Fruit-Flavored Memory

Need a teeny-weeny 2GB thumbnail of a USB drive to go with your credit card-size computer? Sony’s got ya covered, at least if you live in Korea. They’ve just released their new Micro Vault Tiny Drives there, from 256MB to 2GB, in four mouth watering fruit *colors* (we lied about the flavor part — a geek can dream, can’t he?). No word about them coming to our shores.

Amazing Matrix Mod

This crazy bugger scratch-built a Matrix Regenerator pod casemod worthy of a movie sci-fi special F/X shop. Not only is the mod impressive, but he has dozens of pics and shows the detailed steps and fab work in metal, plastic, clay, rubber molding and clear urethane casting. A nice and informative “how I did it.”

This is the same guy (Paul Capello) who did the Doom3 Mars City mod. If you never took a look at that, here’s a link. It’s even more insane than the Matrix mod. 15 months worth of work. As Paul sigs his postings: “Madness is just a cry for help.” I hear ya, brother.

[edit: removed links, as Google says they’re malware now. sorry!]

PC in Your Wallet? Priceless.

And you thought the Mac Mini and Mini-ITX computers were small. Here’s a full-featured PC no bigger than a credit card. It boasts an XScale chip running Windows CE or Linux, 500MB of Flash storage, 128MB of RAM, an AC’97 sound chip, a Philips 802.11b wireless interface, a PCI bus, 4 USB host ports, and wired networking. All this on a board that’s only a little fatter than a mini-PCI card. And, this little wonder only costs US$49, IF you buy at least 10,000. Wanna go in on a group purchase?

[Via OhGizmo!]

Scamming the Scammers

If you didn’t see this on Boing Boing, you really should check it out. We love how scamming/goofing on the so-called 419 scammers has become something of a Net pastime. This guy convinced a Nigerian “Advance Fee” scammer that he was too busy administering a $150,000 scholarship fund for talented woodcarvers to collect the money of his unknown dead relatives assets. Through a series of email exchanges, he convinces the scammer to carve (or at least have carved) a replica of a Commodore 64 computer. Hilarity ensues.

“Dick, Is That You?”

Dick Tracy, eat your heart out. Or at least Tracy wannabes. MobileWhack is showing off these walkie talkie watches. They have built in PMRs (Personal Mobile Radios) that are voice activated and have a range of about 1.9 miles (3km). They can also be used with a PTT (push to talk) headset. The watches offer 40 hours of stand-by power, and six hours (theoretically) of continous talk time, on a charge. They sell for US$97 each. You’ll need two if you don’t wanna look like a complete whack-job (although I guess you could always just pretend there was somebody on the other end).

Windows Vista Preview

Lifehacker, with their new widescreen design, shows off the real estate with a tour of Windows Vista Beta. It’s real purdy, we’ll give it that. And are those Widge… oh, they’re “Gadgets.” Gina also runs afoul of numerous annoying nag dialogs — in Windows? Can’t imagine. Still too early to tell too much. It certainly *looks* better than the last time we saw it, and looking very OS X-ey, if you ask us.

Cool Watch CaseMods

Philip Torrone of Make has a couple of geeky watch casemods on Flickr. The TicTac mod speaks for itself. The other watch is made from cheap digital watch innards, a juice bottle cap, and an Ikea velcro cable tie.

Restart Now? [ ] Obey [ ] Comply

One of the error message dialog boxes we had in the Beyond Cyberpunk! HyperCard stack offered the user two choices: “Obey” or “Comply.” A lot of people got a kick out of this and it was mentioned in several reviews. In the context, there really only was one choice, so it worked as a joke, not as a painful interface conundrum.

The same cannot be said of one of Windows XP’s worst user-surly interface annoyances (and there are PLENTY of them in XP). Does this look familiar:

Updating your computer is almost complete. You must restart your computer for the updates to take effect. Do you want to restart your computer now?

[ ] Restart Now [ ] Restart Later

If you don’t want to stop what you’re doing to restart and you select Restart Later, it’ll ask you again every ten minutes until you restart. Total pain. Well, there is a fix. Daniel Turini posted this how-to tip on The Code Project.

RGB LED: Who Knew?

One of the guys at the first DC Dorkbot meeting, Tim Slagle, brought a glowing orb toy he’d gotten on eBay. It strobes through the color spectrum using RGB (Red, Green, Blue) LEDs. I didn’t even know there was such a component. They look like regular LEDs except they have a driver circuit built right into the LED package. All you have to do is hook up power and ground and they’ll run through their color sequence. There’s also a four-pin variety (pictured here), with one pin for each color and a common cathode. You can use these for three status indicator lights on the same lamp, or you can generate a range of colors using pulse width modulation. Nifty! This type does not have an on-board driver, you have to drive it with an external controller.

Here’s a link to Spark Fun’s RGB LED catalog page for the 4-pin type.
Here’s a page that explores the technical details of RGB LEDs.
Here’s an eBay seller of the two-pin type.
Here’s a little movie Thomas Edwards made of Tim Slagle’s RGB LED Orb.

Update: Tim emailed me with corrections to the above item. There are two types of RGB LEDs, 2-pin with an on-board driver, and 4-pin that require external control. Changes made.