Easter Egg Challenge

Beer

Often, hardware designers include nonfunctional additions into designs to make them feel more personal. Commonly known as easter eggs, these additions can often go unnoticed by the public for years. While taking apart an Atari San Francisco Rush: The Rock sound board, reader [Jason] noticed a hidden message on the PCB (see above). Other more recent hardware easter eggs include the inside of the Zune HD, which has the inscription “For our Princess” to commemorate a development team member who passed away, or the Amiga 1000 which features the signatures of the design team on the inside if the case (Pictures after the break).

What we want from you: We want to see the best HARDWARE easter eggs you have found or seen. Leave us a comment with a video, picture, or article that explains what you found, and possibly the background story behind it. Anyone can google easter eggs, and we all know about the easter eggs all over DVDs, video games, etc, but we prefer the kind you find when you are busy voiding your hardwares warranty.

Edit: good catch, that was the Amiga 1000 not an Atari 1000. Thanks to all the commentors.

[Read more...]

Nikon Coolpix S1000pj (teardown)

HAD_NCP

Earlier this year, Nikon released the Coolpix S1000pj, a 12 megapixel point and shoot with the usual features, including image stabilization, face recognition, etc. However, the S1000pj features a built in projector into the usual diminutive point and shoot footprint, and also comes with a remote for controlling the projector in display mode, or for remote shooting. iFixit has gotten a hold of the unit, and detailed the difficult teardown process, which included component desoldering to get the extremely compact system completely apart. It is also interesting to compare this setup to other stand alone pico-projectors we have covered.

PSP Go gets butchered (teardown)

Dx1CSXo13YF3NYBa

Not due to be released until the beginning of October, a PSP Go demo unit (shipped to G4TV) has already earned itself a teardown from [iFixit]. Among what was discovered:

- Once a few screws are removed, the battery is user replaceable (as-in: no soldering iron required)

- Wireless connectivity is only supplied through a 802.11b chip (no update to ‘n’, or even ‘g’, by Sony)

- Almost all chips are EMI-shielded (making them a bit more annoying to get to)

With a cheaper version of the PS3 ready to hit shelves, one can only wonder whether the relatively high price tag on this new PSP is worth it.

Update: It seems as though no party involved wanted the info leaked this early, which explains why the video and picture gallaries (up courtesy of Google) have been removed.

Update 2: The article (linked above) and video are now available. An explanation on why Sony had them remove the items for quite some time (plus some repair manuals) was posted by iFixit.

Zune HD teardown

dfkaj

Our friends over at ifixit are at it again, how they get these devices so early before release and make a complete teardown in time still amazes us. Today they bring us the latest Microsoft media device, the Zune HD. Some features worth mentioning: The astoundingly thin, 1mm we’re talking, OLED screen. The Nvidia Tegra 2600 processor, hinting at 3D game capability. And finally who could forget the 660 mAh battery. But isn’t that 129 mAh less than the iPod touch? Microsoft’s reply, supposedly the Zune HD is using many more low power hardware solutions in this device. Either way, the competition is on, who will be the victor?

PS3 Slim Teardown

be1bSIBJJAk1dEvk.large

The new PS3 Slim has just been released, and ifixit has already posted a teardown. First, they easily removed the included 120GB hard drive, suggesting that upgrading it  shouldn’t be too hard. In order to get inside the cover, however, they needed to use a security Torx screwdriver. In the end, the Blu-ray drive turned out to be the bulkiest component, followed by some surprisingly gigantic fans. Hopefully this means that Sony won’t have to deal with overheating issues.

Related: Nintendo DSi Teardown

Teardown of the Barista

main

iFixit has done a tear down on the symbolic do-it-yourself Espresso machine, the Starbucks Barista. Believe it or not, there is not a single circuit board in the works. There doesn’t seem to be much to the Barista; A few switches, some solenoids, a heater, and one way spring valve among other things. The assembly of the device is very simple. It is noted that in a pinch it may be torn down with a pair of pliers and washer; in place of a flat head screw driver. We have pondered the possibilities of this machine numerous times, while enjoying a cup of cappuccino. Though most conversations end at the bottom of the cup, many survive such as this Silvia PID looped expresso machine. The very name “Mecha turbo crazy coffee roaster” seems to encapsulate the effects of caffeine quite adequately.

iPhone 3G S teardown

iphone

Already, both Rapid repair and ifixit have torn down the new iPhone 3G S, and phonewreck has provided some analysis. The new CPU runs twice as fast at 600 MHz and supports 720p video. They also found that the new 3 megapixel camera took better photos. Surprisingly, despite apple’s claims that the new phone has significantly better battery life, the battery itself has only 6% more capacity. Overall, not much has changed.

[Related iPhone 3G under the hood]