Monday, August 07, 2006

"You take the High Road..."

I will indeed be spending the next eleven days in the land of bagpipes, haggis, and kilts; my sister is going with her highland dance troupe, and I believe a number of pipers. On an amusing sidenote, we really have little to no Scottish blood in our heritage. Either way, my sis is good at what she does (see the entry where I mention her of the latest few). I have a bunch of stuff to say before my trip (I will try to update if I can while I'm there)

I've had a pretty manic day, having been inspired by several DIY hardware hacking websites (too lazy to link 'em all, but if you start HERE, you can find your way to a large number of good sites) to try to hack away at anything within my limited modding skill. Well, this generally leads to a bunch of broken stuff that wasn't useful in the first place, but leaves me with nothing cool to show for it. Well, today, I'm happy to report that I did a little dremel work (my dad and I split the job) on a cheap case we're using to hold my Abit BP-6 dual Celeron 400 system. The thing sucks, but the real fun was doing the bios work and installation anyhow. My dad is trying to convert it into an audio recording box (it failed as a TIVO). At any rate, the case now has a reasonable "2" shape cut into the side panel. It's about 10cm long, by 12 or 13cm high. I'll upload some pics when I get back, because the next step is to get the edges rounded (old cat 5 cable can be split, wires removed, and used as rubber edging. I'm still working out the kinks), put in a Lexan sheet behind the cutout, and maybe add a little case lighting. If this ends well, there may be a flagship mod in the future. An LCD in the case is possible, but expensive. A regular window with a small LCD for picture-in-picture action might be is the limit here.

My other mod is a little odder, which is my bizarre project of making an iPod-style dock for my MP3 player inside a still-hopefully-workable printer. The two will NOT operate at the same time (I've physically ensured the printer's unplugged-ness), but no breakage of printer hardware was required. The thing is less of a docking station, and more of a boom box, in that it uses a microphone jack, and not the USB interface on the player itself. Nonetheless, once I get the volume set right (long story), this will be a hilarious little project.

Eventually, my plan is to read a little more extensively on REAL hardware hacking, because I'm nowhere near good enough to make truly inspirational stuff. Oh, well; at least this is still fun for now.

I've been toying with the idea of having a podcast, but until I can get a few friends online to record as an ensemble, it would essentially be me talking instead of writing. If I manage to convince anyone that it would actually be fun to post our own take on anything (well, I already do, but you could HEAR real-time arguments, instead of reading a monologue.) there may very well be a show appearing here. Those that know me, email me about this if you think I'm onto something. Others, should there be any, leave comments on what you might want to hear if I were to make the rantings of myself AND FRIENDS available to you. If we are to be loud voices assaulting your ears for 40+ minutes a week (NOT a promise on length; long debates are the rule with my ilk, and any release 'schedule' will be that in name only. More like...guidelines), SOMEONE had better enjoy it.

Not much new on the political front, but perhaps I haven't been reading the paper enough of late. At any rate, I'm being an idiot staying up so much, when I needed food and actual rest ages ago.


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