Snazzy Labs built a startlingly powerful Mac with only $70—editing the video above on it to prove it!
A big part of it is being armed with knowledge and some technical chops: the donor PC (from institutional surplus) was a real beast in its day, they repaired a broken SSD (!), and found a miraculously appropriate bus-powered video card on Craiglist. All of which means you're not likely to replicate the "Crapintosh" in a $100 visit to Goodwill.
All the same, though, I still think this shows something interesting. Not that MacBooks are underpowered, but rather that traditional desktop PCs, unfashionable as they are, are a cheap way to serious computing power if you're happy with an enormous noisy box under your desk. You might know this, but processors and video cards alike have long been marketed to obscure the performance differences between mobile and desktop parts, and they are often substantial! So educate your thrifty friends.
Eser Dominoes are an interesting proof of concept that won a juried award at the 14th Japan Media Arts Festival.
Retroworks’ $18 decoder rings don’t have much by way of cryptographic robustness (they compare disfavorably to the cipher-wheel wedding rings my wife and I wear!), but they’re not a bad way to introduce the littlies in your life to the idea of habitual secrecy. (via Red Ferret)
This old Mental Floss post collects salesmans’ miniatures from the 1930s, including mausoleums, swimming pools, Persian rugs, and more — but the gem is this gorgeous neon sample-case.
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