I was thinking about all the things I’ve been
interested in obsessed about over the years, and it’s quite a list. Some of them are interesting, most of them unfinished. Well, it seems like that. I thought I’d jot down some notes and share some pictures.
Off the top of my head, we have…
Slide Rules – first the Slide Rule Trading Post, then JavaSlide the interactive slide rule (which was taken down via a cease-and-desist through use of the word “Java”) and eventually the International Slide Rule Group at Yahoo. Still going strong.
Calculators – specifically, Soviet Calculators. I ran the website Museum of Soviet Calculators for a number of years and “discovered” about a hundred different machines from the cold war era. The Soviet secret services almost certainly have a thick file on me, as I spent a lot of time communicating with members of the Soviet Academy of Sciences and smuggling various technology in empty cereal packets from the East to the West.
Atari 2600 – Although I have a background in professional video game programming, I had never programmed for the machine that started it all, the Atari VCS/2600. Back in 1996 or so I became interested and started to learn how it worked. I wrote a tutorial how-to which is still in use today, and ended up programming two titles for the machine – Qb and Boulder Dash.
uWatch – I saw this gem one day online and just had to have it. A homebrew calculator-watch invented by David Jones in the early 2000s. I soon joined with David and totally rewrote the user interface software. It included algebraic and RPN calculators, sunrise and sunset, played a mean game of chess, and of course was a dazzling wristwatch. I actually wore this thing for a while.
3D Printers – I built myself a few mini-kossel 3d printers. I got to the stage where I could use the manual controls to move the head around and the filament feed was working. Kind of abandoned, but maybe one day I’ll get back to it. I became very active on thingiverse.com with my designs for improved printer parts.
photogrammetry – this is the reconstruction of 3D representations of objects using multiple photographs of the object. It’s pretty cool technology, and I spent some time mastering this, including a nude self-portrait in 3D. Still working with this today.
Those and more. If I find the time, I may very well dedicate a post to each of the above, with pictures.