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Thursday, April 16, 2009

 

Nintendo DSi Disassembly



Now for our latest video, the Nintendo DSi Disassembly. This stop-motion sequence shows one of these hot, new, hand-held gaming systems taking it's self out of the box and automatically disassembling. With the help of our lead game system technician, Ivan Villanueva, the DSi goes back together in record time, for the whole world to see.



Assembled from a thousand seprate photographs (or exactly 1,304 in this case), the animation process starts with me unboxing the device. I can get a little tricky with my photography here, making booklets seem to float by stacking them on unseen supports etc., because it's not very technical.

Once the disassembly segment begins, I soon require the expertise of a technician (basically, so that I don't break anything). Also, remembering the rotation and velocity of each animated part is hard enough without having to keep track of where all the screws and other parts go. (c; Unlike the process of an ordinary repair, during a stop-motion shoot, the technician is constantly interrupted as I ask them to pause so I can snap a frame, or give me a few minutes to animate parts leaving the field of view.

The reassembly scenes are shot in time-lapse style - partly because it's interesting to see but, mostly, because the tech and I are too fried to spend another 8 hours animating the parts coming back together. In fact, some of the earlier videos don't even have a reassembly sequence, for this very reason. However, after being inundated with requests to show the reassembly (in order to prove that the device still works) I decided that showing the skilled hands of the technician at work was the perfect way to finish this type of video.

After all of the frames are shot, I download them and process them all in photoshop to enhance the color and contrast. After that, I combine them into one huge, 1600x1200 pixel video, in Quicktime Pro, at 15 frames per second (an animation standard known as "shooting on twos," since there are 30 frames per second in video). Using a great Italian freeware program called MPEG Streamclip, I crop and resize the video down to widescreen, 720p HD (1280x720). From there, it's off to iMovie HD, where I add the titles, music and sound effects - the latter requiring hours of scrubbing, frame-by-frame to precisely place the sounds.

And that is how the TechRestore videos are made. Once again, I hope you enjoy the show and please let me know if you have any questions, comments or requests!

You can see all of our videos at techrestore.com/video or check out our Future Shock Video Podcast on iTunes and download them directly to your iPod, iPhone or computer!

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Friday, March 13, 2009

 

From Canvas To Modbook



Ever wondered if artistic style translates into the digital realm? Find out, by watching our latest time-lapse video, From Canvas To Modbook. In this video, painter Anthony Riggs demonstrates how his unmistakable style is equally impressive when applied to a Modbook instead of the traditional canvas.





Why should writers have a monopoly on undo and cut-and-paste? A modbook gives you the ability to explore different variations on the same composition, with the ease and power of a word processor - not to mention every color in the universe in your palette (Tony's favorite feature). See the press release here.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

 

Kindle On iPhone



The iPhone or iPod Touch may not have the same super readable, e-ink display as the Amazon Kindle but their size and price do make them a compelling option for reading e-books. After all, think of how much more micro-reading you might do, in line at the bank or supermarket or, um...other places (oh c'mon, don't tell me you don't read when you're in the can). Kindle For iPhone is available, for free, on the iTunes Music Store.

On the down side, you can't browse or buy e-books from Amazon, directly from the iPhone (you buy in a browser and then transfer from your computer). On the up side, all of your book marks pass back and forth between your iPod/iPhone and Kindle (if you have one). Worried about squinting to read on your iPhone or iPod? Rotate it sideways and/or increase the text size! Color book covers and quick page swipes are other advantages that the Apple hand-helds have over the Kindle. All in all, this app provides yet another reason to join the iPhone revolution!

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Friday, February 27, 2009

 

Kindle Disassembly Video



Here's our latest stop-motion video: an unboxing and disassembly of a 2nd gen Amazon Kindle, compared along side an original Kindle (also being taken apart). Special thanks to Chet Mallory for his help and patience in taking these apart.

Here, you can clearly see the difference in display quality, design and size. The much touted 'ideal' asymmetrical shape of the original kindle has been ditched in favor of a iPod-stye case, complete with metal backplate. Likewise, the ergonomic thumb-keyboard has been replaced with a simple grid layout. Most importantly, the joystick-style '5-way' controller replaces the thumb wheel, facilitating the built-in dictionary's word lookup, as well as the clicking of hyperlinks in web content. The built-in speech feature is also very cool - almost as good as the latest Mac OS voices, as you can hear in the video. Check it out...





Don't forget, you'll always see these stop-motion videos here (or on our YouTube channel) before the show up on other sites, because I'm the guy who makes 'em. (c; Also, you can download them, for viewing on an iPod or iPhone, from our free Future Shock video podcast on the iTunes Music Store.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

 

See Through PSP Screen



Ever wonder what's behind your PSP screen? Here's a wallpaper image of exactly that! As you can see in the video, it looks even better on a PSP with clear faceplate.

Lance's PSP now shows even more of it's inner workings. You can download the same past-modern wallpaper image to use on your own psp right here:



PSP Wallpaper Installation Instructions

First, drag the image above onto your desktop or right click on it and save it to a desired location.

Next, follow the instructions below for USB or WiFi:

Using a 5-Pin USB Cable or a Memory Stick Pro Duo Card Reader

1. Connect your PSP or Memory Stick Pro Duo to your PC. (If using a USB Cable, plug it into your PSP, boot up your PSP, then go to Settings, and scroll down to USB Connection)
2. Go to My Computer -> Open the new Removable Disk that has appeared.
1. If you are using a mac the memory stick will appear on your desktop!
3. Create a folder named "PSP", inside that folder make a new folder named "PHOTO".
4. Now take the PSP wallpapers you have downloaded and transfer them into the "PHOTO" folder.

Using available WiFi Internet Access

1. Boot your PSP to its Main Menu.
2. Find the "Network" section and click on the "Internet Browser"
3. You should see a Blank Page. Click the "Triangle" button, then click on the "File" button, and finally click "Address Entry".
4. Type in the url/address to your PSP Wallpaper image and click "Enter". (If you have an available network setup and ready it should connect to it wirelessly automatically or it should let you choose which one you like to use. If not you will need to set one up in Network Settings)
5. You will notice that the image should load up. Now click "File" and click "Save Image".
6. Destination should be set to "/PSP/PHOTO/" and "File Name" can be whatever you wish. Once set click "Save". Once finished it will say "Save Complete".

Setting your Wallpaper on your PSP

1. In the PSP Main Menu go to "Photo" and click on the Memory Stick.
2. Now you will see you image. Select and open the image you would like to use.
3. Press the "Triangle" button and then go to "Set as Wallpaper" button and click it.
4. It will ask you if you would like to set as wallpaper or overwrite current wallpaper. Click "Yes".
5. Now go back to your PSP Main Menu and you should have the new custom wallpaper as your background.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

 

Modbook Upgrade FAQ



Our Modbook upgrade video is quickly becoming one of our most popular videos, with over 88,000 views so far! In light of all this attention, a few common questions have come up - so here's a quick FAQ on the Modbook technology and upgrade service:


Q: Where's the keyboard? How will I write email without one?
A: The Modbook doesn't open, there is no longer a physical keyboard, after the tabletconversion. The Axiotron Quick Clicks application provides resizable, on-screen keyboards of various styles, as well as hand writing recognition and gesture controls. Personally, I just plug in a USB keyboard, if I have much typing to do, but a bluetooth keyboard would be even better.

Q: Can the Modbook only be used, lying flat on a table or lap?
A: Axiotron is currently developing a quick-release bracket with standard vesa mountung holes, which will enable you to use a variety of monitor stands and arms. In the meantime, your best bet is a cookbook holder, if you want to prop it up like a monitor.

Q: Will my hard drive and data be erased, during the upgrade process?
A: When you send you MacBook to TechRestore for an overnight upgrade, we will not erase your data or format your drive, unless you specifically request it.

Q: Why is it so expensive, when I'm providing the Macbook?
A: Actually, a Modbook upgrade is about half the price of a pre-upgraded Modbook ($1149 before March 6th) and this tablet upgrade is comparable to the price of a Cintiq tablet, but offers complete portability and GPS! Also, Google Earth is way more fun when you use a pen to pan around. (c;

Q: Does the Modbook work with a Windows bootcamp partition?
A: Windows will probably work fine, and you can use the Windows on-screen keyboard for text input but, technically, Windows isn't supported.

Q: That upgrade looks easy, can I do it myself?
A: Dan does a good job at making things look easy in the video, but the process of disassembling the MacBook, transferring the camera, and reconnecting all of the various cables in the correct place and order is far from simple. Currently Axiotron does not offer a do-it-yourself kit, for warranty reasons
.

Q: Do I get my old keyboard and screen back?
A: On all Modbook upgrades, salvage of the palmrest (keyboard + trackpad assembly) and LCD screen is figured in to the price of the upgrade, which is part of the reason that this service is so affordable.

Q: Why wouldn't I just buy some cheap tablet PC to have this kind of functionality?
A: The built-in Wacom pen digitizer, senses 512 levels of pressure at 133 updates per second and 20x the resolution of the screen - features unsurpassed by any tablet computer. The Modbook is not for showing power-point presentations without opening a laptop, it's a 21st century alternative to drawing on paper and scanning your work. True digital art creation requires the responsiveness and precision of quality components.

Q: Who would want a Mac like this anyway?
A: To most, the Modbook upgrade may be little more than a novelty but, to an artist, it is essential, since the service transforms a MacBook into a powerful, portable drawing tool. Not being anchored to a desktop, means that the Modbook can be used in studios for figure drawing, on the street for doing people's charicures, or out in nature to paint landscapes - the possibilities are endless (and the GPS will ensure that you find your way back).

For more information please read the information on our Modbook upgrade service page.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

 

Modbook Upgrade Video



I've finally finished the world's first Modbook upgrade video, with help from Dan's technical skills and Lance's music. This newest stop-motion animated video shows the complete conversion process, from MacBook to Modbook. I think it's our best video yet (but be sure to voice your opinion in the comments are ratings). As usual, this video is brought to you in wide-screen - optionally 720p HD format - that's nearly twice the resolution of a standard DVD, so you can see it as though you were watching a blue-ray disc, even on YouTube. (c:

If you haven't seen one yet, let me just tell you that this is the must have service for artists. With 512 levels of sensitivity, and a screen surface designed to feel like paper, this touch-screen out-performs any other tablet on the market - not to mention the fact that it's a Mac! The best part is, that you don't have to buy a whole new system ($2249 for a complete Modbook), just upgrade the MacBook that you already use, for half that price ($1149), and it comes back with all of your data and programs intact - sweet. Click the link below for details.





For a limited time, get your MacBook upgraded to a Modbook, for just $1149! That's $150 off the normal price of $1299.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

 

The HD Revolution Is Complete!



Here it is, our last HD upgrade for YouTube: The Apple TV Disassembly

No more 're-runs.' Next week, Dan and I will have a brand new video for ya (in HD, of course)!

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

 

High Def Time Capsule Disassembly



I'm pushing to get all of our tear-down videos updated to HD, so that I can work on a new video. I can't tell you what it is yet, but it will be exclusive to TechRestore. No else even has photos of the inside of this device, let alone a video of it - muhaha! {evil laugh}

Here's our latest HD offering: Time Capsule Dissasembly - HD



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Original iPhone Disassembly In HD



Our fourth most popular video, happens to be the first stop-motion take-apart video that we ever did, unless you count the brief blip in iPod mini Madness (which, sadly, I shot in low-res, not upgradeable to HD). Now you can see the iPhone insides in even greater detail, with better music and sound effects! I had to cut the unboxing bit, since it didn't fit the widescreen format, but I know you really want to see the device it's self. (c;



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Monday, January 26, 2009

 

HD MacBook Air Video



Here's our latest HD video remaster. The MacBook Air Dissection is our third most popular video, with over 46 thousand views. Now you can see it in amazing detail, with new sound effects and better music! All of the videos on our YouTube channel are also available as downloads, via our free video podcast on the iTunes Music Store, as well.


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Friday, January 23, 2009

 

HD MacBook Pro Video



TechRestore's HD revolution continues! Here's the HD remaster of our second most popular video, the unibody MacBook Pro disassembly. The image quality in the embedded player below looks good, but it still doesn't show all the detail. Click here to watch it full size (and don't forget to click the 'watch in HD' option!


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Thursday, January 22, 2009

 

TechRestore Goes HD!



Today, I have posted TechRestore's first widescreen, high-definition video on YouTube! As long as you have a fast internet connection, you'll be amazed by the level of detail - even in fullscreen mode. The player below has been customized to play only HD but, when you're on youtube, you'll want to select the 'watch in HD' option.


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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

 

X-Box 360 Error Codes



Our lead game system hacker, Lance, wanted me to pass along some info about the 'red ring of death' on the X-Box 360. Apparently, there's an easy way to tell if a 360 needs service, or just a simple fix that you can do at home! Here's the quick version:

Full circle - AV cable may need to be cleaned, plugged in better or replaced.

Three quarter circle - Try powering down, unplugging and replugging all cables. If that doesn't work, try starting the X-Box with no hard drive attached and then re-attaching the drive and starting normally.

Half circle = System Overheating. Try letting the X-Box cool down and moving it to a more open space, where the vents are not obstructed.

Quarter circle = Hardware failure. Use the link below to get instructions for retrieving secondary error codes. Having this information can help determine if your X-Box can be fixed at home, needs to be sent in for service, or is so damaged that it's not even worth repairing.

For the complete low-down, check out this complete guide to X-Box 360 error codes.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

 

Macworld Expo 2009



This year we made a big splash at Macworld Expo! Our booth was mobbed with people, eager to see our new delivery vehicle, the DeLorean time machine. People were impressed with the idea of getting their repairs back, before their laptops and iPhones even break (via time travel courier) but skeptical about how happy they'd be receiving a bill for a repair that they didn't yet need - so we're shelving that idea for now, and sticking with overnight repairs and upgrades. (c;

Our new Matte Finish LCD Upgrade for the 15" unibody MacBook Pro also got a lot of attention. We were so busy answering questions, entering people to win the MacBook Air, giving away hand-outs and throwing T-shirts to the masses, that I never even had a chance to go look around and check out the other vendors! Thankfully, there was plenty of online coverage of the show, to inform me of what I missed (see below for coverage of TechRestore). If you also missed most of Macworld, you can watch the video of our booth:





Here are some rave reviews of our booth and new LCD upgrade debut, at Macworld Expo 2009:

Macsparky.com "Best Booth"

ZDnet "Best in show" Matte finish screen upgrade

Macworld

PCWorld

About.com

Yahoo! tech

the Mac Observer

PCMag.com

Extensis Community Blog

Stocker Blog

And, finally, an Imfamy Award, from RoughlyDrafted Magazine, for plastering the DeLorean with logos and hand-outs! Hey, any press is good press, right?

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

 

Time Machine Travels To Macworld



Take a ride with Shannon and I as we drive the DeLorean time machine to Macworld Expo! Watch, as we discover where the gascap is and navigate the underground maze of Moscone Center. Here's a map of the route that we took.



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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

 

DeLorean Lands At TechRestore



The DeLorean time machine has landed! After a short journey through time and space, the Back To The Future car has finally arrived at our warehouse, ready to travel to Macworld, where all expo attendees will be able to view it, in all it's noisy blinking glory! If you still haven't registered for tickets, there may still be a few left - if not, it'll be well worth $25 to get in and pickup free schwag and prizes. Check out our latest video to see what it looks like up close.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

 

Macworld Expo 2009



For those of you who would like to visit us at MacWorld Expo, and see the Back To The Future DeLorean, we have a limited quantity of free passes available (a $45 value)! To get yours, register online. You can also get a 15% discount on select conference programs here. When visiting our booth (#2644), you'll also be able to win free T-shirts and a free MacBook!
Check out the virtual brochure, to plan your visit and get the most out of the Macworld Conference & Expo.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

 

We're on iTunes! Future Shock, TechRestore's video podcast is now live on the iTunes Music Store - and it's free. Now you can have high-quality versions of our animated videos on your iPod, iPhone or computer, without having to be online while you watch them. Better yet, by subscribing to our podcast, they will be automatically downloaded, so you can be showing them off to friends, on your iPod, before they get picked up by the big gadget blogs!

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

 

Here it is, our first non-Apple product tear-down video, the PSP 3000! Not to be outdone by Chet, one of our game system techs, Lance, took this unit apart and put it back together, while I snapped video frames. This baby sports an extra bright screen, smudge-proof case and a built in microphone (for free PSP to PSP Skype talk and other apps). Check it out and see for yourself:





Dig It!


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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

 

I've upgraded TechRestore's YouTube channel to include annotations that label all of the parts in our tear-down videos and created a DVD-style menu, with animated button/links:





Stay tuned for the PSP 3000 tear-down video, coming soon!

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Monday, November 03, 2008

 

The long overdue animated AppleTV take-apart has finally arrived! In other words, I've finally created one. You see, we posted all kinds of sexy photos of the device's innards, when it first came out - but that was before I started doing the stop-motion dissections. So, go ahead and check it out...





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Friday, October 31, 2008

 

Happy Halloween!

Here's a couple of the great costumes that showed up at the office today - both won prizes at our lunchtime drawing!


Dan the Laptop Wizard & Charlton the Warehouse Warrior:
And we can't forget the Jean Family Pumpkins:



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Friday, October 24, 2008

 

Here's our latest animated tear-down video: a look inside the brand new MacBook Pro! As an added bonus, by popular request, I got footage of Chet putting it back together.



These new MacBooks Pro are amazing! The whole trackpad is a button, which doesn't seem all that much better than tap clicking, until you go to drag stuff, which is sooo much better this way! The four-finger Expose controls are wicked too.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

 

With Macworld Expo just around the corner, it's time to promote our booth and announce to the rest of the world that we'll have the Back To The Future DeLorean on display! Here's the ad copy that I just sent off to Macworld and Mac|Life magazines:



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Friday, September 12, 2008

 

Here's our latest stop-motion animated tear-down video: a look inside the 4G iPod nano! For size and design comparison, I've included some 2G and 3G nanos as well. Check out the first cross-dissolve to see how the screens are the same size on the 3G and 4G.





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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

 

Here's the cliff-notes on the new iPod announcements from Apple today:

* Tall, oval shaped nano with screen turned sideways and accelerometer to rotate movies/photos, like the iTouch

* New shake to shuffle feature and more colors for nano - 8GB $149

* Slimmer iPod Touch with built-in Nike+ and speaker - pushed as "best portable device for playing games" (look out PSP) - 8GB $229

* iPod Classic available in 120GB only, at $249


So there ya go. For more details see the play-by-play blog of Apples 'Let's Rock' event at engadget.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

 

It's time to start getting ready for Macworld Expo SF, once again, and I have to tell you that we have a treat for you this year. We will be displaying the actual De Lorean used in Back To The Future! Actually, it's one of six that were used in the film, but it's far more impressive than the one on display at Universal Studios, since you'll be able to get up close and even see inside! On top of that, it lights up like a Christmas tree. You can only get about three feet from the one at Universal, due to the metal barricades, and I hear that it doesn't even have a flux capacitor, let alone opening doors - where as our is complete and even functions as a real vehicle. In fact, it will be traveling forward through time even as you look at it - amazing! You can get your photo taken with the time-machine, and enter to win free T-shirts and other prizes (I'm not sure if we'll be giving away an iPhone, MacBook, or what , just yet)

Check out this video to see the actual car that we will have on display.

Keep an eye out for free passes to Macworld - we'll post 'em here in our blog, as soon as they arrive. Now if I could just transport myself to the point in time where all of my trade-show prep was done...

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Friday, August 29, 2008

 

Ever wonder what a black MacBook would look like with a white keyboard and track-pad? Well, wonder no more. This client of ours is sure to be the only person on their block with such a unique MacBook...

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Friday, August 08, 2008

 

Hot tubs are so 20th century. For a truly rejuvenating experience, skip the chlorine bath and submerge yourself in colorful acrylic polymers instead! I actually haven't experienced this since I was about 10 but I'm seriously considering the installation of a ball pit, now that I have access to a calculator that will determine how many balls it takes to fill any given space. By the way, the geeky comics at XKCD are hilarious too!

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

 

Are those plain white earbuds of yours making you feel like one of the indistinct denziens of the underground world of THX-1138? If so, Budclicks are here to add pieces of flair to your otherwise drab and uniform appearance! Smiley's, bio-hazard symbols, and just about any other well known symbol are ready to adorn your ears for about $6-$16. Audacious ear ornaments for men and women - how's that for Future Shock?

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Friday, August 01, 2008

 

searchme.com is still in beta, but you no longer need to sign up to access it! If you haven't seen it yet, it's worth a look. Imagine thumbing through web sites as if they were in cover-flow, on a Mac or iPod. Not only does it look slick but, on the practical side, it allows you to visually search for the website that you want (eg. that game site with the red background that you don't remember the name of). In addition to that, SearchMe also let's you thumb through stacks of photos or videos online. I have yet to try it out on an iPhone or iPod touch, but I'm guessing that it looks great!

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