66% or better

Maker Faire Austin is this weekend

Maker Faire Austin is happening this weekend, October 18 & 19, 2008 at the Travis County Expo Center in Austin, TX. Maker Faire is a showcase of all things DIY. You’ll see robots, sculptures, live performances, and other wonders including many of the projects we cover here every day. We enjoyed our time in San Mateo earlier this year and the show keeps getting better and better. You can see photos from previous events on Flickr. If you’ve got a chance to go, take it.

Columbus Day: What are you working on?

Wow, Caribbean Conquest Day is such a dull holiday. If it’s a holiday at all: we’re at work today and you probably are too. We decided to post what we’re working on in hopes of breaking out of our holiday slump. Pictured above are two IR illuminator boards we assembled this weekend. We bought the kits from BG Micro. We’re planning on testing their camera blocking ability once we come up with a ~13V portable power source.

That’s what we’re doing. What have you been working on lately?

(If anyone can find a source for the welding goggles in the picture, we’d love to hear it.)

Default password network scanning

Midnight Research Labs has just published a new tool. Depant will scan your network and check to see if services are using default passwords. It starts by performing an Nmap scan to discover available services on the network. It organizes these services by speed of response. Using Hydra it does brute force password checking of these services with a default password list. The user can supply an alternate list for the first phase or an additional list to be used in a followup check. Depant has many different options for configuring your scan and will certainly help you find that rogue piece of hardware on your network that someone failed to set up securely.

Controlling a Doepfer modular synth with a Wiimote

The Wiimote has turned out to be very versatile indeed. This video shows someone using it to control his modular synth. There is not a lot of artistic jamming going on, but explains in fair detail how to set it up. If you want to see Isadore getting down, check this out.

[thanks Louis]

Mounting an external antenna on EeePC 900

[Terry Porter] added an external antenna to his EeePC 900. Initially, he mounted it on the side of the unit, but found that the location caused it to no longer fit in its carrying case, and made plugging in USB or Ethernet cables very difficult. His resolution was to move the mount to the rear portion of the case. His professional looking mount is definitely worthy of some attention. Check out the project for a breakdown and some great pictures showing the necessary modifications to make it fit.

If you’re going to crack open your EeePC, you may want to just go all out and add everything available.

Parts: 3.5mm stereo audio jacks

3.5mm stereo connectors for headphones and microphones are almost mandatory for audio projects. X1 (left) is a simple plug with connections for the audio channels (pin 2,3), and ground (pin 1). X2 (right) has pass-through contacts (pin 2,3) that divert audio to an internal speaker when headphones aren’t connected.

Here’s a breakdown of the audio connectors illustrated above. [Read more...]