[Evow04] has been working hard to run Android on a Meizu M8 smartphone and we’re beginning to enjoy the fruits of his labor. The Meizu M8 is a Chinese cell phone very similar in appearance and hardware to the iPhone. The factory firmware runs Windows CE 6 but there is no official support for Android. It looks like [Evow04’s] upgrade method is fairly easy; copy an IMG and BIN file to the root of the phone, backup the Windows CE portion, and then use the upgrade mode to flash the two files.
We’re pretty impressed with Android, especially the potential that it represents. Having another device that runs the OS is a good thing but at $350-$400 this isn’t any cheaper than just buying an Android phone.
After letting it sit around for about 3 years, [Blake] decided it was time to fix his broken 15″ television. A little trouble shooting showed the problem was with the inverter. The backlight would come on for a few seconds, off for a few seconds, then repeat. By freeing the Magnavox 15MF400T from its metal case he got it working again, but couldn’t find the source of the short. His solution: build a new case out of non-conductive material. Voilà! We have the 15″ LEGO monitor.
It’s not a very complicated LEGO build, but it’s the first case mod we’ve seen in a long time that isn’t strictly gratuitous. Join us after the break for more pictures. Continue reading “Broken TV Brought To Life In LEGO Body”
The XBMC team has posted a teaser showing the current state of the ARM port of this popular open source media software. We’ve embedded it after the break where you can see the package boot up and playback HD video. In it we see that the system is decoding the signal well, but image rendering needs some tweaking before this will be ready.
The hardware used is a Beagleboard which runs a 600 MHz ARM processor, has OpenGL 2D/3D acceleration, puts out HD via a DVI port, and is selling for about $150. The 3″ by 3″ board can be connected to a network using a USB WiFi dongle. Although integrating XBMC by hacking TV firmware is a long way off, we’d consider velcroing one of these to the back of our HDTV and getting rid of the hulking PC behind the entertainment center.
Can’t wait for this version to hit a stable release and don’t mind using hardware that is just a bit bigger? Check out this guide for setting up XBMC on the $200 Acer Aspire Revo.
Continue reading “XBMC Running On ARM”
[Ross] put together a small package for use with time-lapse photography. The Nikon camera he’s using can snap a picture when it receives an IR command. [Ross’] solution connects an IR LED to an Arduino to generate this signal. The delay between frames is set with a potentiometer that is read in through the ADC. This is quite a bit less involved than the last solution we saw.
The unit consisting of an Arduino clone, a 9v battery, and the IR LED on a cable is easy to fit into a camera bag. He’s posted the code and we’ve embedded an example of his work after the break. An enclosure as well as time references around the potentiometer would complete this handy tool.
Continue reading “Time-lapse Courtesy Of Arduino”
[Donn] wanted know exactly what is going on inside of a processor so naturally he built a CPU out of TTL components. He had previously built a couple of versions of a computer based on the Z80 processor. Using the troubleshooting skills he learned and a second-hand textbook, he set to work using 74LS series chips connected using the wire-wrap method we’re familiar with from other cpu projects.
The finished product runs well at 1.8 megahertz, but he also included a 2 hertz clock and a step clock for debugging. At the slower speeds, the register board (seen at the left in the picture above) lights LEDs and can be used to tell what the CPU is currently working on. Programming is accomplished through either a dumb terminal or a PC running a terminal emulator.
His writeup is from about five years ago but that didn’t prevent us from getting that fuzzy feeling in the geek-center of our brain when we read about it. It is well written and thorough so if you’re into this kind of thing there’s plenty to enjoy.
[Viacheslav] wanted his virtual terminal to have the look of a DEC VT220. He was unable to find a font set that looked just right so he set out to make his own TrueType font. He managed to find a sample image of the glyphs that the VT220 used as fonts. Using a collection of free software he sliced the image into 256 different parts, resized and converted to one-bit index images, and converted these to vector graphics. This was accomplished with a bit of python, an image tracing program, and font editor called FontForge.
Take some time to dabble with these font tools. With an adequate sample you should be able to reproduce any font set. We won’t achieve anything as sophisticated as the font printed with bacteria, but this will be a start in the right direction.
Today is the official release of the latest version of Ubuntu, the most popular Linux-based operating system. Someone mentioned that there had been a new release of the Windows OS recently and if you’re thinking of going with that one, we feel you should a least give Ubuntu a try. Now in its 11th official release and codenamed Karmic Koala, this version of Ubuntu continues the traditional six month development cycle by succeeding Jaunty Jackalope which was released in April of this year.
We’ve been running the beta release of Ubuntu Netbook Remix for several weeks now. It cut boot time down to between 5-10 seconds and WiFi is already connected by the time the Desktop loads. Speed isn’t the only new feature, graphics have been redesigned, there is a new app store that serves as a front end for the extensive free software repositories, and the newest kernel and software versions are included.
We’ve been using this open source operating system since its third release, Breezy Badger. We love it for the quality, convenience, and the fact that we can get our fingers into the code and hack around a bit.