Modded C64 eye candy

“Everyone needs a hobby,” they tell us. For the blogger mysteriously identified only as “R,” that hobby would be an almost fanatical nostalgia for the Commodore 64 computer.

At first we thought this was a fan community site, but apparently it’s all the work of a single person. [R] has tweaked, extended, repackaged and resurfaced this 1980’s icon in nearly every imaginable way. They tend to gloss over the technical aspects of these mods, but that’s okay – the C64 is such an exhaustively documented system now that the site dwells mainly on the aesthetics and meaning of these reborn devices.

The 64 has made an indelible impression on electronic music, and the machines are still sought after by collectors, composers and circuit-benders. [R] pays homage by housing these vintage systems in styles reminiscent of even vintage-er synthesizers. Any one of these would warrant a post here, yet there’s a whole collection to browse. Check it out!

[via Retro Thing]

GuruPlug, the next generation of SheevaPlug

Meet GuruPlug, an all-in-one server that is now available for pre-order. This is the next generation of the popular SheevaPlug that features some added goodies. The base model sells for the same $99 and appears to have the same specs as the original but for $30 more, the GuruPlug Server PLUS moves to 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports, one eSATA connector, and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. All of this for $129 and it only pulls 5 watts? Wow.

Update: Thanks to [Foerdi] and to [Phil Burgess] for the pointing out that the hardware diagram on the features page shows WiFi and Bluetooth for both models.

[Thanks Chris]

ez430 home automation

[Oliver] has been doing some work to use his TI ez430 Chronos wristwatch for some home automation. He’s working with a RF controllable lightbulb adapter which operates in the 433 MHz band. A dirt-cheap breadboard-friendly transmitter is available from Seeed Studios and he uses this in conjunction with a computer and an Arduino. Before the trolls get to their thing, YES, this is incredible overkill. But remember that he’s prototyping. We hope that if he intends to actually use this setup he’ll migrate to something like an ATtiny2313 running V-USB. Better yet, you should be able to tap into the watch’s companion receiver and cut the computer out completely.

If you’re easily amused you’ll appreciate the video of a light turning on and off after the break. If you’re a little harder to please then take a look at Oliver’s methods of using Python processing for the watch’s data.

Ok, now we’ve seen this watch turning on lights and unlocking doors. What else ‘ya got?

Built-in hex editor unlocks plasma TV features

[Nick] tipped us off about a guide to unlock extra features on Panasonic televisions. The hack works on the G10 models of plasma TVs and uses the service menu to gain access to the EEPROM memory. With a few quick steps you can change some data with a built in hex editor, unlocking several new settings menus, or bricking your entertainment centerpiece. We’ve seen some Samsung TV hacking in the past and hope that with increased processing power in today’s models we’ll someday see consumer TVs available with open-source firmware so that we can integrate of our favorite entertainment software.

‘Mod in the USA’ N900 PUSH competition

Just when you think you’ve heard all you can about the N900 PUSH competition, we have some more news for you.

The original PUSH competition was only for UK members, but now Nokia has introduced the ‘Mod in the USA‘ N900 PUSH competition. Similar to the original, anyone (within region) can submit a cool mod, hack, useful creation that would use the N900. Winners will be selected, and thats when the differences start.

There will be a $10,000 for 1st prize, and smaller prizes for 2nd and 3rd. Plus a trip to Vegas to showcase the 3 winning hacks at CTIA 2010 as well as funding, N900s and support to build the mods.

Don’t have an idea but still want to try? They have a discussion group to get the juices flowing, or you could always discuss in our comments.

[Update: The original PUSH competition was actually world wide. Thanks Matt and Ricardo]

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