Up until last week, I have always had one model or other of a wireless netgear router. I’ve found the netgear routers work really well and are easy to manage. However with my purchase of a 11in Macbook Air, I needed someway of sharing files without my Air being at home all the time. I’ve used various NAS drives and even an HP Mediasmart server for this role, but I’ve never found something that fits my needs.
I’ve always looked at the Apple Airport Extremes as a nice choice, but the price has put me off in the past. However I bit the bullet on one to get the best Wifi speeds I could with the Air’s Wifi only specs. I thought I would try it out and try out sharing using it for a week and see how it went. I was most impressed. However it has one major downside. No integrated ADSL modem. I was using my existing Netgear router for that, but it seemed overkill. So I picked up a 2nd hand Netgear DG834 wired router off ebay. I had it in my mind that I would use this in addition to the Airport Extreme.
Whilst I was waiting on the router to arrive, I got to thinking that it would be nice to have some that matched my Airport Extreme or at least didn’t take up more space. I hit upon an idea, what if I put the routers circuit board inside a matching hard drive enclousure?
I’ve had an old Lacie Mac Mini Companion drive in the loft for a while and thought it may work.
I then took some plastic standoffs and glued them in place using hot glue. These would hold the router circuit in place. I next needed to expand the holes at the back of the enclosure to allow the cables to exit the router.
It is a bit rough and ready, but does the trick. It won’t be seen from the front anyway. I then built the enclosure back together.
With that done it was time to put the router in place and see how it worked. You can see in the above shot, that I put some extra spacers above the board. They give the board more support when the lid is in place.
It sits underneath the Airport extreme very nicely. It required a bit of tweaking of cables, but it now stays in position perfectly. The hard drive next to it is the one I store all my films/music/etc on. The added bonus of doing this is that the Airport extreme and Netgear DG834 seem to run much cooler. They are shut in the cupboard 24/7 with no issues. So finally my fast silent way of sharing files is done.
Well it took me a bit longer than I thought. Mainly because the stain took far longer to dry and needed more coats that I planned. I’ve now had the desk in place for nearly a week and it’s great. It is a little bigger and much more sturdy than my previous one. I feel much more relaxed having a giant Apple Cinema Display on top of it.
Ok so how did it come together. After staining the desktop, and the shelf along with some wooden shelving brackets. I cut the shelf down a little bit so that I didn’t hit it with my knees. I then brought all the bits into the house for the final build. (It was far to cold outside for trying to do it in the garage!
I had some issues along the way, firstly the desktop had bowed quite a bit in painting. I assume this was because I left it drying on a workbench. This didn’t support the desk as widely as maybe it needed. I was thinking that I would need some strengthening struts to fix the bow, but in the end the metal supporting strips could be adjusted. I got the whole family to stand on the desk whilst I loosened and re-tightened each one. Fun for all the family!
The next step was to attach the legs, then decide where to mount the shelf. I decided to follow the lead from my previous desk, which meant shortening the shelving brackets to make them fit.
Sorry for the poor pictures, I took them in bad lighting on my phone.
The next job on the list was to add some mounts for the power strip on the shelf and add the cable cage to store all the cables out of sight.
With the cable tray in place it was time to get the old desk out and new one in. I had to remove the legs to get the new one in, but I had planned for this. I then spent ages getting my kit back in and tidying cables. With the desk in place no cables can be seen underneath and only the iphone dock one is visible on the desk.
In the next day or two I will try to take some new shots with everything in place. I need the tripod to get better shots than I have already.
Well progress on the desk has been slow. Mainly as it is so cold in the garage. Because of this the stain is taking longer to dry. Most of it is now done so hopefully there will be some building happening this week.
Here is a quick shot of the shelf drying.
This second shot is the desktop drying.
As most people who know me in person know, I’m a bit of an Apple fan. You only have to take a look at my desk to tell what a sucker for apple kit I am.
I’ve owned lots of Apple products, and I’ve yet to be disappointed with one of them. I’ve also loved the Genius bar service when I’ve needed them.
Two weeks ago my beautiful Apple 24in Cinema Display had to be taken into my local Apple store. It had been suffering from strange cut outs in sound. So I booked a genius bar appointment and took it in. The Genius was very helpful, booking it in for repairs, but I took it home to use it until the parts arrived. A day later I took it back in for the repair. It was all so easy. They fixed it on a Sunday so I could collect it on the Monday.
Sadly however repairing the logic board failed to fix the issue, so I took it back in the following week. They tried to fix it again, but in their testing they could replicate the issue so it hadn’t worked.
Normally at this point I’d be worrying about what the company was going to do about my issue, however with Apple I was positive they would sort things out.
Now seeing as the 24in ACD is no longer made, the genius’s couldn’t give me a replacement. So they said right we will replace it with the 27in model instead! Now the 27in ACD is far more expensive and a massive upgrade. I was over the moon!
I’m now typing away on my mac mini using the new 27in ACD. It’s simply stunning to behold! And of course massive!
So top marks for Apple and in particular the Cribs Causway Apple store staff who were superb.
There is only one downside to the new 27in ACD and that’s me wanting to pair it with an 11in Macbook Air! Ah Gordy you nugget.
I’ve had various desk over the years. From shop bought ones to ones I’ve made myself. I’ve enjoyed making them very much in the past, but for my new office I decided to buy one from Ikea instead of making one. The upside to this was the cost and speed. The downside it wasn’t exactly what I wanted.
With my new setup I had a Humanscale M7 mount for my then Apple Cinema display. However the construction of the IKEA desk wasn’t good enough and the desk started to bend in the area with the vesa mount met the desk. I hate to think what my new 27in ACD would have done to it!
So with my lovely wife wanting to take a trip to IKEA for some storage items, I decided to take a look at the desk options again.
I came back with the following
A Vika Furuskog desktop
It’s a large solid pine desktop that is nice a chunky. No more terrible particle board desk for me.
I then picked up 4 Vika Curry legs in red as I wanted to bring some more colour to the office.
I also took a trip to B&Q to collect a shelf. I’m going to mount this to the underside of the new desk to hide the cables behind.
The first step is to stain the desk and shelf. Currently the shelf has had it’s first two coats with a third to come.
I will post a progress report when I have some.
I’ve spent some time today having a play with twitter. In particular I’ve looked at the design options they give.
At first it seemed fairly trivial, however I was soon forced to have a rethink. The main issues I had were twitter reporting odd errors when uploading fresh background images. Along with the variations caused by browser size differences. To get a good looking background with some features on the left was hard without ignoring smaller browsers. Looking around at other people with wicked backgrounds it’s clear they had the same issues.
I’ve always wanted a cartoon version of myself and it took so little time I was stunned. I used WeeWorld which seemed the easiest and coolest looking that I found on a quick search. I believe the result is instantaneously recognizable to those who know me.
Next up it was a case of finding a nice font to use for the text. Luckily I had seen a twitter post with some nice fonts from my nice Sister in Law Celia.
In the end I also changed some of the template on the blog too I liked the font that much!
I’m quite happy with the end result here on my twitter
Having owned an iPad since it was launched in the UK, I’m a big fan. However I find myself recommending that clients and friends don’t get one. I think my main reason behind this is that for most people they are a luxury item.
It is not and never will be in it’s present form a replacement for a laptop/desktop. The lack of the webcam is probably it’s biggest failing. I’d love to use mine for skype without having to get out my wife’s MacBook pro or use my Mac Mini’s webcam.
With skype’s iPhone app being updated for video I’m delighted that I can now use it properly on my iPhone. I can see using this far more than FaceTime.
Whatever the difference between the 1st gen iPad and the 2nd. The current model is still an amazing device. I use it whenever I have the chance and after many months of using it I still really enjoy doing anything on it. I love being able to quickly do what I want and not wait for it to wake up or worry about the battery state.
There are going to be some good bargains to be had for used iPad’s on eBay, next year. With I think a fair portion of current owners upgrading. Microsoft, Android and Blackberry are going to have to do someone very different to take any sales away from apple. They will take Market share simply because apple have the Market as it stands sown up.
I hope they do up their game and it will only spur apple on to make the iPad better. Competition is great for us customers.
As you can probably see, I’m slowly getting the old content back on the site. It takes quite a while to do each page as all the images have moved! I will probably leave off some of the minor pages and just do the main ones. If there are any issues you notice please drop me a twitter or contact me.
I’m looking to the future with the website, and I hope to have some new fresh content online soon.
Inspired by Mashies conversion of a Silicon Graphics O2 case I sourced a similar case for a project of my own. These are very cool little cases but its a tight squeeze to fit a MATX sized motherboard inside. There have been three different versions of this project as I wasn’t happy with the first two. After nearly two years in the making its now finished. The specs of the final system is a Pentium IV 2.26ghz cpu, 512mb of Corsair Ram, 160GB Seagate HDD, Sony DVD writer and a Sapphire 9600XT Ultimate.
Previous Page | Next Page
Project Silicon: Version Number 3
Ok here is a mega post bump hehe, I’ve finally found the time for modding. I’ve kept Project silicon on hold for ages now and it needs to be finished. So I’ve got my backside in gear and done some new work on this project.
I wasn’t happy with the previous riveted chassis now that I have a bending brake as I could make a new chassis that was much cleaner with one main sheet of aluminium. I will use my new nutsert tool to attach threads for attaching the other pieces together.
Here is the main section of the chassis I’ve cut and bent into shape.
The chassis is held in place with 4 screws on the bottom.
The motherboard just slides into the chassis and is held in with plastic standoffs as before.
With this new re jig I’ve decided to mount the hard disc on the bottom of the chassis this was where the psu went in the old design which blocked two pci slots, the hard disc just blocks one and I seeing as I dont need all three its no problem. I may change it to the top of the chassis at a later date though with moving the psu where I plan this would be possible.
For those interested in the nutset tool here is the kit/the nuts themselves and how they look in place.
I’ve just sleeved and redid the cold cathodes for this project with the help of my girlfriend I hate sleeving its quite useful to have a helping hand.
I’ve also taken a quick couple of shots of the heatsink, its a swiftech heatsink with a noiseblocker fan and a lovely laser cut fan grill.
I’ve sleeved the two noiseblocker fan, I’m using one 80mm on the heatsink and a 92mm for case cooling.
I’ve started work on the back panel. Its going to have a single 92mm fan mounted in place. After a bit of a scary moment with my holesaw I had a nice blow hole in the back panel.
I didnt get a chance to do much modding today but I managed to mount the rear fan. I’m using some nice allen key m4 bolts. I will also be mounting a “tenderfoot” on the back of the fan to give it a nice look. Just a couple of pictures for you all to see.
I’ve spent my time over the last few days working on the back panel. I’ve pretty much finished it now. I’ve also fitted the optical drive to the top of the chassis.
The first pictures are of the optical drive in place.
And these pics are of the back panel being built and in place.
Another daily update, this time its the power supply that has got sleeved. I’ve changed the connectors for black of blue versions and used the same sleeveing used elsewhere in the project.
I hate sleeving things and this took ages but I’m very happy with the results. The white connector is for the power plug loom so I know which it is and don’t blow the thing up hehe. I’ve also brushed the psu and clear coated it.
The sata connector is right pain to fit I broke one in the process of fitting it.
A quick update from today, I’ve done a few little jobs but the main two were sleeving the power cable for the psu and mounting the psu onto the supporting strut.
I’m coming to the end of the project now, I’ve one drill hole left to do and then its onto the installations of all the parts.
Over the last few days I have installed the cpu and heatsink into the motherboard to get it ready for installation.
I’ve also installed the switches and leds, I used them in the projects last iteration and they are still good so I slung them into place.
I have also brushed the outside of all the panels to give a good final look, its a bit hard to shoot the brushing, these pics are poor it looks much better in the flesh.
Finally I wired up a rheostat to control the two fan’s speed and again sleeved it in the blue sleeving.
Well almost two years in the making Project Silicon is finally finish for the the 3rd and FINAL time hehe.
I encountered a few problems on the way to the final installation but I have over come those problems now.
One of the last few jobs was to install the rheostat into the rear panel, I’ve used a blue aluminium knob on the rheobus to complete the blue theme.
I then started to install all the parts into the chassis, a few problems cropped up first off the power cable to the sata hard drive wouldn’t fit so I had to redo the loom for that connector. Second the power connector for the optical drive was wired incorrectly so I sorted that problem out. I had a problem with the ide cable , it was for two devices so I just cut off the extra one to tidy things up. It was all downhill from there thankfully. One problem I also encountered is that I over estimated how much cable I really needed so many of the cables are a wee bit too long which is a bit annoying but can be worked around.
I decided to leave the side bit open to allow airflow to the psu it makes sure the system doesn’t overheat.
A quick couple of pics mid installation:
Well here is the final "glamour" shots of the complete project silicon.
Thats just the case on its own, I’ve tied it up with a hercules 17in tft and microsoft bluetooth keyboard and mouse setup to finish it off. Its going to be my girlfriends rig and she likes it very much.
Here’s some more shots with everything turn on and hooked up, you can see the twin cathodes giving off a nice bloo glow.
Previous Page | Next Page