HTPC inside a cellular phone

htpc_carphone

Reader [Jani] always wanted to throw a PC into an old school cell phone. He based this around the extremely small Commell LS-371 motherboard which measures just 146×101 mm (~5.9×4 in). He found room behind an existing access door for a DVI connector and audio in/out.  He even incorporated an OLED screen, secondary sound card for “speakerphone”, and a WiFi connector into the handset. Things start to get interesting when he decided the SSD was too large and needed to be removed from its case. The one thing that seems to be missing here is an IR receiver for a remote but since he plans on running XBMC, he may already be setup to use another option such as an iPhone to act as a remote interface.

Single can mini fridge

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What looks like a potential WMD, requires a huge power supply, and has several fans and wires dangling off the sides? Why a mini fridge of course! Your cubical buddy at work may have a Perfect Coffee Mug, or a USB powered fridge but it wont be as large of a caliber as [CaptPikel's]. Little information about it is out thus far, but an Instructable is promised. We do however know that it uses 3 peltier coolers (assumed to be 60watt each) and can cool down to 46F while being underpowered! If only it held just a few more cans.

Arduino based synthesizer

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[Jacob] is working on his final project for the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.  Based around Arduino, the quality and quantity of his build notes make this a fascinating read and there are several examples to listen to.

The project features a brilliant idea for input:  He uses a 1/8″ TRS connector (mini-jack) whose tip is the input to the DAC of the Arduino. There are conductive pads in the shape of a keyboard that you touch the tip of the connector to in order to complete the circuit. Alternatively, the other two conductors on the connector deliver power and ground for easy interface with external controllers. He built an example controller that uses an LED and photoresistor to alter the signal returning to the Arduino. Put your hand in front of the light and the sound changes.

[via Arduino: blog]

BlackBerry Storm 2 teardown

blackberry_storm_2

Photos of the BlackBerry Storm 2, both inside and out, have been leaked. Engadget provides us with the specifics, going into detail about the four large piezoelectric pressure sensors that sit underneath the screen. It looks as though the screen will still function as a button, just without the physical movement of the previous model that received mixed reviews. For a better explanation of the technology behind the phone’s innovative screen, here’s a video describing it in more detail and a writeup over at the CrackBerry forums.

Google Maps adds arterial traffic monitoring

google_maps

Traffic monitoring has been available on Google Maps for some time, but has been limited to highways and major roads. According to the Google LatLong blog, traffic tracking support is now available for smaller surface roads in select cities. The data is gathered through mobile phones running My Location. Anybody wishing to help out can sign up their phone and opt into My Location to participate in the anonymous data collection. Now you won’t have to gamble on whether or not your back road alternative route is congested when there’s construction on the freeway. Dash tried something similar with their two-way traffic reporting, but we’re guessing that Google’s version will have even better performance thanks to a rapidly increasing install base.

Fritzing, go from prototype to product

fritzing

Fritzing is an open source project designed to help you move from a prototype to a finished project. Aimed at those basing their projects around Arduino, you start by building your physical prototype, then recreate it with Fritzing software’s graphical editor. From there you can generate a schematic, PCB artwork, and PCB production files.

[thanks CH]

Passwords on floppy disk

floppy_password

[Wehrdo] has posted a guide with an extremely low-tech solution to password management. He literally put the passwords on a floppy disk in the form of paper glued to the magnetic film. For those that still have some floppy disks around, this is a zero cost hack. We wouldn’t recommend this for state secrets, but for those prolific forum registrations it’s a great idea.

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