Starfish PBX takes the very popular Asterisk telephony platform and adds an open source, fully functional web management interface. Asterisk allows you to be your own private branch exchange; think of it as your own telephone company. You can setup extensions in your home or office, configure an intercom system, implement a hold system with music, manage voice mail, and integrate Voice over Internet Protocol. Starfish PBX, available in alpha release today, aims to make Asterisk available to a wider user base by simplifying the interface used to setup and maintain the system.
[gigs], whose foundation-based PC cooling project we covered earlier, has posted his initial test results. There was a large debate going back and forth in the comments as to whether or not this would work, and hopefully this should clear most of it up. He used a 150W fish tank heater to simulated his system’s heat output, and used a quiet fish tank pump to keep the water flowing. Over 8 hours, he was able to maintain a constant temperature 16° C (61° F). While not quite frigid, this would definitely provide ample cooling for normal operation with some headroom for overclocking.
Chart of results after the jump.
[thanks to gigs for getting back with real data so soon]
These Tweezers are pretty cool tools for anyone doing SMD components. We tried them out and found them very pleasant well made. They are able to identify components and take readings easily with one hand. One thing they are missing, however, is the ability to measure voltage. The people over at Openschemes decided to see if there was a way around that. As it turns out, the chip used in the unit already has the capability to measure voltage. They take us through the process of modding the unit to be able to take advantage of this un utilized feature. From the outside, the only difference is a new switch to set the mode to voltage. Great job guys.
You would be hard pressed to find a hacker who doesn’t have in some form a rats nest of wires and cables behind their computer desk. [Antoine] decided to tackle the problem and came up with his custom built cable management system. There is little info, but he does say his setup uses Ikea Antonius coat hangers and some hollow tube. Its quick and wont leave a residue like some cable solutions, so long as you don’t mind a screw hole or two. We especially like how if you need to change your setup you wont have to re-zip tie everything.
Back in October we reported on the I-Swarm robotics project. [Travis] sent us some more information. These tiny robots are programmed optically and are able to respond to programming commands via an infrared signal. Locomotion is facilitated with piezoelectric actuators and the power to the units provided through a solar cell. It is not clear that this project is still ongoing as the I-Swarm web page lists a project termination date of 6/31/2008. That being said, the video embedded after the break was posted two days ago showing swarm movement and detailing the programming, testing, and hardware specifics. Continue reading “I-Swarm Robot Update”→
[edwindertien] sent us his project to connect a Furby to the internet. The original Furby controller was replaced with an Arduino which in turn was given ethernet connectivity via a LANTRONIX XPort serial ethernet module. This assigns the Furby an IP address which can then be accessed through a script or via a web interface. Now we want to see someone combine this idea with the arduino that sings “Daisy Bell” to make the ultimate in creepy new email notifiers.
[Joey] sent us a link to the newest version of his Gameboy foot controller. In the video above, you can see how he uses it to control the loops in the background while he plays his guitar through an 8-bit filter. That is an old video, using the previous version. He tells us that several gameboys were used in the construction. At one point, he had to replace the guts because the music was so loud it knocked his equipment over and destroyed it. We can’t help but feel just a tiny bit of excitement as memories of renting a NES cartridge for the weekend fill our heads when we hear these riffs. His music isn’t too bad either. There is a growing crowd of people that support “chip music”. You can see what looks like a decent sized gathering enjoying a show with a little bit of a history lesson after the break.