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Friday, February 15, 2013

How to Wall-Mount Your Desktop for $0 and < 2 Hours

Last night I noticed not just one but TWO of my desktop's fans had stopped moving. This wasn't the first time Sully (the blue monster pictured (yellow is new)) needed some love, and I knew it wouldn't be the last. After about 3 years of occasional but recurring need for repair, I started growing tired of taking it apart and digging through its components to get to any particular problem zone (generally fans needing to be oiled).
At first, I started wondering if I needed a desktop at all. Perhaps I could hook my ultrabook up to all of my monitors and just use that?
Well, that was easy. A couple USB->HDMI adapters lying around & admittedly one splitter. Too easy. Back to Sully.

I was casually brainstorming more efficient ways to build a computer - both for better heat management and to prevent dust build-up. Perhaps I should just install it into an IKEA storage cube? 
Lucky for me, my girlfriend is a redditor, so she enlightened me about the possibility of wall-mounting a PC. Wow. Genius! This would mean the heat & exhaust could be positioned right next to the ventilation intake & near the ceiling, preventing my office from inevitably heating itself like a cauldron.

Proper preparation often diminishes both the fun and difficulty of a puzzle, so I typically MacGyver makeshift, ad-hoc solutions. 

I started by scrounging some supplies - most importantly, a mounting surface. Sharing a storage room in the basement with a restaurant and coffeeshop has its benefits- as I can often find very useful jetsam. 

 When I caught a glimpse of a spare metal storage shelf, I knew immediately the search was over - not only would it be strong enough to support a PC's weight, but it would have space for cable management and ventilation - not to mention a faster and more flexible mounting system. Zip ties!
 Another stroke of luck - mounting brackets leftover from deconstructing a wardrobe - meant I had everything needed to mount the shelf.

I dug around for supplies to mount the soon-to-be-external components. Zip ties, twist ties, and sticky felt pads seemed sufficient.

 I started with the mainboard and fan/heatsink. So far so good.
Next up: PSU and HDDs. Conveniently, my drives already had elastic attachment braces on them.

Last up- attach the wall mount brackets and drop it on!

 With no power button hooked up yet, I turned it on with a light tap of a screwdriver, and voila! -->

It's alive :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

How to Make Pebble Watch Control Spotify on Android Using Bluetooth!

I just got my Pebble watch today - which is awesome. I've been wanting an e-ink bluetooth bridge to my phone for a while now and when I found the Kickstarter I immediately jumped on it.

 Kira is intrigued by it.

The watch is thin and light enough to accommodate my Eric-Foreman-wrists, and its packaging, interface, and app are all quite well done. I may turn the Pebble it into a dogtag via some 3d printed techneesh parts (due to seemingly impending carpal tunnel syndrome), but for now I'll try it out as intended.

Unfortunately one of the only default apps (music player) doesn't work to control Spotify! After trying about 10 different hacks/apps/mods, I found a working solution!
See video:
I used Media Button Router - so kudos to Harleen Sahni!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Build a bossy 3D Printer Cave #ikeahacks

It started with a desire to reduce the noise and insulate the heat generated by my Replicator, but as techneesh grew, I found the need to have an additional printer...

Now I'm up to 3, and need to be able to print in lots of colors (depending on the application and customer demand). Here's what I've pieced together using some Ikea furniture, PVC piping, and some 3D-printed spool holders I found on Thingiverse.