longwing: (Human)
SOME of you are obligated by the societal overmind to buy me pretty things for my birthday. Me, I'm kinda chill about the whole thing, but if you're looking for something fast and easy, I'd suggest eBooks.

I can crack Kindle DRM. Heh Hehe Hahahahahaha! Hem. Sorry. I can crack Kindle DRM, so eBooks from Amazon are a fantastic idea. I can load them on any device under the sun, and I properly own what I'm given.

Here's my Amazon wishlist, which is still pretty accurate. A lot of the stuff on there is also available as ebooks, though I'll not turn my nose up at papery products or DVDs.

Some stuff from my Amazon wishlist that's available in e-format (in no order whatsoever):
The Apex Book of World SF
Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies
Makers *
Ariel
Elegy Beach
Occult America
Pandora's Star
Judas Unchained
Marooned in Realtime
The Peace War
Dragons Wild
Look to Windward
Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present *
Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe
Zoe's Tale
The Name of the Wind
The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York City

* Doctorow's books are not available for the Kindle, but if you buy a paper copy, I'll download the open eBook from Cory's site: http://craphound.com/makers/download/

If you're interested in wending further afield. Drive Through RPG has PDFs of the Dragonstar RPG supplements.

Or ya'know, whatever you feel like getting. Nothing's cool too, or wellwishes.
longwing: (Default)
Quite some time ago, I had an idea about small form factor PCs and Luggables. A Luggable, for reference, is an oversized portable computer. Luggables went the way of the DoDo as computers advanced. These days, laptops are smaller than sheets of paper and the demand for bulkier systems has disappeared. My problem? Tiny laptops cost a tidy fortune.

The thought, from way back when, was to combine oldschool luggability with newer tech. Install a SFF motherboard inside a suitcase, along with an adequate power supply, and then use a "thinclient" (a screen and keyboard with no processing power) to communicate with it. The screen and keyboard could be configured incredibly thin, and then connected to the main unit via a single cable.

Back in the real world, I figured out that I couldn't easily afford high-performance anyways, and I would rather keep a high-end system safely at home. Over time, I've come to understand the insane power demands of modern computers, and the impracticality of packing a PC's power demands into a portable system. The main appeals of such a system were cost, upgradability, and performance. I've learned that upgrades, even for desktops, frequently require a complete replacement of the core components. Finally, due to the nature of niche markets, such a system could easily cost well more than a nice laptop.

The idea sat on a back-burner for many years, until a few pieces of separate, but interconnected news brought it back to the surface: AOpen's release of the MiniPC, Peter Green's Mac Mini Portable project, and MetkuMods Whisky PC.

Anyone see where I'm going with this? A Linux luggable, about the size of a Classic Trek TriCorder, with a thinclient screen and keyboard. I already carry my Creative Nomad holster-style under my coat. With a little patience and modding, I could set myself up with a unique portable computer for only a portion of the usual costs of such a system. And the unmitigated geekchic of making this lunacy even remotely workable cannot possibly be ignored. The thinclient could be made from a Laptop-style Virtually Indestructible Keyboard and a piece of plexi, the screen can be had off of eBay for less than $200 if I'm willing to go with 800x600.

This is doable. Pricy, but doable. VoodooPC sells the MiniPC for about $900(but with a payment plan), and the barebones can be purchased for $275. I can't find price-quotes on alternate barebones motherboards, but they're likely to be competitive. When compared to the cost of a comparable laptop, this insanity is seeming increasingly rational. It has to wait (of course) until a bunch of my other projects are finished, but it's still doable. Oh but for an infusion of free cash.
longwing: (Default)
A Japanese team has successfully constructed a working three dimensional imager which runs by super-heating air into plasma. Images and poorly machine-translated article here.

Unlike other three dimensional imaging systems, this device doesn't trick the eye into seeing 3D, but instead actually renders the image in real space. Obviously, the system still has dozens of flaws, monochrome, low res, and the "tiny explosions" which accompany every screen-refresh. Still, some pretty amazing work.
longwing: (Grin)
...

......

Kawaii!

Thank you, that is all.

Priceless

Feb. 6th, 2006 03:36 pm
longwing: (Grin)
We love you McGuyver! After all this time, you were the very beginning of the cool geek movement.
longwing: (Default)
The text is all in Japanese, and that makes me sad. I want these. I want them badly, but it's unlikely that these products will ever make it to the US. Still, for those interested in true desktop world domination, I offer a little eye candy behind the cut. )

Tech Bits

Nov. 10th, 2005 02:42 pm
longwing: (Default)
The debate over the need for a new gadget is a significant thing within the mind of a geek. Or perhaps it's just me, my mind. Within my own skull, it is a psychological battle of epic proportions. Paradigms, like nations, rise and fall on the backs of innocent ideas. Mindfields lie scattered with the corpses of young thoughts, fresh and idealistic only moments before.

Enough hyperbole, let's talk iPods.

I heard about the iPod linux project quite a while back, but they never really had bullet point to sell them until now. Recently, some bored coders manufactured a port of a certain famous piece of software, successfully compiling and playing iDoom. the photographs of this border on comedy, as the tiny screen attempts to reproduce Doom's environment on the tiny iPod screens. This, to me, would be the primary motivator to buying an iPod. Music is all well and good, videos are cool too, but old school hardcore gaming? Sign me up.

In other news, the suspiciously "me too" branded iCel might be of interest to anyone who's ever needed some extra battery life. Small battery manufacturer Lithium House, is offering the iCel as a solution to the frequently demanding consumer needs for long lasting batteries. Despite the obvious target audience implied in the name, the device also comes in a non-apple style. Basically, the iCel is a lithium battery attached to a USB cord. The iCel functions as a portable charger for any device that gets its juice through USB. They promise up-to 20 hours of extra life (read, 8 to 10 hours). Their laptop-style models are particularly interesting, with modern laptops having run times under 4 hours, this could be a way to breathe a little extra life into a short-running system.

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