All posts by Patrick Allred

Life is simply amazing.

Amiga OS Making A Comeback

Remember when computing was fun?  Amiga, Inc. and Hyperion Entertainment revitalize an old OS, and with a complete makeover, new programming, and state of the art memory management, unveiled the new AmigaOS4.0
AmigaOS4.0

Whether you are one of the thousands of dedicated enthusiasts for the platform, an ex-user curious to see what’s going on, or are completely new to the Amiga experience, you can be sure that this new ressurection of an old favorite is sure to provide a unique perpsective to your computer.

The last time I saw an Amiga computer, I was still trolling BBS’s on my Apple 2e with a 2400 baud modem!  After strolling through their website, I think they might have something there.  I’m not positive it will offer a serious alternative solution to the current main players in the OS market,  but it certainly will be an entertaining and refreshing view to something different.

Asus XG Station

Another goodie from the CES Pre-show is the Asus solution to weak laptop video adapters.  The XG station provides laptop users an external unit in which you can plug in your favorite aftermarket video card and pump pixel goodness into your laptop’s screen.  Due out the first quarter this year, I’m anticipating this will be a well sought after item for gamers with underpowered or non modular video adapters.

Asus XG Station

Initial reviews of this product seem good at this point.  We’ll see how the XG Station holds up to normal abuse when gamers and video enthusiasts get their hands on it.

A “Windows” to the Past

Occasionaly, you come across something from the past that makes you just sit back and think…”what the heck were they thinking??”  Some ideas were meant to stay on the drawing board….and this video, my friends, should have been one of them.  But, prepare yourself for a laugh – this video is mundane until about the seven minute mark, then….well, you’ll just have to see for yourself.

Windows\386

Windows 386 Promo Video

If you survived watching the entire video, I congradulate you 🙂

Yet Another PMP To Choose From

Yep.  This little jewel was dropped in my box today.  I know what you’re thinking….”Yippee, another PMP joins the well beaten market!”  Personally, I feel that way.  A year ago, I would have looked on AOL and Haier’s offering as just joining the personal media bandwagon.  But now, sadly, dropping this unit in the field this late in the game won’t cause much of a stir.

 AOL PMP

Wifi, Bluetooth, Touchpad navigation etc. The Wifi on this player goes a bit further than Microsoft’s Zune implementation, You can purchase music, transfer music wirelessly and stream internet radio stations.

This device has a 30gb HDD, and supports mp3, wma, acc, wav, Mpeg-4, WMV, H.264, and AVI …and will retail for $249.99

A Sneak Preview – The Orb

Have you ever wanted to see a spectacular colorful display of lights spinning at a rate of 1600 rpms?  Then check out this beauty!  Here we have an ingenious design by James N. Sears, a designer and programmer of impressive talent.

 Orb Ring  Orb Earth

The Orb is a large plexiglass ring laced with a series of powerful multi-color LEDs, and mounted on a large mechanical arm.  Pair that with a formidable industrial motor, custom electronics and programming, and you have an impressive display of lights that can portray a striking array of visual effects.  According to the creator, it was a long journey to get where it is today, but the efforts were definately worth it in the end.

Score one for an artist with a cause!

Jetcast Broadcasting

Jetcast Logo

The folks over at Jetcast have developed a new service that provides a nifty way to broadcast audio and video over the internet. With their simple player, anyone can become a broadcaster, minus the costly equipment and massive bandwidth.

Jetcast is an optimized network, which is great for broadcasting. Every viewer in the Jetcast network is also a broadcaster or partial broadcaster. The original broadcaster provides bandwidth bursts for the first level viewers, and the first level viewers share their data that feeds other viewers. All the viewers construct a mesh network. Each viewer has a couple of neighbors who established a direct connection with it and shares data with its neighbors. All the while, everything is optimized using the Jetcast server farm.

After several hours of viewing audio and video channels, it seems that Jetcast lives up to its name. I didnt experience a single inturruption in service, nor any of the traditional “net-burps” or extensive loading times.

Although this service is still in its infancy, and by no means overshadows similar popular services, I’d keep an eye on them. I have a positive feeling that Jetcast will surprise us all in the near future.

Primera BravoPro SE Review

It’s 6am Monday morning, you’re exhausted from the all night brainstorming session with your co-workers, guzzling the nasty coffee from the company cafeteria, and you’ve got less than an hour until you have to stage a full presentation to company board members, complete with enough CD/DVD copies of your material to spread around.  What’s a tech to do?  Burning copies one at a time on your computer simply won’t do.  Time is of the essence here!

BravoPro SE

Enter the new Primera BravoPro SE Autoprinter.  This sleek, compact unit saves the day by rendering a small portion of your desktop into a crazy fast mass producing CD/DVD factory.  With a few clicks on your computer, this disc duplicator produces stunning color, highest quality discs that scream professionalism and organization second to none.  Whether you just want one copy or dozens, the BravoPro SE can independently fabricate unique disc tasks while you’re away taking care of other business. 

Burning and printing media for business has never become easier.  Simply select the files you want to copy and print, choose the amount of discs to be produced, and lets the job runs its course.  With high speed 16x DVD+/-R and 40x CD-R recording, and integrating dazzling high color 4800i printing capacity, you’ll have state of the art quality media ready to be distributed at a moment’s notice.

The BravoPro SE doesn’t stop there either, oh no!  Primera pulled out all the stops with first rate internal componentry, such as Primera’s patented “Accudisc” Technology.  This includes precise electronic coding and software that carefully control the disk picking, using a modern LED optical system, opting out of conventional mechanical componentry.  Benefits of this unique technology include preventing feeding more than a single disc at a time into the recording drive; a common problem plaguing other comparable disc picking systems.

Primera outdid themselves this time.  Being the big brother to the BravoPro II was no small issue, and this unit pulled it off in no uncertain manner.  In my opinion, the BravoPro SE delivers amazing professional results at a price you can’t beat. ($1400)

Read the excellent review by Lonewolf over at ExtensiveMods.Com.

Visit Primera and check out disc printing nirvana! 

NES Retro DVD Player

Amidst my random wanderings on the net, I came across this website featuring a very cool NES MOD.  One of the website owners, Brandon, decided one day to rip the guts out of an old NES and replace it with the internal workings of a standard DVD/MP3 player.  The results, while mudane looking on the outside, are quite ingenious.  The DVD tray pushes out through the NES cartridge flap, and closes the same way.  While controlled by the original DVD player remote, Brandon wired the on/off switch to the NES power button.

NES DVDNES DVD 2

I’ve had a bunch of ideas for modding equipment in the past, but I just don’t have the patience or the dedication required for such endeavours.  My hats off to you modders out there…go on with your bad selves, and show us how it’s done!

Are you a Mod Junkie?  Do you have an awesome new Mod you’ve made and want to show it off to the world?  E-mail us here at GeekNews, and tell us all about it!

Found via [MilkMyCow.com]

The Coolest Chair In History

The picture speaks for itself, folks.  This has got to be the most fascinating chair i’ve ever seen.  I would be proud to have this in my home, and show off to my friends and family as vigorously and often as possible.  For war enthusiasts and gamers alike, this would be the crown jewel or throne of any collection.

AK-47 Chair

This Throne of Weapons is a chair made entirely from decommissioned AK47 rifles that had been used in the Mozambique civil war. It was exhibited at the Herbert as part of a British Museum touring exhibition last year.

The pure fact of its coolness aside, I find this a remarkable tribute to the men, women, and children that fought for the right to maintain their land, and keep free of the tyranny that loomed before them. 

Found via [Hellinahandbasket.com]

Get Your Own “Boom Box”

 Self Destruct USB Hub

Inject some urgency into your debonair character with the Self-Destruct button USB hub that is bound to elicit more than a telling glance from your co-workers. There is an aura around somebody who looks and acts dangerous, and what better way than placing this device on your desk? It looks like it was taken directly from a movie set with all the necessary trappings, with the added bonus of an additional four USB 2.0 ports. Pressing the big, red, round button will elicit a “Kill! Kill! Kill!” audio response.

Now is that not just the most awesome geeky device you could ever receive?

Take a peek at the real thing at GeekStuff4U.

Ring! Ring! It’s the Bananaphone!

Bananaphones

San Francisco prankster Laird Rickard has figured out a way to make obnoxious cell phone use funny: he makes it look like you’re talking into a banana. Laird’s company Nanaco produces Cellfoams, squishy foam covers in wacky shapes that protect your phone, and more importantly, make you look silly when you’re talking on your phone instead of rude. Nanaco’s premier product is the banana shaped cell phone cover, playing off that classic gag of pretending a banana is a phone. It was hilarious when Groucho Marx did it and the joke is still, ahem, appealing today. Attractively priced at about $12 bucks at a variety of local retailers, this is a great way to make light of a technology whose convenience barely compensates for its invasiveness. If you were looking for a way to say “I’m just bananas about talking on my cell phone!”, this is it.

Eco-Friendly Laptop

We all know that major companies have been searching for more environmentally safe ways to maintain our 21st century lifestyles.  For the most part, its rather expensive to create the electronics that would allow this.  But, LG – A company more well known for their cellular phones, has developed an ecological laptop called an “ebook” that is powered by liquid fuel cells, rather than the standard battery.

LG ebook

The LG’s future laptop uses organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels for display instead of the current liquid crystal display (LCD) panel. This concept notebook received a Red Dot Award nomination for “Best Concept Design” for 2006.  Unlike LCD, OLED does not need a frame around it, and it consumes less electricity. The keypad will also be made of a singe OLED panel, like the one used in LG’s Chocolate Phone, according to the report.

Although quite expensive to construct at the moment, LG promises that leading technologies will be used to keep this notebook environmentally clean, and cheap.

Sounds good to me!  If it is indeed not that expensive when they roll them out on the floor, I’ll be there to claim one of the first as mine!

Art Deco Speakers

Art Speakers

Art Lebedev creates electronic eye-candy that would make any computer enthusiast pant. While his Optimus keyboard was flattering enough, the Mus2 pointer-shaped mouse was pure genius. Design mobs take heart, as Art Lebedev Studios‘ has an uber-sleek Sonicum speaker system up for pre-order, and besides eliciting all sorts of geekish lust, the 2.1 computer-minded setup boasts dual 5-watt NXT speakers, a 15-watt subwoofer, and a few design cues that set it apart from the rest. The satellites bear a striking resemblance to a speaker cone silhouette, the subwoofer’s bass knob is cleverly marked with a smiley, and each simplistic piece is branded with Art’s own barcode logo.

For just $126.60, you can claim your Sonicum rig now, but unfortunately you’ll be waiting until next April to hear Lebedev’s latest masterpiece in person.

Wii Have a Problem Here

Nintendo

Now just when I thought I had heard it all, along comes a class of gamers that make you wonder just how far a person will go to play their console games.  Well, the Wii has been out for a bit, and as always, there are horror stories to be told about user experiences.  By far, the most prominent complaint yet has been the malfunctioning strap for the WiiMote. (pictured below)

Wiimote

This device is used in a number of ways, swinging or lunging while holding it, to mimic the use of a sword, or sports equipment, etc.  To many players demise, the strap that is supposed to hold the WiiMote to your wrist while flinging around at mach speed, breaks quite easily, and has damaged or outright destroyed many TV’s, Laptops and windows across the US.  Nintendo has agreed in many cases already to replace the wrist straps, hopefully with something a bit stronger!  Too bad they won’t replace a 60 inch plasma TV, in the case of one dismayed gamer, or a 10ft piece of picture window glass in the case of another.

A group of kids in Tokyo, Japan have taken a insane initiative, and have superglued the WiiMotes to their hands.  They see it as a status symbol, and show them off in public.  Parents have dismissed this as a wacky and bizarre action, but are wary of the problems it can cause.  Some gamers in the US have taken to using duct tape or strong rubber bands to keep the device from slipping out of their hands.  In the extreme, some doctors have claimed they have been approached with proposals of having the device surgically implanted in their hand!

Now come on folks…  I’m all for playing some new games on a new console.  But to be a slave to a conotroller is just going way over the line here.  Can you say “Nintendo-Borg”?

[Found via BBSpot.com]

 

Mission Impossible: E-Mail

E-Mail ExplosionCheck this place out for some serious e-mail action.  The Owner of 10 Minute Email states you can claim a temporary e-mail address through his site, which you can use for any number of reasons, not least of all, registering with websites that require validation (when you don’t want to give out your real e-mail address).  After the ten minutes expires, so does the temporary e-mail address.  Rinse and repeat as many times as you need.  Be wary though; they are currently being slashdotted, so as popularity rises with this service, websites may ban the 10minute domain to avoid your anon status.

 

Sleep a thing of the past?

I’ll be the first to admit a good snooze is a most excellent activity.  But – drugs like Modafinil, CX717 and Rozerem all but remove the need to sleep, allowing for nearly a full 24 hour waking period without any sleep deprivation effects.  Studies submitted by many pretigious research facilities mark these drugs as a building wave of the future.

Sleeping Ideas

What I find strange is why anyone would want to fight off a natural function like sleep.  I know what you’re thinking too – “If I can shorten my time in bed, I can produce/work more!”, which is a classic way of trying to get that promotion or raise you want, right?  In my opinion…sleep performs a much deeper fuction than just resting the mind and body.  It provides you with a creative outlet though your thoughts and dreams.  Michealangelo and Albert Einstein are both classic examples of genius that proclaimed that some of their most brilliant ideas were born from dreams.

In essense, I suppose the promotion or pay raise might be worth popping a few pills.  Alas, I shall stick with my good old night time ritual of sleeping a good eight or so hours and let my mind wander freely.

[Found via New Scientist]

Teen Creates Fusion

Now I’m no avid scientist myself, but I find it incredible that a 17 year old High School student can build a nuclear fusion reactor in his basement.  And amazingly enough, the thing actually works.

 Teen Nuclear Fusion Reactor

After 2 years of scrounging parts and over a 1000 hours in research, Thiago Olsen finished construction of what he calls “The Fusor” (pictured above).  While this is not a scientific breakthrough, it does show the dedication and spirit of a young scientist in the making.  With this accomplishment out of the way at such a young age, who knows what he will be able to accomplish in the future?  Keep an eye on this one, folks.  I can almost guarantee we’ll be hearing more about this young man in the future.

[Found via Detroit Free Press]

Retrocausality a thing of the Future….or is it the Past?

University of Washington physicist John Cramer is experimenting with splitting photons in such a way that he hopes to find evidence of a photon going backward in time.   “It probably won’t work,” he says.

Photon Splitting Lasers

“But even if it doesn’t work, we should be able to learn something new about quantum mechanics by trying it.”

Time travel?  Well, it may not be theoretically possible, but I’ve got to give this guy kudos for “Fluxing his Capacitor”!  I, for one, will look out for this scientist’s future work.

[Found via The Seattle PI]

The Bionic Man Remembered

While covering the Iraq war, BBC producer Stuart Hughes lost his leg. His new prosthetic foot is so advanced, it may even allow amputee soldiers back into battle. A few weeks ago, he became one of the first people in the UK to be fitted with the world’s first “intelligent” prosthetic foot.

Bionic Foot

Some researchers believe the current generation of bionic limbs is just the beginning. They are working towards the day when man and machine are seamlessly integrated.

Regardless of the good intentions this technology implies, I can’t help but think how “Cyborgs” would effect our society.  I would be interested in hearing your opinion!

[Found via BBC News]