Monday, January 30, 2006

Real Hacking

Rather than post a link to another hacking project, tonight I get to actually post the results of my own hacking adventures. Tonight I took apart and played with a disposable CVS camcorder (thanks Mom for providing it!).

Everything went remarkably well. The directions for manipulating things were accurate as could be. I had all the right tools (a tiny screw drive, and an itty-bitty screwdriver!). And by some smal miracle, I had an old Palm cradle which is the same type of conector the device uses.

Tonight, I followed the instructions for unlocking the device, which essentially consists of shorting it out on startup.

Before I can actually get video off of this device I need to make a cable. Which means I need to buy a USB cable to solder to the palm connector. But, I wanted to get in and fool around with the device while I had a chance.

One interesting thing that I didn't appreciate about a device like this is how superficially access to it is controlled. By simply peeling back stickers, you find the screws to access things and the adapter access port. Stickers, no kidding.

For me, a project like this is also a lesson in patience. I'm used to the software world where you can experiment without much harm (unless it's /bin/rm that you are playing with). Whereas in the hardware world, stuff is a lot harder to simply undo. Clip a wire? Well, it's clipped. Deal with it. So, more thab anything else, this is a mind exercise in patience and problem solving.

Now, anyone know a cheap source of USB cables?


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