Mashable: New web app lets you take Game Boy Camera-style pics and pretend it’s 1998. “On Saturday a coder, animator, and electronic musician by the name of maple ‘mavica’ syrup published a free web app that lets anyone take Game Boy Camera-style photos with just their browser and a webcam. It’s super fun.”
Inverse: How the humble office printer has persevered in a digitized world. “As technology has gotten better, the ambiance in offices has changed as well. Computers have been reduced from large towers and boxy monitors to slim laptops and pocket-sized smartphones. These changes include the sounds of offices since those older computers required plenty of cooling and had more audible processes. Another sound missing from offices is the distinct hum of the office printer. (This one sounds like a techno song.) Although the sounds of printers have quieted over the years, and there’s much less need to print documents in many professions, printers still persist in offices as a bridge between the physical and digitals worlds.” I worked with dot-matrix printers, so the “distinct hum” was more like RRRAAAAAACK, RAAAACK, RAAAAACKKKKKK…
The Star: M’sian music fan deejays with wind-up gramophone, playing century-old recordings. “[Caleb] Goh has a ‘very small’ collection of over 500 shellac records, comprising mostly swing music from the 1920s. He notes that unlike vinyl, shellac records only hold two songs each (one song per side) so you need a sizeable collection to not end up having to listen to the same songs again and again. The oldest one in his possession is an American recording from 1898, but the one he considers the rarest and most interesting is a Gaisberg recording of a Japanese song from 1903.”
Spotted via Reddit: a new archive for Pocket PC software. From the front page: “As time goes on, software for Pocket PCs becomes harder and harder to find. Pocket PC Planet’s goal is to make software for Windows CE, Pocket PC 2000/2002, and Windows Mobile easy to find. Something important to note is that Pocket PC Planet does not support piracy. The software on the website is either abandonware or available with the developer’s consent.” The site is still under development, but there’s plenty here.
CNET: Make papercraft models of vintage computers and gaming systems. “If you’re looking for a nostalgia fix and something crafty to do during your coronavirus lockdown, why not build a vintage computer or gaming system with these easy paper model kits? These highly detailed color paper models are free to download and share.”
Mike Shouts: SwiftUI iPod Classic Project Brings iPod Classic Interface To Your iPhone. “Smartphone has changed the way we consume music. Its integration with our lives was slow, but seamless enough that we forgot how much we miss the iPod Classic. We didn’t how much we miss the good’ol iPod (and by extension, the good’ol Jobs-era Apple) until we saw the SwiftUI iPod Classic Project. So what the hell is SwiftUI iPod Classic Project? Oh, nothing much really. It is just an awesome app that turns your iPhone into an iPod Classic.”
iFixit: Rebble with a Cause: How Pebble Watches Were Granted an Amazing Afterlife. “In the early summer of 2018, you could buy an Apple Watch with built-in GPS, wireless payments, and speakers that buzz water out after a swim. Meanwhile, Katharine Berry was hustling to keep five-year-old watches with black and white screens alive.”
Engadget: Adorable internet-connected bunny Nabaztag is being resurrected. Yay! I think I still have one around here somewhere. “Robot pets have come a long way since the heady days of Tamagotchi — we’ve got Sony’s adorable Aibo that requires training and Groove X’s fuzzy Lovot that follows you affectionately around the house. But none have quite captured the spirit of the delightful Nabaztag, the cute internet-connected robo-bunny released in 2005, which communicated information through color, motion and sound. Now, thanks to a crowdfunding endeavor, Nabaztag is hopping back into our lives.”
MakeUseOf: How to Use Your iPhone as a Webcam: 5 Methods That Work. “Did you know it’s possible to use your iPhone as a webcam? It’s never going to quite mimic a webcam in the traditional sense, but there are a few apps that’ll record the phone’s camera and send it to a Mac, a Windows PC, another mobile device, or even to the web.”
The Register: Dust off that old Pentium, Linux fans: It’s Elive. “Designed to run on minimal hardware, Elive is very much a passion project of its leader, Samuel F Baggen. Based on Debian, the first version took a bow in 2005. The second stable version made an appearance in 2010 and it has been a long eight years for the third stable version to become available.” If you’ve got some old rigs laying around that need an OS, this might do this trick. Crazy-low system requirements.
The Register: Oz retro computer collection in dire straits, bulldozers on horizon. “Australian retro computer fans, it’s time to mobilise: the shoestring volunteers trying to preserve computer history here are the end of their lease, money, and wits. So if you have storage space and a sentimental feeling about, say, a DEC MicroVAX 4000, part of a PDP-11, or a Control Data CDC-6600 backplane, you’ll be welcomed with open arms by the Australian Computer History Museum.”
Bit-Tech: BBC launches Computer Literacy Project archive. “The BBC has added the output of its Computer Literacy Project, covering more than 260 full-length TV programmes and 166 BBC Micro computer programs, to its Taster testing site – though nostalgic programmers have only three months to try it out. Launched in 1982 with The Computer Programme, which was followed by Making the Most of the Micro a year later and Micro Live between 1984 and 1987, the BBC’s Computer Literacy Project followed the UK government’s push to get microcomputers – at the time rare novelties – into schools throughout the country.”
This is so off-topic, but I love it. Apologies. From DIY Photography: This Photographer Shot Formula 1 With Game Boy Camera And Clip-on Smartphone Lens. “Game Boy camera was launched twenty years ago, and technology has advanced immensely since then. Nevertheless, experimenting with this toy camera in the modern era is still kind of fun. Photographer Tim Binnion recently brought his to 2018 Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, China. He captured the Formula 1 race with the 0.016-megapixel camera, and the results are unusual and pretty amazing.”
The Register: NASA dusts off FORTRAN manual, revives 20-year-old data on Ganymede. “NASA scientists have made some new discoveries about Jupiter’s giant moon Ganymede, thanks to a dedicated team, an elderly VAX machine and 20-year-old data from the long-defunct Galileo probe. Fifteen years after Galileo (no, not that one) ended its days with a plunge into the atmosphere of Jupiter, NASA scientists have resurrected the 20-year-old datasets and added more detail to the puzzle of Ganymede’s magnetosphere.”
New-to-me, from TechCrunch: Conserve the Sound is an archive of noises from old tape players, projectors and other dying tech. “All of us grew up around tech different from what we have today, and many of us look back on those devices with fondness. But can you recall the exact sound your first Casio keyboard made, or the cadence of a rotary phone’s clicks? Conserve the Sound aims to, well, conserve the sound of gadgets like these so that future generations will know what it sounded like to put a cartridge in the NES.”