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Hardware Hacking

O'Reilly's New Magazine for DIY Tech Projects 207

Posted by michael
from the stay-alert-and-keep-your-soldering-iron-handy dept.
sargon writes "O'Reilly will begin publishing a new magazine, 'Make,' in early 2005 which is aimed at the do-it-yourself crowd. To quote the home page: 'Make brings the do-it-yourself mindset to all the technology in your life. Make is loaded with exciting projects that help you make the most of your technology at home and away from home. This is a magazine that celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your own will.' The first issue will focus on kite aerial photography." Any suggestions for what they should cover?
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O'Reilly's New Magazine for DIY Tech Projects

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  • by MrScary (39957) on Sunday September 19, 2004 @03:05PM (#10291864)
    ....maybe Barbra Streisand?
  • by wertarbyte (811674) on Sunday September 19, 2004 @03:08PM (#10291884) Homepage
    Most magazines here (in germany) claiming to be about hacking cover subject like "How to copy ANY CD!" or how to 'hack' your neighbour's WLAN, these magazines seem to aim at 13 year old wannabe-crackers who just discovered this secret hackertool "tracert" with which they can "track and locate" other computers on "T43 n37". I hope that this new magazine will present the term "hacking" in the right light. Well, it'll be hard to receive in germany I guess.
  • Interest High (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mefus (34481) on Sunday September 19, 2004 @03:10PM (#10291895) Journal
    I'm very interested in such a magazine, but disappointed that they almost inevitably are or become those "gadget" magazines spoken of in the description.

    I think the advertisers in such a magazine often end up fighting the reader base and pulling the focus of "cheap and homemade".

    Maybe there's a better chance this one will stay focused if O'Reilly is the publisher?
  • by ThisNukes4u (752508) <tcoppi AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday September 19, 2004 @03:14PM (#10291920) Homepage
    Because half the fun in trying out cool stuff is thinking up the idea yourself, then trying to put your idea into a physical (or binary) representation. This magazine would take out all the fun.
  • Re:Make (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ezzzD55J (697465) <slashdot5@scum.org> on Sunday September 19, 2004 @03:28PM (#10291982) Homepage
    Actually your shell generally wouldn't parse that due to the single quote ;) however:

    $ make "o'reilly" make: don't know how to make o'reilly. Stop

  • by darkonc (47285) <stephen_samuelNO@SPAMbcgreen.com> on Sunday September 19, 2004 @03:33PM (#10291998) Homepage Journal
    Because half the fun in trying out cool stuff is thinking up the idea yourself, ..... This magazine would take out all the fun.

    Not at all.. The magazine lets you see what other people are doing. This gives you some interesting ideas for:
    1: Things you might want to do that are (slightly or completely) different
    2: Ways of getting unusual things done on a budget not signed by the NSA.

    The guys that were the technical advisors to one of the second world war escape movies ("The Great Escape", I think) considered the possibility that it might give future jailers ideas about preventing those same tactics from being used again, then decided that what was most importat was teaching the committment to thinking up ingenious methods and diversions that was most important, while the specific tactics were all but irrelevent.

  • by v1 (525388) on Sunday September 19, 2004 @03:39PM (#10292034) Homepage Journal
    Since the gov't seems bound and determined to make any form of hardware hacks illegal, they may as well have a monthly column on the state of affairs on the DMCA and all that other crap they're trying to pass.

    Reminds me of that movie where ppl buy 'consumer goods', then take them home and put them down a chute. You can buy it, they want you to buy it, but you can't DO anything with it.

    Idiots.
  • by strider3700 (109874) on Sunday September 19, 2004 @03:43PM (#10292050)
    This is something that I'd be all over.

    I've just finished building a projector out of a LCD some lenses and a very bright lightbulb. Got the plans from www.lumenlab.com and I have to say it works amazingly well.

    Next project is getting mythTV or Freevo working with my hauppage under linux to give me TV on the new projector(It was plug and play under windows but I can't stand 2000 anymore)

    After that I'll be using the serial port on my motorola cable box to let the PVR change channels on the cable box. At that point I don't know where to go with my media center. Maybe remote PC's to let me access the backend from all the rooms in the house?

    Now as for the magazine I'd love to see a nice big how two on creating my own speakers, even if it is just a build a box and plug the parts in I'm curious if this can be done cheaper then buying the nice ones at a store. Home made amplifiers would be cool as well.

    Getting away from my media viewing, I'd love to see articles on wiring up houses. Temp sensors in every room/area, on the water pipes. A way to monitor electric usage on every circuit. Door/Window open/closed monitoring... All linked back to a PC with some nice logging software to keep track of whats going on in the house.

    There are tons of other things I'd love to have but can't afford so I'm forced to build them. The difficult part for the magazine is going to be how difficult some of them are. Using one project to develop the skills needed for the next is a great way to learn but if you jump in to the magazine part way though you could end up stuck. If they don't gradually get harded the long term readers will be bored.
  • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Sunday September 19, 2004 @03:50PM (#10292092) Homepage Journal
    I think it gives a good "springboard" to your own customizations. Kind of like "that's neat, but with this part like that, it can also perform another function twice as well".

    Kind of like software programming, you shouldn't need to write your own kernel now, but it is easy to modify someone else's Linux or BSD kernel work rather than redoing the entire job.
  • by Generalisimo Zang (805701) on Sunday September 19, 2004 @03:58PM (#10292122)
    I'd actually be interested in something like that, and I know others would be too.

    Sometimes people forget that not everyone is endowed at birth with immense knowledge (like the parent poster apparently was :P ), and that many people would appreciate something that walks them through the simple first steps of new concepts.

    What really tees me off about a lot of tutorials and manuals, is how they'll go into great detail on the basic principles (great), and they go into great detail on solutions to intermediate and advanced level concepts (again, great), but they spend a tiny ammount of time quickly glossing over the first few steps to actually get something done (arrrghh!).

    It's sort of like getting some piece of furniture home from Ikea, and discovering that the pictographic instruction sheet had been replaced by a journeyman carpenter's course book.

    Yeah yeah, it's great to be able to see how to shingle a roof and build drywall... but I just want to know how to put friggin Tab A into Tab B so my Ikea bookcase doesn't collapse when I set it up.

    So, please don't disparage anyone who's going to actually step up to the plate and provide good solid basic knowledge to people who may not have been exposed to it in a way that they could actually USE it before.

    Basic knowledge is a good thing... except for those of you who were born knowing everything :|
  • by iantri (687643) <iantriNO@SPAMgmx.net> on Sunday September 19, 2004 @04:09PM (#10292179) Homepage
    That's Sams..

    O'Reilly publishes the programming books that don't suck.

  • Focus on old tech (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Seraphim_72 (622457) on Sunday September 19, 2004 @04:20PM (#10292258)


    Dont give me projects that require the latest and the greatest. If I have to spend $300 to save $299 it isn't worth my time - though it may be really fun. If it costs $1200 - even if it involves sex it isn't going to be that fun. For example I have two old b/w gameboys lying about - tell me how to port the screens to my computer. I have tons of old hardware - tell me how to solder in flash ram from a thumbdrive into an old digital camera. Provide How-To's to the how to's, not everyone was born witha soldering iron in one hand and a Bridgeport in the other. Gimme anything that an old stick of RAM is good for. Or an old scanner, or zip drive. Have a case mod corner - I don't case mod at all - but I find them neet to look at. Starting in #3 start a basic course, a mid and advance course in electronics. Have something that involves gun powder, and another that involves a catapult. .Get feature articles about cool stuff people have done, and &exactly& how they did them. Get advertisers that supply stuff - for example, short of Radio Shack I know of no place that will sell me a resistor - get me some adverts that will. Get that "Dark Tipster" guy from Tech TV to write a column. There, hell, do you guys need any actual help? Call me.

    Sera

  • I got an idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by segfault7375 (135849) on Sunday September 19, 2004 @04:23PM (#10292270)
    This is a magazine that celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your own will.... [snip] ...Any suggestions for what they should cover?

    How about where to hire a good lawyer that knows how to defend against DMCA lawusuits?
  • by camperslo (704715) on Sunday September 19, 2004 @04:32PM (#10292319)
    How to send video back from a kite over 802.11 is a good start. I'd like to see similar projects for remote controlled planes. Sending the control signals up on the same wireless link is a logical extension.

    I'd like to see other wireless related projects, like some of the things that have been covered by http://tv.seattlewireless.net/ [seattlewireless.net] - making antennas, community access points with cheap hardware and free software etc.

    Details of simple hacks (hardware and software) would be great to fill in between the big articles. Show me how to add an external antenna to my Airport Express. Show me how power it from 12 Volts in the car without adding an inverter.

    It's probably of too limited appeal, but I'd like to see a simple add-on I could use with old surplus 20" fixed-frequency workstation monitors to give them a shut-down sleep mode. It'd be something that looks at the video signal and kills power with a triac.

    I'd like to see a project showing how to convert a power supply from an old PC into a general-purpose bench supply. (Perhaps some kind of diode/capacitor voltage multiplier on the coil for the 5 Volt circuit to make a higher current 12 Volt output. It might be easier to add a new winding though hmmmm...)

    I'd enjoy seeing various PVR (personal video recorder) projects... how about one with an analog/HDTV tuner that works with Linux, and has a slick version for OS X too? (I expect both to be able to send audio out to an Airport Express)

    Projects based on software that'll let us take analog audio and other sources and stream it out to an Airport Express would be fun in general.

    How about something that'll let me send multiple streams from analog and HDTV off-air and broadcast them from a hilltop with 802.11b/g for multiple people to receive?

    How about a homemade subwoofer with motion-sensing feedback from the cone to the amplifier driving it. That'd flatten frequency response while reducing distortion and box-effects.

    How about modifications to consumer appliances to reduce their energy consumption when they're "off"?

    How about a collection of Voice over IP telephony projects?

    How about a framework for a P2P open-source owned-by-nobody global community-access TV network?

    How about noise-cancelling electronics to add to old headphones so I can use my woodworking tools in comfort?

    How about a collection of software tools and hardware hacks that can be adapted for mechanical control of all sorts of things? If someone makes a radio-controlled flying chainsaw, please make the link secure. Thank you!
  • by Trolling4Dollars (627073) on Monday September 20, 2004 @12:59AM (#10294961) Journal
    When I first joined Slashdot in 97, a lot of the people here used to be DIYers who actually had a clue about computers and technology. Very few fanboys and the trolls at that time were far more intelligent and creative (GNAA losers can go eat a dick). Unfortunately, since that time Slashdot has slowly degraded into a den of losers who want to identify with so called "geekdom". I'll give you folks a little hint. A true geek is a DIYer. If you can't or haven't achieved that level of grokking computers or technology, then you are not really a classic geek. The only possibly exception is gamer geeks. DIY isn't a necessity in that arena. So... the question about this new O'Reilly mag is: will there be an online version? If so, it might be nice to have forums and journals there so that the last of the geeks can finally jump ship from Slashdot and head over to somewhere better.
  • by macdaddy (38372) on Monday September 20, 2004 @01:58AM (#10295220) Homepage Journal
    I don't want Safari quite frankly. What I want is for O'Reilly's to include a HTML/PDF version of the book inside the actual dead tree version. I don't want to haul 5 books back and forth from home to work every day and I'm sure as hell not going to buy two sets of the same damned books. I should be able to get an electronic copy to benefit me when I'm away from my dead tree racks. Safari just doesn't cut it. I need more.

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.

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