While our Data as Art gallery went down mighty fine for many Maximum PC readers, we weren’t fooling ourselves: this is Maximum PC, the magazine that shows you how to build computers, not Maximum Software. You folks want hardware - and hey, who are we to disappoint?
We cast our net far and wide to dredge up 25 of the flat-out coolest examples of people repurposing components from PCs, VCRs, CDs or whatever and prove that, yes Virginia, hardware can be art, too. Where else can you find terrifying robots made out of mice and hard drives?
It’s a pseudo-holiday weekend here in the United States – by that, we mean kids and government employees get the day off, but pretty much everyone else still has to work – and for many folks, that means taking off the tie, sitting down, and cracking open a cold one. Why not let your inner geek shine through even in times of relaxation? No, Linux lovers, we’re not talking about compiling your own ale (it would take too long to enjoy today), we talking about URKontinent, a new beer offered by Dogfish Head – and codeveloped by Google. Is there anything Google won’t dabble in?
Give any geek a box of Legos and he’s bound to have a good time. While we love slapping together robotic creations made possible by those nifty Lego Mindstorms sets, our ability to come up with badass constructions is admittedly a bit weak. Frankly, we’d be lost without the instruction manual. One enterprising Lego fanatic named Plum B doesn’t suffer from our lack of creativity and engineering know-how, though; he just unveiled a life-sized, fully operational Lego replica of the chainsaw-sporting Lancer assault rifle from Gears of War.
While we’re gearing up for the dragon-slaying awesome that is said to permeate The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, it never hurts to take a peek back at the past. Part of Oblivion’s allure lies in its massive game world, a world made even larger by the utterly insane number of well-written books scattered around the land. Even more insane, one enterprising DIYer gathered all of those documents and created a real-life tome comprised of every book Oblivion offers.
When the going gets tough, most technology throws up its hands in defeat and wilts like a flower. The majority of gadgets on the market just aren’t built to face the drop-down, submerged-in-liquid realities of everyday life – just ask anybody who ever had to replace his smartphone after spilling just a few drips of soda on it.
You won’t find any of that wussy gear in this gallery.
You wouldn’t rock a puffy jacket in the summer, would you? Of course not! You’d overheat. So why do you let a six inch layer of dust get your graphics card get all hot and bothered? Cleaning out the grime can cool your PC down, but digging out a can of compressed air and cracking open your PC can take some work. For those time-deprived folks who also want a sparkly-clean PC, MSI’s rolling out products with “Dust Removal Technology.”
With football season still a couple of weeks out, the NBA mired in a lockout situation, and TV viewers ignoring any baseball game that isn’t part of the World Series, sports bar owners have been kind of at a loss about how to fill their seats. Enter Barcraft. Earlier this year, some enterprising bar owners began tuning their TVs to cyber games – like StarCraft II tournaments – and gamers who once wouldn’t be caught dead in a pub have started pouring in in droves.
The Terminator movies are entertaining and all, but they forget to point out one important fact in the midst of all the cybernetic shotgunning; if Skynet is ever going to actually become self-aware, it'll probably require a drastic change in the way computers process information. Hey, James Cameron – don't sweat it. IBM has your back. The company just announced it's created a series of prototype "chips designed to emulate the brain’s abilities for perception, action and cognition." We suspect they'll also be the key to the eventual robot revolution.
You're a Maximum PC reader: there's a decent chance that you have the biggest, most badass custom build in town, full of water-filled tubes and blazing-fast GPUs and spiffy low-profile RAM kits. After dropping all that dough and spending all that time on your PC, plugging a standard flash drive into its USB 3.0 port just won't cut it. If our disco-tech feature got you in a musical mude, maybe Alkotabeats' flashy TR-808 flash drive will tweak your tune. It's modeled after the paradigm-breaking drum machine that's so awesome, Kanye named an album after it.
Prior to its launch, Kinect was mostly viewed as a gaming peripheral. But Microsoft's answer to comparable motion-gaming products from rivals Sony and Nintendo has turned out to be much, much more. Hackers are wallowing in the world of endless possibilities unleashed by the release of open source Kinect drivers. The latest hack has the Kinect perched atop a quadrocopter so it can lend its services as a 3D radar. The Ascending Technologies Pelican UAV uses the data from the sensor to fly autonomously through predefined waypoints while avoiding obstacles. The imaginative brain matter behind this hack belongs to a group of researchers at the Hybrid Systems Laboratory at UC Berkeley.