buy Flomax no prescription Synthroid without prescription buy buspar buy Singulair online buy Prednisone online Amitriptyline lasix without prescription buy buspar online buy super Levitra online Prednisone without prescription buy trazodone without prescription Zithromax No Prescription Propecia Amoxicillin

Monthly Archives: May 2007

You are browsing the site archives by month.

Dollops of Sunshine

Here we go again — I found another cool/old record weblog while doing some research. This time I was trying to find info on ’60s singer Julie Budd, one of whose songs was included on a Sunshine Pop mix made by my friend Ion (Yesterday’s Sunshine, excellent and if you email me nicely I might be able to share a copy). It was during this search that this page popped up as part of Waxidermy, a site which reviews old vinyl of every genre as long as it’s sufficiently obscure (and having a weird cover photo apparently helps, too). Occasionally they share mp3s; the two songs by Ms. Budd are nice examples of that rare crossover between Broadway style razzle dazzle and psych-pop.

Advance to the Next Screen

Cartoon Brew linked to an excellent article on educational film strips recently. The Creative Pro piece explains how those old filmstrips basically kick the butt of today’s PowerPoint presentations in terms of conveying information in a concise manner, illustrated with many wonderful images which made me feel like a third grader again. Try not to scroll through the article without uttering a “beep” before clicking the browser down a screen.

Shyness filmstrip

Jesus in 12″ or Less

Where have I been? In the long and sticky process of finding artwork for every song in my iTunes library. While searching for info on a old, campy LP by preacher John Rydgren, I came across the weblog Heavenly Grooves which presents downloads on all sorts of home grown religious recordings from the ’60s to the early ’80s. I used to come across a lot of intriguing looking albums of this stripe in my thrifting days, but never bought any of them ’cause, well, they’re all about Jesus. At least with this weblog you can try stuff out without the risk of losing 99 cents! I hope they post more white bread vocal group LPs, preferably the ones where the ladies sport mile-high beehives on the cover.

Rhapsody in Felt

Muppet Newsflash has the goods on the upcoming Muppet Show Season Two DVD box, set for release in August. One thing the post doesn’t mention is whether the “Muppet Morsels” from the season one box will also be used on this one. I hope so. Pop-up factoids are rare on TV show season sets, and the ones from season one (identifying puppeteers and providing info on the various guest hosts) were a ton of fun.

Book Review: Core Memory

Core Memory - coverI have a strange affinity for wall-sized computers in old movies. Banks of blinking lights and spinning reels of magnetic tape made for nice background scenery, but they’re nothing compared to the real stories behind those early, rare and expensive computers. These pioneering machines are explored in an unexpectedly sumptuous way via Core Memory: A Visual Survey of Vintage Computers.

This kind of book is a retro-computer geek’s dream come true, but for a layman like myself John Alderman’s text fills in the details and history on each machine wonderfully well. Mark Richards’ photography gets in deep and close, bringing out intriguing abstract patterns in the masses of transistors, buttons and chips (plus he gets a lot of mileage on how the internal wiring on many old machines resemble human veins). The photos also focus on the pieces’ humble, human aspects — be it the handwritten fire and police phone numbers on 1961’s SAGE computer or the funky plywood box housing Steve Wozniak’s original Apple from 1976. The end result is that these early computers are not as imposing as previously thought, but much more impressive in terms of what they did at the time.

This book also serves as a neat browse if only to check out how each computer’s design reflects the time it was made in. For instance, the Nippon NEAC 2203 from 1960 (pictured in the spread below) has the same clean and angular “Populuxe” look shared by cars from the same era. By the time we get to Digital’s DEC PDP-8 (pictured on the cover) of a few years later, muted tones have given way to a groovy palette of oranges, yellows and browns. I never thought I’d say this about an old computer, but trés chic.

The computers covered in this book range from interesting, short-lived failures (Honeywell’s Jetsons-esque Kitchen Computer) to popular classics (the Commodore 64). The only complaint I’d have is that many of the profiled machines don’t have a single, straightforward exterior view — just details. But that’s a small blemish on an otherwise fine book.

Core Memory was just published by Chronicle. Buy at Amazon here.

Core Memory - spread

The Year We Made Contact

This trippy animated segment from PBS’s 3-2-1 Contact really wowed me as a kid. I used to watch these every day after school and (geek alert) draw pictures and write about the topics covered. Even after hours I was a good little student, damnit! Interestingly, the initial batch of sixty five 3-2-1 episodes were repeated from 1980-83 until the funds for a second season could be sufficiently raised. It is these early ones I remember best. Disappointingly, I couldn’t locate an episode of The Bloodhound Gang or its funky theme song on YouTube.