How To: Make a USB Battery

USB Battery powered by a 9v battery
Want a cheap gadget to extend your battery charge of any USB powered portable device like an iPod  Shuffle or a phone? This hack from Hackaday is as simple as it gets if you want to build yourself a USB battery. All you will need are 4 things  - a 5.1v Zener diode, 100 ohm resistor, 9v battery & connector and a female USB connector.  Needless to say  a little bit of electronic soldering ability or friendship with a geek who can make one for you will also be needed.

Pretty slick idea in our opinion, and you can't beat the simplicity of the project. 

How to: Make LEGO powered Automatic Book Scanner

When we featured the plotter made with LEGO blocks in July, we thought that was quite amazing. But, then we had geeks with LEGO based knitting machines and all other kind of crazy gadgets made with LEGO blocks that each one of such hacks looked even more crazier and awesome.

But, this one perhaps takes the cake while solving one big problem - making a boring work of scanning books easy, fun and cheap. Created by  Muranushi Tayaki, this automatic book scanner, opens each page of the book and scans the content, making the whole process  automatic. 

Here's a video of the LEGO book scanner in action:
> Read more

Guitar made from empty Oilcan

Oilcan guitar
Necessity is the mother of all inventions they say. No wonder then that this Oilcan guitar is found in South Africa.
Called a "ramkie" and made from an empty oilcan this is one real creative guitar with "free" advertising for the oil company and is a worthy band equipment with the cardboard bass guitar, we featured earlier.

"The wooden neck is sometimes stuck all the way through the can; sometimes it is fixed to a wooden "lid" on the top. The 4 to 6 strings (if not of nylon) are made of unraveled bicycle brake wire. The frets are made from U-shaped pieces of wire stuck in the front of the neck. " [via]

Extreme Overclocking: Overclocking Pentium 4 to 7 Ghz

7 Ghz CPU overclocking

The  Italian geeks at PCTuner.net have done what seems almost impossible - overclock a Pentium 4 CPU to double it's rated CPU speed to 7Ghz  or 7104 Mhz to be more precise.  The overclocking technique uses a precisely controlled liquid nitrogen cooling system with a custom container block  and beats pretty much all other overclocking records we know. Head over to PCTuner.net for more details.


Automatic Safe Cracker: Robots that crack high security safes

safe cracker - automatically cracks safe with a robotic system and a laptop 

You have heard about brute-forcing passwords, but this project by two students at MIT is not about cracking passwords or Websites, it cracks high security safes with an automatic laptop-controllled robotic fixture called the Autodialer.

The autodialer is capable of cracking most high security safes under a few hours including  the S&G 8400, one of the most advanced mechanical locks ever built and used by the U.S. government to lock up classified documents for nearly 30 years.  > Read more

Nokia 6230i as a Bluetooth Mouse

One of the things we geeks do very well is to come up with strange ways of doing things like frying bacon with a USB port or using the Nokia 6230i as Bluetooth mouse.

Here's a video of the project in action:

The Java software running on the Nokia captures multiple frames with the camera and translates that into direction and speed, which is sent to the PC as mouse movements. Defintely a geeky idea for laptop owners. Too bad we can't get our hands on the software yet.

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