Build Your Own Overclocked Toothbrush

Ah, how we here at GiY miss “The Screen Savers,” and for that matter, all of TechTV. Sure, we were excited at first, when we learned they were being swallowed up by G4, thinking that meant something more than endless reruns of “X-Play,” but it was not to be. Not that we’re complaining about wall-to-wall Morgan Webb, but y’know. The merger wiped out many of the channel’s better shows and hosts, that’s for certain.

Take a walk down memory lane with this old clip from “The Screen Savers,” where Kevin Rose shows us how to overclock a $5.99 toothbrush. Okay, in this case, “overclocking” means simply “adding lots of extra batteries,” which I would think would burn out the motor quickly. But it is a fun clip, and you will feel all warm and fuzzy reliving TechTVs homegrown, DiY days.

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The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments

Golden BookThe Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments was published in the late 60s, as a collection of science experiments that children could do at home. While it was an excellent teaching tool, the authors of the book failed to realize that many of the listed experiments were insanely volatile and potentially life threatening. For example, namby-pamby children’s science books in print today encourage budding scientists to mix baking soda and vinegar and watch what happens. By comparison, The Golden Book… provided detailed instructions for producing chlorine gas or sulfuric acid. Fun for the whole family!

The book was pulled in the late 60s, and would never see print again. Copies of the book have been selling on Amazon and eBay for between $200 and $700, for outrageously threadbare copies. But there’s a loophole; the original copyright was not renewed, and the book was published prior to the rewriting of the copyright laws, so it’s now possible to get a copy online. You can download a copy from Chris Brunner’s blog, and we are also mirroring it here. Enjoy, and for goodness’ sake, be careful.

Build Your Own XBOX 360 Laptop

Solar CellGiY favorite Ben Heck is at it again. After blowing our collective minds with his portable PS2 and NES Micro, Ben has returned with his latest epic project: An Xbox 360 Laptop. Why would you need a keyboard on your completely customized Xbox 360? Um, because it’s a laptop. C’mon, it’s right there in the name. Ben spent three months hacking together this 14lb, water-cooled, high definition widescreen monster, and th results are nothing less than awe inspiring. As always, he also provides a very detailed writeup…and don’t miss his hand-drawn cartoon chronicling his experience at Gamestop a nameless videogame retail chain. It pretty much matches every experience you have ever had.

Build Your Own Flat Panel Solar Cell

Solar CellEveryone is looking for a way to introduce some of the green ethic into their lives, correct? But dangit, if those giant solar panels aren’t EXPENSIVE. No more. NetScienceNews has figured out how YOU can make small, inexpensive solar cells right in your own kitchen, using only some copper sheeting, a hot plate, and a little salt water. Sure, they aren’t as efficient as the commercially available solar cells…but THESE you can make yourself. Check out the original project log here, and check out the new and improved flat panel version here.

Build Your Own Refillable Compressed Air Duster

Compressed AirScott had a problem. He was sick and tired of spending perfectly good money on cans of compressed air to clean his computer equipment. Air is free, and once you have the can, it should be easy to refill, right? In this build log, with parts list and instructions, Scott details how he made his own refillable can using an old Oust can, an emergency tire inflator and a few zip ties. The compressor he used wasn’t powerful enough to get the internal pressure up over 50 PSI…but most cans are rated for around 200-250 PSI, and at least this way, Scott can be confident his project won’t unexpectedly “turn into a frag grenade.” Check out his plans here, or buy a ready-made refillable air can here or here.

Join the GiY Folding@Home Team!

Folding@HomeRemember the SETI@HOME distributed computing project we were all running circa 2000? You know, the one that was supposedly using your PC’s spare clock cycles to search for intelligent life? This is the same thing, only real and with a purpose. Stanford’s Folding@Home project uses the computer processing time you’re not using to analyze “protein folding.” The thinking is, that when proteins don’t fold themselves correctly, the result is disease.

What kind of disease does Stanford hope to cure? Oh, just Alzheimer’s Disease, Cancer, and Parkinson’s Disease. No big whoop, really. Of course, you could always continue letting your computer look for little green men…but maybe we should think about getting things sorted down here first, hmm? We encourage our readers to download the Folding@Home tool, and while you’re at it, join the Geek It Yourself team. Just enter team number 51236 when you’re setting up your account.

Build Your Own Game Boy Advance Robot

Game Boy Robot Got an old Game Boy Advance kicking around? Meet the Xport Robot Controller. This system turns the Game Boy Advance and standard LEGO components into an advanced robot development system. With standards in place for LEGO robot development, budding robot enthusiasts have an easy way to bring their creations to life. The XRC supports 16 digital and eight analog inputs, and even has an optional Bluetooth component. Now for the question of the hour…have any development boards popped up yet?

AntWorks: Ant Farms Get Awesome

Ant FarmAs a kid, you fell into one of two camps. Either you bought an ant farm, sent away for your ants, and were fascinated as they toiled, dug tunnels, and built colonies…or you were fascinated as the ants tried to get their bearings after you shook the whole thing up and destroyed weeks of their labor. Either way, ant farms always ended the same. All the ants would die, and all that would remain would be a very narrow glass box filled with sand and body fragments.

AntWorks has stepped things up and made the ant farm relevant again for a new generation of kids. With their “Space-Age Habitat for Antkind,” the sand has been replaced with a gel that is UV reactive, so you can get an even better view of the ants’ tunneling. And what’s better? You won’t be tempted to shake it up. $30 bucks is all it takes to bring the ants out of the yard and into your house.

Build Your Own Networked Cufflinks

CufflinksWhen you’re wearing a suit, it’s sometimes tough to make the entire room know that you are officially More Tech Than They Are. However, Mark of Geek Technique found a way with these cufflinks. Pressed for time, and saddled with a French-cuffed shirt, Mark did just what you would expect a GiYer would do…he whipped together some cufflinks, using only some UTP plugs and a bit of twisted pair wire. And in true GiY fashion, he shared his photos and instructions for anyone who wants to replicate his geek chic. Bravo, Mark.

Build Your Own NES Controller Cell Phone

NES PhoneUgh, we’ve all been seen with a godawful cell phone stuck to our ear in a public place. Well, Sam of DIYHappy wasn’t having it anymore. So he gutted an old NES controller, and crammed a Nokia 3200 (selected for its size and ease of disassembly) into it. The first prototype is alittle rough…for example, the earpiece sound is a little distant…but we’re counting on Sam to get it perfected for v2.0. Check out the build log and video.