Rooting Sony PRS-T1 lets you get at the Android goodies

Cries of “I am root!” abound once again with the rooting of Sony’s PRS-T1 eBook reader. The eBook Reader Blog took the original rooting directions and then looked at some of the things you can do with root access.

This hardware is based around an ePaper display, but we must say that the performance seems to be fantastic. There may be a few missing features from the original user interface (like how pages are turned) that can be fixed with root access, but we think it’s the added Android access that makes this worth it. In the video after the break you’ll see that you can drop through to the Android 2.2 desktop and install any application you’re interested in using. This is a multi-touch display so it’s well suited for navigation although applications don’t work well yet because of excessive screen refreshing. But we’re sure that will improve with time. Of note is the ability to play music through apps like Pandora, and the ability to load content from other providers like Amazon books via the Kindle app.

Every time we write one of these rooted features we can’t help but think back to this I’m a Mac spoof video…. you’ll see why in the last few seconds.

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Macetech takes on its own Ambilight clone hack

[Garrett Mace] decided to beef up his 58 inches of plasma with 60 Watts of LED lighting. After seeing a ton of Ambilight clones using his LED modules, he’s built his own powerful system. Not surprisingly, it’s nothing short of professional-grade work.

Kudos to [Garrett] for showing the entire process in the video after the break. We’re talking about his planning stages, which are so often left out of build logs. He first measures the back of the television, and does some testing for distance and angle of the Satellite LED modules to establish how many should be used and to estimate the optimal spacing. From there he modelled a framing system before getting down to the actual build.

The wood frame is made up of a box with a horizontal crossbar serving as a place to mount the drivers. Around the edges, tilting rails were added to make the angle of the LED modules adjustable. As with many other Ambilight clones, [Garrett] uses the boblight software to drive his system and we appreciate it that he included his configuration file for reference. Once up and running the effect is breathtaking (and possibly blinding).

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Halloween time machine simulator built into an outhouse

[Sam] is an avid Halloween builder and has been hard at work on a time-machine simulator for this year’s festivities (alternate link). He recently assembled the enclosure which is seen above. It’s got room for two riders who will be strapped in place, with plenty of interior items to keep them occupied. There will be three LCD monitors acting as front and side windows for the time machine.

In the video after the break (taken from his vblog on the page linked above) [Sam] walks us through all of the electronics that went into this. He’s got red lights controlled by a servo motor attached to a dimmer switch. There’s a vibrating seat to give the riders a jolt, and a control panel which shows the status of the time machine. The thing is, it’s not just the physical build that’s impressive. We know from his past projects that [Sam] is a showman and he doesn’t disappoint this year. He spent a lot of time filming and generating computer graphics and sound to really make the ride a multimedia odyssey.

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Custom flat cables to suit your needs

[Cosimo Orlando] has a Motorola Xoom tablet. It’s an Android device that works great as a tablet, but can double as a Laptop when you need it to by adding a keyboard. The problem he was having is that the USB On-The-Go cables that he tried were never the right size or orientation. So he scavenged them for parts and built his own flat cable for a custom fit.

The final product pictured here actually uses protoboard to give the body some strength. [Cosimo] first laid out the dimensions on the substrate using a felt-tipped pen. He then took connectors from his mis-sized commercial cables and affixed them to the board with a combination of hot glue and solder. From there, just connect the five data lines and ground with some jumper wire and test for continuity. He finished this off with what he calls ‘adhesive plastic glossy black’ shaped to make a decent looking case. If you have any idea what product was used here, let us know by leaving a comment.

Halloween Hacks: Terrifying mask follows you everywhere

It’s less than 5 days away from Halloween and the projects to scare small children are pouring in. [Noel] sent in his robotic Halloween mask he’s been working on, and the only way his build could be any better is by placing it underneath a child’s bed.

[Noel] took the mask he used last year and stuffed a few styrofoam craft balls inside to ‘fill it up.’ Two LEDs and a PIR sensor were fitted into the eyes of the mask and a few more electronics added to the brain. A servo was fitted to the base of the project to turn the head left and right.

The build uses a Gizduino Arduino clone with an Adafruit Wave shield. After a little bit of wiring up the LEDs, PIR sensor and neck servo, [Noel] had a bit of coding ahead of him. He ran into a problem with the WaveHC and Servo libraries because they both used the same timer. After finding a another software-based servo libraries, he had a reasonably terrifying project to put in front of a bowl of candy.

Check out the video below for a demo of [Noel]‘s work.

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Nintenduo stuffs an NES and SNES in the same case

[lovablechevy] loves her Retro Duo console, especially since it takes up less space than the NES and SNES it has replaced. There’s a small problem though: the Retro Duo isn’t 100% compatible with her old Nintendo cartridges. Battletoads is a deal breaker for her, so she built Nintenduo, an NES/SNES console that uses all original Nintendo hardware.

The Queen of Bondo began her project with a top-loading NES and the smaller revision of the SNES. There’s a Photobucket gallery showing the innards lovingly placed in their new plastic home.

Not only can [lovablechevy] play classics like Paperboy, Donkey Kong Country, and the Super Mario RPG that are incompatable with the Retro Duo, all the accessories like the Zapper and Power Pad now work.

The finished build is very small; not much bigger than an SNES 2, and is nearly dwarfed by the gigantic NES cartridges. She posted a video of herself trying not to shoot the stupid Duck Hunt dog with her Nintenduo. Check it out after the break.

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Minibloq Arduino IDE is in Beta and in need of testers

minibloq_beta

If you have been chomping at the bit to give drag and drop Arduino programming a try, Minibloq is finally in Beta and ready for you to test!

We mentioned the application back in April of this year, when [Julián da Silva] was still in the early stages of developing the software. His graphical programming environment is meant to put the power of the Arduino and its derivatives into the hands of children in an easy fashion, with a gentle learning curve.

A lot has transpired since we first wrote about Minibloq, including a very successful Kickstarter campaign, along with many hours of programming and testing. The current Beta release includes a ton of features and programming “blocks” beyond what we saw earlier this year, so be sure to check out the video below for a quick tour of what’s new.

[Julián] says that the application’s source code will be released after they add a few key features, so keep an eye out for that if you’re interested in taking a peek under the hood.

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