December 28, 2009

We've Moved!

We have officially moved to a new permanent address,! Please check there for the latest hacks, tech, and projects!

Jeff (The Brown-Eyed Albino)

August 7, 2009


We have officially moved to a new permanent address,! Please check there for the latest hacks, tech, and projects!

Jeff (The Brown-Eyed Albino)

Once you're past the solderless breadboard stage in developing your circuit, you may want to prototype it. This is where EAGLE CAD comes in. EAGLE is very similar to just about every other CAD (Computer Aided Drafting (and Design)) program out there, but it specializes in the production of schematics, rather than homes or appliances. The main difference between most CAD softwares is the layout. Knowledge of other CAD programs could come in quite handy, since alot of shorcuts and hotkeys are about the same as AutoCAD, but it's easy enough to get started from scratch. And hey, it's free!

In fact, some wonderful fellows have already gone about and detailed their process of getting used to, and actually using this program for professional quality schematics. No more Microsoft Paint schematics for you, reader! No longer will you have to freehand draw your PCB's! Just read these brief articles, and you'll be on your way to greatness in no time!

Our first stop (and the rest of the stops today as well) is done by the lovely folks over at SparkFun Electronics. This first article goes over downloading and installing EAGLE, installing and using third party libraries, starting a new project, adding (and removing) components, connecting and labeling components, and copying and pasting. That should keep you busy, eh?

If that's not enough, SparkFun continues on with a peice on how to turn your schematic into a PCB layout. I quote, "Layout is an art, and engineers make bad artists. It's all about the small polishing - text labels, stand off holes, correct footprints. Just keep turning out PCBs and you'll see your layouts improve dramatically with practice." Practice is the key word here, so don't get upset if it takes you hours to get used to this. Some people do this for a living, if it were easy, they'd be out of a job. This article even shows you how to make a Gerber file, so you can take your layout to a fab house.

This third peice explains the process behind creating a new part, or symbol, and adding it to your library. Heck, it even tells you how to make the solder traces for your new custom component. Pretty handy stuff to know.

Next up is a writeup on how to make your overall experience with EAGLE an enjoyable one. If you follow the guidelines given, you shouldn't have a worry in the world when your PCB's go to get fabricated. Throughout this article, it explains how to place your traces so that it's easier to be fabbed, and also how to get the best results with silkscreening.

Remember, traces that are less than 10mm apart are harder to fabricate, so why not play it safe? Give yourself some extra room when designing your layout, you'll be happier when you don't end up with a handful of coasters.

If you're looking for more information, or just a different person writing, check out this Instructable! It goes over his process for getting accustomed to EAGLE CAD, as well as some new resources via other Instructables members.

You can get EAGLE CAD directly from Cadsoft for free, as long as you're a student, or nonprofit organization. It's available for Mac, Linux, and Windows.

The Brown-Eyed Albino

July 9, 2009

Mini Grand Challenge

We have officially moved to a new permanent address,! Please check there for the latest hacks, tech, and projects!

Jeff (The Brown-Eyed Albino)

Just as a brief note to my readers, the recent lack of content has been due to my starting a rather large project, among other things. Since I am an Electrical Engineering student, my teacher and I had thought it a good idea to start something big.
The Mini Grand Challenge (named after the DARPA Grand Challenge) is a competition started by Penn State Abington, in which you must create an entirely autonomous vehicle. This means that you simply press a button, and have the beast go. The challenge portion of the MGC is that your vehicle must follow and stay on a path for three quarters of a mile, stop for people, watch for forks/road cones on the path, search for GPS coordinates, then go off-road for the last quarter mile. Neato!
One interesting point about this challenge is that in the five or so years that it's been running (it's an annual deal), no one has been able to complete the course.
Construction is going smoothly, so I'll try to keep you updated. No promises about other content though, this is quite time consuming.

The Brown-Eyed Albino

April 13, 2009

Soldering Iron Buyers Guide

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Jeff (The Brown-Eyed Albino)

It's come to my attention that many people just don't know where to start when looking for the perfect soldering iron. What a tragedy this is, when some unsuspecting customer gets duped once more by the ne'er do-well Retail Market! Alas, I cannot give back what they have unrightfully taken, but I can certainly point you in the right direction on buying a serious soldering station. After all that, here's what to look for.

  • Are they replaceable? Tips get damaged from normal usage, and will eventually need to be replaced. You won't want to have to buy a new iron just because of this, so make sure you can switch them out.
  • Are they readily available? If not, you might need to stock up on replacement tips, just in case.
  • What variety do they come in? I personally use a needle-point conical tip for almost all of my soldering jobs, and it works fine, but it's good to have a few others in your arsenal. A screwdriver tip, needle-point conical, and a chisel tip would be more than enough for most DIYers and hobbyist types.

  • Does wattage really make a better iron? Short answer, no. Wattage gives your iron the power to heat an object. While it's good to have a decent amount of watts, too much can burn out certain components, or boil your flux before it gets a chance to clean said components. Not good. For the average user, I wouldn't suggest more than 45 watts, while more experienced solderers could move up to 60.

  • How fast does it heat? My iron of choice heats up to working temperature in 5-10 seconds, depending on the starting temp. Not all (hardly any affordable) irons can do this.
  • What type of heating element does it use? Keep in mind that all heating elements have different attributes. Ceramics may need to be replaced more often, but on the other hand, they are replaceable. With three-wire irons, generally, the entire pencil may need exchanging. The "Cold Heat" method, which uses extremely high voltage to create joints, would usually require a full replacement. And all that replacing can get a bit pricey.
  • What about variable temperatures? This is a must for most solderers. Other than personal preference, different projects need different temperatures. You can burn things out if it's too hot, but if it's not hot enough, you may heat up more than you should, ruining more components. Also, not all adjustable irons are all that adjustable. Some of them only have a simple 1-1 switch instead of a potentiometer. Don't get ripped off thinking you've found the best thing ever for $20.

  • How much is too much? For the average user, a simple $10 pencil iron may suffice, but once you get into the DIY/hobbyist scene you'll need to upgrade that iron. Depending on your intentions, a good solid soldering iron or station can be had for anywhere from $50-$150. Also, don't be afraid of new or smaller companies, just do your research! Don't forget to read both negative and positive reviews like there's no tomorrow. If anything else, it'll let you get a feel for what you're buying beforehand.

  • Which brand is best? Seeing as there's an unbelievable amount of companies pumping out soldering stations, I'll list a few that I've become acquainted with.
  1. Weller - Weller has been around for ages, and will most likely remain stable for generations to come. On the other hand, they're more overpriced than a golden one-legged elephant. No, I will not pay that much for that shiny disadvantaged elephant. Although I'm against their prices, they've earned their place in history. They make some great irons, but it doesn't generally get good until you've passed the $100 mark. Weller is, as I've said before, quite prominent, and takes up a good portion of the Industrial use.
  2. Hakko - Not everyone has heard of Hakko in the DIY/hobby world, but Hakko is pretty hard to beat when it comes to quality. These irons will feel like a well-worn glove, with a really hot pokey end that melts things. They're pretty, they work great, and they name sounds hardcore! Sadly, these too, are quite pricey. You're looking at over $100 if you even consider being satisfied. Hakko is often used in Industry.
  3. Aoyue - Right up there with the big boys, Aoyue produces high quality irons, but aren't quite so heavily used in the industry. I can't think of anything bad to say about these irons, other than they all look like Weller/Hakko knockoffs. This company brings the price down a notch, so for under $80, you could have a decent iron. Not a personal favorite, but that's just my opinion.
  4. Xytronic - I'm a tad biased with this company, since I prefer my Xytronic 379 to just about anything out there. Not the most well known, and their products look like they're from the 70's, but they sure do come out with some nice toys. High quality, but they haven't been around long, so get your accessories now, eh? You can expect to be dropping $50 for one heck of an iron. They're cheap on price, but never quality.
  5. Cooper - Makers of Weller soldering irons. See above.
  6. Black & Decker - They make good power tools, but average irons. Decently priced, but like I said, it's average.
  7. Radio Shack - This well known shop has always produced their own line of soldering irons, as well as carrying several other brands. I've had good luck with some of their soldering stations, and I hear great things about their digital irons. Always discounted, RS will give you a lovely start into the world of soldering.
Once you're heavily into industrial work, you'll find names such as JBC, Pace, etc., but those are expensive, heavy duty tools. Not for the beginner.

There are many other things that make the "perfect" soldering iron, but it's all relative to your needs. As I've stated earlier, I own a Xytronic model 379, and am deeply fond of it, and it's 70's vibe. After months of research, this particular model became the clear choice for my needs, and my budget. It easily matches the performance of a Weller WTCPT, and comes in at less than half the price.

One last note, take care of your iron. Tin your tip to prevent corrosion, and try not to abuse it too much. If you're good about that, then you might save yourself from ever replacing parts.

Now go out and buy one already!

Note: One of my readers made an excellent point: Tip quality. While tip quality is very important, I am in no way an expert in that particular area. I've never had to replace a tip due to corrosion, so my experience is limited, as well as my advice. I've seen people buy the best tips possible, even if it means modifying their irons/tips to fit, and only replacing them once or twice in a lifetime. On the other hand, I've seen people make their own tips out of heavy gauge copper wire, and replacing them once or twice a year. A few cents per tip, or $10-$20 for higher quality. It's a grey area for me, so this is just something I'll have to leave to my readers to research for themselves.

One last thing, Welcome to all the readers from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories! Thanks for the shoutout, guys!

March 22, 2009

Firebreathing: The You-Can-Do-It Guide

We have officially moved to a new permanent address,! Please check there for the latest hacks, tech, and projects!

Jeff (The Brown-Eyed Albino)

Wondering how to breathe fire? Spew flames from your oral cavity? Set ablaze your orifice? Well then, here you go.

Grab Cornstarch, a Spoon, a Torch, a Bucket of Water, and Matches or a Lighter.

CornStarch (fuel) and spoon (in box)

Rolled up newspaper (torch)

Lighters (lighters)

Bucket (of water)

So here's what you do:

1. Get a spoonful of cornstarch ready, as big as your mouth can hold.
2. Light your torch, and get a decent flame going.
3. Take a deep breath in, and stuff the cornstarch in your kisser.
4. Before the cornstarch has a chance to get wet, blow into the flame (on the torch..), as close as possible.
5. Dunk torch in the bucket of water, and make sure the flames are out.

And that's it! Easy, wasn't it? No poisonous chemicals, no worrying about backburn! This is just for educational purposes, mind you. I'll take no responsibility in what you choose to do with this information.


March 19, 2009

Speed Up Your Internet

We have officially moved to a new permanent address,! Please check there for the latest hacks, tech, and projects!

Jeff (The Brown-Eyed Albino)

Just a quick spot for now, busy with other projects.
Here are three easy ways that you can do to speed up your browsing!

1. TCPOptimizer: this thing is brilliantly simple. Download it, run it, and click on "optimal settings". Make sure to set the Connection Speed to 1500, and no higher. You'll have to reboot with this one, but it's worth it.
2. GpEdit.msc: Windows automatically reserves 20% of your bandwidth! To stop that, go to start, run, type in "gpedit.msc" without quotes. Once you're there, go to Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Network, then click on QoS Packet Scheduler. Take a look in the window, see "Limit reservable bandwidth"? It says "Not configured" right? Double click on it, then go to Explain, and read up. Go back to Setting, click "Enabled" and set the Bandwidth limit to zero, then hit OK. Exit the program, and you should immediately notice a difference.
3. Open DNS: Your ISP could be holding back on you. If you notice seconds before anything loads, it might be time to switch to OpenDNS. It changes your DNS to use theirs instead of your ISP, so the load is much less, which gives you faster speeds! Instructions on the site.

If you do any of these, you should notice a difference in your browsing speed immediately. So yeah, have fun with that.

March 13, 2009

Wireless Charging via PowerMat

We have officially moved to a new permanent address,! Please check there for the latest hacks, tech, and projects!

Jeff (The Brown-Eyed Albino)

Tired of plugging and unplugging your gadgets? It's a hassle to remember to charge everything, and if you're like me, all of those cables and power strips take a heck of alot of space. Personally, I'm sick of it. Thankfully, someone else had the same issue, but brought a solution to the public: The PowerMat. PowerMat, which is said to arrive In-Store this Fall (2009), has the ability to charge your electronics Wirelessy. That's right, wireless. Utilizing magnetic induction, it can charge your toys simply by placing them on the mat. Boasting one plug simplicity, and charges up to six devices simultaneously, I'm freaking excited!
It's to be released in five flavors:

Home/Modular: 4-6 Wireless Charging Pads, and 1 USB Port.
Bedside: 3 Wireless Charging Pads, 1 USB Port, and a fancy clock!
Desk: 3 Wireless Charging Pads, 1 USB Port, and appears to have a pen holder.
Travel: 3 Wireless Charging Pads, 1 USB Port, and appears to be foldable. It is the travel model, after all..
PC+: 1 Laptop Charging Pad, 2 Wireless Charging Pads, and 1 USB Port.

With all of that said, I'd get the Home/Modular version. That is, unless it can't charge a laptop, which would be slightly ridiculous. Please note that it's only shown charging a laptop on the PC+ model.

My only problem with this, is that your devices have to be adjusted to work with it, which is understandable, but tedious and expensive. For your iPhone/iPod, you'll need to buy a new dock, or case. You'll also need a case for Blackberry and Motorola phones, but they don't have them for all models. For most products though, you'll need to purchase a PowerDisc, which sits on the PowerMat, then plugs into your device.

Last word is that Wireless Charging isn't exactly useful, but these mats might save some space. But heck, I'd rip it apart, and stick it into a Jacob's Ladder. Geeky charging with 15kV!

March 12, 2009


We have officially moved to a new permanent address,! Please check there for the latest hacks, tech, and projects!

Jeff (The Brown-Eyed Albino)

Looks like the coders over at iPod Touch Fans have pulled an all nighter! One user, dancool999, has created what is said to be a Full GUI Jailbreak application. Last night, I had said that I was hesitant to try, but seeing as this little diddy has gotten so popular over the past few hours, I think it's time to try it for myself. Okay, so the main reason I'm trying this is because it says it supports custom Boot Logos, which was a big reason for me to Jailbreak. Also, since Apple is contending the legality of voiding your warranty, Jailbreak style, this is for educational purposes only. Right.
Enough of that, it's time to test this bugger out!

Here's what you'll need:
1. QuickFreedom - You'll actually need this to run it. Wierd, isn't it?
2. LibUSB - This comes with QuickFreedom.
3. Original 2.2.1 Firmware - Either download it here, or via QuickFreedom (easier).
4. Snacks - Occupy your spare time with delicious.

First thing's first, let's download the app. I've personally virus scanned this, so don't worry, it's clean.
It's a "Setup.exe," so we'll be installing this on our hdd's. Installation takes 58 megabytes, in case you were wondering.
Once you've got it installed, run the program. You'll be presented with a screen similar to this:

Just click the Jailbreak button. The whole thing seems a little more time consuming than needs be, but I won't complain. After all, I'm not the one who sat down and coded the whole thing. Next, you'll see a screen such as this:

If LibUSB isn't installed yet, go ahead and do that now, then restart QuickFreedom, and everything should be recognized.
Click "Browse" to locate the Original Firmware. If you haven't downloaded it, you can select the "Download" button, which will open a link in your internet browser to download the file. It's about 277 megabytes, so be sure to have room! Once you find your firmware, the program will copy it to the QuickFreedom directory. Not my favorite way of going about that, but once again, I didn't write the thing. Click "Next" when it's finished copying.

On this page, it gives you the option of wether or not to install "Installer," and if you want a custom Boot Logo. For this writeup, I'll be doing both of those, and using the provided PwnApple Logo.
Also, please note that my iPod Touch is not connected. It doesn't matter at this point if you have it plugged in or not, but I was using my Touch in other projects as well. In other words, I needed unplugged, you don't have to.
Alright, once you've chosen which options you'd like, click on "Create Firmware," and you should see some rather slow progress. This can take up to 20 minutes, depending on your PC, so it'd be wise to grab a snack right about now.

After your firmware has been patched, you should get a popup stating that it was successful. Let's move on, shall we? That means click next..

Now we'll need to plug in, and put the gadget into DFU Mode. I've written about this in an earlier post, but just in case, here you go again.
To enter DFU Mode: Hold the Power Button (on the top) and the Home Button simultaneously for 10 seconds exactly, then release the Power Button. Keep holding the Home Button for 15-20 seconds after releasing Power. If you don't, you'll end up in Recovery Mode, which is entirely different. DFU Mode = Hackable, whereas Recovery Mode = Factory Restore.
DFU Mode should look like the screen is completely off, without any sort of backlighting, until a specific code is sent to it, which would turn the screen white and backlit. If that's too hard to follow, it'll tell you how if you click on "DFU Instructions".

Once in DFU Mode, we're ready to hit the "Start Pre-Jailbreak" button. Your iPod's screen should turn white, and QuickFreedom should have "Applied the Redsn0w Patch," as well as putting it into "Pre-Jailbreak Mode". Press the "OK" Button, then Next.

Open up iTunes, and go to your iPod. Press and hold the Shift Key, and click Restore. What that does, is it tells iTunes that you need to locate a specific Firmware for this device, so it kindly opens up a browser to help you locate and load said file. Handy, eh?
For me, QuickFreedom placed the Custom Firmware.ipsw on my Desktop. Start restoring to the new Firmware, and relax for a couple minutes. Your fancy little device should show your custom Boot Logo for a few seconds, then it will go through the process of actually restoring it. This might take a while, so go have a snack.

Finished? Congratulations! Your iPod Touch should restart itself, and boot into the Jailbroken Firmware! You will, however, have to go through the setup process in iTunes, just like you did when you first got it. I'm sure there will be better, and faster ways of doing this, but now we know how one more thing works! Questions and Comments? Feel free to ask them here, or @ me via Twitter!

The Brown-Eyed Albino

EDIT: Please pardon, but tell me, of any mistakes. It's unreasonably late, I'm tired, and probably not thinking clearly. There's also a video describing the process at Ty's iPhone Help. His website is, well, helpful.

March 11, 2009

iPod Touch 2G Un-Tethered

We have officially moved to a new permanent address,! Please check there for the latest hacks, tech, and projects!

Jeff (The Brown-Eyed Albino)

After months of waiting, not being able to restart your toy unless you were near a computer, or had access to a dongle to send the RunRS commands, the iPhone Dev Team has finally released the full Jailbreak! Turns out, they've been hanging on to this, just in case the exploit was in later iPhone generations. This would have been a brilliant move, had it not been for a certain group of people leaked their information, and began selling it. Sadly, this means that Apple has access to the exploit, and can patch it in later versions, but on the plus side, we've got it now! Besides, that's what our culture's about these days anyway, right?
Personally, I'll be waiting to test this once it's in a preened and polished state, straight from the iPhone Dev Team. Now, I'm not saying that there's any danger to your device from doing this, it's just time consuming, and I'd rather not beta test in the middle of the night. Well, not every night..

MuscleNerd, of the iPDT, sent the iPod community a message which basically says the same thing. It's all pretty straight-forward, but unless my iPod crashes tonight, I'm not "touching" it. Oh, puns.
I'll write in more depth later,
The Brown-Eyed Albino

EDIT: I will most likely not be writing for the next few days, I'll be on my way to Cleveland to visit my brother (founder of Telesaur telecommuting), among other things.

March 8, 2009

Moustaches Throughout The Universe

We have officially moved to a new permanent address,! Please check there for the latest hacks, tech, and projects!

Jeff (The Brown-Eyed Albino)

Moustaches are everywhere, my face, your face, even your padre's eathole has some growth! Take a look around, and I gaurantee that you'll find some spectacular specimens. But just in case 'stache stalking isn't your cup of tea, I've gone ahead and collected some links and videos, just for you! Wasn't that nice of me? Taking time off of growing my facial foliage to write the most serious post you've ever set eyes upon? Yes, I'm too kind. Enough of this silliness, and on to the unshaven!

What a lovely post, looks like these gals went out for a drink with their good friend, tape-a-stache! They even came across a gentleman who was nice enough to share with the entire community! Oh, such fluffy cheeked goodness.

Over at Suburban Kids With Arabic Names, they've released a list of 'staches for the general public. It includes such classics as the Porn Star moustache, the After Eight moustache, and even the Gringo!

Here's a beauty of an idea, vynil mustaches for your improving your environment! They provide nine different styles, at only three dollars each. Apparently, they even have the ability to manufacture CUSTOM moustachios! This means that you'll be able to have the perfect 'stache for every occasion! "Highway Billboards anyone?"

These fellows have only named their production company after the moustache, but they're still worth a quick mention.. At least they have some tribute on there.

Over at, it's a self-proclaimed "Moustached Guide to Everything." We'll let the readers decide that, but hey, she drew mustaches on babies. I'd say that's good for now, eh?

Ah, what wonders to behold! El Dia Del Mustache contains photos, videos, a quick how-to guide, moustache-forum, and even a place to submit your notbeard! They also include the option to donate, but that's neither here, nor there. Except for the fact that it actually is there. So it's neither here, nor here. Not even right here.

The American Mustache Institute is a great place to learn about our favorite moustaches! With weekly moustache videos, photos from the 'Stash Bash, Moustache Information, and much more, you might run out of thinking room! But hey, it's for the 'stache. Totally worth it.

How to grow a Handlebar Moustache. 'Nuff said.

Here's a brief, yet slightly controversial, how to grow a moustache. It tells the young ones not to shave!

I would be blaspheming the blogger if I didn't mention this Wikipedia link! Learn up!

The greatest of all months, other than Facial Hair February, isMoustache March! It's finally here! Bust out the big guns, boys, it's time to grow some hair. This official website is packed full of inspirational images, a store, even outings with their moustaches! Also, here's an alternative site..

Although this one is made by Burger King, it still deserves a shout out.
Grow and groom your own virtual moustache! Brilliant idea, and very well made. Add your own picture, and have at it!

The Quasi-Annual Mustache Contest! Nary short of pure godliness, these 'staches deserve both fame and fortune.

Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century, is a grand collection of some of the finest moustachery from the era. What a glorious day we live in, where we can access moustaches througout time, any time!

A mere 75 days till one of my favorite events, the World Beard and Moustache Championships! This must be one of the largest gatherings of lip-hedgery that I have ever seen. Some of the absolute best beard bearers and moustache muchachos come out to battle, combing their way to the top! If you're in Alaska, this is a must see. Heck, even if you're not in Alaska, get there before the 23! Dang right.

Hope you've enjoyed my collection of lip-warmers! And if you find more hair-wearers that deserve a shine, send me a tweet!

Edit: big_b_rad, of has given me permission to link to his epic 'stache! Check him out on twitter!

Cydia Store

We have officially moved to a new permanent address,! Please check there for the latest hacks, tech, and projects!

Jeff (The Brown-Eyed Albino)

Cydia, the free Debian-based app for your Jailbroken iPod Touch or iPhone has recently released it's latest version. But this isn't just any update, no sir. This time, they've included a Cydia Store! That's right, now you can purchase your favorite closed-source Cydia apps without leaving the browser! Take a look at this article to find out more. Other than the lastest and greatest, there are plenty of reasons to Jailbreak, and customize your device. Here are some of my personal favorites:

Backgrounder - Let's you run applications in the background
Extended Preferences - Adds more admin type options to your usual preferences
Five Icon Dock - Four icons isn't enough on your dock? This'll put five apps in their rightful place
Fiveirows - Tired of only having 16 apps on a page? Try this, it gives you Twenty
hClipboard - Gives you a system-wide ClipBoard. Finally, copy and paste functions
Mini vMac - Feeling nostalgic? Run a full Mini Mac emulator with this app
MobileTerminal - Something all hackers need, a REAL terminal on their 'pod
openSSH - This'll let you SSH into your toy, to modify all sorts of firmware files
Poof - Don't want to look at that app anymore? Poof let's you hide and unhide any app, no questions asked
Safari Download Plugin - Not being able to download gets really frustrating. This fixes that
SBSettings - Gives you superhuman control over your device, from any screen, any time
snes4iPhone - A Super Nintendo emulator! Tons of ROMs to download and play (legally, of course..)
spoofMAC - Need to change your MAC address? This little diddy will work in a pinch
SwapTunes - Let's you sync to multiple iTunes accounts, without losing a thing
veency - Watch your iPod Touch/iPhone's screen right on your computer
Volumeboost - The volume on your new toy seem lacking? Try this, gets louder
vWallpaper - Video wallpapers galore
Winterboard - The grand daddy of all customization apps. This will let you theme pretty much any part of your devices GUI. An absolute must have

I could go on and on about all of the different apps available from Cydia, but I'll let you check it out for yourself. By the way, here's the creator of Cydia. Remember, you paid how much for that? It's your right to hack it, so have fun, and go customize!

Find me on Twitter!

March 7, 2009

How to run Safari 4 beta and Safari 3 on the same Mac

We have officially moved to a new permanent address,! Please check there for the latest hacks, tech, and projects!

Jeff (The Brown-Eyed Albino)

It turns out that when you install Safari 4, it overwrites any previous versions as well as the Webkit frameworks. So do you want to keep the stability of Safari 3, but still test out the latest beta? In comes They've put out a quick and easy how-to guide that will give you the fix you're craving. You're going to need some basic Terminal skills, and an older copy of Webkit to do this, which shouldn't be very hard to find.

Check it out at

Jailbreak Your Ipod Touch 2g The Hard Way

We have officially moved to a new permanent address,! Please check there for the latest hacks, tech, and projects!

Jeff (The Brown-Eyed Albino)

By now, there are GUI programs that can jailbreak your shiny new iPod Touch 2g without any problems, but that doesn't mean you can't still do things the hard way! Over at Ipod Touch Fans, a user named jfb392 has created an easy to follow tutorial on how to do just that. It's very easy to follow, but it does involve command line, and putting your iPod into DFU mode. If you don't know how to get into DFU mode, simply hold the power button and your home button for ten seconds exactly, then release the power button, and continue holding the home button for another 20 seconds. The screen should be completely blank, with no backlight, and iTunes should recognize it as being in Recovery mode. If the screen is on, you didn't do it right, make sure to be precise with your timing. Remember, this is just the tethered Jailbreak, so if you need to restart your 'pod, you'd better be near a computer! There are people out there who are making dongles that can send the scripts to your iPod, just in case. All links are on the site, so have at it!

March 6, 2009

Use your Cell Phone with your Home Wiring

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Jeff (The Brown-Eyed Albino)

Ever find yourself busy in the other room, and your cell phone starts ringing? With this easy trick, you'll be able to answer your cell straight from your landline handset. Any bluetooth capable cell phone will work, and there's no need to modify the phones themselves. Just simple wiring, and a bluetooth gateway (explained in the post), and you're good to go! Works with any landline phone, and caller ID works like a charm!

Here's what you'll need.

  1. Bluetooth capable Cell Phone

  2. Xlink Bluetooth Cellular Gateway

  3. The existing wiring in your home

The author suggests using a UPS, so that even when the power is off, your phones will still be working.

Play Super Mario on your TI-84 Calculator

We have officially moved to a new permanent address,! Please check there for the latest hacks, tech, and projects!

Jeff (The Brown-Eyed Albino)

Tired of just using your Calculator for making neat graphs? hmhross, of shows us how to install and play four full levels of Super Mario! Plus, you'll get to know all the different cables that you can't use with your calc! Using MirageOS, the software this guy uses, also lets you put other games on there, such as Dance Dance Revolution. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Connect your calculator to your computer using a TI-GraphLink cable (this should have come with your device). If you don't have this, get one here for $20.

  2. Install MirageOS. It's free, so if you pay for it somewhere else, demand a refund!

  3. Download the Mario Program, and the four available levels, listed below.

  4. Download and run TI Connect, and keep this open.

  5. Locate the Mario Program, you'll need this to play SM. Right click, and select "Send To TI Device..."

  6. Once that's finished, you'll want to Archive the files, not RAM, you won't be able to graph if you save it as RAM!

  7. Find the games you downloaded, then upload those to Archive also.

Once that's done, you'll now be the coolest kid in class! Well, at least your calculator will kick butt. Other than Mario, you can find more games here. They're much easier to install, but go about it the same way as listed here.

Mario Level 1
Mario Level 2
Mario Level 3
Mario Level 4

December 16, 2008

iPod Touch 2g

Well, it's been an awfully long time since I've posted anything on this blog, or even thought about it. And I must admit, my timing isn't much better this time either. Anyway, I've had an iPod Touch 2g for a while now, and I immediately started trying to jailbreak it. Unfortunately, I didn't realize it wasn't possible to do that yet, so several days of work was deemed pointless after one simple search on Google. Since then, I've been doing what I could to customize my dandy device, such as getting Backgrounds, and adding different images to make it appear like it's themed (here). There's also a surprising amount of free applications, many of which are complete crap, but still, they're free.

Back to the Jailbreak, it looks like it's going to be a while longer, as expected, seeing as it's an entirely new toy. So sit back, take a nap, try and get a date, whatever, just do something to take your mind off it. Heck, you could even take your Touch for a test drive! Push it to the limits, see how much it'll hold, how long the battery lasts doing different activities, spend countless hours going through iTunes AppStore, I know I have.. And if you absolutely can't think of anything but finally getting unsigned apps on your 2g, you could monitor the Chronic Dev Teams' progress on their blog, or for more technical stuff, take a look at the Google Code link posted with this.. post.

On another note, I'm deathly afraid of cracking my iPod's screen. Someone definately needs to figure out how to finish the circuit through a hard screen cover. As far as I'm aware of, it has to conduct electricity, otherwise all of those "iPod Touch Stylus" deals across the internet would be more ridiculous than the beta jailbreak videos on youtube.

July 9, 2008

Webbernet 7.9

I've upgraded your standard Interweb to the new-fangled Webbernet 7.9! Aren't you impressed? You bloody well should be! And besides, you get to say Webbernet. So much more enjoyable than Interweb.

Oh, and be sure to check back every day to see the Headline Of The Day! It'll be that little bit of talkish-ing underneath the title.

The Sexy New Rig

Well, seeing as we're pretty much set up equipment-wise (other than software.. dang it.), I figure I could give you a non-perverted peep show at the newly dubbed, The Toast of Botswana. Yes, I named my computer The Toast of Botswana. Seemed appropriate, other than the fact that the original Toast of Botswana was also nicknamed The Rapist.. But still, it's pretty sweet, in my opinion. But I'll write more on the real The Toast later.
I do suppose you should have a brief history of myself, so you don't all end up thinking that I'm just some filthy rich snob with too much time on my hands. Quite the contrary. I'm some stone broke, pale, brown(ish) eyed, nice person, with too much time on my hands.
I'll try to make this quick and painless. Basically, I've had to deal with a considerable amount of medical issues, which lead to my not being able to have normal schooling. The school district was kind enough to promise things they were not capable of doing, so they set aside some fundage for my personal use. Long story short, I've used about half of the allotted monies to build a The Toast of my very own. And that, my friends, is how I payed for it all. But that's enough of that.
Now, on to the exciting and nerdy bits. Rather than just spewing technological nonsense all over the place, I'll just write out the specs quickly, eh?

Asus 750i SLI enabled Motherboard
Two XFX 8800 GTX SLI Graphics Cards
Two 500 Gig WD HDD's
4 Gigs of OCZ SLI enhanced memory
850 Watt Thermaltake ToughPower Power Supply
a scrap floppy drive.. joy.
LG Super-Multi Blu-Ray Burner with Lightscribe (also plays HD DVDs, but since they're obsolete...)
A sexy Apevia case, with a bunch of Cold Cathode lights strewn about (which name escapes me)
Logitech X-530 5.1 Surround Speakers
IOGear Wireless Keyboard and Mouse combo
Belkin Wireless USB adapter (didn't feel like hardwiring an ethernet cable throughout my house, for obvious reasons.)
Acer 22" LCD Monitor (supposedly one step away from blu-ray ready..)
ViewSonic DLP Projector
Windows XP Pro
and a pants-load of other accessories.

I should be getting CS3.3 shortly, along with a shiny new laser printer. All this makes for a very happy me. yum.
Although I still can't seem to resist hacking and modding everything. The first thing I did (after sorting out all the compatibility issues) was patch the uxtheme.dll so that Windows could run non-certified themes. I can only stand the normal blue taskbar for so long, you know. I might put a tutorial on how to do that later, eh? Or you could simply take a look at Wincustomize. There might already be a How-To on there. Another handy dandy resource is ResHacker. What that does is it opens resource files, such as Certified-Windows themes, and allows you to fiddle with its gibblets. Very useful tool in the "reverse engineering" trade.. Also nice to have in case you're a pirate and a hacker. Yarr.

Welcome to Brown-Eyed Albino's Blog

Hello everyone, and welcome to my blog! Basically, I'll just share random thoughts, maybe some useful yet outrageously amazing stuff, and a heck of a lot of nonsense. Bare with me, we're just getting started, and on all new equipment too! Once everything's adjusted, this sucker'll be ready to smack you right in your faceholes. And fear not, fellow interwebbers, smack your faceholes it will.