The Floppotron: reclaimed computer hardware as a musical instrument

Paweł Zadrożniak, aka Silent, created The Floppotron, the greatest new musical instrument in recent memory. Here is it playing Through the Fire and Flames from Dragonforce. Read the rest

Hiding malware in boobytrapped replacement screens would undetectably compromise your mobile device

On the one hand, if you let an untrusted stranger install hardware in your electronic device, you're opening yourself up to all kinds of potential mischief; on the other hand, an estimated one in five smartphones has a cracked screen and the easiest, most efficient and cheapest way to get that fixed is to go to your corner repair-shop. Read the rest

Five methods to remove a stripped screw

I probably strip 50-65% of screws that I install. (I know, I'm doing it wrong. For starters, I should step away from my power drill until I learn to be more delicate.) Until I break my bad habits, Mikesaurus's Instructables post "5 Ways to Remove a Stripped Screw" will come in handy. (I've long ago mastered the bonus sixth step: "Leave it.")

This rubber band method is surprisingly effective and doesn't require anything you may not have at home:

"If the screw isn't totally stripped the rubber band will help fill in the areas where the screw has been stripped and provide friction where it's needed, allowing the screw to be removed."
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PocketCHIP handheld Linux computer

Donald Bell of the Maker Project Lab checks out the PocketCHIP handheld Linux computer. It cost $69 and has a keyboard and color display. It's mainly for creating and playing games. Looks pretty cool! Read the rest

New 3D printing config dramatically reduces print time

Autodesk’s Project Escher allows multiple 3D printers to manufacture the same object simultaneously via a software "conductor." Read the rest

Inside China's 'Silicon Valley of Hardware,' Shenzhen, with hardware hacker Bunnie Huang

In the first of a series of documentary videos about 'Future Cities,' WIRED UK has released a wonderful short doc on Huaqiangbei, the vast market district in Shenzhen, China.

They picked the best host and guide imaginable for this project, hardware hacker and researcher Andrew "Bunnie" Huang.

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MacBook customized to resemble 1980s Apple IIe

The hardware customizers ColorWare are now offering new MacBooks reskinned with an Apple IIe vibe. They're $3,000 and limited to an edition of ten.

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How to electrify your skateboard with a power drill

DIY boosted board made with a power drill, brass wire wheel brush, extension bit holder, right angle drill attachment, flexible bit holder, and of course a skateboard and wheels.

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Illustrator is drawing every item in his late grandfather's tool shed

Artist Lee John Phillips has begun to lovingly draw the over 100,000 items housed in his late grandfather's toolshed. He plans to catalog every single tool, part, gadget, and bit of hardware over the course of the next five years.

I adore old tools and hardware, and I find that his illustration style is wonderful at capturing their essence. I'll be following along on his Instagram page, and would certainly purchase a print edition should he make one available (hint, hint).

Artist Celebrates Late Grandfather by Drawing the 100,000+ Items in His Tool Shed (Thanks, Oh Soon!) Read the rest

"Big T" measuring tape looks like Mr. T

The Fisco "Big T" measuring tape resembles Mr T. "I pity the rule." Read the rest

How the hell did they get 1024 colors out of a 1981 PC?

If technical descriptions of how they achieved the amazing graphical feat flew over your head, this pictorial explanation makes clearer just how insane this thing is.

The idea that such multi-color trickery was possible came to me some time ago, as I was looking at reenigne's code for patching up composite CGA emulation in DOSBox; messing with that patch during development gave me a much better picture of composite CGA's inner workings. When I had ironed out the basic concept for this hack, I divulged it to reenigne for 'peer review' and for testing on real hardware. Soon enough, we had an improved recipe:

Take two familiar (though officially undocumented) tweaks. Blend to an even mixture producing a new effect. Add one crucial new trick – an ingredient of reenigne's devising. Test and calibrate until blue in the face.

It's also a great look at the workings of CGA for the interested but nontechnical layman.

Released at the Revision 2015 demo party, 8088 MPH is a vision of previously undiscovered possibility (a perfect entrypoint to the 19A0s!)—there's even MOD music, including digital samples, at 6:40m, like it's just no big deal at all to do that with 1981 hardware Read the rest

Click your Bluetooth heels three times to call an Uber

iStrategy Labs' Dorothy is a mobile app and Bluetooth-based switch (called the Ruby) that slips into your shoe. Click your heels together three times and it triggers an action on your smartphone like calling an Uber. Read the rest