I am loving all of these so much! Not only are they all fitting the mythology perfectly, but being constrained to 10 minutes, they are obeying one of my favorite writing rules: "start later, end earlier". They get in, they get out, you understand the characters, no filler. Boom.
This is a DIY kit for building a 32-bit ferrite core memory. Magnetic-core memories were the predominant form of computer memory from the mid-50s until the mid-70s. They work by storing information into the magnetic field of a ferrite core. It is non-volatile, meaning that it preserves its contents even when power is turned off. However, this type of memory is power-hungry, requires a lot of space and needs to be protected from strong magnetic fields. Also the process of reading the memory destroys its contents so that every read must be followed with a write. To make a long story short, this is a hilariously impractical memory extension shield for your 3.3V / 5V Arduino. When you have completed building this kit you have your very own piece of computing history in your hands.
DNA Lounge: Wherein it's time to prep for the Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge, and also I talk about The Gong Show for some reason.
Do you like ROBOTS? And DRINKING? Experience incredible robot bartenders serving you drinks, lovingly crafted with MAD SCIENCE by the finest competitors in the art of robotics and bartending.
If you're thinking about building a robot, that's closer than you think! As always, please reduce my anxiety by signing up with your robot early instead of the week before. Please?
Oh yeah, also I got Tempest working, and there was much rejoicing.
It's been a little while since I did a photo dump, so here are a few recent photo galleries.
Let me particularly draw your attention to our Fyre Festival party, which was hilarious. I hope you visited the FEMA tent, and managed to snap up one of the sandwiches before they were gone! So many influencers. So many influencers.
Also, the Little Big show from last week deserves some mention for being awesome. For not having a lot of, uh, "instrumentation", they really knew how to work a room. And the room was here for it. They even got most of the crowd doing that ridiculous dance.
You may notice that there haven't been many photos lately. That's because it's damned near impossible for us to find photographers who will actually show up. It's even a paid gig! Finding consistent photographers has never been easy, but I feel like it used to be easier. Perhaps "I blew $4k on a DSLR" is no longer the status signifier that it once was?
They got a respectable 27 points, but they lost out to a couple of kids doing a terrible Trump and Pence impression. (I'm sure their parents will look back fondly on that when those kids are in the camps.)
They did not get gonged! That's quality content, my friends.
In the interest of retrocomputing, can someone please point me at simple instructions to do any or all of the following:
- Emulate a Mac IIci or similar, with networking, on MacOS 10.14. (I have BasiliskII running but can't make it network)
- Emulate a Mac Plus or Mac II, with networking (I have several versions of Mini vMac, same)
- Emulate any approximately-1998-vintage Linux distro, with X11 and networking, on MacOS 10.14.
- Create an AWS instance running any 1998-vintage Linux distro.
If you are about to google it right now and say "some guy says this should work", please rest assured that I have already googled it, and am asking for a better answer than that.
<ROUTINE GLASS-CASE-F ()
<COND (<VERB? EXAMINE>
<TELL "The " D ,GLASS-CASE " is ">
<COND (<FSET? ,GLASS-CASE ,OPENBIT>
". Attached to it are a " D ,KEYBOARD " and a switch." CR>)
(<AND <VERB? OPEN>
<NOT <FSET? ,GLASS-CASE ,OPENBIT>>>
<TELL ,BUDGE CR>)
"The hold of the Vogon ship is virtually undamaged by the explosion
of the " D ,GLASS-CASE>
". You, however, are blasted into tiny bits and smeared all over the room.
Several cleaning robots fly in and wipe you neatly off the walls.">
This material has been kicking around for a while now. If you search for articles about "the Infocom drive", you'll see some discussion from years past. Actually, don't do that, it's mostly old arguments that don't need to be rehashed.
The point is that a great deal of historical information about Infocom has been preserved -- but it's not publicly archived. You can't go research it anywhere. Nobody admits to having it, because it's "proprietary IP", and you're not supposed to trade in that stuff because companies like Activision make the rules.
So when Jason puts this information online, he's taking a stance. The stance is: history matters. Copyright is a balance between the rights of the owner to profit and the rights of the public to investigate, discuss, and increase the sphere of culture. Sometimes the balance needs a kick.
Quite possibly all these repositories will be served with takedown requests tomorrow. I'm downloading local copies for myself tonight, just in case.
If you're in a mirroring mood:
users/ historicalsource/ repos?page=1 &per_page=100" | grep git_url | cut -d \" -f 4 | xargs -L1 git clone
Back in 2004, I got a very entertaining, hour-long phone call from Andrew Eldritch of The Sisters of Mercy. He wanted to talk, as he put it, "on a matter not related to the music industry or Mozilla". In fact, he was calling me because he wanted to buy Infocom, and then give away all the games.
This actually happened, I'm not making this up.
He called me because, not being in the US, he was having trouble finding a sufficiently-mad US-based IP lawyer, and he figured I might know someone. I did! But obviously his purchase attempt did not succeed.
I will never, ever forget that time Andrew Eldritch said to me, "I knew that someone who has a picture of a vomiting clown on their web site couldn't be all bad."