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New Mac-o-Lantern

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the overclock-after-the-holiday-for-an-easy-pie dept.

76

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that it is that time of year again, time for a new pumpkin computer. This time it can see via webcam eyes (thanks logitech), breathe through its nose using a case fan, and talk out its mouth with a speaker system. The insides are made of a custom power supply and mac-mini Core Duo system. The lighting is made of neon wiring thanks to Startech.com mutant mods. Check out the last page with a video of the pumpkin in action."

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76 comments

Smashing Pumpkins (2, Funny)

Skidge (316075) | more than 7 years ago | (#16653793)

Are they going to leave it out on the porch over Halloween night so the neighborhood kids can smash it?

Re:Smashing Pumpkins (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16653869)

You're so old fashion. Why smash it when you can hack it?

Re:Smashing Pumpkins (1)

gundamstuff (822388) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654745)

Yeah like neighborhood kids are really going to be that technically inclined. However, if they were they'd be out looking for candy not vulnerabilities. Somebody find SecureWorks they'll find a problem!

Re:Smashing Pumpkins (1)

ATMD (986401) | more than 7 years ago | (#16661459)

Oh, you mean like a honeypot?

Re:Smashing Pumpkins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16659751)

i need buckshot to defend my puckins

Mac-mini? (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 7 years ago | (#16653805)

I thought one couldn't tinker with MACS?

Re:Mac-mini? (1)

AusIV (950840) | more than 7 years ago | (#16653835)

There are a few people who mod their macs, it's just not nearly as easy as making PC mods.

Re:Mac-mini? (1)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656357)

Why, exactly, isn't it as easy? A macbook looks like any other laptop on the inside, and even a G5 tower looks pretty much like a PC. The new intel towers pretty much ARE the same thing as a PC, so what is "harder" about modding a mac?

Re:Mac-mini? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656741)

It's generally not really harder to do modding, though overclocking is definitely an exception when you compare it to a computer made from off-the-shelf parts. Macs can definitely be overclocked, but it probably involves tracing circuits and soldering vs. looking up the manual and changing jumpers.

A Mac like the mini is a lot easier to stuff into unconventional places though, so I'd say it's a wash.

Re:Mac-mini? (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 7 years ago | (#16653855)

My thoughts exactly.
Ghost story of the year for me: once I opened up a mac. I expected you know...a motherboard...harddrive...video card...but neigh. I found but a small black box. I took the box out and opened it. It was empty.
I closed the box and placed in back in the case as fast as I could.
The mac would never work again.
But really...are they filling the thing with pumpkin pulp? That might make it have total system failures less often.

Re:Mac-mini? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16654149)

Did you let the blue smoke out?

Re:Mac-mini? (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654597)

You obviously let the smoke out. Any piece of electronics will stop working when you let the smoke out...

Re:Mac-mini? (1)

ATMD (986401) | more than 7 years ago | (#16661545)

How about letting the air in?

I was fitting a new (80mb!) hard drive to my 1987 Mac SE a month or two ago, and accidentally snapped the back off the vacuum tube... :(

Uhh, wow.. (1)

SocialEngineer (673690) | more than 7 years ago | (#16653813)

So, uh.. Does it actually do anything interesting besides rot?

Case mods are cool and all, but I'd want something with a little more "cool" factor with an organic (and potentially hardware-damaging) case. Maybe put it on a controlled rotating platform so you can watch people? Or remotely connect to it and have it speak to unwary guests?

Re:Uhh, wow.. (3, Funny)

spyder913 (448266) | more than 7 years ago | (#16653961)

Or at the very least, it would be nice of them to use iCarve to design a hip looking face. That was very utilitarian for an Apple... er.. Pumpkin.

Re:Uhh, wow.. (1)

WebCrapper (667046) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654951)

Hitting on the Organic comment: Thats the only thing I could think about when looking over this. While neat, the thing is going to rot at an accelerated pace due to the heat inside of it.

Re:Uhh, wow.. (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657215)

With all the concern over recycling old computer parts, it seems like this is an idea with a lot of potential. With a bit of careful timing, by the time that the pumpkin case rots in a month or so, you will be able to move the key parts to your new Turkey Carcass case mod (doesn't _have_ to be for Thanksgiving, so I'm not being insensitive here). By the time that case goes bad, you can put it in your wreath-case mod (most people on this site will probably be saving their mistletoe, just in case (yeah right)), and so on. All biodegradable, recycling problem solved.
Maybe by next summer, Antec will be selling those square Japanese watermelons with a power supply built in. The produce department will be where you think 'imagine a cluster of- oh there is a cluster...' Looks like good, eco-friendly times ahead.

Re:Uhh, wow.. (1)

skuzzlebutt (177224) | more than 7 years ago | (#16661623)

Fruitcake mod! Fruitcase! Genius! Maybe not so biodegrabable, but, sturdy and perfect for re-gifting/secret santa at the office!

Re:Uhh, wow.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16663895)

Fruitcake mod! Fruitcase! Genius! Maybe not so biodegrabable, but, sturdy and perfect for re-gifting/secret santa at the office!

Contrary to popular belief, fruitcakes are not gift material.

They are building material.

Voice Synthesis (1)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16653821)

What strikes me is that 20 years later, voice synthesis still sounds like a Commodore 64:
"Hello, I am Dr. Sbaitso. How can I help you?"

Otherwise, this pumpkin is pretty cool. Hopefully they take the parts out pretty quickly, it could get pretty messy. Imagine a computer stuck in this pumpkin! [youtube.com]

Re:Voice Synthesis (1)

theshibboleth (968645) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655335)

Fortunately, Leopard should vastly improve voice synthesis. http://www.apple.com/macosx/leopard/accessibility. html [apple.com]

Re:Voice Synthesis (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657091)

That doesn't sound much different from stuff already available through MS.

Re:Voice Synthesis (1)

wcb4 (75520) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657887)

for decent speech synthesis, take a look at AT&T Natural Voices and the voices by NeoSpeech. You can say what you will about anything open source, but in this case, you really get what you pay for... I get a headache listening to most speech engines say anything other than the occasional alert. I have had both of these engines read entire books from Gutenberg into MP3s that I have listened to in the car. The original post was correct that this speech synthesis is not better than Microsoft's Mary which is really no better than SAM (the Software Activated Mouth) that I had on my Commodore 64 back in 1984, but ATTNV and Neospeech are light years ahead.

Re:Voice Synthesis (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658033)

I'm sure there are better choices out there, but I was merely referring to the original poster's claim that we somehow have to wait for Apple to 'fix' voice synthesis in Leopard.

Almost true... (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16659953)

That's almost true but there are a few companies getting better. For MacOS, Linux, Solaris or Windows you might consider Cepstral [cepstral.com] .
 
If you're a Mac user you'll be looking forward to Alex [apple.com] , the new voice included in 10.5.
 
Anyway to keep this all on the topic of pumkins, here's my geometrically correct soccerball pumpkin [edified.org] .

Happy Halloween All.

Re:Voice Synthesis (1)

DroppedPacket (621464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16660775)

The Mac has a large selection of "voices" available by default. 5 female, 4 male, and 14 "Novelty". This was one of the novelty voices called "Whisper".

And has been mentioned before, Leopard is supposed to improve on the high quality voices.

Appropriate For Apple's Current Quality Level (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16653851)

Ever since IBM decided to stop making PPC chips for Apple for Jobs to turn to Intel after getting turned away by P.A. Semi, Apple seems to have taken on a don't give a shit attitude about their Intel based Macs. Cheaply built boxes with nice packaging and typography.

Sigh.

Even our very inexpensive Dell's we buy here don't have the huge numbers of hardware issues we've had with the handful of Intel based Macs over the past year or so. Macs used to be just unpack, plug it in and forget it for our IT people.

Re:Appropriate For Apple's Current Quality Level (2, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654075)

Ever since IBM decided to stop making PPC chips for Apple for Jobs to turn to Intel

Woah... nice revisionism there... IBM didn't decide to stop making PPC chips for Apple... Apple pulled the plug on IBM because IBM wasn't going on a route that Apple wanted. They cooked up a lot of FUD about PPC chips not being powerfull enough or being too hot for them to justify their switch to Intel. Funny how previously with the macheads it was all sweetness and light with PPC being the bees knees and Intel chips were for pussies.

Re:Appropriate For Apple's Current Quality Level (2, Insightful)

posterlogo (943853) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654165)

You're pretty much right on the ball. Intel chips WERE for pussies. IBM DID have powerful, efficient chips. When they no longer did (pretty much about the time the Powerbook G4 was becoming outdated and the G5 just couldn't be made efficient enough for a laptop), Apple switched to Intel. I hope they switch again if they find something better. To me, that's way better than being any one chipmaker's bitch. IBM's doing great making chips for all the major consoles. Apples doing great with the Intel chips. Ya gotta go where the best tech is for your business.

Re:Appropriate For Apple's Current Quality Level (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654339)

Someone must tell Apple about AMD!

Re:Appropriate For Apple's Current Quality Level (2, Insightful)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655267)

Core 2 Duo is more efficient in a laptop than AMD's nearest offering. Ergo, Intel get the contract.

Re:Appropriate For Apple's Current Quality Level (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16665009)

That's certainly important, but I suspect the real reason is more like "Apple would have instantly become AMD's largest customer, overwhelming their supply capability. Ergo, Intel got the contract."

Re:Appropriate For Apple's Current Quality Level (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16654281)

Pretty close, but no cigar. No FUD involved.

When the PPC first saw light of day, it was the thing. Low power consumption, ran cool and that wondrous promise of scalility to the moon. It had the potential capability of kicking ass and taking names and could eat the lunch of most anything even near to its class (and a few others).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerPC covers the tech end.

And then AMD's and Intel's new iron started hitting the market. First it was just them being over-revved to full tilt Ludicrous Speed, and then the architectural improvements started going in...

The problem was that Apple was not the major consumer and IBM was not keeping a great many "RSN!' promises it had made to Apple concerning performance increases and production. IBM was aiming for the embedded market (X-Box, anyone?) and had its own plans for what was to be the shape of servers to come. Apple wanted that G5 laptop real bad, or at least one capable of keeping up with the Other's Intel offerings. The companies parted company with no (outward) hard feelings.

You might think them fickle and unfaithful, but the Macheads did have crowing rights about a "consumer supercomputer"- for about four months. Then time marched inexorably onwards and the PPC couldn't keep up. Apple saw the writing on the wall, shrugged, and went where the performance and price they needed was.

And that is how the Mac Pro become droolworthy.

Re:Appropriate For Apple's Current Quality Level (2, Insightful)

Ziwcam (766621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16659519)

Oh, how I long for mod points. This is an excellent description of what happened.

I'll be the first to admit, I was a little wary when Apple made the switch to Intel, but I can now see that it wasn't a mistake. I was never one to bash Intel/AMD, (but I probably did it at least once or twice). Instead, I targeted the thing I think is the most broke on PC systems, and that's the operating system. IMHO, it has been broken for years, and I don't think Vista, while it holds many improvements, will be much better in the areas that I believe are broken.

Another functional pumpkin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16653891)

Re:Another functional pumpkin (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 7 years ago | (#16659925)

Heh, I made a Frank the Bunny [google.com] pumpkin this year, based on this design [daughtersoftiresias.org] that I made, carved in one of those fake, carvable pumpkins that lasts from year to year. I put it out front, put a candle in it, and got some great pictures. Unfortunately, Frank had other ideas -- he apparently looked at my house and said, Burn It To The Ground. [wikiquote.org]

An hour later, I just happened to pass by the front door when it burst into flames, scorching the front of my house with a 2-3 foot high fireball. Apparently those things are highly flammable, and you're only supposed to use light bulbs no more than 5 watts in them. That's what I get for not reading the directions. At least I was able to get the fire put out, and thus it didn't expose my kiddie-pr0n dungeon.

Re:Another functional pumpkin (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16673021)

At least I was able to get the fire put out, and thus it didn't expose my kiddie-pr0n dungeon.
Let me guess, you've got pix of this on your MySpace site, and wonder how the cops found out about it?

Better. (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16653901)

I think this [evilmadscientist.com] would be a better pumpkin to have voice synth honestly... What the heck is scary about a Apple computer pumpkin? It went sour on you?

Here's another one. (1)

mh101 (620659) | more than 7 years ago | (#16653903)

Another interesting one was shown on today's Rocketboom [rocketboom.com] . Direct link to the pumpkin PC page is here [shivaranjan.com] .

Re:Here's another one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16655823)

Forget the pumpkin! She is teh hot!

Vista Licensing? (2, Funny)

hexed_2050 (841538) | more than 7 years ago | (#16653937)

I wonder if Microsoft would force you to buy a new copy of Vista if this was done to a PC running Vista? Somehow turning your case into a pumpkin seems like a "major upgrade" to me.

Re:Vista Licensing? (1)

Red_Icculus (866366) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654005)

Does this count as a "major upgrade" that would invalidate WGA?

Re:Vista Licensing? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658995)

Redmond, WA

Microsoft updated the terms of Vista to include "One Additional Pumpkin Usage". An anonymous official has said, "we want our users to have Holiday functionality".

Season for Pumpkins ... (1)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 7 years ago | (#16653969)

I just saw a pumpkin camera [flickr.com] - which is probably a bit more cool (IMHO) than the other mechanical monstrosity. After all, cool electronics and a mac mini is no match for a cheap roll of film, a small hole and a good hour of taping ? :)

MAC? (1)

sigmapsicharlie (969532) | more than 7 years ago | (#16653977)

Ok, how is this thing a MAC , again?? I thought Mac's had their own hardware and software, completely apart from the PC world. Well I guess not anymore, I guess i could turn my PC into a mac just by getting OS X, Apple has sold its individuality for profits, by turning their precious "Mac" into a Pc that runs OS X. For the money screw Apple, build a PC,and if you like OS X get a hacked version and be happy, don't fork out alot a dough for a Mac sell out running OS X.

Ha Ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16656679)

Ah yes, spoken like a true bitter Apple fanboi who lost his precious PPC architecture.

Don't forget the Mac apps getting into the spirit (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16653991)

Mac devs getting into the fun with some Halloween themes [tuaw.com] in their latest builds.

SBQM seeking long-term relationship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16654021)

I see a single quotation mark in the summary, wont someone be kind and find its partner?

For a pumpking full mac... (1)

kbox (980541) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654037)

... He looks sad.

I wouldn't leave this out. (1)

Mikachu (972457) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654043)

As cool as it is, I certainly wouldn't leave it out on my porch... someone's gonna steal that motha'.

The new, and improved (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654115)

Mac-o-Lantern! The new Mac-o-Lantern with unique turbo rotting action and redundant web cam RAID array!

It's the BEST computer in the WORLD!

Any moment now... (1)

LazyEmc2 (844702) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654119)

Slashdotted in 3...2...1...

Aspirations and Inspirations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16654123)

BREATHE - not breath! A breath is something you TAKE when you BREATHE!

What do they teach these kids in school these days - just how to use a spell checker (which misses grammatical errors like that one)?!

living up to ones reputation (1)

technicalandsocial (940581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654125)

Thanks again for providing "news"/"stuff that matters".

Not terribly frightening (1)

pjpII (191291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654127)

That was startlingly lame- it doesn't even look scary, nor is its voice terribly spooky. 0 stars out of five.

Re:Not terribly frightening (1)

antifood (898331) | more than 7 years ago | (#16689043)

Looking Scarry? It's a freaking pumkin, what do you expect?

direct youtube link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16654139)

for when its slashdotted, direct youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrAdfM9q2qc&eurl= [youtube.com]

news for nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16654153)

and they say slashdot is losing its touch! this is the nerdiest thing i have ever seen. news for nerds indeed.

joy! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16654299)

fist porst!

That is disgusting. (1)

mqsoh (1002513) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654371)

I want to see pictures a week later. You might regret putting a fan on it.

(And my captcha for this post is 'unclean.')

Priceless quote (1)

MrEd (60684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654527)

"A nice picture of the beautiful and clean Mac logo. I dream about this logo at night sometimes. It adorns my life."

Aaw!

commodity dual core (4, Funny)

mennucc1 (568756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654783)

So they need a "1.83GHz Intel Core Duo" to light a pumpkin?

A beowulf cluster.. (1)

sirGullible (750869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16654903)

...of these would actually be kinda cool

Tradition (2, Funny)

christoofar (451967) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655141)

At my office, the pumpkin carving contest has become a tradition. Almost always they turn into mini-ITX computers running Linux (because we can't afford all those WinXP Professional licenses for trash boxes).

I keep the same mobo for it year after year, sometimes buying a new one (the nano-ITX from VIA works good).

Every year the cron job the pumpkin executes gets more complex.

This time in addition to catting out spooky wav files to /dev/dsp at random times, randomly during working hours we had the pumpkin switch on a USB turntable and start playing funky disco music (George Clinton, Avg White Band, etc).

I think next year we might actually slip in a small LCD screen if there's budget money. The pumpkin went 802.11g last year,

hmmm (1)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 7 years ago | (#16655463)


the coolest thing about this project is the fact that such an extraordinary amount of precious time was squandered on a fruitless(!) pursuit

Does that mean they used the pumpkin computer to play WoW?

Doubles as an air freshener (1)

objeck (890008) | more than 7 years ago | (#16656797)

When the computer gets warm does it give off that seasonal smell of pumpkin pie?

looks like (1)

zenandjuice (670651) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657109)

the local computer store guys got on here again this year.

http://www3.uark.edu/bkst/pumpkin/ [uark.edu] was last year's pumpkin.

Mac-mini (1)

damonlab (931917) | more than 7 years ago | (#16657587)

At least nothing important will be ruined if the pumpkin rots or gets destroyed.

Free Mac Mini (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16657869)

>The insides are made of a custom power supply and mac-mini Core Duo system.

If they are going to leave this outside, can you please post the address where this is going to be at, so I can get my free Mac Mini.

Proves once again that MacFanBoys (1)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16658013)

have way too much time, money on their hands. BTW, the synthetic voice generation of the mac still sucks pretty hard. When will they get something that is actually recognizable? I'm an eMac owner, and such have to say that the hardware I own is already a mac-o-pumpkin.

hrm (1)

twosmokes (704364) | more than 7 years ago | (#16662433)

I know of at least 3 ways to gunk up hardware that take less effort.

Wait... four.

uh (1)

addninja (1004202) | more than 7 years ago | (#16664531)

for fuck's sake.

OS X (1)

glowingsnowball (973747) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665361)

If it was running an older Mac os, it would be a waste of a pumpkin.

I thought you meant something else (1)

Ruby Wednesday (979168) | more than 7 years ago | (#16665751)

Mac-O-Lantern [jschilling.net]
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