Sounds of obsolete technology

Modern technology is so quiet and efficient, so here are some reminders of how noisy computing used to be:

Number 1: The dot-matrix printer.

Number 2: Rotary dial phones.

Number 3: Tape-loading games

Number 4: Modems

Number 5: Floppy drives

Kuroshio Sea Aquarium

The aquarium is a part of the Ocean Expo Commemorative National Government Park located in Motobu, Okinawa. The main tank called the ‘Kuroshio Sea’ holds 7,500-cubic meters (1,981,290 gallons) of water and features the world’s second largest acrylic glass panel, measuring 8.2 meters by 22.5 meters with a thickness of 60 centimeters.

Imagine cleaning the glass on that! I think I need to sort my own aquarium out, it contains two fish and quite a lot of snails. The new filter seems to be running nicely, so I’ll pull out the old under-gravel filter out and restock it with fish again.

Trip to the dentist

Went to the dentist, had a missing filling repaired. I think this video illustrates the situation nicely

To be fair though, my dentist is great and only spends five minutes digging around in my face with the needle while calmly saying “try to relax”. I’ll relax once you’ve finished prodding my brain with that six inch nail, since that’s what it feels like he’s doing with the needle.

Why is it that the most painful and unpleasant part of dentistry is having the anaesthetic injection? That, Alanis is ironic.

ZX Spectrum +3 with DivIDE CF board and RGB cable

A month or so ago I ordered a DivIDE board from Papaya Labs. The DivIDE board is an ATA interface for the ZX Spectrum, allowing IDE devices such as hard disks, CDROM drives and Compact Flash cards to be plugged into the Spectrum, which, through a special loader built into the board, allows .Z80, .TAP and .SNA images to be loaded into the Spectrum and run. The .Z80 and .SNA images are simply pushed into the Spectrum and it runs them with no need to reboot. The .TAP files are presented to the Spectrum as real tapes, and after typing ‘LOAD “”‘ they load in exactly as a tape would – only in a few seconds, rather than a few minutes.

This is a long post, with lots of information in, more after the break… Press it, you can watch a YouTube video at the end. More photos of the setup available on my photos website.

Continue reading ZX Spectrum +3 with DivIDE CF board and RGB cable

Digging for victory?

My pet gerbils digging and tunnelling

There is supposed to be an embedded YouTube video below this text. If it’s not there, click the link above instead.

Here you go, a short video of my pet gerbils digging in their gerbilarium. According to gerbil intelligence, the ideal home has two entrances, a central bit and the food buried in a corner. Interior redecoration is encouraged and spontaneous, in fact it is normal to leave in the morning and to return, finding your front door has been moved and the living room is now in the kitchen.

Since taking this video they have filled everything in and are busy making more mess.

I need an endoscope, the mud on the glass makes it hard to see what’s going on.

Keep it simple, stupid? Naah… Rube Goldberg had it right

While trailing around the Internet, and once again finding the Honda Accord advert (the one with the little cogs and stuff that roll around in some giant Rube Goldberg Machine) I came across another done in a similar style.

Only this one was done back in 1987, and involves fire and explosions and fireworks. And chemical reactions. The makers seem quite eager to set the floor of their “studio” on fire. And thanks to the wonders of YouTube, you can see the video…

It’s called “Der Lauf Der Dinge” and is 30 minutes long. It starts off quite slow but gets progressively more amusing and interesting to watch. They have some wonderfully flammable and corrosive looking foam in several places.

And if that’s not enough, here’s a very amusing Rube Goldberg Machine done entirely in the Half Life 2 gameworld.

Still not bored? Press here for a whole 4,000 of them.

Remember kids: Try this at home.