real virtual car

Taking a Virtual Car out into the Real world and having fun with it, or is it the other way around? “Just came back home, checked the blog and saw something strange—comments…↑[…]“—Somenight at 3AM the veteran geeks over at ↑The Real Virtual Car Project decided to make a car simulator and to build it inside a real car. So they haunted several junk yards and finally fell for a Renault Megane. They took the wrecked car—which was involved in an accident—apart, and started to rebuild and stuffing it with electronics (the good part of which live in a bucket). A … Continue reading

Share

ölrechner

 Word has it that Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) once coined the phrase ‘liquid television’. MTV grabbed the vocable and named a TV-show broadcasting animated cartoons likewise. The show even was to be seen in India via StarTV, and featured goodies like ‘Æon Flux’ (The latter becoming a feature-movie starring Charlize Theron *sigh* soon—via ↑gamersgame). But the fact remains that to date nobody knows what Dalí meant by ‘liquid television’. But I now know what could be meant by ‘liquid computer’. The casemodder-scene’s original innovation, the liquid-cooled computer, already is history. Now them g33kz pushed it quite a bit farther: A computer … Continue reading

Share

dark side of casemodding

By squishing a ↑computer into a vintage-model of Han Solo’s Millenium Falcon casemodder ↑Russ Caslis made the Star-Wars-nerd’s heart jump high and right out of the galaxy. ↑Alienware just seems to have achieved the opposite, ↑according to boingboing: “Alienware has licensed the right to create an official Star Wars PC from Lucas, and then squandered the opportunity by shipping a pair of stock PCs distinguished only by cheesy van-art airbrush murals on their sides.” A perfect example of casemodding becoming “‘ethnokitsch,’ commercially designed and profitably mass produced.” (↵Mitchell 1992: 174) Kitty, one of Michael Kitchenman’s informants has voiced that, too. … Continue reading

Share

german casemod masters

Last Saturday, 16 April 2005, the 4th German Casemod Masters (↑DCMM) took place at Dortmund. There were two categories: casemod, meaning the modification of an of-the-peg case, and casecon, meaning the from-the-bottom-up construction of an entirely new and original case. As a third category there was ‘most spectacular casemod’. The latter was not judged by the jury, but by the audience attending. Maico Bensien from Hamburg won the casecon-category with his creation “Alien” depicted here. For me another wonderful example of everything fusing together: pop-culture icon influence, resistance against the industry’s design-dictate, and cultural appropriation of computer hardware in the … Continue reading

Share

notebook’s roots

↑Mobile Magazine has a nice article on ↑The Birth of the Notebook by Christopher Null. The article starts with Alan Kay’s 1968 idea ‘Dynabook’, which saw the light of day only as a mockup made of cardboard (picture from ↵Lees 1980:5), as the necessary technology to make it a real thing just was not yet in existance. The Dynabook was thought for kids [play!] and the field of learning and education—the software was thought to grow with the children. The contents of Alan Kays’s original draft notes at Xerox Parc, which are dated August 1972, are remarkable: “The size should … Continue reading

Share

no phone

Finally someone who shys away from cell phones like I do: “I’m not a cell phone guy. I resisted getting one at all for years, and even now I rarely carry it. To a first approximation, I don’t really like talking to most people, so I don’t go out of my way to enable people to call me. However, a little while ago I misplaced the old phone I usually take to Armadillo, and my wife picked up a more modern one for me. It had a nice color screen and a bunch of bad java game demos on it. … Continue reading

Share

batconcept

Sing to the tune of Dylan’s ‘Rising Sun’: “There is a house down in Agatha | They call the ragin’ bull!” Seemingly it is cars week for me: Lamborghini has done it again, as they already did when I was kid. Back in 1971 the first prototype of the ↑ Countach was introduced—the futuristic aztec architecture flabbergasted the audience, and several years later, when it went into production and on sale, us kids, too. We were standing at our preferred kiosk and wondered at glossy magazine pictures of that supercar of a never-seen-before kind. The car-magazines featuring the Countach even … Continue reading

Share

visual jack in

“A half century of artificial-sight research has succeeded. And now this blind man can see,” ↑reports Wired with an impressive, well written story about an american laboratory, which is working with cameras that bring vision directly by cables into the brain of a blind man: From a few steps closer, I see that the wires plug into Patient Alpha’s head like a pair of headphones plug into a stereo. The actual connection is metallic and circular, like a common washer. So seamless is the integration that the skin appears to simply stop being skin and start being steel.     … Continue reading

Share