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Just found this project that is digitizing old shellac records now in the public domain. You can listen on the site with their neat digital record player or download the flac files.

@ajroach42 The flip... And I mean the original. 640x480 and everything. I loved the form factor. And the USB thing... Cute idea, but sooo easy to cause damage. Not the best design in the end.

@ajroach42 JVC GF-S550 Super VHS Camcorder. I learned basic ENG/EFP and linear editing with that thing in my broadcast journalism courses in the late 2000’s. Thing was solid and stood out in a fun way.

@ajroach42 Has to be the Pure Digital CVS "disposable" camera for me. (See wundervisionenvisionthefuture. etc.) Nothing too fancy, about the quality of an early webcam in your pocket, for ~$25. You were supposed to return them to get the video, but people figured out the protocol and made software to grab the videos anyway. Always had one in my pocket in school after they came out. If the best camera is the one you have with you, that was the best for years.

The weirder the better! I'm considering a course of action.

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What's the coolest video camera you've ever used?

Yeah, me too.

"Even today, when powering up my Visor again with a pair of AAA batteries, I’m reminded why it was so appealing. I don’t have to charge it, connect it to a wifi network, agree to endless EULAs, explicitly ask it to respect my privacy, create online accounts, or dig out the passwords for countless apps. After a brief tutorial and stylus calibration, its app-filled home screen pops open in an instant."

You really don't understand how much bullshit tech companies have conditioned us to put up with until you pick up a device from 20 or 30 years ago. The absence of all the bullshit on the old device really puts all your current ones into stark contrast.

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@rafial @ajroach42 I have a HomeWorx (a set-top box for broadcast TV) that takes longer to boot that a vacuum tube TV would to warm up. It's as if the digital revolution has more than cancelled out the gains from the solid state revolution.


We're exploring a vintage and DIY toy show in our home town of Ellijay, GA.

We're in north central, GA, foothills of the Appalachian mountains, about 2.5 hours from Asheville, an hour from Chattanooga, and an hour from Atlanta.

We're a little town, but every October, we're over-run with folks coming in for the annual DIY Arts and Crafts Apple Festival.

I think it would be the perfect time for a DIY Toy Show.

We have a couple of potential locations, and a few vendors already committed, but I wanted to test the waters and see who else might want to participate so we can decide which location to lock in, and start promoting!

If past years are any indication, the town will be all but overrun with an absolutely mind boggling crowd of folks looking for hand made art, and they could do a lot worse than some DIY toys.

If you might be interested in participating, drop a comment or shoot me a DM, so I can gauge the number of vendors and figure out if we'll be doing this at Ellijay Coffeehouse, Ellijay Makerspace or if we'll be working with another local business.

Of course, it won't be Assembly Required Asheville, but I think we could make this something special.

Who's with me?

@natecull A recent HN discussion about early Unix and the shell made reference to apparent plans to integrate shell-like capabilities to graphical and audio workflows.

Doug McIlroy, mentioned here:


#unix #shells #DougMcIlroy

@natecull @ajroach42 hypercard is quite remarkable in this regard since in hypercard you *could* literally just copy and paste buttons and dials and things and expect them to just work without needing to rewire their references or adapt the underlying code to the new context. this worked using relative references and scripts that went with the button when copied and pasted

@hugot @ajroach42

(By "BASIC" I don't mean "line numbers", I mean "rapid startup, instant feedback, a safe space for experimentation, and then you can save your work and build on it")

@hugot @ajroach42

The leap from text-based interactive interpreted BASIC systems to C++ based compilation-driven GUIs made everything much weirder and harder than it ever needed to be.

The Smalltalk / Dynabook vision wasn't that. It was basically "BASIC, but with a GUI".

Smalltalk's day might have passed, but something LIKE that really needs to come around again.

@ajroach42 Those old manuals were DAMN thorough and comprehensive. It's like we've gotten too familiar as a society with computers, and now there are so many assumptions made and vital little sub-steps overlooked, whereas once upon a time people knew they were in for a large task and the authors knew they were starting from absolute zero. I guess it would be boring and unnecessary for most people to need to know the IO pins on their device just to make a phone call, but I do resent the walled-in "dumbing down" I perceive to be going on.

But I remain convinced I learned more BASIC than any other language because the resources didn't suck! The Java book I was taught from didn't have a single example that worked!!
I'm sure it has nothing to do with me learning it at a younger age, with more free time then, and more hours invested into the language cumulatively... surely, not that haha

@ajroach42 @ACTupper I think the problem with Scratch is that it’s self-contained. You can’t link external information and actions to it, which makes it effectively useless for a lot of the tasks non-programmers want to achieve.

I actually really like tools like IFTTT and Zapier. I was super impressed with zapier in particular when I tried it, it’s basically iOS shortcuts for the internet, with a surprising amount of power. A free tool like that would be awesome. and from time to time word comes around of someone spotting a small business or organization of some kind operating off one of those old 8-bits. If the machine still runs then why not keep using their custom campground reservation program or invoicing program or whatever it is.

""The solution isn't to push users back to the command line. The solution must be to bring composability to the graphical environment."" -- @ajroach42

I wanna talk about this for a bit because I think it's an important piece of the UI puzzle that we just somehow haven't ever yet realised is a thing we need.

1) Text is a thing that we can a) edit and b) copy/paste

2) GUI constructs, on the other hand, generally we just... can't. They're like hot-glued to the screen.

3) but what if we could?

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