Debug mode lurking inside AMD chips

Looks like some hardware enthusiasts have worked out a method to enable debug mode within AMD processors. The original site isn’t loading for us, but the text has been mirrored in this comment. Getting the chip into debug mode requires access passwords on four control registers. We’ve read through the writeup and it means very little to us but we didn’t pull out a datasheet to help make sense of the registers being manipulated. It shouldn’t be hard to find an old AMD system to try this out on. We’d love to hear about anything you do with this debug system.

[via Slashdot]

Final Take on the Machine: winners

It’s finally here, the last episode of Scion’s Take on the Machine with Mitch Altman. In this episode all the teams are given a recap over their success and failures, and the clear winner is placed on top. We’re not ones to spoil the surprise so you’ll just have to click the link and watch to find out.

But lets take a moment to remember each team, The Transistor and their live action zombie game. Crash Space and their musical building. Pumping Station: One and their ice cream maker. Artisans Asylum and their breakfast machine. And lastly, NYC Resistor and their drink mixing slot machine.

Who’s ready for next season? There isn’t a next season you say? Perhaps a new influx of sponsored hackerspace competitions will spring up, or the whole concept will die out as quickly as it came. Either way, it’s all about the money fun and educating experience, right? And that’s all that matters.

[Thanks Deven, sorry you guys didn’t win.]

Kinect and TISCH combined for multitouch

[Florian] sent a link to his proof of concept in creating a multitouch display using the Kinect. He’s the one behind the libTISCH multitouch package and that’s what he used to get this working along with the recently released Kinect drivers. He did this on an Ubuntu machine and, although it’s not a turnkey solution he was kind enough to share some rough directions on accomplishing it yourself. Join us after the break for his instructions and some embedded video.

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Lots of spinning POV goodness

[Retrobrad’s] spinning POV display has long been our favorite. When it popped up on our radar again this morning we were surprise to see we never ran a feature on it! But now there’s so much more to share. Hit the projects icon at the top of his page and you’ll not only get the 8×85 RGB display’s build instructions, but he’s also built a 32×64 pixel spinning display.

Even if you’re not going to make one of these, he explains some pixel-graphics techniques that are useful in other instances. Check out his video on using spreadsheets for creating the hex arrays necessary for each frame the 8×85 display. It’s embedded after the break along with demos of the two displays.

Continue reading “Lots of spinning POV goodness”

Nixie tubes live in a cool box

This set of four Nixie tubes display the number of people following bildr on Twitter. That’s neat; it uses an Arduino and some open source driver boards. But what caught out eye is the enclosure. The image above shows only half, but when assembled it’s a nice little cube that keeps the insides safe. This was laser cut using the Ponoko service and kicks off a design contest. Come up with the best idea for using 4 Nixies, their drivers, and $50 worth of Ponoko’s services and they’ll give you the materials to make it happen.

Lessons in Electric Circuits

Are you looking for a good source of information to get started into making and hacking electric circuits? We would like to refer you to Lessons in Electric Circuits. Even if you have good knowledge of electronics, this is another tool you can use. The book is a work in progress and will have some incomplete and pending areas, but the basic theory parts to get started are all there. It has six volumes: DC, AC, Semiconductors, Digital, Reference, and Experiments. The DC and AC volumes are the most complete. If your eyes are already glazing over thinking you already know all of this stuff, then the most interesting volume for you may be the Experiments, which contains a number of sample circuits like transistor amplifiers and 555 timer circuits. The best part of this book it that it is free, but as with most free things, you can make it better by contributing.

Via Adafruit Industries.