Archive for the ‘Cool Gadgets’ Category

I recently was involved in getting a friend with nice big flat panel TV who wanted to display his computer on TV in a simple way The way you normally do it is manually enable both the video for HDMI and the sound for HDMI as well by digging into the control panel. Since he is a bit of a novice with computers, I decided to script the process for him.

The following is the batch file I gave him:

@echo off
cd\u
cd nircmd
Echo HDMI mode ON
DisplaySwitch.exe /external
nircmd.exe setdefaultsounddevice “Name of HDMI Sound” 0
Pause
Echo HDMI mode OFF
nircmd.exe setdefaultsounddevice “Name of Internal Sound” 0
DisplaySwitch.exe /internal

This script will enable the TV display and change the Default Sound Device to HDMI Then Pause. If you hit a key again, it will change the settings back.

To use this script you will need:

1. The names of the sound devices on this system. You get these in Windows 7 by going to Start > Control Panel> Manage Audio Devices. Your HDMI TV will need to plugged into the computer.

Sound Device in Windows 7

My devices were “SAMSUNG-1” for HDMI sound and “Speakers / Headphones” for internal sound.

2. The tool Nircmd from the site www.nirsoft.net. Make a folder on root of the c: drive called c:\u\nircmd and extract the nircmd files there.

3. Open notepad and copy the the batch file commands above into it and modify the sound devices names as stated in item 1. Save the file C:\U\ChangeDisplay.cmd

The command DisplaySwitch.exe is built into Windows 7.

Now you can just run the command C:\U\ChangeDisplay.cmd to enable and disable HDMI Video and Sound.

Check out this great Lego MindStorms build! Makes me want to blow the
dust off of my own Lego set!

Posted via email from Dwayne’s posterous

Yes, now you too be like Michael Knight and have the voice of Kitt guide your way. (Minus turbo boost, unfortunately)

With the Mio’s Knight Rider GPS you can have Kitt guide you to your desired location.

Check out this video of the GPS in action!

-From Engadget

Saw this article on Yahoo news about a bar owner in Atlanta that’s taken keeping his bar and his neighbourhood safe to a whole new level. He engineered the “Bum-bot” – a simple remote controlled bot designed to scare away would be thieves and drug addicts. He’s become quite the hero in his area. CNN did a news story. Here’s the vid:

 

These guys apparently spend a good deal of time and money.. just to play Tetris on the side of a building for few nights…

My type of people! XD

From Engadet

It is projects like this one that make me I was more technically inclined. This person has set up a water gun with a motion detection camera. Let the fun begin!

Hack a Day: Waterhobo

This is Keepon, The dancing robot that can pick out the beat from a song on it’s own!

The tech behind this little bot is cool but this video is just a lot of fun ^^ (article here)

In 2005, DARPA put on a race to see if robots could traverse a long, rough desert track with no user intervention called the DARPA Grand Challenge. The last time I saw this race, the robots could not even finish a quarter of the course. However, The challengers have learned from the past and have improved their methods. Check out this great documentary on the difficulties the competitors faced!

View the online documentary on the PBS.org site!

If you are lucky enough to own a Wii you should know that it can be used on more then just your Wii. Because the Wiimote is a bluetooth device, you can use it on your computer.
Check your these options to control your PC with your Wii Remote:

WiinRemote? (Easier Method)

You Tube video example of WiinRemote Use

GlovePie (more complicated, but customizable)