24 core Ikea cluster

[Janne] does freelance animation and wanted something with a bit more CPU to get his rendering jobs done. He picked up an Ikea ‘Helmer’ cabinet and refitted it to hold six Intel quad cores, six Gigabyte motherboards with 8GB of ram each and six 400 watt power supplies. He seems happy with it – I think it just needs some custom power wiring and an integrated Gig-E switch to achieve perfection. What? I’m not jealous at all.

DIY X-Men: flame throwing wrist guard

[everett] sent in his final project for his mechanisms class. In an attempt to create his own bolt on X gene, he built a wrist mounted hand activated flame thrower: The Pyro System. The wrist mount has an igniter and a nozzle for dispersing fuel. When he flexes his hand back, a switch actuates a servo on the fuel and fires the igniter. Quick disclaimer: Don’t try replicating this one! If you want to skip the movie clip, skip 33 seconds into the video.

ToorCon Seattle 2008: Lightning talks

The second ToorCon Seattle got off to a quick start last Friday with a round of Lightning Talks at the Public Nerd Area. Each talk was limited to 5 minutes and covered a broad range of topics. Some talks were just supplying a chunk of information while others were a call to action for personal projects. Here are a few of the talks that we found interesting.

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modchip your XBox 360 controller

[CyberPyrot] and [l0rdnic0] released their spitfire mod on acidmods for XBox 360 controllers. It involves some fine wiring, but a relatively low parts count. The heart of the mod is a PIC16F84A, a crystal for the clock and a few passive parts. It took me a little while to find it, but the code for the pic hiding under the parts list. For a lengthy demo of the mod in action, you can check out this video.

Related: Xbox 360 Hacks, Xbox Hacks