GameCube Linux

GameCube Linux

I know this week belongs to the Xbox 360, but sometimes you need a break from all of the hype. Once the Xbox Linux team got a mature system established they decided to move on to GameCube Linux. They’ve made a lot of progress:

The GameCube Linux kernel has working drivers for PAL and NTSC framebuffers, the Broadband Adapter (network card), audio, ARAM, Real Time Clock, gamepad, keyboard, DVD, MMC/SD cards (through the SD card adapter) and reset button. It has also preliminary support for memory cards.

Just last month they released instructions on how to build your own bootable disc.

[thanks h-tech]

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Total Christmas light control

christmas light control

Now that Thanksgiving is in full swing, I think I can safely mention Christmas without receiving the beat down.  In this project, Christmas is just an excuse to build a parallel port connected control box capable of switching 320 individual circuits. The interface is constructed out of two types of chips: the 138 decoder and the 374 flip-flop. Each flip-flop is attached to an individual serial port that is connected to an 8 outlet switch box. Along with this system the site features lots of other home built and modified controls.

[thanks yo_tyler]

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Hack-A-Day Extra

xbox

Yes, I was able to get an Xbox 360 on launch day. No, it wasn’t actually hard for me to get one either so I’ll spare you my story. I’ll probably sell it for a Playstation 3 when that is released, but I felt it was necessary to buy one on the first day since I’ve been missing out on all of the PSP homebrew fun. I’ll be doing a separate Xbox 360 post (with crash pictures), but if you’ve got specific questions you’d like me to answer put them in the comments.

The Folding@HOME team is still plowing ahead. They recently completed 4 million points and will become a top 100 team in less than a week. Find out more at the team forum. If you are going to be back at your parents’ house for Thanksgiving, don’t forget to start their machine folding.

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Thermal keypad combo snooping

thermal image

This is interesting demo of how residual heat in a safe keypad could expose the key sequence. Using a hand-held thermal imaging device (not cheap) you can read which buttons on a keypad were pressed 5 to 10 minutes after the event from up to 10 meters away. Even though each key press is momentary there is enough heat transfer to distinguish the button in a thermal image. The sequence can be determined since the first button pressed has the least heat. This method break s when buttons are reused in the sequence, but being able to see the unused keys cuts down the number of possible permutations.

[thanks Mr. Mistoffolees]

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Bluetooth stereo bridge

bluetooth mouse

[Chris] had made a sturdy mount in his car for his iPAQ. He uses the iPAQ for directions and playing mp3s. After nearly ripping apart his line-in cable every time he took the iPAQ out of its cradle he decided to create a wireless solution. He chopped up a pair of HP FA303A Bluetooth headphones to extract the receiver portion. The headphone’s band is prone to breaking so it might be possible to find a damaged pair for cheap. The receiver was placed into an old mouse. Once the buttons were hooked up to the mouse buttons and a voltage regulator added the unit was ready to start streaming audio directly to the stereo.

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The Magic Phone: Take Two

hadmagicphone

We’ve posted Part Two of the Magic Phone How-To over at Engadget. In this Installment, we show you the process behind creating the custom circuit that will live inside the rotary phone. This circuit is as small as possible by making it two-sided and by using surface mount components. Part One of the How-To covered number pad matrix decoding on just about any phone or number pad.

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Amstrad iPod Shuffle tape drive

amstrad

[sbeam] was really excited about his latest acquisition: an Amstrad CPC 464. This model has a tape deck instead of a floppy drive. sbeam had no way of transferring software on his computer to the Amstrad. He looked around and found the PlayTZX tool. PlayTZX reads a .tzx tape backup and generates a WAV file. sbeam dumped these conversions onto his iPod Shuffle and used a car cassette adapter to play them in the Amstrad’s deck. Nice new school solution for old hardware.

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