November 27, 2014
September 25, 2014
My most unconventional lab is documented in a new zine by Sherri Wasserman, one available for download and screen-viewing now; it will be available in DIY print-and-bind-your-own format soon.
The publication is Restore [Return] Shift, and it’s the second in a series of zines documenting spaces that preserve and offer access to creative computing.
A rare color photo can be seen on the Instragram announcement.
April 7, 2014
Mickey Rooney is no longer with us, but the mainframe computer is. The Register writes up the 50th anniversary of IBM’s System 360, finishing by describing the current zEnterprise line of IBM mainframes. The line was updated just last year.
If this anniversary encourages you to hit the books about the System 360, I suggest IBM’s 360 and Early 370 Systems by Emerson W. Pugh, Lyle R. Johnson and John H. Palmer.
November 20, 2012
A great story on the Living Computer Museum in Seattle, where they have computers … that work!
April 26, 2012
The Trope Tank has just issued a new technical report:
Creative Material Computing in a Laboratory Context
Nick Montfort and Natalia Fedorova
Principles for organizing a laboratory with material computing resources are articulated. This laboratory, the Trope Tank, is a facility for teaching, research, and creative collaboration and offers hardware (in working condition and set up for use) from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, including videogame systems, home computers, an arcade cabinet, and a workstation. Other resources include controllers, peripherals, manuals, books, and software on physical media. In reorganizing the space, we considered its primary purpose as a laboratory (rather than as a library or studio), organized materials by platform and intended use, and provided additional cues and textual information about the historical contexts of the available systems.
May 14, 2011
I’ve noted here at MiT7 (Media in Transition 7) that we’re now achieved some very reasoned discussion and understanding of the virtues of different approaches to preserving and accessing computer programs. Not that we’ve solved the underlying problem, of course, but I’ve been pleased to see how our overall approach has evolved.
Instead of simply dismissing emulation, migration, or the preservation of old hardware, we’ve had some good comments about the ways in which these different techniques have proven to work well and about what their limitations are. We saw this in the plenary discussion on archives and cultural memory late this morning – audio of that conversation will be coming online. Update: Here it is.
At Media in Transition 7 here at MIT, after a good start in the opening plenary and first break-out session, we had a fascinating session yesterday on “Computer Histories.” The papers presented were:
- Sandra Braman presented “Designing for Instability: Internet Architecture and Constant Change.” [Abstract.]
- Kevin Driscoll spoke on “Revisiting Bill Gates’ “Open Letter to Hobbyists.” [Abstract.]
- Colleen Kaman’s talk was “‘Interop,’ Internet Commercialization, and the Early Politics of Global Computer Networks.” [Abstract.] [Full paper.]
May 12, 2011
March 29, 2011
I strongly encourage those of you who haven’t seen it yet to check out Brian Kim Stefans’s Introduction to Electronic Literature: a freeware guide.
Right now it is “just” a list of links to online resources, from Futurism through 2010, that are relevant to understanding different important aspects of electronic literature – making it, reading it, sorting through different genres, and understanding its historical connects.
October 26, 2009
GeoCities, founded in 1995, grew to become the third most visited site on the Web in 1999, when it was bought by Yahoo! for more than $3.5 billion. It offered free Web hosting in directories themed as different cities. Many people published their first page and first site on GeoCities. The Archiveteam has been working to save as much of it as possible; this wildly individual Web work won’t be completely lost to us as much of the pre-Wayback Web is. But at midnight Pacific Time, the plug will be pulled on this significant and populist piece of the Web. Here is, not an archive, but at least a peek at some of what will go dark.
September 7, 2009
The front page of Lakeland, Florida’s The Ledger for November 10, 1982 has a remarkable juxtaposition of Associated Press articles about the effects of videogames.
A short blurb about a nursing home experimenting with Ms. Pac-Man explains that it helps residents “develop their motor skills”, as well as aiming at a loftier goal: “encourage creativeness, inventiveness, decision-making … and strengthen self-confidence”. It’s accompanied by an excellent photograph of three elderly nursing-home residents crowded around a cocktail-style Ms. Pac-Man cabinet.