Here’s a really cool hack that let’s you use your optical mouse as a scanner.
Are you using an optical mouse right now? Ever wanted to see your desktop through the eye on the bottom of it? Me neither, I already know I have to clean my desktop 🙂
People get bored sometimes, and when I get bored I sometimes open up stuff to find out what makes it tick. One time, I did this with an old optical mouse. Well, a mouse only has 2 chips inside: the optical sensor and a chip for the usb/ps2-interfacing. I looked up the datasheet of the optical sensor (which is an ADNS2610) and it told me the sensor has a tiny 18×18 CCD, which can be read out using the serial port (the one which normally interfaces to the PS2/USB-chip).
So I start Visual Basic (I usually do my stuff under Linux, but I’m no star at using anything graphical like QT or GTK, so for this quick’n’dirty project I fell back in my old habits) and hack something up using a few wires to the trusty ole parallel port. The result: crisp lo-res b&w imaging 🙂
(Thanks Joe for the tip!)