Despite Apple’s unfailing dedication to UI, they still sometimes manage to put out some stinkers. The latest of these is the ‘keyboard’ for the search interface in the Apple TV. It’s an alphabetical keyboard, laid out in a square with the obvious frustration that goes along with that terrible idea. [Lasse] was frustrated with this design and realized searching anything with the Apple TV IR remote is a pain. His solution was to build his own version of the Apple TV remote with a web interface, powered by an Arduino.
Inspired by the Apple Remote Arduino Shield we featured a few years ago, [Lasse] stuck an IR LED int the pins of Arduino with an Ethernet shield, current limiting resistors be damned. The web UI is the innovative part of this build. He’s hosting a simple website on the Arduino that allows him to type – with a real keyboard – a search query into the website, and have the Arduino take care of moving the Apple TV cursor around to select each letter.
The web UI has all the features found on the Apple TV remote, including the swipe gestures, and has a really slick brushed metal texture to boot. You can check out the video of [Lasse]’s project typing text into an Apple TV hilariously fast below.
Continue reading “Fixing Apple TV’s Terrible UI”
Laziness sometimes spawns the greatest inventions. Making things to reduce effort on your part is quite possibly one of the greatest motivators out there. So when [Kyle] had to get out of bed in order to turn off Netflix on his computer… He decided to do something about it.
He already had an Apple remote, which we have to admit, is a nice, simple and elegant control stick — so he decided to interface with it in order to control his non-Apple computer. He quickly made up a simple PCB up using the good ‘ol toner transfer method, and then populated it with a Bareduino, a CP2102 USB 2.0 to TTL UART 6PIN Serial Converter, an IR receiver, a USB jack, header pins, and a few LED and tactile switches.
It’s a bit tricky to upload the code (you have to remove the jumper block) but then it’s just a matter of connecting to it and transferring it over with the Arduino IDE. The Instructable is a bit short, but [Kyle] promises if you’re really interested he’ll help out with any questions you might have!
Digital photo frames — as tacky as they may be — are a handy way to show off photos, especially considering how few photos get printed these days! [Rene] decided he could really use one at work, but he wanted it to look cool as well. Feeling a bit nostalgic with the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh Classic II, he decided to gut one and turn it into this awesome linux based “Mac9000”!
He started by picking up the Mac off eBay and cleaning it up a bit. It had definitely belonged to a school considering how worn it was. A bunch of sandpaper, bleach wipes, and elbow grease later, and it almost looks like new again! The next step was gutting the insides to make room for the new hardware. This is a bit tricky because you are dealing with high-voltage equipment! Make sure to discharge it safely before sticking your hands in!
Once the unit was empty, he began upgrading it with some more recent technology. A 7″ LCD, a Raspberry Pi (with PIR sensor), and a WiFi adapter to name a few. In addition to his blog, he also has a great photo gallery of the entire process over at LYTRO. He’s set up Raspbian “Wheezy” to automatically snag photos off of a DropBox directory, making this one of the easiest to use photo frames we’ve ever seen. He also plans to show videos on it, but alas, that is a project for another day.
It’s been just over thirty years since the original Macintosh was released, and [hudson] over at NYC Resistor thought it would be a good time to put some old hardware to use. He had found an all-in-one Mac SE “on the side of a road” a while ago (where exactly are these roads, we wonder), and the recent diamond anniversary for the original mac platform convinced him to do some major hardware hacking.
Inspired by a six-year-old project from a NYC Resistor founder aptly named the 24th anniversary Mac, [hudson] decided to replace the old hardware with more powerful components – in this case, a BeagleBone Black. Unlike the earlier build, though, the original CRT would be salvaged; the analog board on the Mac SE has pins for video, hsync, vsync, and power.
To get a picture on the old CRT, [hudson] needed to write a software video card that used the BeagleBone’s PRU. The CRT isn’t exactly “modern” tech, and everything must be clocked at exactly 60.1 Hz lest the CRT emit a terrible buzzing sound.
With a software video card written for the old CRT, the BeagleBone becomes the new brains of this beige box. It runs all the classic Linux GUI apps including XEyes and XScreenSaver, although flying toasters might be out of the question. He also managed to load up the Hackaday retro site with xterm, making this one of the best ways to make an old Mac SE useful.
Like many with a 27″ iMac, [Gerry’s] been experiencing some screen brightness issues. According to him, Apple’s been largely ignoring the problem and the community’s outcry, which led to [Kaos2k] poking around inside to hack together a fix. It’s a solution clearly born from trial and error; [Kaos2k’s] initial post on the issue simply recommending “applying pressure” to the panel itself, which would sometimes cause the dim screen to spring back to life.
It turns out that heat (or stress, or something) from the screen causes the solder joints to weaken on the board where a 6-pin connector hooks up, dimming the screen to eye-strain levels. Some Mac users are suing over it, because the problem tends to show up just outside of the warranty window and affects a large number of people. [Kaos2k], however, provided the much needed solution for those looking to get the fix over with: just solder the cable directly to the board. Our tipster, [Gerry], has documented his experiences over at his blog, and was kind enough to make a step-by-step video of the repair, which you can see after the break.
Continue reading “Finding the Fix for a Dimmed 27″ iMac Screen”
An anonymous German case modder decided to poke fun at the new Mac Pro… by making his own Hackintosh Pro out of a trash can!
For whatever reason the German forum it spawned in is a little bit secretive, but [Dschijn] of tonymacx86.com got permission to share the build on the creator’s behalf — and it is absolutely glorious.
The beautiful exterior is a Authentics Lunar 6L trash can, painted a vibrant pink — complete with a fake Apple logo. Inside is a Gigabyte Mini ITX motherboard, a Haswell i3 processor, a Radeon 7750, an SSD, a HDD, an ATX power supply, and an undisclosed amount of RAM. True to the Mac Pro, it features a central airflow design, with a fancy hand-crafted intake grate on the bottom.
While its technical specs fail to impress, it is remarkably similar in size to the real deal, varying by just under an inch.
[via Ars Technica]
[Jeff] has a Mac Plus, an 8 MHz computer with 4 MB of RAM and a 512×342 1-bit screen. It was his first ‘real’ computer, and like those guys that take Model A Fords out for a Sunday drive, [Jeff] decided to put this old box on the Internet.
A Plus has a few options to get on the Internet. The best, but most expensive, is a SCSI to Ethernet computer. For a somewhat slower connections, a PowerPC mac can be used as an Ethernet to Localtalk (the Macintosh serial port networking protocol) bridge. Lacking either of those pieces of hardware, [Jeff] decided to use a Raspberry Pi. The Pi does the heavy lifting, and a handful of serial adapters and voltage converters turns the Pi into something that can talk to the Plus’ serial port.
Even with the MacTCP stack and the MacWeb browser, there are still some things this ancient computer couldn’t do. HTTPS hadn’t been invented until 1994, cookies are just a pain, and CSS is right out. This means modern websites (except, of course, the Hackaday retro edition) simply won’t render properly. To fix this issue, [Jeff]’s friend [Tyler] came up with a Python script using Requests, Beautiful Soup, and Flask to strip out all the Web 2.0 cruft, handle the cookies, and to get rid of SSL.
The end result is a Mac Plus with 4 Megabytes of RAM on the Internet, able to pull up Wikipedia and Hacker News. It isn’t fast by any means – in the video below, it takes about five minutes to pull up the front page of Hacker News – but it is a 27-year-old computer on the Internet.
Continue reading “Putting A Mac Plus On The Internet”