Musical Typewriter Turns Your Essays Into Aural Masterpieces

Yamaha and Fabian Cappello teamed up to deliver this modified typewriter, which has each key wired to play a different musical note as you type. The end result is a sentence that also plays out as a melody.

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MIT Students Love iPhone-Powered Doors, Hate Actual Keys

Chris Varenhorst, the MIT engineering student responsible for this hydraulic-powered door that can be opened with the tap of an iPhone app or the rap of a secret knock sequence, says that after a long day of studying, he doesn't want to waste time messing with keys. We have a different theory.

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Old Flatbed Scanner + 50mm Lens = Amazing 130-Megapixel Scancam

And it helps that its creator is a great photographer

Tinkerers have been turning flatbed scanners into cameras for a while, but this version by a Japanese modder is one of the finest I've seen--both in technical execution and the incredible quality of the massive 130-megapixel images it creates.

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Eee PC School #4: Add a Super HID

Get a grip on your Eee PC with a USB joystick; plus add 16MB of storage, LEDs, and a temperature sensor, all with the same dongle

Have you ever found yourself wishing that your Eee PC had a better trackpad, or maybe even a joystick? Well, the Atmel AVR USB key might be your answer.

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Eee PC School #3: EZ Desktop Mode Mod

Build a pocket-sized gadget that lets you change your display mode for less than $5

This little gimmick has been in graphics design studios for years: a clever way to bring a wayward menu bar back from a dual monitor setup without plugging in a second monitor. Essentially, by shorting pins 1 (red video signal out) and 6 (red ground), and 3 (blue video signal out) and 8 (blue ground) on a 15-pin VGA adapter, you can mislead the PC into -- erroneously -- detecting the presence of a second monitor. Then it's just a matter of dragging the menu bar back onto the correct display.

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Eee PC School #2: Add a Second microSD Card Reader

Double your fun in the removable media storage department for bigger media collections and more boot flexibility

Including a built-in SD card reader in the ASUS Eee PC was just one of many smart decisions that went into the lovable little portable (are you listening Apple?). Without a large hard disk, memory cards are crucial for any Eee user wanting to store large media collections, keep tons of applications, or boot multiple operating systems, allowing for a virtually unlimited data storage system without any external add-ons.

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The Best Game-Console Mods

Hackers have radically transformed the latest videogame consoles

Ben Heckendorn’s game-console creations, from a portable Atari 2600 to a pocket-sized Nintendo 64, are famous in the modder world. But he may have topped himself with his Xbox 360 Elite laptop.

To shoehorn a full 360 into the 2.25-by-16-by-12-inch case and keep it playable, Heckendorn had to install fans and speakers and redo the internal layout of the machine several times. He then rewired the console to output the video to the 17-inch LCD display, on which he mounted an Xbox Live Vision camera for online multiplayer games.

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Eee PC School: Add a Keyboard Backlight For Under $15

Keep on typing even when the lights go out with this inexpensive mod

As we showed you in our May 2008 issue, Asus's Eee PC has quickly become a favorite of hardware hackers around the web. Here, we offer the first installment of our Eee PC School series. Check back in the coming weeks for more tiny ultraportable tweaking.—Eds.

What good is that portable PC if you can’t type anywhere and anytime? With its ultra-compact keyboard, even touch typing pros will be hard-pressed to avoid frequent mistakes on when the lights go out. To say it’s a frustrating exercise in futility to locate the miniature F3 key in the dark is an understatement. Oops, you just lost WiFi contact by accidentally hitting F2.

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Beef Up a Little PC

Turn the dirt-cheap, hardcover-size Eee PC into a speedy beast that can run any program or OS

If you want a super-light laptop, you have to pay for it, and you have to use Windows. Thats been the (frustrating) conventional wisdom—at least until late last year, when the Taiwanese company Asus rolled out the Eee PC (pronounced as though it were a single long e), a two-pound, seven-inch laptop starting at a mere $300. The tradeoff: It comes with just two to eight gigabytes of flash memory instead of a conventional, larger hard drive, and a simplified Linux operating system that essentially is usable only for e-mail, Web browsing and typing.

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DIY Paradise at Maker Faire

The annual Bay Area carnival attracts the best Makers in the land. See what caught our eye this year

We're back from this weekend's Maker Faire, the third-annual event in San Mateo, CA . Our friends at Make continue to up the ante, bringing DIYers from far and wide to show off their projects at the ultimate geek county fair.

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iPhone Unlocked For Good?

A group of crafty developers thinks so

A group of independent software developers claims to be close to loosening Apples reins over the software that can run on the iPhone once and for all. Apple announced recently that it plans to start releasing software made by third party developers in June. First, though, those applications will be checked, and then sold or given away free (whichever the developer chooses) directly by Apple, either through iTunes or a virtual store on the phone itself.

But if the independent group, known as the iPhone Dev Team, has its way, that strict outline is going to be shaken up a bit.

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Dancing a Song With the Full-Body Wiimote Music Controller Suit

An electronic musician’s brilliant wearable hack uses eight Nintendo Wii controllers to create and manipulate sound in real time

Soon after the Nintendo Wiis release, hackers immediately began uncovering ways to use its unique motion-sensing controller to interface with other things—PCs, musical instruments, you name it. But Tom Tlalim, an Israeli-born composer who now lives in the Netherlands, may have outdone them all: His full-body, eight-piece suit of Wiimotes interfaces fully with custom software to turn his entire body into an electronic instrument that responds to his every motion. In his suit, Tlalim doesnt play songs. He dances them.

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Hacking the Zune

A few tweaks can turn Microsoft's MP3 player into the device it was supposed to be

Until it went on sale last November, Microsoft's Zune was heralded as the first true iPod-killer. But with its overly aggressive copyright protection and the odd, self-imposed limits to its most innovative features (like built-in Wi-Fi), it has so far failed to make even a dent in the iPod's shiny white-and-chrome armor. It's likely the Zune will improve with version 2.0 and beyond, but until then, here are three easy Zune tune-ups to ease the pain of waiting for a better model.

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We Want Your Photos

Been inspired by our How 2.0 projects? Send us pictures of the stuff you're making-or breaking

If you're anything like us, you were the type of kid who took apart dad's
new radio just to see what was inside. That kind of curiosity never dies,
which is why How 2.0, PopSci's award-winning home for the coolest
tips, tricks, hacks and do-it-yourself projects, wants to see what today's
tech tinkerers are up to.

Have you built something amazing you'd like to
show off? Tried a How 2.0 project and failed miserably? Blown something up
with the kids' chemistry set? If you've invented it, tweaked it, hacked it,

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Xbox Media Monster

Dust off that old Xbox, add a little free software, and get your movies and songs into the living room where they belong

Reinvent Your XboxCost: $35Time: 1
HourEasy | | | | |

Although the sleek new Xbox 360 is all the rage with gaming geeks these days, that chunky old first-gen Xbox has something the 360 doesn´t: a legacy of hacks that give it a life beyond gaming, including the ability to take that episode of The Office you just downloaded and stream it to the flat-screen in front of your sofa.

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