Modded iPhone glowing apple logo reminiscent of MacBook mods

12 09 2011
Modded iPhone glowing apple logo reminiscent of MacBook mods

Modded iPhone glowing apple logo reminiscent of MacBook mods

Cult of Mac reports on a cool iPhone mod which resembles all the older MacBook hack/mods where you could make the Apple logo illuminated.

Have a look see here Modded iPhone Apple logo.

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It’s been 35 years!?! No joke!

1 04 2011
Original Newton Apple Logo

Original Apple logo drawn by co-founder Ron Wayne.

35 year ago today Apple Computer was created to sell “personal computers.” Three people formed apple, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne. Thanks guys have been enjoying Apple’s creations for 17 years now myself.

For more Apple History check out The Apple Museum

(Image: Original Apple logo drawn by then co-founder Ron Wayne.)





Mini-Review: The Nook from Barnes & Noble… from an Apple iPad user’s perspective

3 10 2010

I had the pleasure of spending half a day with the Nook e-reader and here are some of my notes, observations and brief comparisons.

POWER UP THE NOOK AND…
As an iPad user from day one I found the Nook a little frustrating at first and kind of funny when I kept clicking on the top screen where you read the content to try and navigate to to other areas or functions of the Nook. After a few moments of confusion I focused myself back to the bottom touch screen area were you interact and navigate around the Nook which is basically a rectangular 3.5-inch color touchscreen with icons for navigation and functions. I found the navigation a little confusing and redundant but not completely frustrating or complicated. I did find myself clicking around the touch screen and side arrows to clumsily get to where I wanted to go eventually. Again, this was my first 5-minute impression using the Nook so I could see myself after a a few days acclimating myself to it.

THE NOOKS SIZE
What I really liked about the Nook was holding it in my hand. I could grip the entire Nook in the palm of my hand, it felt comfortable, natural and extremely secure without any worries of it slipping out of my grasp. The weight is best described as a light but solid feeling, compared to the iPad which is noticeably heavier and not as “graspable” in the palm of your hand. The screen is relatively half the size of the iPad’s.

THE SCREEN
The 6-inch matte e-reader screen is exceptionally easy to read in normal to bright light environments. Text is sharp and clean. In low light or dark situations I found the e-reader almost impossible to read except for the bottom illuminated touchscreen area.

READING ON THE NOOK
The Nook uses “E Ink” which is very readable in bright or normal light environments, as stated before in low light situations I found the Nook pretty much impossible to read. There are some accessory lights and Nook covers with built-in lights you can buy for reading in low light which run in the neighborhood of $15 to $50. The light accessories for the Nook seem to work with mixed reviews I read online. Some reviewers mention the light accessories, while allowing them to use the Nook in dark situations, seem to last for an hour or two before a noticeable dimming occurs while other create uncomfortable glare on the screen making it difficult to read. Navigating from page to page is as simple as clicking on arrows on either side of the screen.

BATTERY USE AND SPEED
I used the Nook for a few solid straight hours reading, listening to some music, trying to jump on my personal hot spot and really didn’t notice any battery drain. The specs say you can read up to 10 days without recharging it not including the wireless feature. While clicking on icons in the touchscreen area I did observe noticeable lag from clicks to the screen updating content and proceeding to the next screen. This was not unbearable by any means but was noticeable with a one or two seconds here, three to five seconds there.

SURFING THE WEB, NOT!
The Nook came with a beta web browser. I tried several times to connect to my local wireless network but could not. I did get a few messages of “Connecting to Network” but the connection would ultimately fail. The Nook’s default web page did come with a default page listing the browser’s features but overall it looked like the browsing experience would be clumsy scrolling and viewing web pages and navigating from one page and link to the next.

OTHER FEATURES
The Nook comes with internal storage of 2GB and expandable to 16GB via a small MicroSD card. You can load up music to it as it supports a few main audio formats including MP3 and Ogg Vorbis but not WMA. Listening to music was fairly acceptable with sound coming out of the internal bottom single speaker. I cranked the music to full loudness and was surprised the speaker sound did not seem to crackle or distort slightly as some other devices seem to do when cranked. The overall sound is not as strong and the iPads speakers but does seem to fair a little better than Apples first generation iPhone. Listing to an audio book was a little hard to hear and understand using only the built-in speaker so I would recommend external speakers solutions for that use. The Nook includes a headphone jack as well. It can be recharged with a wall jack or USB connection.

Image formats are supported as well for wallpapers and book covers including JPG, GIF, PNG and BMP. But the display is E Ink black-and-white so the image quality is pretty much mute.

The Nook did include two games, sodoku and chess which seemed fairly playable. But alas no Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto are available… yet 😛

DOWNLOAD CONTENT
I downloaded, via AT&Ts 3G network, a daily newspaper edition of the San Jose Mercury News for 0.50¢ and it took about a minute to completely download. Scrolling from section to section and story to story again did seem a little cumbersome compared to the iPad and images with stories were in glorious black-and-white. Side-note: Why does the cost of an e-edition newspaper run relatively the same as a hard-copy print edition? Are network back-end delivery servers spiting out digital versions of the newspaper run the same as traditional hard-copy paper, ink and trucking/fuel distribution costs? Seems something is completely off-balance with that format. then again, maybe it can be all equated to just a convenience fee 😉

Barnes & Noble offers more than a million titles available in their store with more than 500,000 free e-books available and new and best sellers costing around $10.

HACKING A NOOK
Yes it seems you can gain root level access of a Nook via software now to install your Android-nized version of browsers, tweety and audio apps to run on it but after upgrading the Nook’s firmware with hacks detected will make the working unit an expensive unattractive paper weight.

OVERALL THOUGHTS
If you want a digital reading device for mostly novel-type content to be read in lighted environments then this is a sweet little reader. However, I tend to use, read and buy instructional books and materials with diagrams, illustrations and charts which I feel would not be the best experience using a black-and-white only e-reader to view such content. The Nook does feel naturally comfortable in the palm of your hand while the interface and navigation is reasonable to figure out but not overly intuitive for me. If you like to do some reading in bed as I do under low-light conditions as to not disturb your mate, you may have to fork over extra dough for a lighting accessory. I have not touched a Kindle so really can’t say if the Nook seems better or not.

I really can’t compare the Nook to the iPad directly either. I have heard people trying to compare e-readers to tablets or iPads but in reality they are two completely different devices to serve different needs and purposes. Yes they share some similar functions but it would be like comparing a 4×4 off-road pickup truck to a sub-compact car. They both can get you from point “A” to point “B” in a few situations but only one literally offers tons more capabilities, functionality and fun to get you to your ultimate “B” destination.

Mini-Review: Nook, by Barnes & Noble


Mini-Review: Barnes & Noble Nook 3 out of 5 stars

Product: Barnes and Noble Nook

Version: Nook 3G, Android 1.4 e-reader

Cost: $150 and $200

My take: “Nice little e-reader as long as you have light, a little laggy but feels comfortable in your hand.” -RiscX

Mini-Review: Barnes & Noble Nook
The Nook in hand outside on sunny day, feels comfortable and reads easy. iPad on left, Nook on right, both are readable outside. Bottom of Nook, speaker, headphone and USB port.

Charaging cable for the Nook via Wall or USB. iPad, Nook and iPhone 2G under direct bright desktop lighting. iPad, Nook and iPhobe 2G with camera flash, all readable.

The Nook’s Achilles heel, even though this photo looks like it was taken in complete darkness it actually was taken at 3PM on a sunny day with ambient light coming through sliding glass door, the Nook’s readability falls down under low light conditions.





Apple PowerMac G4 Graphite – PyraMac Case Mod, 05/2003

29 09 2010

This was a Mac case mod originally performed in May of 2003 and is being re-published here from my old site.

“Project Pyramac” is a symbolic mod for the Mac G4 transformation or resurrection if you will, into the Mac G5. This was completed before Apple officially released their PowerMac G5 tower in June 2003, the G5 case design is still going strong today.

Apple PowerMac G4 – PyraMac Case Mod, May 2003
Draft sheet of front side PyraMac. Draft sheet of back side PyraMac. Full scale prototype.
Fullscale prototype looking inside. Using Dremel on internal G4 steel cage. Using a plummers torch to melt/bend plexiglass case and supporting parts.
Plexiglas case assembled with all components. Even the hard drives get Plexiglas window treatment. Power supply is also re-cased with Plexiglas.
Case fans with various Ultra-Violet treatments. Power supply internal parts get UV treatment, results are on lend to Tron type effects. Case fan with Plexiglas UV Cover.
Hit the power switch and boom! PyraMac lites up the whole room with an eerie bluish glow. Overhead view of the glowing PyraMac. Pyramac with a Apple Display.

wired.com posted a article “A Desktop Seventh Wonder” about Project Pyramac. What is a Pyramac?

PyrAmac – (pyr-a-mac)
n.
1. Macintosh Computer in the form of a Pyramid: pyr or Fire Mac.
2. Relating to the action of fire or heat: pyrography.
3. Fever: pyrogen.
4. Derived from an acid by the loss of a water molecule: pyrosulfuric acid.

[Latin prymac , pyramac- , from Greek pramac , probably from Egyptian pimac but most likely from the dood in the Mojave Desert who says PyrMac (Pure Mac).]

1. A computer figure with a polygonal base and triangular faces that meet at a common point and glows hot with a variety of colors.
2. A computer shaped like a polyhedron on fire or glowing with heat/colors.
3. A glowing computer having a rectangular base and four triangular faces culminating in a single apex, built over or around a CPU.
4. Any of various similar constructions, especially a four-sided Mesomacintosh computer having sloped sides and a pinnacle top surmounted by chambers and computer components.
5. The modding involved in pyramiding computers.

Anatomy. A computer or part suggestive of a burning or glowing pyramid in shape.

And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them into shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name

– William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream





Apple PowerMac G4 Graphite – BlueIce G4 Case Mods, 1999-2002

25 09 2010
BlueIce G4 Mac Case Mods, 1999-2002
Apple PowerMac G4 Graphite before the case mod. Apple Mac G4 Graphite opened up. G4 components removed from case, now the real work begins.
It’s not a real case mod unless you spill some blood. Revision 1 complete, translucent case shell and internal blue cathode ray tubes installed for illumination. Revision 2 included a front facing 5-port USB hub installed. Apple Mac G4 case opened up and illuminated.
Revision 3 included a 5-inch LCD installed as a system utility display. Also illuminated a Apple Mac Pro Keyboard, that was not fun :\ Another angle of BlueIce G4 with 5-inch LCD and internal 5-port USB hub.

This case mod was originally executed from 1999 through 2002. I am reposting here from my original but now defunct old website.
The “Birth” of Project BlueIce G4 consisted of cutting/dremeling the inner chassis on the G4, making the the plastic side panels transparent and installing blue Neon and Cold Cathode tubes inside the case to give in an eerie blue glow. The initial inspiration for BlueIce G4 was based on the first iMacs released in 1999. I thought color customization was pretty cool and started thinking about ways to bring the same customization to my G4 and maybe even taking it to new levels with usability, functionality and appearance.

Revision 2 nine months later I treated BlueIce G4 to another major mod. Cutting more from the steel chassis, installing a internal 5-port USB drive in the front 3.5-inch bay drive and relocated the power switch to the bottom/front of the case so I could place a tertiary 5-inch LCD screen to monitor system stats, itunes/visual display among other atypical type uses.

Revision 3, I have done several minor changes/mods which include installing a 80mm custom blow-hole along with an adjustable 120mm fan/speed control, installing LEDs in the handles, and adding some internal components such as Serial/ATA 10,000RPM “Raptor” drives and a ATi Radeon 9800 AGP card.








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