Hackaday Links: April 20, 2012

Introducing Hackaday: how it’s made edition

Ever wonder how the make the forms for marine propellers? Now you have. It turns out they use a bunch of plywood, Bondo, and sandpaper. Awesome viewing for a coffee break.

Finally a new way to hurt yourself!

[Darrell]‘s solder flux pen was filled and capped at sea level. When this pen made it to his work bench high in the mountains of Colorado there was a significant amount of pressure in that pen. The flux squirted out right into [Darrell]‘s eye. Better get some Visine on that, man.

The most accurate television portrayal of hacking ever

[Russell] was watching TV last night and saw an interesting commercial. It’s a bunch of electronic components, then a nook color showing the front page of Make: Projects, an Arduino schematic, and finally a happy robot. Two observations: firstly, someone in media and advertising doesn’t think ‘hacking’ is WarGames stealing bank accounts. Secondly, an ad exec looked into current users.

Here’s the official YouTube video of the commercial.

In a world… where components aren’t soldered… one man… uses a soldering station.

Adafruit linked to the most outrageous promo video ever. This Weller soldering station provides 240 watts, battles alongside Agamemnon at Troy,  has rework tweezers, and travels to Italy to wage war against the Latins.

An IDE for the 21st century

[Chris] is currently developing a new paradigm for programming. He calls it Light Table, and it’s designed to be an improvement over a simple text editor and project manager. All the documentation is at your fingertips, you can make changes on the fly. It reminds us of the zzstructure emulator we saw last year. It’s something to keep an eye on at least.

Full Linux distro on a Nook color

We should have included a footnote in the title. You can say that [Thomas Polasek] installed a full version of Arch Linux on his Nook Color, but there’s one caveat. It’s running on top of the Android kernel and his proof-of-concept uses a second computer to get it up and running. But there’s potential for that to change moving forward.

Unlike previous attempts to run a Linux distro on Android, this does away with using a VNC to show the desktop. [Thomas] is commandeering Android’s frame buffer so that it can be used by the X desktop without needing to set up display drivers. To start off he installed a ROM based on CM7. A couple of Android apps give him the functionality needed to get the Arch Linux distro running from the SD card. This is accomplished by tunneling into the tablet via SSH, and using the ‘chroot’ command to make it active. The hope is that this can somehow be automated by a script.

A female to female USB coupler was used to connect the keyboard and mouse to the Nook. It looks like LXDE would be useless without them; touch control is not yet implemented. Those shortcomings aside, everything seems to be running pretty fast in the video after the break.

[Read more...]

Dash-mounted Nook Color is a perfect head unit replacement

jeep-nook-mount

XDA forum member [craigbru] wanted to beef up the audio setup in his Jeep, and thought that his Nook Color would make a suitable replacement. Since he jailbroke the e-reader, the head unit upgrade lets him do just about anything you can imagine, all from the comfort of the driver’s seat.

Seeing that he would continue to go off-road with the Jeep, he wanted to construct a mounting solution that was convenient and sturdy – something we think he did very well.

The dock was constructed using a Quadratec iVault stereo mount, along with a plastic tablet mount he had on hand. Because convenience was a primary goal, he put together a quick release charging solution as well as a simple audio interface using a set of touch contacts. This allows him to connect and detach the tablet from the Jeep without having to fuss with a bunch of cables each time. He also added an audio equalizer along with a Bluetooth OBDII interface to the setup, allowing him to tweak his tunes and monitor his engine with ease.

We think it’s a great-looking setup, and we’d be lying if we said we didn’t want one as well.

[Thanks, MS3FGX]