Retrofit Your MacBook Air With A Matte Display For $250

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Laptop users usually have a strong preference for either glossy or matte displays, but unfortunately, if you buy an Apple notebook, you’d better get used to seeing reflections: all of Cupertino’s current notebooks save the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros come with displays of the glossy variety.

So what if you’re twitching for the new MacBook Air, but can’t stand seeing the translucent enantiomorph of your ugly mug overlaid on your desktop all the time? No problem: just call up TechRestore, send in your MacBook Air along with $250 bucks and they’ll rub some fine-grained sandpaper all over your glossy display until it nice and matted.

Sorry, we kid: in actuality, TechRestore will simply retrofit a matte display into your MacBook Air that is identical, spec-for-spec, with the stock one. Not worth a quarter grand to me personally, but then again, I’m a narcissist.

[via TUAW]

Hack Combines iPhone and iPad, Creating Versatile, Clunky Gadget

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While we all wait for the final version of iOS 4.2 to arrive, the iPad’s inability to multitask is growing increasingly obnoxious — especially when our iPhones are humming along in 4.1. Worse still, an iPad running 4.2 is obviously using a multitasking scheme well-suited to an iPhone, not a tablet. In spite of increased screen real estate, there’s no way to keep a video window popped open in an unused portion of the screen in Safari, or to keep a Skype dialer overlaid on other tasks. No one wants a full desktop experience, but an iPhone-sized widget that can be moved around the screen would make the iPad truly special.

Julian Horsey of Geeky Gadgets has created a hack that shows what the future could hold, if Apple loses all sense of design and taste in the near future, with a clever clip to attach an iPhone to an iPad. With this two-headed monstrosity, you can multitask exactly as you would want to. This isn’t for the faint of heart — not because the hack is particularly difficult, but because you would actually have to be seen with it in public.

Via Geeky Gadgets

A $900 Hackintosh… In A Moist Cardboard Box

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I sometimes wonder what monsters haunt the nightmares of Apple’s resident designer, Mr. Jonathan Ive. He’s so prim, so meticulous, so clean and proper, but on those nights when he has a slice of pepperoni pizza a little too close to bed time, what horrors does he dream up? Some horrible Cenobite iMac dragging itself bloodily across the floor whispering “Make way for the new flesh:” a biomechanical monstrosity of Foxconn components crammed into the pulsating sack of some skinless, cancerous stomach?

Or is it something more like this cardboard box Hackintosh, put together by the guys over at One Block Off the Grid — a cooperative for buying photovoltaic solar panels at a group discount — after one of their Macs proved too slow to run Adobe After Effects?

Make Your Own DIY MacBook Tablet For Just $50

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Back in the days before the iPad, there was the ModBook, a MacBook-to-tablet conversion that could be expensively undertaken by those willing to send off their laptops to the plucky boys over at Axiotron along with a check for $900 bucks. I imagine the iPad has killed off a good chunk of their business, but there are always going to be some people disappointed that Apple’s tablet took the approach of a “big iPhone” when what they really wanted was a convertible OS X tablet / notebook.

If you’re one of those individuals, great news: instead of giving Axiotron your $900 bucks to convert your MacBook into a tablet, a hacker over at Enigma Penguin has come up with a DIY approach that costs just $50.

Donning An iPad To Become A Digital Sandwich Man

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Meet Paolo Tosolini. He’s a blogger and podcaster in Italy.

And this? Well, this is Paolo’s idea for a “video jacket”.

Stuck for inspiration for something different to do with his iPad, Paolo thought of a way of wearing it at special events, for what he calls “guerilla marketing promotion activities”.

Which sounds to me like the modern equivalent of the sandwich man, wearing someone else’s advertisement while prowling the streets.

I predict that the iPad sandwich man will soon be a common sight in our cities, walking the streets with animated ads playing at front and rear.

Anyway, that gives me another idea.

My idea depends on the next iPad having a user-facing camera. You could set up two iPads just like Paolo has done: one on your back, and one your front. Send the image captured by the front camera to the rear iPad; and send the image captured by the rear camera to the front iPad: behold! You’ll have an iPad-shaped hole right through your body!

Cute iPhone / iPad Robots Can Kinda Sorta Walk [Video]

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OK, you’ve used your iPhone to control robots. Now you can turn it into one, if you have the same techno wizard chops as Kazu Terasaki, the guy who’s done just that.

Here’s the video:

Perhaps “walking” isn’t quite the right word here. They’re sort of “sliding” their way across the table. But hey, all robots have to start somewhere, right?

(Via Gizmodo, and about half of Twitter this morning)

The HTC Shift Can Be Hackintoshed

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Way back before the iPad, there was the HTC Shift, a 7-inch UMPC with a 1024 x 600 touchscreen, a full QWERTY keyboard, EVDO data functionality and an 800MHz Intel A110 CPU. For mobility buffs, it was then what today’s tablets are to them now, but it cost an arm and a leg at $1,500. Even worse? It ran Windows. Vista. That alone was enough to drop the ‘f’ from the product’s name.

These days, you can probably pick up an HTC Shift pretty cheap on eBay, and while there’s still little to recommend it over an iPad (or, heck, even the Galaxy Tab) it turns out that the diminutive little UMPC is Hackintoshable, with OS X Leopard running pretty much flawlessly on it, with the exceptions of WiFi and the fingerprint reader.

If for whatever reason you’ve got a Shift around, or find yourself morbidly curious enough to pick one up cheap on eBay to make yourself one of the tiniest Hackintoshes around, you can find the instructions over on the XNA Developers forum.

Immolated Old Macintosh Classic II Becomes “Steampunk” Clock

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After scratching his head for awhile and wondering what to do with a Macintosh Classic II , Maker Matteo from Ithaca, New York repurposed his old faithful Mac into a shelf-top clock.

From appearances, it looks like the clock — which Matteo rather laughably calls “steampunk” in style — only came into being after its creator accidentally doused his Mac Classic in acid then shot with a bazooka, but the innards of the admittedly ugly timepiece work well enough: a 16MHz CPU, 4MB of RAM and a 20MB hard drive running MacOS 7 and a dozen different shareware and freeware clock programs, including one that counts down the seconds to Matteo’s death.

Yeah, it’s hideous, but we love it: this is just the kind of bizarro clock I can imagine discovering thirty years from now in the basement of an elderly and now quite eccentric Steve Wozniak. Great work, Matteo!

The Apple Newton Becomes An Awesome iPhone Case Mod

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Apple hardware hacker Charles Mangin has a respectable history smashing modern functionality into nostaglically held but utterly obsolete hardware. For example, Maguin’s amazing success inserting a Mac Mni into an old Disk ][ drive, or his even more breathtaking success cramming an old G4 cube into an even older Macintosh Plus.

Mangin’s latest project might be his greatest triumph yet though: an iPhone ensconced in the hollowed out shell of its evolutionary predecessor, the venerable Apple Newton. Charles has yet to complete the project, but given his past successes, we’re confident he’ll succeed… but will he update the Newton’s stylus with a touch-capacitive tip for extra points?