How-To: Upgrade the processor on an older macintosh G4

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Yes there’s still a how-to this week, even though we pretty much how-to’ed a hack-cake yesterday for our HADA01 celebration.  Here’s the low down on today’s how-to up on engadget:

I bought an older graphite 400 mhz G4 tower from ebay.de (germany is a great place to buy tech here in europe) a while back. The motherboard and the manufacturing of the AGP G4 series, codenamed “Sawtooth”, are really good (i.e. there weren’t huge amounts of AGP G4’s that failed in weird ways over time). After doing some preliminary reading I learned that doing a processor upgrade for a G4 can sometimes require messy heat sink paste. Some other mac proc upgrades use the same heat sink provided with your original proc. I decided on a choice that does not require thermal paste and has a larger new heat sink and fan included: the PowerLogix PowerForce47 G4/2.0GHz with 512K 1:1 L2 Cache Per Processor. (note: I was not payed by Powerlogix nor did I receive free merchandise for this how-to nor is this article a review of comparable mac proc upgrades). After having a really hard time getting this proc upgrad to work, I just  wanted to put this information out there to help who it may as clearly as possible, after all I never enjoy seeing macs in the trash (unless I get to take them home and adopt them!)

Click to read “How-To: Upgrade the processor on an older macintosh G4″ on engadget

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HADA01 – Logo Cake

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We usually post stuff related to case mods rather than cake mods, but today is an exception. It’s our 01-th anniversary today and to celebrate we decided to bake a Hack-A-Day logo cake! The cake is a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting served on a homebrew circuit board platter. Celebrate our 01 Hack-A-Day style.

For this cake-mod you will need:
vanilla cake
frosting
various knives (spreading knife, box cutter, sharp kitchen knife)
chopstick or other square ended small clean tool
large green circuit board (like our motherboard isa bus extension card found on the street)
clear plastic from a zipper lock bag (to protect your cake eaters from solder lead and to protect your circuit board from cake and frosting)
black foam core board or similar
green lighting (super bright green led’s, green christmas lights, etc.)

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HADA01 – Hack-A-Day has a posse

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Hack-A-Day wouldn’t exist without our venerable readers. As a HADA01 tribute, here is a mini photo essay of the many and varied ways you’ve displayed the skully hardware hacker logo. If you’ve tagged anything from towers to notebooks with the skull-and-hack-bones, please leave a link in the comments. From us to you: thank you and keep ripping that gear apart.

pictured above: [ryan] was the first to send us a pic of our buttons or stickers in use.

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Siggraph Best-Of 2005

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Siggraph is a hot bed for tech prototype research and crazy art each year. [Dan Kaminsky] attended the conference last month and graced us with tons of pictures and descriptions of his favorite projects and pieces. Thanks Dan! Many of the exhibitors at Siggraph are hardware hackers and handheld gadget modders. Where possible we’ve linked to project pages and videos. We’ve gone ahead and added a few more of our personal faves as well to round out this round-up. Get your groove on at this visualization and interaction party.

by Dan Kaminsky

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How-To Control Csound with a Custom Midi Controller: Hardware (2 of 2)

In last week’s installment, we showed how to get started with Csound.  This week we take it to the next step by constructing a homemade MIDI controller circuit and use the new device to control Csound in real time.

What you will need:
a computer on which you have Csound up and running
a MIDI adapter for your computer (usb to midi adapters are the norm here)
a microcontroller / breadboard / microcontroller programmer (in this example we will show some BX24 sample code)
a MIDI female connector (either a cable or circuit board mount type, also known as 5 pin din)
a 2N2222 NPN transistor
some resistors (10Kohm and 220ohm)
some sort of sensor or button or potentiometer or any combination of the above

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What the Hack!: Some post-conference highlights

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My What the Hack! experience was very much a positive one due to the cute bunnies and the fun atmosphere of the BSD tent where I resided during my stay (the blue arrow points to my spot on the bench).  Hardware people were a bit few and far between, but one day when I was in severe need of resistors for a project I went wandering and found stephanie at the wireless village: thanks! My DECT phone was in a state of severe disrepair/hackage so I may have missed out on meeting a ton of people that were trying to call me using the free DECT network. All in all I managed to not stay glued to my computer/soldering iron the entire time and actually attended some talks and geeked out with friends and new peeps. I’ve chosen to highlight three talks from WTH to share with you.

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How-To Control Csound with a Custom Midi Controller: Introduction (1 of 2)

Csound is a free language for sound synthesis and processing.  It has a rich history and is still used today by musicians, composers and sound designers including Brian Eno, Richard James (aka Aphex Twin), NIN, DJ Spooky, and many more.  Why is Csound still in existence today?  It is a simple language which veers quickly to complex auditory experiences.  This coupled with a quick learning curve has kept Csound a popular audio synthesis language since its creation in 1985 by Barry Vercoe.

This How-To is one of a two part installment.  Part One is an introductory leap into Csound.  Part Two next week will have you building a physical interface to control a Csound environment via Midi.  Please note that this intro is a small daub of paint in the universe that is Csound creation.  Many books, entire webpages, and courses have been taught on Csound.  This introduction is meant to offer a glimpse into the rich world of audio creation and to hopefully inspire the reader to invest more time in Csound.

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