By Dave ProchnowPosted 10.24.2007 at 5:48 pm 1 Comment
Back in the halcyon days of electronics publishing (aka the mid-1970s), the venerable Forrest M. Mims III printed a complex circuit in one of his notebooks that is an ideal pumpkin stuffer. The back and forth flasher circuit was based on the powerful combination of a 74154 4-line to 16-line decoder IC and a 74193 4-bit up-down counter IC. When properly built and installed inside a pumpkin, the results can be, as described by Mims, visually appealing. If youd like to try your hand at building this circuit, but cant find a vintage Mims notebook, Tony van Roon has reprinted this circuit online. And any intrepid experimenters who have photos of this circuit, please post your pics links in our comments section.
Bless the crazy PSP hackers: they've been battling with Sony for years to make the PSP run homebrew (read: unapproved) applications and games. Every time they crack the system, Sony updates the firmware to fix the hole, so hacking your PSP required stepping down to the last version. But now the good guys have come up with a new hack that works on any version firmware from 1.0 to 3.5, using an exploit in the game Lumines. Engadget notes that the game has now shot to #1 over at Amazon, which suggests there is a big block of consumers out there who want their PSP to run homebrew and are willing to not only pay for it, but risk bricking their unit to do so.
So what I can't figure out is why Sony (or Apple) doesn't monetize this group and sell the ability to run homebrew code, either with an unlocked version of the hardware that cost $50 more, or with a cartridge that did what the game exploits do. This kind of sanctioned system could also be made to run only true homebrew code and not pirated games. I bet even that kind of limited homebrew functionality would sell huge, especially if the company made it easy. Are you listening Mr. Stringer? Couldn't Sony use a new legacy right about now? Be the first major CE company that was smart enough to open itself up to user innovation. The press loves this stuff—at the very least, you'd get a lot of friendly coverage. Heck, at this point, what do you have to lose?
Anyway, with the PSP now down to $170 retail and a ton of great homebrew code out there, there's never been a better time to pick up a PSP or dust off your old one. For ideas on what to do with a pwned unit, check out our story "Do More with The PSP." And remember kids, game-pirating theives are just as bad as narrow-minded CEOs that lock down their hardware. —Mike Haney
RAW is an image file format used in pro and prosumer digital cameras. It preserves much more information than compressed JPEG files, so it gives you a better final image. Working with RAW files, however, is a bit of a nightmare. If you're diving into the high end anytime soon, pick up PopSci contributor Mikkel Aaland's new book Photoshop CS2 RAW. Aaland is an old hand at making sense of overcomplicated photo software, and this tome is no exception: exhaustive, yet easy to follow. That's his very cute daughter on the cover. —Mike HaneyLink via Amazon.com
By Merlin MannPosted 06.23.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
A: Tagging is the act of assigning your own keywords to things online-photos, blog entries, bookmarks-so that you can easily categorize, locate, and share them in the future. One of the best examples is del.icio.us, which lets you save Web bookmarks to a page on the site instead of to a file stashed away on your computer. This way, you can access them from anywhere and let other people see what sites you like.