Hey, you. Yeah, you, reading this blog. What are you doing with your life? Killing time at work, are you? Fair enough, I suppose, but where's the creativity gone? What are you doing right now that could someday hang on somebody's wall? Nothing, right? Heck, even monkeys and elephants are millionaire artists in these modern times, and here you are, reading. Jeesh.
Never fear, though, for as it often does, human ingenuity has prevailed. You can now turn your idle Web surfing and e-mailing into fairly interesting illustrations—just one of the functions for the brilliantly hacked 2X Mouse. Just splice together two old serial mice according to this how-to [link], and hook your new mutant mouse into two computers. Start up a full-screen drawing application in one (like the free Gimp) and go about your business on the other. After a while, the second computer will render a unique visual record of your everyday clicking and dragging.
My data-visualization fetish just keeps coming up on this blog, but the 2X Mouse takes it to new heights. A concrete visual record of something as abstract (and ubiquitous) as using a computer? What will my surfing fingerprint look like? Will it look like yours? Bill Gates's? My dad's? A monkey's?? I guess there's only one way to find out. To the IT room's garbage bin!
If you've happened to take the plunge yourself, we'd love to see the results. Post links to your images in the comments, or mail them to email@example.com —John Mahoney
PS - Bigup to Instructables where this hack resides—a great site.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.