Items tagged with DIY

The late 90s and early 2000s was a special era for personal computing. We saw PC prices drop drastically, we moved from dial-up to broadband, and we dealt with Windows ME while waiting for XP to arrive. While some of us went the DIY route at the time, many started with a prebuilt rig purchased from a brick and mortar retailer. One of the more notable brands during that era's race to the bottom was eMachines, founded in 1998 and later acquired by Gateway, which was then acquired by Acer. Plenty of "Never Obsolete" eMachines systems were sold to budget users back then and they helped introduce a generation to ATI Rage II and Rage Pro graphics. A Rage LT Pro AGP integrated graphics card is what... Read more...
Students all around the country are home for the summer, and anyone looking for an excellent gift idea that will give the kids something fun to do (while being educational at the same time) should check out the Kano PC. The Kano PC is a DIY kit that builds a real Windows 10-powered PC out of individual components. The idea is to allow kids to have fun while creating a project they can use when the construction is over and teach them about computer hardware. The first time we heard about the Kano PC was in June when it went up for preorder, but now the Kano PC is available to purchase for $299.99. Anyone interested can purchase a Kano PC from Kano directly, the Microsoft Store, or Best Buy. No... Read more...
The good people at Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island have been helping kids with critical health conditions make their dreams come true for decades now. Founded in 1980, Make-A-Wish "grants wishes for children between the ages of 2½ and 18 years of age with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. For a child with a life-threatening illness, a wish fulfilled provides profound joy and lasting hope to keep fighting and dreaming for the future." In its 32-year history, the organization has granted over 8,500 wishes for children in the Massachusetts and Rhode Island area.  Recently, we were fortunate enough to... Read more...
For many gamers of a certain age, the first experience they had with a first-person shooter was the iconic game Doom from iD Software. Graphics and game developer Sylvian Lefebvrehas designed a device called the "Doom-Chip" with the sole purpose of running the first level of Doom. Lefebvre said in a tweet announcing his creation that it would run "E1M1 till the end of times" or until it runs out of power. Lefebvre was able to get the game running on an Altera Cyclone FPGA board. The feat means that the first level of the classic shooter is embedded directly in hardware rather than being software as gamers remember it. The developer said in the tweet that the algorithm is burned into wires, LUTs,... Read more...
Rather than go stir crazy while social distancing, some people are busying themselves with fun and unique projects involving the Raspberry Pi. Eben Kouao is one of those folks. He took a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (2GB) and built himself a smart mirror, which is exactly what it sounds like—a mirror with smart capabilities and touch support. It also features facial recognition capabilities, giving his Smart Mirror AI (SMAI) project some added depth and usability. "With SMAI, you can now keep track of your daily tasks, control your home appliances through its touch interface. With its facial recognition, you can now load up your personalized information—ranging from your daily commute to... Read more...
We've seen several cool projects during the coronavirus pandemic that people have designed using the Raspberry Pi platform. Over on reddit, another very cool project has turned up from someone going by balmy-summer, and the project is called the Pi MixMakr. The project has five bottles of liquor on top along with five dispensers inside the cabinet. The drink glass is set on a sliding platform that moves under the bottles to mix a cocktail and inject cola or other flavorings as desired. The whole point of the machine is to mix a drink without the drinker actually having to do it themselves. The parts list for the project includes: Raspberry Pi 3B FSR406 (FSR sensor, checks glass is on platform)... Read more...
Fully-assembled MiSTer FPGA DIY console It seems like it wasn't too long ago that we crowned the Raspberry Pi 4 as one of the best retro game consoles around. Indeed, the Raspberry Pi foundation's latest single-board computer still a low-cost DIY powerhouse. However, retro gamers are picky about one thing that haunts many software emulation solutions that run on the likes of the Pi 4 or an NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV -- and that's lag. Thanks to a talented group of developers and some off-the-shelf parts, the MiSTer project aims for a lag-free, higher quality, more accurate retro gaming experience. Built on the Terasic DE10-nano (an Intel-based System-on-Chip (SoC) FPGA board), the MiSTer... Read more...
Business cards are a staple in the business world and can help make a good impression. What kind of impression would you make if your business card not only shared your contact information, but also ran Linux? One embedded systems engineer did just that. George Hilliard created his own business card that can run Linux and shared the process on his website. According to Hilliard, his idea for the business card came to him when he thought, “These processors are nearly cheap enough to give away.” He noted that he had seen electronic business cards before, but their functions tended to be rather limited. He believes that his own Linux business card could be a great idea for larger business,... Read more...
Welcome to HotHardware's PC Component Buyer's Guide, where we help prospective system builders pick out just the right collection of components to build the rigs of their dreams -- or at least the rig which makes the best use of your budget. We've picked out the best bang for the buck in processors, graphics cards, storage, and more in an effort to assemble some truly drool-worthy gaming PCs at a variety of price points. From top to bottom, rest assured that we've done the hard work of balancing price and performance in a way that gets the most performance possible from a given budget. Because budgets tend to be moving targets, we've also found what we think is the best way to utilize any amount... Read more...
There's no shortage of options in the DIY micro-PC market, one that Raspberry Pi arguably spearheaded over five-years-ago with the release of its first unit. Since that time, a lot of competition has risen to the surface, including none other than Taiwan's GIGABYTE, a company that knows a thing or two about developing motherboards worth using. The GA-SBCAP3450 is an iterative design that builds on the initial release last year. Notably, the biggest upgrade includes the boost to a quad-core processor, a rather gargantuan leap from a dual-core. That chip, Intel's Celeron N3450, can boost up to 2.2GHz, so it has a fair amount of oomph for such a small form-factored PC. While this 14.6cm x 10.2cm... Read more...
Intel has always been an interesting company to watch, but lately, we've been looking at how it's adjusting focus to better handle the current competitive landscape. On the CPU side, the fact that AMD is more competitive than ever has been well-documented, both on the desktop side and in the enterprise. Intel has already reduced its focus in some key places, such as wearables. In one example of readjusted focus, the company is now targeting augmented reality as the next big thing it can play a part in. But we're not through with the deaths yet, as today we learn of yet another in the Intel product family: Arduino 101. This DIY tinker board was first revealed a couple of years ago, and with a... Read more...
The Nintendo Switch is selling like hotcakes, but that does not mean that the console is without its fair share of imperfections. Some have complained that the Switch’s dock is a little too big and cheaply made. Nintendo fan Alexander Blake’s solution was to turn his old Game Boy Advance SP into a custom Switch dock. Blake remarked, “In the process of tinkering with a second Nintendo Switch Dock, I realized the circuit board was pretty much the exact same size as a Gameboy Advance SP. And then I remembered one of my old SPs doesn’t work anymore. So I got to work.” He replaced the inner workings of the Game Boy with the guts from the Switch dock. Blake then used an X-Acto knife to carve a hole... Read more...
Are you a do-it-yourself fiend that is always looking for a new project to tackle? Well, Google is calling out to you with its new Artificial Intelligence Yourself (AIY) Projects initiative, which will allow Makers to get their hands dirty with DIY AI projects. The first fruit produced by Google’s AIY program is Voice Kit, which leverages the power of the Raspberry Pi platform and gives you complete access to the Google Assistant. When you obtain a kit, you’ll be supplied with the following components: Google Voice Hardware Accessory on Top (HAT) accessory board Stereo microphone Voice HAT board Arcade-style push button 3-inch speaker All necessary wiring Custom cardboard case You will have... Read more...
In many regards, the Raspberry Pi family of computers is quite modest, which is of course by design. For a relatively small price, you can pick up a fully-functional RPi single board computer that can be used for many purposes, whether it is for learning, creating homemade bots, or cobbling together your own purpose-built media player or server solution. Given RPi's flexibility, it should come as no surprise that the open source Linux-power min PC has proven to be such a popular computing platform for scores of consumers, businesses and educational institutions. Just how popular? Well, while RPis themselves might be "modest", their sales figures are anything but. In fact, the total number of... Read more...
Hot on the heels of our coverage of an in-depth guide showing you how to make your own "NES Classic Edition" with a Raspberry Pi, ASUS strikes with a DIY kit that it says is about twice as fast as the RPi 3. The DIY retro gaming arena could be heating up with more powerful options!  The Tinker Board, as ASUS calls it, sports a Rockchip RK3288 SoC clocked at 1.2GHz. According to ASUS, and its GeekBench test, this chip is almost 2x faster than the RPi 3's Broadcom BCM2837, which is also clocked at 1.2GHz. Both chips are quad-core, but the Rockchip could help significantly with more processor-intensive tasks. ASUS has other one-ups to talk about, too. Versus the RPi 3, the Tinker Board... Read more...
Retro gaming made a major resurgence this past holiday season, with the release of Nintendo’s ultra-hyped NES Classic, a scaled down clone of the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Out of the box, the NES Classic has thirty preloaded game titles, though some recent hacks exposed a method for uploading more if you're willing to mess with it. That's all well and good, but if you weren’t able to get your hands on one this past holiday season -- like the majority of people -- getting your retro-gaming fix isn't happening any time soon, unless you fork out an unreasonable sum, paying hundreds to scalpers, for a product that retails for $60.But, why not roll your own? The Elusive NES Classic... Read more...
The Raspberry Pi foundation has found great success with the latest iteration of its mainline product, the RPi 3. Now, the time has come to see that RPi 3 converted to become CM3, or Compute Module 3. Whereas the mainline Raspberry Pi can be easily tinkered with by anyone, Compute Modules are even greater DIY devices, most appropriate for vendors to use in their own products. One such example is NEC, which is deploying a CM into an upcoming display. Compute Module 3 shares the same basic specs as the RPi 3, which is to say it includes a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC clocked at 1.2GHz, 1GB of memory, and 4GB of on-module eMMC flash. The company is also releasing a "Lite" version (CM3L) that moves the SD... Read more...
When services are provided for free, it's important to evaluate whether or not there's a major caveat that comes along with it. According to an investigation by CBS News, the free "PC Health" checkup provided by Office Depot carries a big one: you could be encouraged to shell out money to fix a nonexistent problem. If this sounds like a shady mechanic or cars salesman, it's essentially the same thing. Office Depot is accused of telling customers that there are serious issues on their PCs, such as installed malware, even when that's not the case, and can charge them upwards of $180 for the privilege of "removing" it. To test the ploy, CBS purchased a handful of computers and brought them into... Read more...
The Amazon Echo has been a pretty hot gadget to have around the home.  At its core, the Echo is a smart speaker system which can respond to voice commands care of Amazon's digital personal assistant named Alexa.  Alexa can queue up your favorite playlist, remind you about your meetings for the day, re-order toilet paper, or even help set some mood lighting with the right integration.  For all the fun and convenience the Echo can offer, though, it doesn't come cheap with a current price point of $179.99.Fortunately, Amazon has provided a solution to this cost problem, provided you are willing to get your hands dirty. Amazon released instructions on GitHub this week on how to setup... Read more...
It's beginning to look like Raspberry Pi's developers are keen on releasing newer models a lot quicker than before. The second generation unit was released just last February, and already we're being treated to a tease of the third iteration. Well, by "tease", we mean that the FCC has a public filing now of all of the important bits of info - including photos. At first glance the RPi 3 looks similar to the Raspberry Pi 2. With top-down images side-by-side, it took us some serious effort to spot the differences, and the differences we did see turned out to be some modification to the traces and filter cap arrangements on the board, not the ports, headers and slots. The only thing the... Read more...
Typically when you hear of someone wearing an electronic device around their ankle, your first thought may they made a bad decision that led to house arrest. You may not have considered many other scenarios, though Netflix did, and so the concept for Netflix Socks was born. Will it spread? That may be up to you and your sleep habits. We've all been there, fighting off sleep like a grumpy child, only we're doing it because we're trying to power through yet another episode of Orange is the New Black or catching up on Breaking Bad (both are awesome shows, by the way). Eventually we succumb to our inevitable fate, drifting off into la-la land while Netflix continues playing in the background. What... Read more...
Sometimes, it's enlightening to see what people are willing to do in order to bring the rest of us joy. Take stop motion animation, for example. It can take tens or hundreds of tedious hours to produce something that's worth watching. When watching a video like that, though, it's easy to have an idea of what to expect. Other times, you might have no idea what's coming, such as with a video posted at the end of October by YouTube user Mickey W. To give people a chance at winning one of its 34UC87C ultra-wide monitors, LG hosted a contest to get people to build computers out of cardboard. You no doubt already have some images springing to mind. Mickey W took things to the next level, though. His... Read more...
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