Dell tablets support multitouch


Dell announced today that it will be offering a free multitouch upgrade to their Latitude XT tablets. You may remember Microsoft using an XT when they first demoed the multitouch features in Windows 7. Dell’s new firmware update will allow users to scroll, scale, and assign macros to other gestures. The laptop is using capacitive touch technology, so don’t expect accurate tracking of multiple fingertips. We’re happy to see a manufacturer take time to roll this out even if widespread adoption probably won’t happen. Now to see if some one can get it working with OSx86. As with most technology we encourage you to build it yourself.

[via Gizmodo]

DeepNote Guitar Hero bot


A team of five high school seniors have released some videos of their new Guitar Hero bot named DeepNote. This bot uses a group of custom photodiode modules with an 8 nanosecond latency placed on the screen to sense the notes. The Parallax Propeller system takes this input and controls solid state relays hooked into the guitar’s circuitry. After we looked at a few videos of the early prototype system, we could really see how it has evolved. They have custom PCBs and a really nice frame for the photodiode sensors. You can find more info on their How It Works page and view a demo video embedded below.

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DeWalt-16, how Rambo would remodel


[David Wiggins] has sent some info on this DeWALT M-16 gun mod to Toolmonger. Inspired by a picture of an earlier version back in 2003, he decided to go a step further. He already had the M-16 and only lives a few miles from a DeWalt factory service location so he was able to get original stickers and battery casings. After some careful dremmeling and a layer of Krylon, he had the DeWalt-16. Lets be clear, this thing still shoots bullets, not nails.

If modding your M-16 to be a DeWalt power tool is just too manly, you could always go with the Hello Kitty AR-15.

Modifying a servo for continuous rotation

[robomaniac] shows us how to modify a standard servo to allow continuous rotation. This is a classic robotics hack and has been around for a while, but we really like the way he put this together. Although you may need some soldering and desoldering tools to open the servo up, the hack is a physical one. All you really need to do is cut off a plastic tab on one of the gears. If you want to see an example of a bot you can build with one of these CR servos, he just posted this one motor walker.

Victorian Nixie tube clock


[John Clarke Mills] has pieced together this tastefully done Victorian style Nixie tube clock. He picked up a kit from nixietube.com and an old clock off of eBay. A little bit of elbow grease and solder later, he has this very nice mantle piece. Well done.

For those unfamiliar, a Nixie tube is used for displaying numbers or letters. They are a glass tube, filled with a gas (usually neon). There are metal structures inside that glow when electricity is applied. First widely used in the early sixties, Nixies were pretty much replaced when LED technology got cheap.

We noticed that nixietube.com was down, so you might also check TubeClock.com and neonixie.com for kits.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, read about the Nixie counter clock, Russian vfd, and the 6502 driven Nixie clock all previously on Hack a Day.

[via Retro Thing]

Mister Jalopy on NPR


[Mister Jalopy] is an outspoken recycler. He believes it is wrong that we live in a “throw away culture” and we here at Hackaday tend to agree. There is so much potential left in products, long after they may have given up their original purpose. He has been pushing to get companies to work with the public, to encourage re purposing and hacking. The belief is that it can only improve a company’s relationship with their customers.

[Mister Jalopy] appeared on National Public Radio today. They discussed the benefits of making your own stuff, as well as the legalities involved with modifying off the shelf products.

We covered his open house last October. Tons of fascinating stuff there.

[via Hoopty Rides]