Wednesday, August 25, 2010

BBC Micros used in retro programming class

From the BBC (article includes video)

"Computer history is cruel. It is a story of the old constantly being pushed aside for the newer, the faster, the smaller, the shinier.

Those old machines are rarely allowed a graceful retirement. Cast aside, they end their days in the dark ,fit only to be homes for spiders in lofts and cupboards.

But one lucky flock of BBC Micros is getting another lease of life by helping to educate students in the art of rigorous programming."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tanks dumped in Gulf of Thailand

From the Telegraph

"The unusual move is designed to boost the ecosystem in the Gulf of Thailand.

The rusting collection of trucks and 25 disused Army tanks are intended to form an artificial underwater structure to provide shelter for marine life and boost local fish stocks..."

Monday, August 9, 2010

Aston Manor Road Transport Museum

The museum, which is opposite the Villa ground, has been under threat of closure for some time though its still there at the moment! I haven't been for awhile so i went along this morning to take some photos and sign their petition. Intriguingly there was a canal boat outside... on dry land of course (though the Tame Valley Canal isn't that far away actually). More interesting even than that was the presence of a Metrobus in Tracline 65 livery, that being the failed experiment in guided bus ways they tried in Erdington in the 1980s. I hope the museum can survive.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Camera software lets you see into the past

From Wired

"Computational rephotography is a fancy name for photos taken from the exact same viewpoint as an old photograph. Actually, that’s just rephotography. The “computational” part is when software helps out.

I’m a sucker for photos of old street scenes. Seeing familiar parts of your city as they were many decades ago is fascinating, and if people are good enough to snap a new version, you can enjoy the differences of places you have never seen. At Flickr and a site called Historypin, you can see the old shots lined up over the new, like a window into the past..."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The chipophone

"The Chipophone is a homemade 8-bit synthesizer, especially suited for live chiptune playing. It has been built inside an old electronic organ..."

Friday, July 23, 2010

Last Kodachrome roll processed in Parsons

From the Wichita Eagle

"PARSONS — Freelance photojournalist Steve McCurry, whose work has graced the pages of National Geographic, laid 36 slides representing the last frames of Kodachrome film on the light board sitting on a counter in Dwayne's Photo Service in Parsons.

He placed a lupe - a magnifier that makes it easier to view film - over one frame and took a closer look at the film.

McCurry told Dwayne's vice president Grant Steinle how he had chosen to shoot the last roll of Kodachrome produced by Eastman Kodak by capturing images around New York..."

110 film is also fading away, i do have a few rolls of (now expired) film in stock. I might dust off my Instamatic soon and see what i can capture.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

USB Typewriter

"The USBTypewriter™ is a new and groundbreaking innovation in the field of obsolescence.  Lovers of the look, feel, and quality of old fashioned manual typewriters can now use them as keyboards for any USB-capable computer, such as a PC, Mac, or even iPad!  The modification is easy to install, it involves no messy wiring, and does not change the outward appearance of the typewriter (except for the usb adapter itself, which is mounted in the rear of the machine).  So the end result is a retro-style USB keyboard that not only looks great, but feels great to use..."
Here is how it works, cute and ultra-retro though i think i would rather have one of these.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Promethean backs Bloodhound supersonic car for landspeed record

From The Guardian

"Education equipment company Promethean, which floated in March and entered the FTSE 250 last month, is backing a British attempt to smash the world landspeed record.

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) team, led by former land speed record holder Richard Noble, hopes to break through the 1,000mph barrier. That would see it smash the current land speed record of 763mph, which was set in 1997 by former RAF pilot Andy Green, who will also pilot Bloodhound. The attempt on the record will be made in South Africa next year..."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Solar Impulse completes 24-hour flight

From the Guardian

"An experimental solar-powered plane landed safely today after completing its first 24-hour test flight, proving that the aircraft can collect enough energy from the sun during the day to stay aloft all night.

Pilot André Borschberg eased the Solar Impulse aircraft on to the runway at Payerne airfield, about 31 miles south-west of the Swiss capital, Berne, at 9am local time today..."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

MeeGo: Zero to VT320 in Seventeen Seconds

From OSNews

"MeeGo is a Linux-based operating system designed by Intel and Nokia for netbooks and smart phones. Installing MeeGo on an Eee PC 1000 netbook is quick slick and easy. I found the user interface to be colourful and stylish with many quirky animations. MeeGo's features are easy to discover and it is fast and responsive.

Underneath it all though there is still just a netbook. That means I'm left facing a display screen that has no significant weight behind it. I am left typing on a undersized keyboard that has no life. All of these undesirable features can however be fixed by adding 9kg (~20lbs) of VT320 video terminal. So that is what I did..."

I wonder if i can connect a Volker-Craig VC404 to my Wife's netbook. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Retailers stop sales of analogue TV sets as digital switchover approaches

From The Guardian

"The death of the analogue television set was officially confirmed today, nearly 85 years after John Logie Baird held his first public display of the capabilities of the box in the corner of the living room that has tranformed our lives.

All the major high street electronics retailers have now stopped selling analogue sets after quietly running down their stocks in recent months, in preparation for the switch to digital terrestrial television (DTT) by 2012..."

Sunday, June 27, 2010

8-bit Music

8 bit music uses old computer consoles and computers to produce an excitingly fresh but warmly retro electronic music. A great site is the 8 Bit Peoples site which has a lot of music you can try for free. There is also Trash80 (a name i have often used myself online, but he has definitely made a lot more of it).

Friday, June 25, 2010

World's First Solar-Powered Blimp Set to Cross the English Channel

"Can a blimp propelled entirely by solar power cross the English Channel? We’re about to find out! Nephelios, the world’s first solar blimp, was built by Projet Sol’r — a collaboration between students at engineering and technical schools in France. Now, almost a year after its debut (and a year after it was supposed to launch), the helium-filled airship is ready for action — its inaugural flight is set to take place as soon as next week..."