Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

New Mac-o-Lantern 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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New Mac-o-Lantern

Comments Filter:
  • by Skidge ( 316075 ) * on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @01:27AM (#16653793)
    Are they going to leave it out on the porch over Halloween night so the neighborhood kids can smash it?
  • I thought one couldn't tinker with MACS?
    • by AusIV ( 950840 )
      There are a few people who mod their macs, it's just not nearly as easy as making PC mods.
      • 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?
        • 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.
    • 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.
      • by shmlco ( 594907 )
        You obviously let the smoke out. Any piece of electronics will stop working when you let the smoke out...
        • by ATMD ( 986401 )
          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... :(
  • 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: (Score:3, Funny)

      by spyder913 ( 448266 )
      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.
    • 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.
  • 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]
    • Fortunately, Leopard should vastly improve voice synthesis. http://www.apple.com/macosx/leopard/accessibility. html [apple.com]
      • by Khuffie ( 818093 )
        That doesn't sound much different from stuff already available through MS.
        • by wcb4 ( 75520 )
          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 i
          • by Khuffie ( 818093 )
            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.
    • 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.

    • 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.

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

  • 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.
  • 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 devs getting into the fun with some Halloween themes [tuaw.com] in their latest builds.
  • by synx ( 29979 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @02:00AM (#16653993)
    By Joy of Tech, don't forget about your Jobs-o-Lantern:

    http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/joyarchives/8 83.html [geekculture.com]

    Scary! Wooo!!
  • ... He looks sad.
  • As cool as it is, I certainly wouldn't leave it out on my porch... someone's gonna steal that motha'.
  • 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!
  • Slashdotted in 3...2...1...
  • Thanks again for providing "news"/"stuff that matters".
  • That was startlingly lame- it doesn't even look scary, nor is its voice terribly spooky. 0 stars out of five.
  • I want to see pictures a week later. You might regret putting a fan on it.

    (And my captcha for this post is 'unclean.')
  • "A nice picture of the beautiful and clean Mac logo. I dream about this logo at night sometimes. It adorns my life."

  • by mennucc1 ( 568756 ) <d9slash@mennucc1.debian.net> on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @05:00AM (#16654783) Homepage Journal
    So they need a "1.83GHz Intel Core Duo" to light a pumpkin?
  • ...of these would actually be kinda cool
  • Tradition (Score:3, Funny)

    by christoofar ( 451967 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @06:04AM (#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,

  • 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?

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

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

  • At least nothing important will be ruined if the pumpkin rots or gets destroyed.
  • 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.
  • I know of at least 3 ways to gunk up hardware that take less effort.

    Wait... four.
  • for fuck's sake.

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain