LCD PIC graphics demo

[conville] has been pushing standard HD44780 character displays to the limit. Embedded above is an example spectrum analyzer and text scrolling demo. Below you’ll find a scope demo. Both of these are created using a PIC 16F688 that dynamically rewrites a custom character set to create the animation. You can find the source code on mikrocontroller.net. [Read more...]

The phone phreaking files

[Jason Scott] curated a nice collection of links related to [Phil Lapsley]‘s work on phone phreaking. [Lapsley]‘s book, The History of Phone Phreaking, will be released in 2009. Meanwhile phone phreak enthusiasts can peruse his site and bone up on some interesting material, including documents that revealed the inner workings of the telephone switchboard(PDF), and the Youth International Party Line (YIPL)/Technological American Party (TAP) FBI files(PDF), which is really intriguing for the various doodles and conversations that were documented. If you have some spare time, we definitely recommend sifting through it.

[via Waxy]

Welcome to the petacentre

[Cory Doctorow] obtained access to a few data centers that deal in petabyte storage. The demand for data storage and processing doesn’t show any sign of stopping. It’s especially relevant when people need the resources to manage not only things like Google searches, but also email, customer transactions, and in the case of CERN, physics calculations. [Doctorow] drew an interesting conclusion from his experiences with the data centers; any innovation that the petabyte centers work on will eventually drift on down to the ordinary user, in laptop or desktop innovation. The petabyte center is easily duplicated with materials that are available for purchase to the average computer user; the only obstacles are price and space.

[via Boing Boing]

Fail contest ends tonight

The Hack a Day Fail Whale Contest ends at midnight. It’s an easy way to win $100 in No Starch Press merch. Check out some of the entries in the Hack a Day Flickr pool. You can get logos and fonts from the Hack a Day t-shirt contest, which is also still running.

[photo: Xeracy]

MioPocket 2.0 Release 27

Miopocket Screenshot

GpsPasSion forum member [Ospray] has released a new version of MioPocket. For those of you that don’t know, MioPocket is a great unlock kit for GPS units. It basically unlocks the hidden potential of your GPS so you can access the built-in functionality of a PDA as well as retaining the GPS software. This means you can play music, watch video, play games, read and write office documents, and many other things with the once single-purpose device.

Originally written for Mio brand devices, it has been successfully used on a couple other brands. We’ve seen it on a Navigon 2100 using a modified install. This software can run directly off the SD card, so it can easily be updated or removed.

The fun part is fiddling with the scripts to get the newest releases to work on the Navigon and Magellan devices.

Aurora mixer no longer available

A few days ago we wrote about the aurora open source mixer being available and that orders for the DIY or completed kit needed to be in by September 1, 2008. Well that day has since past and if you were on the fence about it and didn’t get your order in don’t worry about it. Turns out no one will be getting a mixer.

Aurora informs us that they needed to secure a minimum of 50 orders to cover cost, but in reality they were only able to secure less than 20 orders. Because of this, they will not be able to meet the initial production numbers and have postponed the sale of the mixer indefinitely.

All is not lost as they will keep the site up, along with the instructions on how to build your own mixer from scratch.

Dot matrix business card

In most settings business cards are given out without much thought. But what if you could make your card stand out from the rest? By using a 5×15 LED matrix screen, a single micro controller, a number of resistors, switches, and other parts, [tomward] has put together one very slick business card that’s sure to draw attention.

The included instructions go into great detail on the construction, but [tomward]admits that you will need some knowledge in electronics in order to build one yourself.  After reading the instructions ourselves we would have to agree with him.

If you’re into programing micro controllers and are handy with a soldering iron you may want to give this a shot.

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