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Hardware Hacking Hardware

Juicebox Hacking 259

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the because-you-can dept.
magic_user writes "Now that Mattel's JuiceBox can be had for $12 (Target, WalMart), this seems like a perfect toy for hackers. I've found a picture frame hack but what I'm really looking for is a way to play my own videos on it. It runs uclinux so this shouldn't be too hard, right? "
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Juicebox Hacking

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  • $12? Hardly... (Score:5, Informative)

    by garcia (6573) * on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:46PM (#12696236) Homepage
    From what I can see (walmart.com, amazon.com, and froogle.com) the JuiceBox is about $40 to $50. The only place I can find it quoted for being less is at the blog that this story links to... Perhaps they were on sale, the unit was in an opened package, or the online prices do not reflect the in-store ones. I don't know. YMMV.

    It seems that this [elinux.org] would have been a more informative link to include in the story as it gives quite a bit of information about the JuiceBox and links to some of the code from Emsoft.

    It does seem like an interesting device to putz around with but I'll hold out until you can display pics via wlan to it :)
  • Re:$12? Hardly... (Score:3, Informative)

    by MetaPhyzx (212830) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:51PM (#12696301)
    12 bucks here in columbus on clearance as well...
  • Noisy website (Score:5, Informative)

    by th77 (515478) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:52PM (#12696311)
    You could have warned us that the JuiceBox link leads to an obnoxiously noisy site. Fun way to get noticed at work. Yick.
  • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman @ g m a i l . c om> on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @01:58PM (#12696378) Homepage Journal
    MPlayer and Xine would probably be too slow. I'm digging through the specs now, but my guess is that this has a built-in MPEG decoder chip. Alternatively, it might just accept the hit in ROM costs and store the video in a poorly compressed format. It would certainly make sense if all you're storing are a few, low-res, low-quality music videos.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @02:05PM (#12696466)
    2.75 inch 240x160 color LCD
    http://www.elinux.org/wiki/JuiceBox [elinux.org]
  • by thatguy2g (693220) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @02:05PM (#12696473) Homepage
    My co-worker bought one of these for $12 at Target (look in the clearance items). A usefull thing to note: The "mp3 adaptor" is really an SD Card adaptor, and it plays mp3s and mpeg4 video clips. You don't have to "hack" anything, just put a 512MB SD card in with your properly encoded video clip and you're good to go. Then again, you're gonna get what you pay for. The screen can only handle a wopping 6fps. My advice: buy a PSP and a big memory stick duo.
  • by theGreater (596196) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @02:08PM (#12696497) Homepage

    Or you could just go grab the juicebox source [emsoftltd.com] from emsoft [emsoftltd.com] and save yourself some time.

    -theGreater.
  • by barawn (25691) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @03:58PM (#12697724) Homepage
    Actually, it is. The chip you've just described is an "all-in-one" hardware design. The catch is that it seems like a flexible all-in-one design. And with an LCD screen, what could be better?

    We have different opinions of "all in one", apparently. If you've got some sort of embedded PIC with OTP ROM, and it's embedded in epoxy, yah, you're probably done (hence "all-in-one" - this is more of a "all-in-three-or-four"). But this has a lot of hackability in it, as you've got easy access to all of the address and chip selects, and some versions of the board even have a moderately replacable ROM.

    Regarding the video: oh, definitely. The video potential of the device sucks. But I wouldn't expect anything else for $12.

    The SDCard connector, however, is an add-on that is not all that cheap in of itself.

    It's just a slot adapter. Grab an SD socket from Molex (either free, $4 inside another order, or $10 from Sparkfun) and wire it up directly, as the pinout is already available.

    Plus there's serial input, as well. It's disabled in the default build, so you have to replace the ROM (or via JTAG), but you'd probably want to do that anyway.
  • by barawn (25691) on Wednesday June 01, 2005 @05:30PM (#12698795) Homepage
    The only redeeming factor that I see to this hardware is that it's an inexpensive LCD.

    Plus a cheap MP3 player. It's probably got just enough oomph to be an Ogg player as well. The LCD screen actually makes it so that you can actually have a decent GUI.

    Other than that, let's see... with a serial port, you could easily make a universal remote control with LCD screen, a digital picture frame (as seen above), or a status monitor for X (where X is some other project that spits out serial data).

    Of course, if you want to be really stupid, a 66 MHz ARM7 certainly has the capability to emulate an NES.

    In my case, it looks like a really, really nice front end to the Motorola GPS unit I have (spits out only serial data).

    It's like picking up cool pieces of plastic and cardboard when you're a kid because you swear that you'll find a brilliant use for something so neat. Then it sits in the closet until you're an adult and throw it out.

    Bah! You just described my basement, except for the fact that I do find uses for said objects. :)

    Otherwise you can custom build a similar device for only slightly more

    C'mon, it's $12! No way you could get the parts and board for that little.

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce

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