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Hardware Hacking Toys IT

The Ultimate Reset Button 184

Gary writes "The gigantic red switch looks more like a mushroom straight out of Super Mario. It can be connected easily using two wires and can be activated in any direction. To get rid of the blue screen of death all you have to do is hit it with something (like, a fist)."
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The Ultimate Reset Button

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 02, 2007 @12:03PM (#19363535)
    Wow, this is just amazing....almost rivals the development of the polio vaccine.
    • Re:Just amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 02, 2007 @12:40PM (#19363827)
      This is the lamest 'hack' I have ever seen on Slashdot. You can get industrial panel/remote buttons from just about any industrial or electrical supply store. Then you wire up two leads to your reset button.

      I can't wait to see what innovative tinkerer's project comes next on Slashdot. Maybe an LED with brightness control?
      • by Simonetta ( 207550 ) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @02:47PM (#19364815)
        Real men don't fool around anymore with digital potentiometers and op-amps when it comes down to the nitty-gritty task of controlling an LED.

            Now it's far cheaper to use a microcontroller with pulse-width modulation to guide the LED into it luministic destiny. Get an 8-pin AVR (like the Tiny11) or even a 6-pin PIC microprocessor for less than 50 cents US, preferably one that is in a new surface-mount package much smaller than the LED and fits underneath it. Then write the code that gently awakens the LED from its inner darkness. Be guided in your code by the idea that just as the LED is being raised from its inherent chaotic darkness, so too is man raised from his internal chaotic darkness by the direction and focused energy of Jesus, God, Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Great Spirit, or Whoever (grammar goblins, note the proper capitalization of the indirect pronoun that refers to the deity).

              The point is that now it is cheaper to effect a hardware solution with an ultra-cheap microcontroller than it was in the 20th century to do with cheap 555 timers coupled with resistors and caps or to do with TTL clusters. It does require software skills that weren't needed previously. It's a whole new frame of reference for electronic designers. This trend will continue as very fast, (50 MegaHertz system clocks, fast for microcontrollers), very powerful 32-bit microcontrollers with large internal memory continue to fall in price [the 50MHz/32K FlashROM ARM controller has broken the $5 barrier].

              Will we ever use a 32-bit microprocessor to control a single LED? Don't laugh too hard. Using a chip that has more internal resources than the original IBM PC to control a few LEDs is not rare now. If some future 128-bit CPU has the ability to be programmed just by talking to it, and it's cheaper than an LED, then why not?
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by funfail ( 970288 )
          Most probably it would be even cheaper to integrate the microprocessor into the LED itself. Just imagine a beowulf cluster of such LEDs...
        • by anethema ( 99553 )
          If using the LPT, is there a problem with PWMing the LED directly? Just buffer it if you're worried about current draw. Seems to be the easiest way to do it from the computer and any semi competent programmer could whip up a computer input to PWM program in C in a couple minutes. Depending what the overall project goal is I suppose.
      • by YouTookMyStapler ( 1057796 ) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @02:57PM (#19364887)
        It's amazing that the article is supposed to be fore a reset button for the "blue screen of death" and all I get when I click the link all I get is a blue error page.
    • by galaad2 ( 847861 ) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @02:17PM (#19364587) Homepage Journal
      what is amazing is the error message that the former site shows now:


              SQL/DB Error -- []
      Error executing error template.

      ROFL, even the error generator causes errors.
  • Options. (Score:2, Funny)

    by mulvane ( 692631 )
    Could I get one of these fashioned as a Colt 45 or other such instrument of death? I gotta tell ya, sometimes just beating the hell out of something doesn't leave you with the cold, hard final satisfaction that you killed something.
  • It's a button that is used in industry for stopping various machines

    Can anyone provide a link to where one can be bought? The blog and linked source blog provide no info, not even a name to Google.
  • by Idbar ( 1034346 ) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @12:07PM (#19363567)
    ... to buy Windows! ;)

    Page was /.'d, or perhaps they used the button on their webserver?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 02, 2007 @12:07PM (#19363571)
    Thats for Windows users. Unix guys would rather like to have a pedal under their desk that is mapped to Escape. Imaging how much fun vi could be...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mulvane ( 692631 )
      If I could get one pedal for escape and another for ":", I think vi could rival most anything for speed.
      • I developed some USB hardware recently that would make this about as trivial of a project as the article's reset button project.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Well, he did place the button at a perfect position for a good head slam.
    • by Nimey ( 114278 )
      Heeeyy... get one of those rudder-pedal or car-pedal sets and rig it up for Emacs. No! Even better -- jigger up an old pipe organ console for Emacs.

      As to the amount of fun: I remember reading back in the old days of foot-powered sewing machines, a woman who positioned herself just so could be masturbating just from the movements of her leg. So yes, your idea with the pedal *could* be fun for geek girls. :-)
  • That site stayed up all of what... two minutes? There has to be a better way.
  • by ArcSecond ( 534786 ) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @12:12PM (#19363613)
    You ever wonder if servers have thoughts and feelings? Sometimes I think it is cruel the things Slashdot does to them.

    Reset button indeed. More like LITTLE BLUE LINK OF DEATH.
    • Reset button indeed. More like LITTLE BLUE LINK OF DEATH.
      It's green on my screen, YOU INSENSITIVE CLOD!
  • As always, Mirrordot (Score:5, Informative)

    by Necroman ( 61604 ) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @12:14PM (#19363629)
    Since the website is already starting to die:
    http://mirrordot.com/stories/32d28c3271b0bc44f0124 8f67896ca8f/index.html [mirrordot.com]
  • by no_pets ( 881013 ) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @12:16PM (#19363639)
    Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these.
  • Funny but stupid (Score:2, Insightful)

    by phasm42 ( 588479 )

    To get rid of the blue screen of death all you have to do is hit it with something (like, a fist).
    Or... you could just fix the problem. Really, a hard reset will only fuck things up in the long run.
  • by Khyber ( 864651 ) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Saturday June 02, 2007 @12:32PM (#19363765) Homepage Journal
    *looks at the big "OFF" switch on his power strip.*

    I think we already had these for a couple decades, now...
  • TFA says "it uses just two wires". So how come the bottom picture shows four? (Red, yellow and two black.) Decoration?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sparr0 ( 451780 )
      I am going to hazard a guess that the two blacks are both grounds and the red and yellow are opposite signals, one for when the switch is pressed and one for when it isnt. This opens up more possible uses, since some hardware wants momentary-open for reset instead of the PC standard of momentary-close.
    • Maybe that's so it can reset two PC's at once? I have to admit, I was scanning the comments to see if there was a "two wires?" one and if there wasn't I was going to add one. Got beat to it though.

      I don't know much about emergency stop buttons, but maybe this one is multiple pole and has two for normally closed and the other two close when the button is pushed? For example the NC would complete a circuit for normal operation and the other two would activate an alarm? Otherwise, "I got nothing".
  • Guard (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @12:34PM (#19363787)
    You should really add a mushroom-head pushbutton guard [rockwellautomation.com] to this, so you don't frob it accidentally.
  • Oops (Score:2, Funny)

    by cfvgcfvg ( 942576 )
    Looks like someone hit the Ultimate Reset Button on the webserver.
  • Online version (Score:3, Informative)

    by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @12:49PM (#19363907)
    Use with caution [turnofftheinternet.com], as it will shut down the internet.
  • It would be more fun to make this do some arbitrary software thing. You could do this by wiring it to the power button or something (on ACPI systems under Linux, at least, it isn't hard to make that do whatever you want - just have a program watching /proc/acpi/event).

    It might be fun to bind it to "skip track" and hit it hard whenever that song you meant to delete ages ago comes up.
    • It might be fun to bind it to "skip track" and hit it hard whenever that song you meant to delete ages ago comes up.

      For such things, might I recommend a Griffin Powermate [griffintechnology.com]? Excellent device.

    • The problem with power is, if something accidentally gets stuck on that button, hold it down for 5 seconds and the machine is OFF. I know you can intercept a single press/release, but if you press and hold, on most boxes, it will eventually shut off no matter what you're doing.

      On the last laptop I had Linux on, I played with the lid-close event. That was a bit more useful...
  • No wait, that sucked. Why is this news? Most unintresting Slashdot news item ever.

    "OMG LOOK SOMEONE HAVE HACKED TEH RESETBUTTON!11ONE!", wow, the crazy ideas, connecting a reset button between two wires! What else might they come up with?
    • by MORB ( 793798 )
      I was scrutinizing the thread hoping that I wouldn't have to write a snarky post myself. You just restored my faith in humanity.

      Too bad I don't have mod points right now.

      Seriously, hooking an emergency push button to "reset" is newsworthy now? I already thought of that... When I was 16 years old. And even then it only managed to occupy my thoughts no more than 10 seconds before I dismissed the idea as stupid and unfunny.
  • More impressive (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stg ( 43177 ) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:05PM (#19364035) Homepage
    I think http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/accessories/911 6/ [thinkgeek.com] would be much more impressive, if it could be set as a reset button.

    I'd be a bit worried about being arrested as a terrorist, if I had one of those in a office, though...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Oh man, someone needs to take that thing and make it a reset button right now...I would so buy if it served a useful purpose. That would be so amusing...
      Fellow Worker: Hey dude, your computer froze up on me
      You: Okay, just reset it
      FW: How? (Expecting the location of the reset button)
      You: Do you see the box on your right? Flip the top switch
      FW: Okay...
      You: Now flip the bottom one
      FW: Okay...you sure this is the reset?
      You: Yep, now insert the key on the desk next to it into the keyhole on the left and turn it t
    • Or this [jaycar.com.au]
  • The ultimate GDO (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:06PM (#19364043)
    The switch looks pretty dumb sitting on a desk. Realistically whos computer not suffering from hardware problems spontaneously crashes anymore?

    Wire this sucker up in your garage instead and you have a very cool looking and very useful garage door opener. I might even replace my door bell with one. Although it would look painfully stupid outside my front door it might give the javahoas and dish network goons second thoughts about pressing my ESO.

    Also if your going to bother making a computer reset switch like this I'd damn well make it useful. Instead of taking 5 minutes to wire it to the reset pins on your motherboard...

    There should be a watchdog driver to go with it, if it stops sending keep-alives to the switch it should have an option to press itself. It could also light up in different colors or patterns to indicate various error conditions...

    Low/No mem, something spinning the cpu, Disk I/O queue full, watchdog failure, drive timeout, network down..etc.

    There should be an "enterprise" edition of the same switch only it would be ethernet based using SNMP traps and host MIBs to monitor servers and devices and then issueing reset signals to a managed RPB when pressed.

    Is anyone interested in a cell phone that looks like a mineature DHD? The first 100 people who hack the neilson database in order to dramatically improve SG1's ratings get a complimentry DHD phone with lighted chevrons and big red glowing button in the center in their choice of unlocked GSM/UMTS or CDMA models.
  • One of those switches you see in movies to trigger some major event. Typically they have a molly guard, sound an alarm when the guard is opened and you have to turn two keys at once within one second and mash the button to activate it.

    Now THAT would be cool. Imagine having an industrial grade alarm go off as you open the molly guard, red WARNING: RESET ACTIVATION lights coming on, and the final silence as you push the button...

    Heh. I'm such a geek.
  • ...your computer didn't have the reset switch (hardwired power supply on/off switch) due to the over engineering of it to be a software controlled power switch. That is where this button could have been really handy. Giving back the fundamental power switch so grandma doesn't have to climb under the desk to unplug the power plug.

    Even better how about a clapit switch. Then everyone can applaud blue screens of death while MS use the applause are a positive sign of acceptance.
  • I think the buttons in the VMware management utility are big enough. A virtual machine on Linux is the only sane way to run Windows.
  • The big red button is too much of a temptation for my 18 mo. old child. The power button doesn't do anything if simply clicked when the computer is on, and the reset switch is this tiny innocuous button that (to him) doesn't look like it does anything. This, on the other hand, screams "PRESS ME!".
    • I hereby release Chabil Ha' from any obligations to purchase and install a big red button.

          Are you the type that posts "insensitive clod" comments on lawn and garden BBs because you live in a high-rise?
    • i believe the molly guard was invented for this very situation.
  • by advocate_one ( 662832 ) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:46PM (#19364357)
    the emergency button for when mom walks in... [gearfuse.com] quickly closes the browser window and brings up a minimised screen...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    My cat would sit on it.
  • BIG BUCKS! BIG BUCKS! No whammys! No whammys! STOP
  • We, and everybody else in the DARPA Grand Challenge, had big red EMERGENCY STOP buttons all over the vehicle. Everybody with robots of non-trivial size uses those things.

    • is the touch soft enough to be activated via a paintball?? (im not sure i would want to have to get near a car thats gone nuts)
    • We, and everybody else in the DARPA Grand Challenge, had big red EMERGENCY STOP buttons all over the vehicle. Everybody with robots of non-trivial size uses those things.

      I am not surprised. Years ago my Dad got thrown out of a small boat he was driving and got to spend the next 10 minutes treading water while it did loops around him. We fixed the problem with a reed switch and a magnet on a string. Similar idea but more fail safe because if it gets away from you then it stops automatically.

  • then you should consider changing to a more stable operating system.
  • "To get rid of the blue screen of death all you have to do is hit it with something (like, a fist)."

    Wow... a big red button I might use once in the next year. They should have sold this 8 years ago.
  • This could be more interesting if, say, upon a blue screen, a laser immediately shot forth from the PC and slowly aimed at your balls, 007 style.
  • by Mikachu ( 972457 ) <burke@jeremiahj.gmail@com> on Saturday June 02, 2007 @04:11PM (#19365365) Homepage
    I think I'd call THIS [pbfcomics.com] the ultimate reset button.
  • This is a news article about a button. More comments after the jump.

    Captain obvious was there and had this to say about it: "It's a slow news day."
  • wouldn't this be more appropriate as a 'power off' button? isn't that the typical use of a big red panic button?

    maybe rig it up to kill your ethernet so you can conveniently loose connection when getting your butt stomped in a C&C3 match!
  • You have to wonder what these people do with their computers.

    Our SOHO system includes a Win98 laptop, NT4 server, XP laptop, XP desktop, and a linux NAS. The Win95 machine was retired about a year ago.

    According to my logs, the last crash on any machine was in 2001, and I traced that to a broken network card. Before that was in 1998 when, silly me, I installed some Corel software on the NT machine. A big red reset switch? Gimme a break.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead