66% or better

Mac Mini – getting a little more useful

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We’re pretty sure Apple decided to implement an IR sensor in their Mac Mini line simply to mock the user. For those who are unaware, the built in sensor only works with the standard Apple Remote; unless you happen to have a programmable PDA or similar you’re SOL. An alternative solution would be to install a USB IR receiver. But then your beautiful Mac Mini is forced to sit alongside an ugly black box. Why not have the best of both worlds? [SqueeZe] wrote an (almost) entirely non invasive tutorial for placing a USB IR receiver inside his Mac Mini. Reminds us of a certain hack a while back, but the objective was to get the IR receiver outside of the unit rather than inside. Different people, different worlds.

[Thanks Kiran]

Hack a Day; into the future

Through the years, our reader base has grown like we never could have imagined. We thank everyone for reading, and owe our gratitude to all  who have sent in submissions. We live for them. The more high quality submissions you send in, the more we’ll post.   Along with you, we’ve taken part in some really great projects and enjoyed the writing of some really great people.

Now it is time to share our plans for the future with you. We have two announcements that we would like to get your thoughts on.

#1. Content:

Hack a Day first started as an offshoot of Engadget. It was a place where we were able to look at things from a hacker perspective. Contrary to what some people believe, it wasn’t all hardcore electronic engineering. It wasn’t even all projects.  We had fun, and discussed our thoughts on many things that weren’t that complicated.

As we move forward, we will be covering a wide variety of posts. From simple things, like teardowns to the amazingly complex projects that inspire us all. We intend to get you original content from the perspective of people who are not just consumers, but hackers of all different skill levels.

We are working to make it easier to browse the site, with your specific interests in mind. Our first motion was to add the “Classic Hacks” category which gathers up the more complicated projects.  We’re open to other ideas of how to best categorize the content to make your experience better.

#2. Social Interaction:

Since the beginning of Hack a Day, we have been inundated with questions and requests. People are asking for help on existing projects as well as trying to break into the complexities that can lay in front of a beginner. We’ve seen unofficial Hack a Day forums come and go, but we think it is time that we did something ourselves.  We’ve been working behind the scenes on a really slick system which allows people to ask questions, get answers, and even rate and give feedback.You will hopefully see this appear in a matter of weeks as we finish up the last bits.

We look forward to seeing some of you shine, sharing your knowledge with the hacker community.

25 Scariest experiments

Warning: This video contains actual footage of a severed dog head, kept alive. Watch at your own peril.

[Annalee] over at io9.com has gathered together the 25 scariest science experiments.  There are some truly frightening pieces, like the cyborg beetles which we’ve seen before, all the way to silly stuff like the guy who re grew his thumb using pig powder. Next time you’re thinking of admonishing someone for creating a flamethrower, or a super fast scooter, consider for a moment that they’re not burning peoples nasal passages to stop masturbation or creating zombie severed dog heads like the one in the video above.

Stereoscopic 3d with a PIC micro

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[Pyrofer] sent in his stereoscopic game project and we are just giddy with excitement. He has hacked apart an old TomyTronic 3D handheld viewer and put new guts in. He’s using a PIC micro to push stereoscopic imagery to twin LCDs. He wrote all code from scratch including the 3d library, wii nunchuck driver, and LCD driver. This thing even has bluetooth so he can play multiplayer if he ever makes a second one. The whole unit is kept alive via a lithium polymer battery so you don’t have to worry about any cords other than the wii nunchuck.  This thing is awesome, we would love to play with one. You can see a video after the break.

[Read more...]

Knock detecting lock

[Steve] shows us his version of the knock detecting lock system. The idea is pretty simple, knock in a certain pattern and the door unlocks. We’ve seen it before several times. This solution is somewhat cleaner than the others, not only in physical design, but also in how you reprogram it. Simply push the reprogram button and enter your new knock. We’re a bit surprised that the suction cups actually hold it on the door. Maybe it’s just us, but we can never seem to get those things to hold very well. There are lots of great pictures as well as the source code available on his site.

[via HacknMod]

Hacky Thanksgiving

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Friends, pilgrims, send us your hacks. Most especially, your Thanksgiving hacks. We had a wonderful time over the past six weeks collecting and highlighting your Halloween props and now it’s on to the next holiday. Did you build your own deep fried turkey rig with some special features? How about that pie making robot you built for last year’s celebration?  Can’t live without your twittering cornucopia? Document it and send it to our tip line! All Thanksgiving themed hacks will be considered but only the well documented and creative entries will be featured.

If you just joined us, here’s a roundup of the Halloween Props we encountered this year:

disclaimer: boiling oil is dangerous, that’s why it used to be used for torture. Always consider your own safety!

[Turkey photo source]