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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Old Computer Equipment Belts Out Fun’s ‘We Are Young’

Now and then we come across orchestras made up of old computer equipment, hacked together and programmed to perform some song or other. Last time we covered one, it was just over a year ago and featured aging electronics playing The Animal’s ‘House Of The Rising Sun’. Well, the same guys who made that one are back at it, this time with Fun’s ‘We Are Young’. It’s good, or at least as good as a song performed by hard drives, oscilloscopes, and printers can be. Full breakdown of the players is as follows:

HP Scanjet 3C – Vocals
Yamaha CX-5 – Piano
BWD-504 Oscilloscope to display CX-5 audio output
Harddrives – Drums
The Harddirives are controlled with a PIC16F84A microcontroller

VIA [ Geekosystem ]

So This… Is A Phone

CES is just around the corner, during which Chinese cellphone manufacturer Huawei was poised to introduce its latest handset, the Ascend Mate. But chief Richard Yu apparently couldn’t resist the temptation of showing it off early at an in-store event in China, and pictures were snapped, and, well, there you have it: this giant monstrosity is 6.1 inches across. Blurring the line between phone and tablet (firmly in phablet territory), we think the Ascend Mate is more of a small tablet that makes phone calls, rather than a large phone. That’s not a large phone: that’s an invitation for ridicule.

Granted you’ll likely have a nice time watching movies on that 6.1-inch Full HD 1920×1080 display, and the phone stands a chance of not running out of battery in a wink thanks to its 4,000mAh battery. A HiSilicon K3V3 1.8GHz quad core processor rounds out the specs, although they could change slightly between now and its official CES unveiling.

But hey, we don’t really care about yet another handset. We just wanted to show you a big phone. A really big phone.

VIA [ DVice ]

DASH Wallet Lets You Use Card Without Taking It Out

There are lots of companies trying to make a better wallet. Any improvement over the scoliosis-inducing mammoths we carry today is welcome, and the DASH wallet pictured above is one of our favorites. It’s a slim wallet that intends for you to carry the essentials, and in this it’s fairly banal. But what sets it apart is the little window on the side of its “quickdraw compartment” that allows you to partially push out one card so that the magnetic stripe is exposed, and use it without actually taking it out. Everyone has that one card that they use all the time; set that one in the quickdraw slot and save, well… not a lot of time, but hey: it’s the convenience. There is another slot for a few more cards, and yet a third one for cash.

Fully loaded it appears to be not much more than half an inch thick. It’s made from black elastic fabric, and recycled materials and will cost you a $24 pledge on the almost sold out Kickstarter campaign.

[ Product Page ]

This… Now This Is A Meat Tenderizer

Tenderizing tough cuts usually means going at them with a mallet. It’s fun, really. We do think that you shouldn’t be buying tough cuts in the first place, but hey, sometimes options are limited and better make the best of a bad situation. But if you’re going to tenderize, then tenderize with this instead. Looking like a torture device, the Microplane Easy Prep Meat Tenderizer features a series of sharp, etched blades that will make quick work of any tough meat. Just rock it back and forth a few times over your cut to break down and soften the fibers of even the toughest meats. Just… don’t do it too much or you might end up with ground meat instead. It’s dishwasher safe, costs $20 and comes in two red or black.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ GearPatrol ]

DIY: Pi-to-Go Is A Portable Raspberry Pi Mini-Laptop

The beauty of the Raspberry Pi, in case you don’t know, is not only that it’s a full-featured PC not much larger than a credit card, but also that it’s so darn cheap: $25 for the base model, $35 for more RAM and a few extra features. It’s great, but it’s also barebones. Its potential is unleashed in projects like the above from one Nathan Morgan, called the “Pi-to-Go”, and which involves a custom-built, 3D printed case and extra parts to build a fully portable mini-laptop.

[The] 3D printed case is made up of 5 sections. The Portable Raspberry Pi-to-Go computer has a 64GB SATA II SSD, 4GB SD card and rechargeable battery with 10 hours of backup stuffed inside. The only put down about the awesome Pi-to-Go by Nathan is its very small screen and poor resolution – the 3D printed computer casing features a 3.5-inch 4:3 LCD display with 640 x 480 pixel resolution.

Nonetheless, Nathan has taken great care to make it an extraordinary device. He has the Pi-to-Go designed with a small USB keyboard with built-in touchpad mouse attached to the screen, much like a laptop. The device has build-in WiFi and Bluetooth and uses a 6cell 48WH Dell Latitude D600 laptop battery with standard 9 pin connector.

The cost for the parts came up to $390, excluding the 3D print. This of course is starting to get more expensive than some of the larger laptops on the market currently, but that’s missing the point. If you want to learn how to make your own, hit the jump for links. Also, more pictures.

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Now These Are Some Pimpin Shoes

If you’ve picked a life of wearing outrageous fur coats and fancy hats, you’re probably a pimp. You need a decent pair of shoes to match, and it doesn’t get much better than the Funtasma, pictured above. Featuring an aquarium in the heel, they’ll make you look like you stepped right out of a 70’s blacksploitation movie, but with more flair than… well, than any known character from those movies. We don’t know any. The point is, hey, aquarium heel pimp shoes on eBay for $88. There. We have a bunch of pictures after the jump, as well as links.

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Merry Christmas!

And Happy Holidays! And Happy Whatever Doesn’t Offend You! We’re taking a day off, here at OhGizmo!, but we’ll be back to our regular schedule on Wednesday. Until then, unwrap presents, drink wine, drink plenty of water the morning after, and enjoy the time with your loved ones. From all of us here at OhGizmo!, to all of you out there, wherever you are, remember: buying stuff you like is less important than spending time with those you love.

Back To The Future LEGO Set To Be Available Mid-2013

Back in April of this year, we wrote about this very Back To The Future LEGO set, explaining that it was in the pipeline, having successfully garnered 10,000 at LEGO’s design site Cuusoo. The only thing that might have stopped the project at the time was failing to secure the rights to the BTTF franchise, but we’re happy to say this is now done and the set is going to be released mid-2013. We’re not sure about the price nor do we have any details about how many pieces it’s made up of, but we’re happy its been greenlit. Simply getting 10,000 votes for a project doesn’t guarantee the idea will be made as it has to go through several review steps. For more on what that means, hit the jump for an informative video from LEGO.

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New Sensor Constantly Monitors Bicycle Tire Pressure

Cars with TPMS sensors are pretty common these days. These are the ones that tell you when you’re getting a flat tire, by constantly monitoring the pressure within. It’s smart, and safe, and about time cyclists got the same treatment. The BTPS sensor aims to do just that, connecting to your smartphone and informing you of the pressure of your tires accurately, between 0 and 174psi. Admittedly, the device is more useful as a convenient indicator of tire pressure; it sure beats having to bend down every time. And since many road bikes need a regular air adjustment, the simple phone-glance convenience is appreciated.

“The BTPS unit itself consists of a pressure sensor, circuit board, and battery. When used with tubeless tires, it is mounted on the rim tape. If tubes are being used, it’s stuck right onto the tube, like a patch.” Currently weighing only seven grams (0.25 oz), it shouldn’t affect your ride in the least. It’s going through funding with Kickstarter though, and is quite far from its goal. Still, if you want one for yourself, a $140 pledge will get you a pair of tubeless-specific BTPS units.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]