Archive for the ‘Desktop Layout’ Category

A couple of weeks ago I posted a few pictures of a stand I built for my HTC S710 VOX with some plastic building bits called Asoblock.  Well, I have now replaced that phone with a spunky new BlackBerry Curve 8520 which I am loving so very, very much.  I see why they are sometimes referred to as “CrackBerries”.

Of course, one of the key features of Asoblock is that it can be disassembled and built into various different configurations, and that certainly comes in handy when one gets a new piece of tech with different dimensions to your older device.  Below, for your viewing pleasure, I present you with my Asoblock BlackBerry Curve 8520 Stand MK1.  Technically, this is actually a MK2, but I forgot to take any photos of the first design, so now it is lost in the mists of time… No big loss really, it was a spindly, fiddly affair that was useless for one-handed operation in the dark (something I often do).

This design is incredibly stable as it has a wide and plentiful amount of surface area that sits flush on the desk.  In fact, the two forward “Claw” bits are purely decorative (but I thought they added a certain something).  Aesthetically, I played with the BlackBerry’s width as a sort of theme or general design notion, thus everything spreads out, like a claw or some sort of spider (at least in my diseased brain meats).  One thing that I badly wanted to incorporate into this design after my last attempt with the HTC, was a charging cable of some sort.  I played with a few ideas, but the end result was, without fail, a clunky mess of a thing thanks to the design of the USB and charger cables.  At least the charging port is available and easily accessible due to the design of the BlackBerry, so if you have a charger or USB cable plugged in nearby you can plug it in whilst it sits in the stand without any hassle whatsoever.

How to:

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Just as before, I used only parts from the Asoblock 151K box, although having said that, I did use almost ALL the good bits.

Anyhow y’all, let me know if you’ve tried this build or even just if you think it’s an idea with any merit, I always look forward to feedback of any kind.

Take it easy and keep it sleazy!

Mojo

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A few months ago whilst shopping for some supplies for my impending month-long break from work, I came across this excellent stuff at a toy store (supposedly looking for the kiddo) called Asoblock.  The large, geeky looking, 45 your old paedo behind the counter assured me that making and breaking things with the stuff was very therapeutic.  Naturally, I believed him, because what’s not to trust about a grown man who chooses to spend all day in the company of women and children?  My (wonderful) wife suggested I try it, so we bought a box of the intriguing black plastic bits and, once we had returned home, I proceeded to make a variety of death-dealing robots and robot dogs and robot guns and… well, you get the idea.

Of course, I am actually an adult, and therefore do not have MUCH use for a stable of killer robits, but I was honestly surprised to find that I actually did find the experience intensely therapeutic, as the Michael Moore look-a-like had said I would… disturbing.  Not since my childhood days spent fiddling with Technic Lego had I found such a sense of Zen-like calm and focus.  Over the next few days I found myself constantly fussing with the bits and discovering new ways of making the structures work in different ways and eventually, I turned my mind to what possible practical applications the wonderous Lego-esque bits could be used for.

I surveyed my desk and pondered what items on it proved problematic to see or find, and naturally the first thing that pounced upon my dope addled brain was one word… cellphone!  Now, I have never owned a cellphone cradle or stand of any kind, being the kind of lad who liked to rough it, my phone was always either in my jeans, or next to some ashtray or glass of booze on a side table somewhere.  These days however, I am older and wiser, and have purchased fantastic old antique desks which are huge enough to accommodate myself and the missus’ needs.  So… annoying cellphone, check! Flat surface, check! Asoblock and too much time… double check!  And just like that, my little HTC S710 VOX had a home to call its very own.  Obviously, the first few iterations of design were critically flawed and for the most part about 80 percent superfluous, but in the end logic and physics prevailed and my HTC Stand MK1 (screen below) was born.

A few days ago, I received my first BlackBerry handset and it’s got me extremely excited.  New phone = new stand, so the old one had to go!  I decided to take some snaps before disassembling so that I could share the design with you, my many, many, loyal readers ;P and thought I might even let LifeHacker know as they have a “DIY” handset category.

This particular design is only really useful if you happen to have an HTC S710 VOX, but I will be posting my design options for the new creation I am making for my brand new baby BB!  Already, it’s leaps and bounds ahead as it’s ACTUALLY a cradle that charge the phone whilst it’s sitting pretty.

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Enjoy the shots, build it if you want, let me know how it turns out and above all… take it easy and keep it sleazy.

Mojo

The AVI transcodes are about halfway now.  This work is just up my alley.  No ques, no automation, every action needs to be manually driven.  Input, then wait, then input again… very fucking zen 🙂

An update on that Wi-Fi streaming experiment… EPIC FAIL! The wife mucked about for a good few minutes of pointless buffering hell but ended up watching a DivX transcode of some Jiggling About With Jillian methinks (directly off her flash drive).

I have been spending my time productively though.  Between facilitating the refreshment needs of my two most demanding patrons (otherwise known as “The Wife” and “The Sprog”) and trying not to have an embolism at the aforementioned Sprog, I HAVE managed to capture my desktop in a few different configurations I use.  You may think me odd for caring about this kind of thing, but really, I don’t care what you think 🙂

I have always had a fascination with desktop modification/replacement and Windows Se7en is honestly the first OS I have installed that does most of what I like without much tweaking or coercion. Desktop wallpaper switching, sidebar/desktop gadgets/widgets… and don’t get me started on the new “Super Bar”.  Aerosnap and Aeroshake functionality also gives me a large techno-woody!! I have used a quadrant based desktop real estate management system for years now, and it is really refreshing that Windows finally caters for user who do exactly that with Aerosnap.

So, here it is then…

Firstly, a configuration I use for torrent administration.  This config allows me to keep an eye on my torrent list (uTorrent client) aswell as my torrent folder and a destination folder (ie Tier 2 of my file system, organised by type/genre). Also, not making use of the top right quadrant means I can monitor HDD capacity (usually running at almost max 😦 ) using Sushi’s excellent Sidebar gadget, DriveInfo.

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