A kick-ass case mod makes for a kick-ass PC. It's that simple. No matter whether you're rocking a Sandy Bridge-E or a Celeron, a water-cooled, LED-lit, hand-tailored and custom milled chassis stops traffic and sets lips a-whistlin' like nobody's business, proverbs about books and their covers be damned.
The past six months have seen a flood of truly outstanding case mods hit the Interwebz. So we decided to take the time to showcase the best of the best in recent memory -- with a little extra help from master modder Bill Owen of MNPCTech, Case Mod Blog, Mod Men and Maximum PC Star Trek PC fame. Because who knows the cream of the crop better than one of the cream of the crop?
There's a new viral video making the rounds, and it's about a 9-year-old kid who built his own arcade out of cardboard boxes in his dad's used auto parts store in East L.A. The whole idea is full of win in so many ways that it's difficult to know where to begin, which is okay because the video pretty much speaks for itself, but there are some things definitely worth pointing out. Let's start with his age. It bears repeating that little Caine is just 9 years old. Instead of spending his summer vacation hanging out with other kids his age or holed up in his room playing video games, he was slicing and dicing cardboard in his dad's shop en route to one of the coolest DIY modding projects in recent memory.
Asus fans expecting a whole lot of awesome when they unboxed their spiffy new Tegra 3-sporting Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime were, for the most part, satisfied when they got their hands on the cutting-edge tablet -- with one exception. Yep, Asus shipped the Prime with a locked bootloader. Bleh! Early adopters took to the Interwebz to voice their rage, and all the e-complaining paid off: today, Asus released a tool that'll crack Transformer Primes wide open.
Back in 2010, the Library of Congress issued a rulemaking statement that exempted jailbreaking, rooting, and otherwise unlocking mobile devices from DMCA anti-circumvention laws. For all intents and purposes, this made these activities completely legal, and stopped Apple from making all those threats against the jailbreak community. In 2012, that exemption is set to expire unless it is renewed, and the EFF wants to make sure that it is.
Got root? A fair number of Android users do, and a whole bunch of them are turning to CyangenMod for their third-party ROM fix. CyanogenMod creator Steve "Cyanogen" Kondik revealed in a Twitter message that his custom ROM is being used by more than 1 million active users, a modest number in the grand scheme of things, but plenty impressive when you consider this is unofficial firmware.
Isn't it swell to be heard? Sometimes all it takes is a collective effort to help raise your voice loud enough for the recipient to get the message, and if you need a case in point, look no further than Asus. We reported earlier today that Asus was telling the modding community to chillax while it works up an official statement regarding the Transformer Prime's locked bootloader, and we (correctly) guessed the news would be good...mostly.
It looks like the power of the Internet prevails once again. After word got out that Asus was shipping its Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet with a locked bootloader, there was a call to arms in the modding community to storm the castle and let Asus have it via Twitter, Facebook, email, and wherever else. A day after it all hit the fan Asus is telling modders to relax, presumably because everything's going to be okay.
Android modders have hit the ground running in 2012 with a call to arms after discovering that Asus is using an encrypted booloader on its Eee Pad Transformer Prime, effectively preventing users from easily rooting and modifying their swank new slate. It's not an unprecedented move by Asus, but typically manufacturers refrain from locking down Wi-Fi only tablets, reserving the practice primarily for smartphones.
Another Android device rooted and cracked open for the modding community? Yawn, right? Well, when that Android device also happens to be a watch, things get a little more interesting. The Motorola ACTV is a sports watch that runs Android and connects wirelessly with Android devices. With a little hacking around, it can now run Android apps on its tiny 1.6-inch screen.
As promised, Amazon has begun rolling out a new update for Kindle Fire owners, but there are some things you should know before you dive in. If you're a modder, be aware that the Kindle Fire 6.2.1 update removes root privileges on tablets that have already been rooted, and once it does that, you're unable to re-root it using the SuperOneClick utility with the new firmware installed.