Home | News Archive | December 2004

The Night Before Mini-ITXmas
December 24, 2004

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,
A quiet Mini-ITX, a near-silent mouse
The LCD monitor, crisp, bright and clear
Flick'd with text I was typing, wire-less through the air.

I lit up my Firefox, and with a quick snap
The glow of my monitor stopped my brief nap.
My browser was pointed with the utmost of grace,
To a site on the web; I frequent the place.

'Tis an online store with slim stylish cases,
Neat touch screen LCD's, cool links to far places.
About a new case, I've left notes for St. Nick
This year perhaps pleading prose did the trick.

I care not what he brings, to be safe, who knows?
I'll list them all carefully, now here it goes...
A Hush, a Tranquil, a Hoojum, an Opus,
A Travla, a Morex (Cubid or Venus).

One to the office, and one to the hall.
One a fileserver, the other firewall,
I can live with whatever the Old Elf decides,
But must have a slim DVD burner inside!

I'll need some RAM too, and a fast new hard drive.
Don't want Windows Nick! - what can Linus provide?
To all you loyal readers, I'd like to say this.
Thanks for support, business, and a Merry Christmas!

With thanks to William, and apologies to Henry Livingston Jr...

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White Box Robotics' 912 "Apache"
December 21, 2004

White Box Robotics sent us exclusive photos of their 912 "Apache" concept PC-Bot, and of their final pre-production metal chassis. The Apache ostensibly demonstrates heavy duty commercial applications for the 912, but could also be viewed as an over-the-top mod of the basic unit.

The 912 bare bones platform will include the metal chassis, injection moulded body panels, full differential drive system, AC adapter / battery charger, USB I/O card to control motors and sensors, RCC software to program the robot, webcam for vision and navigation and most likely IR sensors.

Users would then add the Mini-ITX motherboard of their choice, RAM, 2.5in HDD, CD-ROM, Operating System, and an assortment of hardware to personalize the 912, such as a second webcam for more effective vision based navigation and object or facial recognition, and of course the obligatory 3D holographic projector.

Cover Shot

In the Grass


The 912 assembles just like a PC, with an ingenious cartridge-style mounting system for the motherboard and HDD in the back of the robot's "head" - making servicing a snap. And also a little bit freaky.

No exact release date has been set, but White Box are working hard for a Spring 2005 release.

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Tranquil T2e Competition Result
December 20, 2004

We asked you to guess the total surface area of in mm2 of all the heatsinks used in the production version of Tranquil's new T2e system (including the CPU cooler, the HDD cooler and the AGP cooler).

Over 1300 people entered, with some rather hopeful answers ranging between 0.3206 and 97517250 mm2. 59 people were within 10%, 20 within 5% and 7 within 1% of the correct answer - 378238 mm2.

The winner was Martin Henderson from sunny Wales, who guessed palindromically, with 377773 mm2. A shiny new T2e is on its way to you Martin, courtesy of Tranquil PC. And as a thank you for entering, we'll be sending special offer links to competition entrants for 30 off the price of a new T2e - valid until the end of January 2005.

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The "Deco Box"
December 15, 2004

A common complaint about most computers cases is that they lack any real sense of style. For Dave Benz, a beige box just wasn't going to cut it for his Linux server. After finding Art Deco inspiration on a recent roadtrip, Dave built a super-quiet EPIA ME 6000 powered system, and created an ingenious "poor man's neon" we expect to see many more examples of...

Dave Benz's "Deco Box"

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December 03, 2004

Aaron Shephard wanted to build a low power consumption and cost effective file server, so dug deeo into his parts bin to create the rather aptly named "TERA-ITX". This rather nifty device can store over 1.1TB of data across 5 internally mounted 250GB drives, and is powered by a humble EPIA M10000. He sent pictures so we could all see his handiwork.

Aaron Shephard's "TERA-ITX"

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