Thursday, July 4, 2013

BUILD IT UP - Stick Shift Knob Silicone Casting

Back from the dead Boys n' Girls! I've got a new series starting today, expanding the scope of this blog. Inspired by the classic Big Beat anthem from Norman Cook, no longer will I be confined to tear downs, but post some build ups as well! I recently finished one of my favorite projects ever, and I thought I'd share the results.

Silicone casting is a blast.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Rio S30s Sport MP3 player

There was a time in my youth when I was like any teenager (round about when I was 14) - I listened exclusively to a choice few tracks pulled from each of the 7 or so albums I knew existed. Wait, you still do that? Your favorite musicians weep for you. Albums are made to be listened to as entire albums! *shakes fist*

Anyway, back then, this is the guy I listened to all my music on. I have fond memories. So do many of the people reviewing on Amazon, and this guy who did a formal review for CNET back in 2003. Never mind that it has just 64MB OF INTERNAL MEMORY; this guy is rugged as hell, never skipped like my goddamned CD player, and was (relatively) tiny at the time. 

More info (and pics) after the jump.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Brother AX-250 Electronic Typewriter

Whats on the docket today... ah yes, one of my recent Craigslist acquisitions from the free postings. This particular model has been discontinued, and sells anywhere from $15 to $60 on eBay. My question is: why electronic typewriters? It seems like another example of adding unnecessary complexity to something which worked perfectly fine before. A look at Wikipedia gives us an answer: "For a time, these products were quite successful as their plastic daisy-wheel was much simpler and cheaper than the metal typeball" system used with analog typewriters.

But cheaper and simpler in some ways means more complex and expensive in others. 

Indeed, the reason the original owner got rid of it was that she was sick and tired of the fact that roughly 1/4 of each disposable "ink" reel was scrapped just getting the thing to print consistently before it could be used. Plus, each of the disposable cartridges cost $10-$15 each. And in the case of this model, none of the fancy spell and grammar checkers (made possible by a few kilobytes of internal RAM), or other features like floppy disk readers were present. 

Ah well, so it wasn't the crown jewel in Brother's line. But it made for a fine teardown.

Monday, April 1, 2013

iPod A1051 (iPod Mini)

     In January of 2004 Apple released its first iPod mini, which was kind of a big deal - it was the first iPod to feature the "click wheel", where the buttons for playback control were integrated in the scroll wheel itself. I never found much use for a music player with only 4gigs of capacity however... I've had the 6th gen. A1238 160gig iPod classic for years and we're in a committed relationship. 

In the interest of full disclosure (despite the fact that I love my iPod and iPhone) when it comes to computers I should mention that I'm a definitive PC man (suck it Apple). However, as a designer myself, I have to give Apple's lead designer Johnathon Ive some serious props for creating some iconic pieces of design. We could get into whether or not the simple-leaning lack-of-many-buttons interface is a good or bad thing, but let's just get on with the photos, shall we? 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Doshiba DIS-1052B Snow Cone Machine

During the same thrift store outing I found the VCR detailed last post, I found this mystery machine. Every word printed on it was in Japanese, and it seemed to be missing a large component on the bottom. But at a dollar fifty, I thought the mystery was quite worth it. I purposely refrained from looking up the model number 'till after, and decided to see if I could figure out what it was by taking it apart. My guess was a food processor of some kind - though it spun far too slowly to be effective as that. Turns out its a snow cone ice shaver. One satisfied Amazon customer raved, "When I tried, I could of fluffy shaved ice with ice roses refrigerator without problems."

I too could have had this mythical problem-free fluffy shaved ice on demand in the convenience of my own home, had I not destroyed the machine before I knew its worth. Damn shame.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sanyo VHR-M107 Videocassette Recorder

Awww, last real post was almost 2 weeks ago, but HAVE I GOT SOMETHING FOR YOU TODAY FOLKS. Remember VCRs? Of course you do, its not like they phased out that long ago (what, late 90's, early 00's?) - I mean, most good parents still have VCRs complete with a collection of Disney VHS tapes. Though at least some of them have relented and donated their machines to the local Goodwill. Which is where I found this gem for $2.49. Gotta love it.

This is really a fascinating machine. There's a bunch of great interweb links that explain how it works n' such, and I'd like to take a quick paragraph after the jump to explain briefly how it all goes down with said links embedded within. But feel free to skip that nonsense and jump into the fancy pictures. This is a picture blog first and foremost after all. Enjoy...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Welcome Redditors

     What a bump! I jumped from about 150 page views to nearly 6000 in one day. A bit unexpected to say the least. To clear a few things up, I'm here for one thing - I like taking things apart, and I thought other people might like to see it as well. If that's your cup of tea, keep checking back. If not, be on your merry way. I have a curiosity as to how things work, so part of why I'm doing this is to learn how things are built and appreciate the effort that went into designing it. But another big component is that I see potential in the intrinsic beauty of circuit boards and other various mechanisms to be used as/ made into art.

     That said, if people want to see some more educational content, I think I could have a couple people contribute to a few posts and see how it goes. Please, please, please contribute as best you can in the comments either way though - the more input I have from people who know what the hell they're talking about, the better.

     Also... If you have anything you want to see taken apart, shoot me an email, and send 'em my way. Cheers!