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Angelica Paez

Angelica Paez is a Texas-based collage artist whose works are wonderfully surreal and weird. She is also a collaborator in the decades-long One Thousand Thousand project, which aims to produce one million hand-made, original artworks.
posted by Mr. Six on Aug 25, 2014 - 4 comments

A history of electronic music

In These Hopeful Machines "James Gardner traces a personal path through the evolving world of electronic music – and meets some of the people who made it happen. In six content-rich episodes he looks at over 100 years of recording techniques, electronic instruments and gizmos, and their use in popular music, art music and their position in Western culture." [more inside]
posted by coleboptera on Aug 10, 2014 - 27 comments

New patch release

Musician Charles Cohen (previously) hosts a workshop at Berlin's Schneidersladen, demonstrating the use of the rare and recently re-released Buchla Music Easel
posted by Mr. Six on Aug 1, 2014 - 5 comments

Pshhh​kkkkkk​​rrrr​kaking​kaking​kaking​tshchchch​chchchchcch

GOOGLE BBS TUNNEL
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 14, 2013 - 36 comments

Totally modular, dude

Every now and then it's just good for the soul to hear a nice, filtery, fat and squelchy analog modular synthesizer, don'tcha think? Let's drop in on David Baron, then, who's been kind enough to offer us a taste of several of the finest modular machines ever made, in his Tour Of The Universe - Analog Modular Synthesizer Journey. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jun 12, 2013 - 21 comments

"The cryptanalyst has two cards in her hand, so there's nothing to do"

A card game to teach computer security. [d0x3d!] is the creation of some Naval Postgraduate School computer scientists, designed to help players learn digital security concepts. Playtested with middle school students.
posted by doctornemo on Feb 8, 2013 - 7 comments

The Typewriter at the Gates of Dawn

The BBC reports that the last typewriter to be built in the UK (according to its manufacturers) has been donated to London's Science Museum. "Brother said it had stopped making typewriters because demand had fallen to 30 a day, with most of those being sold in the US." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Nov 20, 2012 - 97 comments

analog beauty in a digital world

This video on the beauty and fascination of analog media is from the PBS Arts tmblr OffBook
posted by Isadorady on Nov 7, 2012 - 15 comments

"An obscure world of celluloid intrigue"

"At a time when most old films were still protected by copyright and studios were urging the FBI to prosecute individuals owning copyrighted films, movie collecting was a largely underground and somewhat dangerous activity." In 1977, for example, a 20 year old film collector was visited by the FBI. The agents, posing as fellow collectors, entered his home and seized his collection. His case wasn't unique. Even the stars — most famously, Roddy McDowall — were subject to the legal wrath of the very studios they worked for. Still, some collectors got away with it (including one J. D. Salinger). [more inside]
posted by bubukaba on May 9, 2012 - 16 comments

Listening to the past, recorded on tin foil and glass, for the first time in over a century

Towards the end of the 1800s, there were three primary American groups competing to invent technology to record and play back audio. Alexander Graham Bell worked with with Charles Sumner Tainter and Chichester Bell in at their Volta Laboratory in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., while Thomas A. Edison worked from his Menlo Park facilities, and Emile Berliner worked in his independent laboratory in his home. To secure the rights to their inventions, the three groups sent samples of their work to the Smithsonian. These recordings became part of the permanent collections, now consisting of 400 of the earliest audio recordings ever made. But knowledge of their contents was limited to old, short descriptions, as the rubber, beeswax, glass, tin foil and brass recording media are fragile, and playback devices might damage the recordings, if such working devices are even available. That is, until a collaborative project with the Library of Congress and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory came together to make 2D and 3D optical scanners, capable of visually recording the patterns marked on discs and cylinders, respectively. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 10, 2012 - 21 comments

The sky is 'Purest Blue'

Those of us who enjoy old-school chemical photography often need to calculate f-stop and exposure times. Of course you can use a ginormous table but there exists a solution from a more elegant age in which the sky can be purest blue above a very narrow old street. Marvel at Kaufmann's Posographe, a wonder of the analog age.
posted by LastOfHisKind on Dec 30, 2011 - 22 comments

Size Doesn't Matter

Frank Kunert is happy his photographs have an “analog” look about them. After all, he did hand-make the models himself. Before the German photographer even snaps a single shot, he is in his studio, creating 3D model subjects — usually industrial grey constructs in still, almost poetic, settings — out of deco boards, plasticine, and paint. It could take weeks, even months, before Frank is fully satisfied. The result? Models that could could pass for the real thing, and photographs that portray complete worlds of their own.
posted by netbros on Nov 24, 2011 - 16 comments

buzz buzz buzz

In 1978 a tiny English company called Electronic Dream Plant produced their first product, the EDP Wasp synthesizer, the first of a short-lived range of creepy-crawly-named devices. In the golden age of big wooden and metal synths the wasp was made of plastic, battery-powered, with a built-in speaker, a keyboard with no moving parts, and used a brilliantly minimalist CMOS circuit design (in fact, people are still copying the Wasp filter circuit). It was the first analog synth to be truly affordable. The Wasp's accessibility, unique sound and portability saw it quickly used by musicians ranging from buskers to rock stars. [more inside]
posted by w0mbat on Nov 24, 2011 - 22 comments

Dan McPharlin: Sci-Fi Surrealism (and Mini Analog Synth Models)

Dan McPharlin is an Australian artist who creates fantastic landscapes that seem more likely to come from sci-fi novels from decades past than an artist who who gives away his music for donations (YT sample). McPharlin also made a series of miniature analog synthesizers that were featured on album art for Steve Jansen's album Slope (YT sample), as well as Moog Acid by Jean-Jacques Perrey & Luke Vibert (YT sample). Currently, McPharlin's website only has an 18 page portfolio in PDF form and an email address, but his Flickr collection is a sight to behold. Even his house looks like something from a 1970s photo shoot. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 3, 2010 - 10 comments

"...we had no idea…"

The contraption was "created from a mishmash of lenses and computer parts and an old Super 8 movie camera." It was the size of a toaster, ran off "sixteen nickel cadmium batteries, a highly temperamental new type of CCD imaging area array, an a/d converter implementation stolen from a digital voltmeter" and took 23 seconds to record an image to cassette tape. But when Steve Sasson and his team of Kodak technicians presented the world's first digital camera to the public in 1975, they were asked: 'Why would anyone ever want to view his or her pictures on a TV?' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 29, 2010 - 56 comments

Antikythera 2.0

Welcome to the Analog Computer Museum and History Center - a collection of pictures, diagrams, and historical snippets of pre-GUI devices of the 20th century.
posted by Burhanistan on May 20, 2010 - 7 comments

Analog Fire Control

u.s navy vintage fire control computers : An intriguing look at the mechanical workings of the computers of World War 2.
posted by mikepaco on May 19, 2010 - 27 comments

Basic Mechanics in Fire Control Computers

I've never really had a clear understanding of how mechanical computing worked, until today when I watched these US Navy training films from 1953. Part 1 focuses on shafts, gears, cams and differentials. Part 2 explains mechanical component solvers, integrators and multipliers. More information about ship gun fire-control systems here.
posted by drmanhattan on Feb 14, 2010 - 28 comments

The Computer Graphics Revolution circa 1978

"We might not be aware of it, but we're all watching more computer generated television these days." [SLYT]
posted by ZenithNadir on Dec 20, 2009 - 31 comments

300 baud of awesome in a wooden box

This is what 300 baud looks like online today.
posted by loquacious on Jun 1, 2009 - 111 comments

Nightmares on Wax.

RCA Victor's record manufacturing process in 1942: Part one - Part two.
posted by loquacious on May 23, 2009 - 16 comments

Bleeps and bloops

Charles Cohen improvises on the very rare Buchla Music Easel synthesizer.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 18, 2008 - 19 comments

Analog textual clocks

An analog textual clock - An analog textual clock
posted by cillit bang on May 16, 2008 - 24 comments

Lovely, edible fractals.

Sierpinski Cookies. Also: Fimo Fractals.
posted by signal on Apr 12, 2008 - 8 comments

Skip to page 12 for some real fun. Philbrick must have owned stock in a battery factory.

In 1937-38, computer pioneer George Philbrick worked for the Foxboro Co. as an analyst. He had the radical idea of building an electronic analog computer to simulate the behaviour of hydraulic industrial equipment, so Foxboro customers could experiment with control systems without needing a pipe wrench. One of the world's first analog computers was ignominiously ferried around the U.S. in the back seat of Philbrick's car. Ironically, Philbrick didn't give his "Automatic Process Analyzer" a properly techy, pretentious nickname. He dubbed his one-eyed monster Polyphemus. (PDF) (prev)
posted by metasonix on Aug 11, 2007 - 9 comments

Don't bother looking at Wikipedia for an article about George Philbrick.

It has always been difficult to look up any information on the pioneers of computing. Even today, in the Internet age, one has trouble finding much about early computers--even on the ultimate computer network.

Consider the late George A. Philbrick. He was one of the titanic figures in electronic computing in the 1950s--mainly because of the company he founded, which was a major manufacturer (and pioneer) of the operational amplifier, at a time when an "op-amp" was made of vacuum tubes. Op-amps were used to build analog computers, which were widely used to simulate physical processes in the days when digital computers were either non-existent, or too slow and costly, for many kinds of simulation and process-control work. Op-amps, in chip form, are still widely used in electronics. Yet, despite his unquestioned status as a major pioneer of electronics, there was almost nothing on the Internet about Philbrick or his company.

Until 2005--when Joe Sousa decided to put up a website dedicated to Philbrick's legacy. Behold The Philbrick Archive.
posted by metasonix on Aug 4, 2007 - 10 comments

I've got moves you haven't even seen yet

What is the relationship between the optical groove in a record or wax cylinder and sound, and how can we use this to recover analog recordings from the past? Dr. Carl Haber explains IRENE (.pdf; begin at slide 44 for audio samples).
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 16, 2007 - 25 comments

Twitter for the analog set

Does Twitter move a little too fast for you? Maybe Dawdlr is more your speed. The lovechild of PostSecret and the web-app-everyone-loves-to-hate, postcards sent in are scanned and posted twice a year. Next update? November 21st.
posted by Alt F4 on May 23, 2007 - 20 comments

Ben Laposky, the Father of Computer Art?

Pioneering electronic artist Ben Laposky began creating his “Oscillons” – abstract artworks created by photographing Lissajous figures off a cathode-ray oscilloscope – in the early 1950’s. Some consider him the father of computer art, and the beauty and clarity of his work is astonishing.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Jan 23, 2007 - 12 comments

Scifi magazine covers, 1930-today

A year-by-year archive, from 1930 to the present, of every poignant, creepy, tacky, tragic, goofy, beautiful and, yes, kinda slutty cover of the magazine that started out as Astounding Stories of Super Science and became Analog, with lots of changes in between. [via the horse's neck]
posted by mediareport on Nov 11, 2006 - 35 comments

"What's all this FPP stuff anyhow?"

Analog by Design: Reality TV for Design Engineers (autoloads Flash with sound). Author, self-proclaimed Czar of Bandgaps, and minor hero to many scientists and engineers Robert Pease now has an online video podcast.
posted by fatllama on Oct 4, 2006 - 6 comments

Machine-made synthesizer weirdness.

Doktor Future's modular synthesizer has been set up to send a real audio stream, 24/7. The analog modular synthesizer will be running a quadraphonic aleatoric patch that will change from day to day. (via Matrixsynth)
posted by zonkout on Sep 19, 2006 - 10 comments

look ma, no computers

John Powers: Analog recursion. via dataisnature.
posted by signal on Aug 9, 2006 - 13 comments

The World's Cutest Synth!

Have you ever seen a synth and said "Man, what this needs is cartoon eyes?" A bit similar to the Buchla Box or theremin in that they don't have a keyboard to control the sounds -- it's probably closest to the Booper, invented by The Weatherman from Negativland (or, well, Circuit Bending), the Thingamagoop is a photosynthesizer... which means it basically uses light sensors to generate sounds. The signal's run through a couple oscillators and, well, it comes out as somethin' that's pretty dang awesome. I'm on the fence on pickin' this one up. On one hand, it's a really neat toy that makes noise... on the other hand, um.... um.... I dunno. It's not made of candy?
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me on Jul 8, 2006 - 18 comments

But is it MUSIC?

David Webber makes awesome sound art things from christmas trees, pot plants, household stuff, food blenders and hard drives. His good friend Ray Wilson builds awesome modular synths. Ray will also show you how to make your own Weird Sound Generator.
posted by nylon on Jul 5, 2006 - 8 comments

The future from the past

Fabio Feminò has an enormous collection of science fiction magazines to share with us. AWESOME!
posted by tellurian on Apr 4, 2006 - 5 comments

Another Synth Guru Has Left Our Presence

John "Paia" Simonton died late last week. His company, PAiA is one of the grandfathers of the DIY synth scene. I have one of his modular synths half-constructed in my garage. He helped create an American buzz for electronic music and DIY music gear in the 70s, and was highly influential till his passing away.
posted by blackvectrex on Nov 29, 2005 - 10 comments

Analog tape crisis

Quantegy, the last remaining branded manufacturer of professional audio tape, closed its doors and filed for Chapter 11. But it seems there's hope that they'll bounce back.
posted by starscream on Mar 16, 2005 - 14 comments

who says mini-jacks suck?

How to convert LPs to CDs. Many audiophiles will mock the software they suggest using as well as the hardware pictured, but this is aimed for the everyday people that don't have a laser turntable or ProTools. All in all, a decent introductory guide.
posted by starscream on Jan 21, 2004 - 28 comments

The nukes are alright...

The nukes are alright... "since most American nuclear plants were built in the 1960s and '70s, they operate on analog systems, and are unlikely to be affected by digital errors." I feel so much safer now...
posted by grant on Nov 8, 1999 - 4 comments

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