November 17th, 2009

Chumby One released for 99$

Chumby One

Chumby One was just announced on bunnie’s blog. You can get it now for 99$ pre-order price but once they start shipping the price will go up to 119$. You can read here about the story behing Chumby One and how bunnie tried to keep the price low by using every feature of this new processor from Freescale the i.MX233.  It turns out the i.MX233 has 3 internal switching regulators and it uses only one inductor to do the job. Next to the switching regulators the i.MX233 has even more analog features integrated like : audio codec,  speaker amplifier, USB PHY, video DAC, battery charger and more. This played out an important role in the final price of the Chumby One. You can read more about it on bunnie’s blog.

November 4th, 2009

DIY iPhone like device

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320240 LCD with resistive touch screen, USB, SD card, 3d engine, USB, movie playback, UI interface, sprite engine , would you believe all of this is handled by an AVR 8 bit device with 4K RAM running at just 12 MHz ? You’d better believe it because it’s real. Well the ATmega644 runs at only 12 MHz because it’s powered at 3.3 V so as you can imagine it’s stretched to it’s limit. The LCD with the integrated controller helps allot taking the job from the microcontroller.

The Pacman demo just fits in 8K flash and 512 bytes of RAM. It uses the sprite engine and runs at > 60fps. The images and animations don’t even touch the RAM they go straight from the SD card to the display. It turns out reading a 512 byte block from the SD takes ~1ms.

Source code, demo files, Eagle PCB and schematics are provided at the projects SF page.

DIY iPhone like device: [via Hackaday] – [Link]

Remember those discussions about transmitting electricity wireless, they all concluded that it was just not efficient enough to be worth building such a system. Well it appears things have changed because in this video Eric Giler the CEO of MIT-inspired WiTricity, presents us with a new concept for transmitting electricity wireless.

It’s really interesting because they’ve manage to make the system small enough to fit on a mobile phone. He also states that WiTricity could be powering all of our devices into the future, like tv sets, home appliances and even electric cars. He didn’t touched the price subject though so I wonder how much would such a system cost.

June 26th, 2009

DIY Holy Toaster

Diy Holy Toaster

Hallelujah, brothers and sisters! Praise the Lord! How many times have you thought you don’t have enough holiness in your life? How many times you wished you’d do more than just saying Grace before dinner? Well, now you can do something about that! Yes, with the help of the Holy Toaster, you can turn every meal into a God-worship ritual. Forget going to church! Holy Toaster is the s***!

This is an open source project that will transform your common toaster into a sacred device – a Jesus toast maker. Using two stainless steel inserts that block the toaster’s radiation in certain areas, your usual toaster will now have the bread come out with the face of  Holy Jesus, The Son of God. It will improve your daily meals and will bring godliness closer to you with every bite.

As mentioned in the title, this is a Do-It-Yourself project and for those who own or may operate a laser cutter it is fairly simple to upgrade their toaster into a divine toaster because the SVG and DXF files are available for download and free for use with any purpose or profit. Godly. Now you can impress your grandma when she comes visit.

For others that wish to have their breakfast enlightened by Lord Jesus and don’t have a laser cutter available, there is still hope! If you live in the US you can purchase the Holy Add-on of Light. Foreigners will also be able to order it the near future. Careful with the sharp edges and with the pliers when you install the holy inserts into the now holy toaster. And you’re good to go!

This project made me think of other things that could be upgraded with holy spirit. Like pasta in the form of a cross with a little Jesus on it or pizza with a big mozzarella cross and a Jesus made of salami. Possibilities are endless, really.

DIY Holy Toaster: [Link][via]

DIY Holy Toaster
June 23rd, 2009

Inside the iPhone 3G S

Inside The Iphone 3G S

June 19th marked the launch of Apple’s “fastest, most powerful iPhone yet”, the iPhone 3G S. Not sure what the S stands for (I’ve came across some guesses while surfing the web, speed, sex, sucks just to name a few), but according to Apple’s official website it should be “up to 2x faster” than the old iPhone 3G and should have a digital compass that reorients the map as you change the direction you’re facing, a 3.0 megapixel camera that can also record VGA video in 30 frames per second and voice control for calling and playing music.

On the outside, the new iPhone remains true to the traditional design of Apple – minimalistic, elegant and slim. As we unfold its shell, the new smartphone from Apple reveals a few interesting improvements. First, the PCB is more compact than before, with nearly every component on the top side of the board. Second, the CPU has changed – iPhone 3G S features the ARM A8 Samsung S5PC100 processor, which runs at 600Mhz with 32KB L1 cache memory instead of 412Mhz with 16KB cache like the ARM 11 Samsung S3C6400 used in the previous model. The new iPhone 3G S also features the PowerVR SGX graphics accelerator that runs at 200Mhz.

The smartphone has a Toshiba NAND flash memory and a new combo in the wireless department: the BCM4325 from Broadcom. It also received an important upgrade to the battery, from 1150mAH to 1219mAH, and it is rumored that the iPhone 3GS’ battery life will be 15-20 percent longer than the iPhone 3G’s. A great and necessary improvement for all iPhone 3G S users.

The most important upgrade of the new Apple device is clearly its Applications Processor Core. With a clock speed of 600Mhz, 256MB DDR SDRAM and the PowerVR SGX graphics processor, the new smartphone has the muscle to manage all kinds of demanding applications and, with the help of the SGX, that includes some serious gaming. The longer battery life also supports this idea and the iPhone 3G S might turn out to be quite a powerful mobile device.

Inside the iPhone 3G S: [Link]

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