Earlier this month, we posted a step-by-step guide showing Android G1 owners how to root their phones and install a third party ROM. There are several upshots to doing so, including the ability to overcome the G1's meager amount of memory by installing apps directly to a SD card. Wtih the Android Market now sitting at roughly 10,000 apps strong and third party ROM developers churning out mature firmware, we felt the time was right.
Unfortunately, Google's timing couldn't be any worse. The search giant last week issued a cease and desist order to ROM developer Cyanogen, maker of CyanogenMod, arguably the most popular Android ROM out there.The problem, says Google, isn't that Cyanogen is hacking away at the open-source OS, but that he's also including (and distributing) a handful of closed-source apps, including Market, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Maps.
Hit the jump to find out what the future holds for Android modders.
According to Taylor Wimberly of AndroidAndMe.com, uber popular Android hacker who goes by the name of Cyanogen managed to ruffle some feathers over at Google. From the sound of things, the search giant is none too pleased with Cyanogen distributing their closed source Android apps (Market, Talk, Gmail, YouTube, and others) with his third-party CyanogenMod ROM.
Going by the chat log Wimberly posted on his site, Google has issued a cease and desist letter to Cyanogen, who laments that "CyanogenMod is probably going to be dead." It would be a shame if it came to that, as CyanogenMod is probably the most popular third-party Android ROM out there, and is actively being developed, somewhat of a rarity in the Android ROM community whose only compensation is user donations.
But all might not be lost. Cyanogen said he has opened up a dialog with Google.
"My argument is that I only develop for Google-experience devices which are already licensed for these apps," said Cyanogen. "So we'll see what they say. Maybe we can work something out."
So do we. Otherwise, this could be a blow to the entire Android ROM community, not just Cyanogen.
Finnish modder Jani Pönkkö scores major geeks points, both for holding onto a 25-year-old cellphone and for breathing new life into the mobile monstrosity by modding it into an HTPC.
Pönkkö started off with the handset, installing LEDs, a WiFi card, a soundcard, a speaker, and the crème de la crème - a 128 x 182 OLED display.
Inside the briefcase-sized Mobira Talkman's base, Pönkkö managed to cram a 3.5-inch form factor motherboard, Intel T5500 Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of DDR2 notebook memory, and a 32GB SSD. The modded cellphone also boasts a DVI port and USB hub.
We've seen some cool looking Xbox mods, but Ben Heckendorn's portable Xbox 360 creation stands apart from them all, and his latest is the sexiest one yet.
Now in revision 5, Heckendorn again gutted the same Gateway 1775W laptop with a 17-inch 1280x720 screen as he done in the past, but this time has added a bevy of new features. His portable Xbox 360 now comes with a built-in Ethernet port, WiFi, a digital push-button volume control, flush-mounted DVD door and side panels, remote IR sensor, two USB ports, a bunch more air holes, and the latest Jasper motherboard.
If you like what you see (and we certainly do), Gizmodo has a heaping handful of other Heckendorn-mods worth checking out right here.
You probably have an old processor lying around that you ended up modding into a keychain, but to take your geek cred to a whole new level, try wielding a blu-ray laser like a light saber the next time you fumble around for your house key.
Not only can it be done, but "jayrob," a DIY lasers expert, has posted a worklog of how he built his own using a keychain light made from a solid piece of brass that he picked up from Lowe's. In short, Jay stuffed a laser diode and a larger battery inside, did a little drilling, and ended up with the coolest keychain we've ever seen.
If you have kids, make sure they're out of the room before looking any further. That is, unless you want to devote the next 18 days to building a kick-ass case mod that will appeal to just about any age. According to EnglishRussia.com, that's how long it took "this Russian guy" to build his Wall-E inspired case mod.
After watching the movie, the Russian modder thought to himself, "I want to build such a thing and hold my computer stuff in it." And that he did, using Swiss precision homemade heavy metal.
This ranks as one of the coolest case mods we've ever seen, and even better, the modder offered up a worklog so you can replicate the design at home. See you in 18 days.
Everyone’s favorite hardware hacker, Ben Heck, has done it again. While making today’s game consoles into laptops was pretty impressive, he’s decided to kick it old school by making a Commodore 64 laptop.
“This is a fully functional Commodore 64 laptop using actual hardware, specifically the C64C motherboard which was one of the last and smallest revisions. It uses a Gamecube power supply in place of the original power brick,” writes Heck on the project’s page. “For storage there’s a device called the 1541-III DTV to ‘emulate’ a floppy drive using an SD card. The SD card is formatted FAT-32 so you can dump disk images on it using a PC, and read it with the C64 - pretty cool!”
So, if hardcore modding is what you’re in to be sure to look at more of Heck’s work! It’s well worth checking out.
It's not too often that we get to see a computer case that stands taller than Houston Rocket Yao Ming, but at nearly 8 feet tall, D. Mattocks' Frankenstein machine has nearly half a foot on the NBA star.
Mattocks' impressive Steampunk mod consists of a vent salvaged from an old church, lots of copper piping, vintage gauges, green cold-cathode tubes, and a plethora of other parts. More than just aesthetics, one of the gauges serves a useful purpose by showing the computer temperature. Save for the optical and floppy drives' black face-plates, you wouldn't even know this tower housed a computer inside.
And speaking of the PC inside, two radiators cool the CPU and dual 8800 GTX videocards. Yates Loon fans help keep the components cool, and according to Mattocks, the rig never ramps up more than 10 degrees above room temperature, even when playing high end games for hours on end.
EVGA has to be feeling awfully confident in its videocards. Not only does EVGA allow its registered users to overclock its GPUs without invalidating the lifetime warranty, but its giving owners the tools to do so.
EVGA's Precision overclocking utility already makes it stupid simple to increase the core, memory, and shader clockspeed on its videocards, and now the company has made available its GPU Voltage Tuner utility to registered owners. With it, GTX 295, 280, or 260 graphics card owners can set custom voltage levels, potentially paving the way for greater overclocking headroom. Of course, increasing voltages also increases the risk of killing components, and so far EVGA doesn't allow sliding the tuner into the red zone, a feature which may be unlocked in a future version, EVGA states in its FAQ.
A prerequisite for using the utility is installing GeForce 181.22 drivers or later. EVGA notes that "it is possible to damage your hardware while adjusting your GPU Voltages - use at your own risk." We'd have to agree.
Have you spent countless hours shedding blood, sweat, and tears into your Kick Ass mod? Does your mod have your friends and family drenching you in compliments? If so, have your rig shine alongside the elite crew of modders by submitting your rig to MaximumPC’s Rig of the Month contest! Every month, one talented modder and his rig will be featured in the magazine before the entire world to see, as well as rewarded with a $250 gift certificate! We know you’re interested, so read on for contest rules and details.