I’m up to chapter 6 of “Manna”, an online book by Marshal Brian, the founder of How Stuff Works. It’s quite an interesting view of a future dominated by robots and shaped by a human greed and (conversely) ideology.
Recommended reading, thus far.
I needed something to backup my thesis and collected reference papers (just in case something happens to them during the move back to Perth). I considered getting a DVD writer, a flash-based MP3 player, or a portable HDD.
I wanted something that I could use to move stuff from place to play, so a DVD writer wasn’t really convenient. I didn’t think that I would use (any of) the extra features of the flash-based MP3 player and storage was fairly limited. So it was down to the Seagate 5GB Pocket Drive and a 20GB Pocket Drive from Dick Smith. Since the 20GB was only AU$20 more (at AU$197) I decided that it was much better “bang for buck”.
Here are some photos of the unit with size comparison to standard (issue if you were in the US Airforce in the 80s) items:
Anyhow, after I got the 20GB portable HDD I connected it to my machine (running Ubuntu) and expected it to “just work”… nothing happened. It wasn’t formatted, so I found the where plugdev connected the device:
ls -la /dev/* | grep plugdev
I created a few partitions (one for Linux-only and one for Windows-also) using fdisk. The partition table now looks like this:
Disk /dev/sdb: 20.0 GB, 20000268288 bytes 64 heads, 32 sectors/track, 19073 cylinders Units = cylinders of 2048 * 512 = 1048576 bytes Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sdb1 1 4769 4883440 83 Linux /dev/sdb2 4770 19073 14647296 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
Finally I formatted the partitions to make them usable:
sudo mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdb1 sudo mkdosfs -F32 /dev/sdb2
Updated: fixed mkdosfs command (thanks Steve!)
I’m beginning to think creating DS redesigns is my only real form of relaxation.
I’ve been thinking of different ways to hide the controls. The flip-out and slider ideas were pretty obvious, but I wanted to try a rotation-based design. Based on the small amount of other consumer goods that use rotation (I can only think of a Motorola mobile phone) I figure that it’s fairly difficult to come up with something that would work.
Aside from the rotation, the rest of the design is clearly iPod inspired. I like how the screens on the new iPods are pretty much invisible when not illuminated and thought that something similar could make be used to “hide” one of the DS screens when not in use.
A few more notes. The stylus, power, volume, headphone jack, and DS game card (/SD card) slot are at the top of the unit. Recharge port is at the bottom (so that a charging cradle could be used). Since DS has wifi, this could be used as a streaming media viewer.