you’ll be greeted with a hidden dialog box that lets you choose an aircraft (F16 or SR22) and an airport. Once you’ve made you selection, you’ll be placed inside the aircraft. You can then fly around the globe in a free flight simulator, viewing the scenery that is pulled from Google Earth’s map files.
I wasn’t able to get things to work at first, so if the key combo doesn’t work for you, try zooming way into Earth and try again. It seems like you can’t activate the feature when you are out in space looking down on the eath. Once you’ve activated the feature, it will be available from the Tools menu.
Force feedback joysticks are supposed to be supported, though I’ve only been able to test with a mouse and keyboard. The basic controls are PageUp/Dn for thrust, G for gear up/down, Left/Right for aileron, Up/Dn for elevator and Shift+Left/Shift+Right for rudder. You can also click the screen to enable the mouse to control the aileron and elevator controls. See the link at the bottom for the full set of controls.
Google Earth Flight Simulator – Link
Keyboard Controls – Link
Download Google Earth – Link
Huh, a couple makers sent sent in this link that turns Google Earth in to a flight simulator, I just tried it and it works! I’m going to see what no-fly zones it will let me buzz over… -
To enter the flight simulator mode, press Ctrl + Alt + A (Command/Open Apple Key + Option + A on the Mac). Once you have entered flight simulator mode for the first time, you can re-enter the mode by choosing Tools > Enter Flight Simulator. To leave flight simulator mode, click Exit Flight Simulator in the top right corner or press Ctrl + Alt + A (Command/Open Apple Key+ Option + A on the Mac).
The following keystrokes control navigation and other aspects of the flight simulator. You can also control the aircraft with a mouse or joystick. To disable or enable mouse controls, left click (single click on a Mac). Once mouse controls are active, the pointer shape changes to a cross on your screen.
Flight Simulator Keyboard Controls – Google Earth User Guide – Link.
This weekend, Action Girl and I show you how to make a Rubik’s Cube out of dice, magnets and epoxy. Interestingly enough, the first Rubik’s cube ever was made with magnets! We found inspiration in gfixler’s and burzvingion’s instructables.
The hardest part that we had with this was getting all the magnets in the right polarity!
Subscribe in iTunes and get the podcast and pdf downloaded automatically. – Link
By popular request, here’s a little video of the cube actually moving! – Link
You can get most everything you need for this project by checking out gfixler’s and burzvingion’s instructables posts, but in this weeks pdf, you can see how we made our jig, check out our trick for installing the magnets in the corner blocks, and learn Action Girls strategy to speedcubing! PDF Link
Kazuhisa Terasaki is known for making whimsical robots out of wood. Basically, they’re wood, servos, and an MCU. His robot Weird-7 was such a hit in Japan, he produced a kit for it. Now he’s showing off a much more sophisticated bot, Weird-72, that’s still mainly wood and a crapload of servomotors. Kazuhisa’s website has lots of information, pictures, video and even step-by-step on building Weird-7. Unfortunately, it’s all in Japanese.
Weird-72 Creator Kazuhisa Terasaki Talks About His Robot Creations [ROBOT-DREAMS] – Link
Kazuhisa Terasaki Weird-7 site – Link
Steve Paine, a.k.a. Chippy, is a Brit living in Germany. He’s currently on a bike trip, along the Rhein River, which he’s blogging about using a UMPC (Ultra-Mobile PC) and portable solar tech. Those geeks in the house who are as ancient as I am will remember Steve Roberts, the “high-tech nomad,” who took net-connected, solar-powered bike trips in the computing Jurassic of the 1980s. As you might image, the gear has gotten decidedly more svelte since then. Details of the tech “Chippy’s” is using can be found on his blog.
A few people asked for our covers in iPhone wallpaper format (320 x 480) so here there are (MAKE, CRAFT and Halloween images) enjoy! To install them just put the set in iPhoto (Mac) or point iTunes to the folder they’re in (Win/Mac). The first person to take a photo with one on their iPhone and puts it in the MAKE Flickr photo pool gets a special edition MAKE Halloween – Link (zip).
The amateur astronomy site Astromart has a short, informative piece on testing and repacking dead power tool NiCd battery packs. These packs are filled with “Sub C” cells. Taking apart a “dead” pack, you can test the individual cells and replace only the bad cells.
If you love Linux you automatically love Tux, the cuddly mascot-slash-logo for the open source operating system. Just as the software is free to download and install as your computer’s desktop, the patterns for Tux can be downloaded so he can sit on your desktop next to your computer.
The Free Penguin project provides the “source code” for plushie Tux sewing patterns. Your hardware requirements for executing the source code are a printer, fabric access, a needle, thread, and scissors capable of cutting said fabric. Download a development release.
The Firefly is a tube-based guitar amplifier popularized on ax84.com (a tube amp community and forum). The Firefly PCB was created so even the beginner to tube amps can succeed. The PCB is “open hardware” meaning that the PCB file is free to download and modify as well. Otherwise the PCB’s are sold for $19 each. There’s a detailed assembly guide as well for download at the site.