Ever Wanted to Make Your Own Wood PC Case? This Guy Did!

When you start thinking about what your new computer or laptop would be made out of, you start to think about maybe some black plastic or a nice silver metal feel. That isn’t for everyone though and sometimes you just want to do something different, like make a wooden PC.

When you think of PC’s you tend to think of metal or plastic, but one clever person who goes by the name of LouisVW decided that he wanted to build something that looks little more smooth and natural. If that wasn’t enough they’ve gone so far as to post how they built it from start to finish, a process that seems to only create something both simple and beautiful.

Starting from the plywood sheet shown above the project started, by creating grooves on the sides to fit in panels at a later date and then cutting out space for four fans, two at the top and two at the bottom.

Next came controllers for the fans and lighting, with the back panel and power supply soon making the wooden box look like an actual PC. Below you can find a gallery of some of the stages the computer went through, ultimately ending in the masterpiece you see below.

What do you think? Interested in giving it a try yourself? Check out the instructions here and tell remember to share your builds with us at eTeknix.

NZXT Introducing the Manta mITX case

During our visit to CES in Vegas earlier this month, NZXT invited us and a few other partners to have a look at their brand new chassis and there were no doubt that we liked what we saw when presented with the new Manta PC chassis. At that time we were told that it would be officially released today and NZXT were true to their word.

The new NZXT Manta mITX chassis is a unique enclosure for your PC with its soft and round corners. The bold outsides are matched with a level of elegancy thanks to the curved steel panelling. Inside it features double the cable management space usually found in mITX cases, it has support for a dual 280mm liquid cooling setup in the front, and comes with an integrated PSU shroud to hide the things away that you don’t want to show off.

The 245mm wide, 426mm high, and 450mm deep Manta chassis can hold an mITX motherboard as well as a few internal drives. As we can see on the picture below, the front is entirely used by the two 140mm fans which eliminate the option of external 5.25-inch drives for once. But internally you can mount more than enough storage as the case supports two 3.5-inch and three 2.5-inch drives. With the increase in storage capacity, those bays can hold a lot of raw storage capacity.

Even in an mITX chassis you need room for a dual-slot graphics card, at least most of the time. The NZXT Manta can easily fit most graphics cards with a clearance for cards with a length of up to 363mm. That is quite a bit more than the 170mm that the mITX motherboard is sized. The PSU maximum length is set to the same as the graphics card, which should eliminate any possible bottlenecks in that area. Should you go for air cooling rather than liquid cooling of your CPU, than the maximum clearance for that is 160mm.

The front panel ports and buttons are located at the top front of the chassis. On larger chassis this can cause trouble when they’re placed on a desk because they get too far away from your sitting position or be tough to use when placed under a desk because it is so close to it. On an mITX chassis like the Manta, this isn’t a problem. You find two USB 3.0 ports here as well as the obligatory audio and microphone ports.

Within the NZXT Manta you’ll also find other NZXT ideas and features such as rear I/O lighting, integrated PWM fan hub, and SSD display. The new case will be available in several colour options: Matte White/Black, Matte Black/Red, and Matte Black with or without a windowed side panel. A model for every build and personal taste.

The new Manta will be available for pre-order for £99.99 or €139.99 +VAT and the stock is expected in February. The current UK estimate is set for the third February which is very soon.

Grand Theft Auto 5 PC Users Faced with Login Problems over the Weekend

Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto 5 has just hit the PC platform and it already had its fair share of problems. Users with ‘unique’ usernames have been extremely disappointed when attempting to install or play the GTA 5 title over the weekend, having been greeted with the “Rockstar update service is unavailable (code 1)” message.

By ‘unique’ usernames, we mean to say that users with characters outside the alphanumeric table are facing the issue described above. Now let’s stop and think about that for a second… really? I mean how in the world did you not see this coming? Going on a simple forum or scrolling through your list of Steam/Uplay/Origin/Windows/etc usernames reveals the “0b\/|0u$”. People have been creative with their usernames for ages now.

Rockstar Support provided some information on their website, which reads as following:

“We have identified an issue where players with Windows usernames that include characters not found in the table at the bottom of this page will likely run into difficulties when attempting to download, install, or play GTAV. We are currently working on a fix for this issue.”

The company’s support has even stated to have had temporary alternative for the issue, but it involves creating a fresh account. While this gave you access to the game, you wouldn’t have had any previous achievements, friends or stats as on your regular account. Even so, who would want to play on a temporary account and lose everything when they have to switch back to their old one?

A full list of supported characters, according to Rockstar, read as following: “A a B b C c D d E e F f G g H h I i J j K k L l M m N n O o P p Q q R r S s T t U u V v W w X x Y y Z z 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9”

This is now in the past though, since Polygon reported that connection issues are now resolved. However, Rockstar now seems to be investigating some possible progression losses, saves, items and characters that occurred along with the connection problems. Have you had any problems playing the game? Did you lose any progress or items? Let us know!

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information

Aqua Computer Introduces Farbwerk RGB LED Controller

Most people tend to prefer to stick to one company as much as possible when building their systems, I know I am one of them. So it’s no surprise that Aqua Computer got a lot of requests for an LED controller over the years, and after years of development they have come up with their Farbwerk RGB LED controller, a very unique and awesome little device.

The name derives from the German words “Farbe” (colour) and “Werk” (factory/plant/work). Twelve channels in total can be used for up to four RGB strips or as individual channels. Each channel has a resolution of 13 bits (8192 individual steps), resulting in smooth color transitions even at low brightness settings.

The farbwerk is an autonomous device with an embedded microprocessor and can be operated without a PC. Four sensor inputs can be used with compatible temperature sensors to visualize temperatures as colors. For those creative users interested in electronics, the sensor inputs can also be used to connect potentiometers or as 0 – 3.3 V inputs – and with a little creativity, the outputs can be used for other applications as well, for example for fans or if used outside the PC, even for devices requiring up to 24 Volts.

The farbwerk can also use software sensors from tools such as HWiNFO, AIDA and Open Hardware Monitor to visually display what’s going on in your system. The farbwerk also comes as a Bluetooth version that allows you to control everything from your Android device. The source-code is open-source and can be used to create apps for other platforms, so they should arrive from users and fans.

This tiny LED controller has so many features and options that I highly recommend you check it out yourself. The farbwerk RGB LED controllers should be available shortly. The MSRP is set to €29,90 for the non-Bluetooth version while the one with Bluetooth will cost you €39.99. Actually not much when you consider all the option you’ll be getting.

Thanks to AquaComputer for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of AquaComputer

Jaguar Working on Self-Learning Smart Car Personal Assistant

There have been a lot of talks about smart cars and their ability to make driving a lot safer suing self-driving technologies in order to eliminate human distractions and error from roads. There will even be a time where drivers can even send text messages, video call and browse the internet, but that time is still far away. Until then, Jaguar seems to have designed a piece of tech of its own for the Land Rover to make driving a lot safer, namely the Smart Assistant.

It is said that the Smart Assistant is able to identify the driver of the car based on a smartphone and learns his or her driving style and in-vehicle habits. The information is then ran through an algorithm which keeps track of background information, such as your calendar, traffic conditions and current weather, in order to predict and handle a variety of non-essential tasks. The Smart Assistant even starts before the driver enters the car, adjusting the seat, mirrors and steering wheel based on the individual’s likings.

Once the Smart Assistant learns the driver’s behavior behind the wheel, it can then handle tasks and perform small vehicle adjustments. For example, if a person calls his or her boss each morning, the Smart Assistant is said to ask you if it can initiate a call with your boss. The same goes when running late for work, having the Personal Assistant prompting if you would like to send a text message and notify about you being late.

There are a variety of activities which Jaguar’s Personal Assistant could help you behind the wheel, though the company states that the technology is currently in the works with no known release date planned. An interesting and unique feature present in the Personal Assistant’s design plans is the fact that Jaguar intends to make the tech cloud-based, meaning that if you want to rent a Jaguar when abroad on a business trip, it will still have your personal preferences available and in effect as soon as the car is available to drive.

Thank you Gizmag for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Gizmag

Huawei Reported To Be Selling High-End Smartphones Via Messaging App

The increased competition of smartphone manufacturers in China has apparently resulted in companies approaching unique marketing techniques. For example, Xiaomi is said to have success with its ‘Hunger Marketing’ technique, having customers pre-register their interest in a handset in order to grab the e-mail addresses of potential buyers. As soon as the particular handset hits the spotlight, a limited number is manufactured and sold. This is how the company recently sold an estimated 10,000 Xiaomi Redmi Note phablets in less than a second.

Networking and telecom manufacturer Huawei apparently has its own tactics. Sources indicate that the company is apparently using popular messaging application WeChat as a channel to sell its Huawei Honor 6 handset. The device is said to boast an Octa-Core processor, a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920, as well as a 13 MP back camera and 5MP front camera.

The company previously used only local carriers to sell its handsets, but due to the increased competition, it is hoping to widen the distribution of its products using the WeChat app. The application, which is said to be in partnership with Chinese e-commerce company JD, has apparently hosted a competition in which the lucky winner was awarded with a Huawei Honor 6. The rules appeared to have been simple as well, having competitors guess the price of the handset in question. The winner would have had to answer ¥1999 / $322, the actual price of the Huawei Honor 6 handset.

Huawei is said to have 8% of the Chinese market, placing it on the 6th position in the country. This is due to change in the future, providing that the partnership between the company and WeChat app is successful. WeChat is said to have over 400 million users, having it be used as a text and voice messaging app, a gaming app and even a cab hailing app. Reports show that an update last year has even added a payment system, something which Huawei is attempting to exploit. Also, Huawei might have been the first to use this type of marketing camping, but it most certainly will not be the last.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information