RC Car Case Mod

There are weird PC case mods, and then there’s the Hummer PC, a 1/6th scale remote-controlled Hummer model with a 3GB Pentium 4 with 1GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive packed inside. It even has a Thermaltake Water Cooling system in it! Use it as a regular PC, and when you get tired of spread sheets and fragging alien scum, you can unhook all the cables, grab your R/C controller, and let your pimped-out PC ride barrel down on the housepets.

Geeks Go to the Movies

There are a lot of great (in concept, anyway) movies coming out this year that Street Tech readers are likely to be interested in. Here’s a list of some of them and links to their online trailers:

Constantine (Feb 18)
Robots (March 11)
Sin City (April 1)
Hitchhicker’s Guide to the Galaxy (May 6)
Kingdom of Heaven (May 6)
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (May 19)
War of the Worlds (Summer)
Batman Begins (June 17)
Fantastic Four (July 1)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (July)
Corpse Bride (Halloween)

Mac Mini as Home Media PC

Well, the iHome may have been a hoax, but it was mere moments after Jobs announced the “headless” Mac Mini at MacWorld before people started thinking about how to turn this expensive tissue box into a home media center for digital video recording, music, and photos. The current HOW-TO on Engadget delves into this subject.

Honestly, I don’t know why people are balking so often at the relatively small hard drives (40GB or 80GB) on these Macs for use as a DVR. Most folks have these size drives on their TiVos, and the Mac Mini has a CD-RW on it (which most TiVos do not) that can be used for dumping stuff down. You can easily set up the Mac Mini to get iTunes or other digital audio servered over your home network from another PC so that doesn’t have to live on the Mini’s HD. In the Engadget HOW-TO, they discuss how to use an old PC you have gathering dust in the basement as a server for the Mini.

Anti-Procrastination Engine

It’s amazing how many geeks I know who are shaved- head over Chuck Taylor’s for the personal information and time management system detailed in David Allen’s book Getting Things Done. I figured that the very systematic/structural nature of it appeals to a certain programming mentality. This post I found on 43 Folders (a GTD-focused blog) sums it up beautifully:

I think Getting Things Done appeals to nerds for a lot of reasons. Overgeneralizing for effect:

* nerds are often disorganized or have a twisted skein of attention-deficit issues
* nerds love assessing, classifying, and defining the objects in their world
* nerds crave actionable items and roll their eyes at “mission statements” and lofty management patois
* nerds like things that work with technology-agnostic and lofi tools
* nerds like frameworks but tend to ignore rules
* nerds are unusually open to change (if it can be demonstrated to work better than what they’re currently using)
* nerds like fixing things on their own terms
* nerds have too many projects and lots and lots of stuff

I’ve been playing around with the system this week, reading 43 Folders, online excerpts of the book, and other related material, and have found a lot that’s useful for my own organizational style. I have the book on order. Have other Street Techies read GTD and/or use this system?

Other GTD resources:
Online excerpts from of the book from BusinessWeek Online: Part 1 & Part 2
PDF Workflow Chart that summaries the GTD method.
A summary of the book in outline form.

Mobile Satellite TV

It may sound like it got its name from Mushmouth on the Cosby Kids, but the unfortunately-named MobaHo is an Asian initiative to provide mobile satellite TV products and services. Luigi and our pals over at I4U have a video report about the services being rolled out and a look at the Toshiba handheld sat receiver.

Look, kids, FREE GADGETS!

Many Street Techies may already know about this, but Tiger Direct regularly offers gadgets, computer media, and digital office supplies for free. Okay, so you have to fill out a rebate form, but if you’re attentive to that sort of thing, you end up paying nothing. I just bought a 10-pack of DVD-R/DVD-RWs. The price was US$9.99. The rebate was $10. They PAID me (one stinkin’ red cent) to take 47 gigs of removable media off their hands! What’s not to like?

The rebate deals are not collected on the site (at least as far as I can see), but if you sign up for their newsletter, you’re informed of deals there. Current free offerings (besides storage media) include Voice Over IP phone adapters, 50′ retractable USB and RJ-11 cables, an el cheapo HP inkjet printer, and more. They also have 2-for-1 deals: Buy one 10-outlet surge suppressor for $20, get a second one free.

Robosapien Rap & Dance Video

See my two Robosapien robots, Chrome and Dome, rap, dance, and argue with each other in time to music with the help of their dog Crappy, in a short two minute robot movie.

[Editor’s Note: Involves robot urination (who knew) and the defecation of batteries]

Downloadable Role-Playing Games

Steve Jackson Games, which gets our vote for the best, most under-appreciated game company on the planet, has launched an innovated electronic publishing venture where you can purchase and download PDF versions of many of their role-playing game materials. One cool feature of the project, called e23, is that you can re-download files after you’ve purchased them, in case you lose them, want to access them from another location, etc. As you might imagine, many of the materials are for GURPS (Generic Universal Role-Playing System).

The latest offering (an exclusive to e23), for GURPS WWII, is called Michael’s Army. It explores the strange role of Romania in the war. Romania started out as part of the Axis powers (hoping Hitler would help them reclaim land lost to Russia after WWI), but switched sides (using Germany’s own weapons against them) when they realized that Hitler was not big on sharing. Who knew that Romania had a navy, with a submarine, even!

Boing Boing? 5 Years Old Me? Fogeddaboudit

Boing Boing, the greatest geek culture blog in cyberspace, is five years old today. Happy birthday to all our pals over there. Keep that perpetual novelty brain jack wired to our collective crania.

There are two coincidences about BB’s birthday that I love. Street Tech was the first item blogged on this day, five years ago, and it also happens to be my birthday. Getting a linkhump from BB every January 21st is a nice little present.