Projector hacks roundup


Projectors have long been a favorite toy of hardware hackers. From reactive displays to cheap home theater, there are plenty of reasons to play with photons. Seeing some cheap projector repair put us in the mood to cover some of our favorite projector projects – check em out after the break.

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Twittering from the command line

Twitter users often have trouble explaining just exactly what the service is for. The site specifically asks “What are you doing right now?” A simple interface and multiple ways to update means people have started hooking it to different real world objects… objects that aren’t reporting what they had for lunch. After the break, we’ll cover a couple devices that have interfaced Twitter to the real world and how you can update from your command line.

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What to do with an old laptop?


Back in November we asked what you would do with an old unused laptop. If you have an old laptop that’s not doing much more than gathering dust, chances are you could put it to better use. You could sell it, but you probably wouldn’t get too much for it. Donating or recycling can also get it out your hair, but if you’d like to try something different, read on for some ideas.

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How-To: Go green with lead free solder

We covered many of [Jason Rollette]‘s personal projects in the past and are happy to welcome him as our newest Hack-A-Day contributor.

The electronics industry has shifted to lead free compliance, but most hobbyists haven’t even considered the personal impact of using lead. Today’s How-To will cover what it takes to switch from tin/lead solder to completely lead free. Our previous posts Introduction to soldering and the follow-up still apply to lead free. You may have never considered switching to lead free before, but we hope to help you make an informed decision.

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Cheap projector repair


[Ryan] sent in this writeup on some DIY projector repair. The write-up is a little hard to follow, but maybe it’ll inspire some future projector landfill saves. [Dissident] replaced the light bulb and ballast in an older DLP projector with some salvaged MR-16 hardware from an even older over head projector. The main trick required was to bridge the trigger leads that tell the projector that the bulb is on and working.

FPGA projects roundup


FPGA’s have become especially useful to the hacker community of late. Once upon a time, these lovely pieces of dedicated hardware were fabled to only be within reach of deep pocketed graphics card producers working to up their shader and vertex counts. Today they’re often found in the bowels of high end network gear. As reprogrammable arrays of logic gates, FPGAs represent a happy middle ground between general purpose CPUs and dedicated silicon. After the break, we’ll recount some of the more interesting FPGA projects we’ve seen, like the open source graphics card we featured yesterday.

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