Oh goodness this is lovely! Take one wireless router (never the most attractive of things), rehouse it in a hand-made wooden casing that's reminiscent of the sort of carriage clock you might be given on retirement, and finally add a gorgeous analogue gauge cleverly rigged up to indicate network utilisation. It's the handiwork of a talented bugger called radiorental, and he's been good enough to document the process over at Instructables.
There's obvious aesthetic value (and no small amount of personal meaning, I'd wager, considering the meter used is from the maker's Dad), but this project taps into a big, ongoing discussion about the usability of information and the way it's communicated. More and more devices are being equipped with screens and LCD displays, capable of squeezing dozens of pages of status logs, graphs of performance and plenty more to satisfy our "give me it all" attitude. Yet this simple 3-inch dial is a far easier way of seeing possibly one of the most important factors of a network - how hammered by traffic it currently is - and moreover you can check it at a glance.
It makes me want to make something!