Hackaday Links: June 2, 2019

The works of Shakespeare, Goethe, and Cervantes combined do not equal the genius of Rick And Morty. Actually, the word ‘genius’ is thrown around a bit too much these days. Rick and Morty has surpassed genius. This cartoon is sublime. It is beyond any art that could be created. Now, you might not have a high enough IQ to follow this, but Rick and Morty is, objectively, the best art that can be produced. It just draws upon so much; Rick’s drunken stammering is a cleverly hidden allusion to Dostoevsky’s Netochka Nezvanova, absolutely brilliantly providing the back-story to Rick’s character while never actually revealing anything. Now, you’re probably not smart enough to understand this, but Teenage Engineering is releasing a Rick and Morty Pocket Operator. Only the top percentages of IQs are going to understand this, but this is game-changing. Nothing like this has ever been done before.

The Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 is the high water mark of computer peripheral design. Originally released in 2003, the IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 was an instant classic. The design is nearly two decades old, but it hasn’t aged a day. That said, mouse sensors have gotten better in the years since, and I believe the original tooling has long worn out. Production of the original IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 stopped a long time ago. Microsoft tried to revive the IntelliMouse a few years ago using a ‘BlueTrack’ sensor that was ridiculed by the gaming community. Now Microsoft is reviving the IntelliMouse with a good sensor. The Pro IntelliMouse is on sale now for $60 USD.

It has come to my attention that wooden RFID cards exist. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone because wood veneer exists, thin coils of wire exist, and glue exists. That said, if you’re looking for an RFID card you can throw in the laser cutter for engraving, or you just want that special, home-made touch, you can get a wooden RFID card.

Lego has just released an Apollo Lunar Lander set, number 10266. It’s 1087 pieces and costs $99. This is a full-scale (or minifig-scale, whatever) Apollo LEM, with an ascent module detachable from the descent module. Two minifigs fit comfortably inside. Previously, the only full-scale (or, again, minifig-scale) Apollo LEM set was 10029, a Lego Discovery kit from 2003 (original retail price $39.99). Set 10029 saw a limited release and has since become a collectible: the current value for a new kit is $336. The annualized ROI of Lego set 10029-1 is 13.69%, making this new Apollo LEM set a very attractive investment vehicle. I’m going to say this one more time: Lego sets, and especially minifigs, are one of the best long-term investments you can make.

A Weinermobile is for sale on Craigslist. Actually, it’s not, because this was just a prank posted by someone’s friends. Oh, I wish I had an Oscar Mayer Weinermobile.

Rumors are swirling that Apple will release a new Mac Pro at WWDC this week. Say what you will about Apple, but people who do audio and video really, really like Apple, and they need machines with fast processors and good graphics cards. Apple, unfortunately, doesn’t build that anymore. The last good expandable mac was the cheese grater tower, retired in 2013 for the trash can pro. Will Apple manage to build a machine that can hold a video card?  We’ll find out this week.

16 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: June 2, 2019

  1. Maybe my IQ is not high enough to understand Rick and Morty fully, but I like the butter robot. Good idea from Teenage Engineering to create another variation of their high profit margin Pocket Operators with the cheap display and keys, which all fans of the show would want to buy. Once I removed the display of one of the other POs to see what makes it tick:
    https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/teenage-engineering-po-28-robot-pocket-operator/
    It uses a LG890F256G microcontroller for EUR 3.50, and a CS42L52 stereo codec for EUR 3 (1,000 quantities). Display, keys and PCB etc. might sum up to EUR 10 and it is sold for EUR 56 in various shops.

      1. Well, the butter robot is kind of deep with many layers. It implies deep questions about the meaning of life, and if it is slavery and torture, if you create a sentient robot whose only purpose is to serve butter. But for kids watching the show it might be just a funny toy.

        1. Is it slavery and torture, or is it a sentient being living its most actualized and fulfilled life? Consider the cows at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, who would be positively dejected if you didn’t choose to eat them.

    1. I wish someone would make clones of these I could buy for cheap. They could use those little eink displays instead of the segmented game and watch style LCDs. Make it use the Arduino IDE. Could be fun.

  2. I wish Lego would reissue the old set 565 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feNCcnkWbUk

    If Microsoft wants to have an input device do-over they should reissue the Trackball Optical 1.0, but with silicon carbide bearings instead of the cheap steel ones that quickly flat spotted.

    Another one they should manufacture again is the Sidewinder Strategic Commander. https://wordpress.nicolaswinocur.com/?p=38 It twists, slides up, down, left, right. With a bunch of buttons, three shift buttons and a three position program slider it has a total of 72 possible functions. Should one so desire I bet it could be setup to work as a full text keyboard.

    The catch? It’s left hand only. If you’re uncoordinated with your left hand this input device won’t do you much good. It also takes up space, more than a Microsoft Trackball Optical 1.0 (thumb or finger ball version) and considerably more than the Logitech M570 thumb trackball.

    A TO1 with a few more buttons and a reissue of the Strategic Commander (could it be made any better?) would be very nice.

    1. Seems to me that these things should all be 3D-printable, not just in left or right versions, but scaled to fit the grip of different hands, all while keeping the button holes the right size to mechanically work.

  3. $60 for an IntelliMouse 3.0 reboot? My favorite IntelliMouse is the 1.2A with a physical ball. I can buy new old-stock ones on eBay for about $15 with shipping. They last for at least a decade of full-on use.

  4. Teenage Engineering is overpriced digital meh in the analog Renaissance
    and Elekton only makes products that require all their other products for usable functionality.

  5. Mock apple all you want, but that is a beastly workstation and it actually is pretty competitve with comprable workstations. That’s a lot of I/O capability and a huge amount of ram for a desktop, and the cooling design is pretty decent. They will sell a decent number of these. Probably all of them to Pixar, but they will sell.

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