The Origin of the iPad – kinda

Everything stems from something before it – after all, you couldn’t have Oasis without the Beatles, you couldn’t have the Beatles without Elvis, and you couldn’t have Elvis without … you get the idea.

Hidden Room at the Beeb

Click to Go to the BBC site: Analogue Computing, Polaroid's Back, Cockney Singing

RSS readers / can’t see the link? click http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/click_online/8710938.stm to go to the Beeb’s Site:

This is the piece I did for BBC Click all about analogue tech, and it was such a pleasure to do.

Some interesting behind-the-scenes stuff

  • The computer behind Kevin Murrell in the picture is an old analogue machine from the 1970s, it’s modelling a damped mass, i.e. adjusting the suspension on a wheel so it bounces properly. The oscilloscope shows the trace on screen.
  • The Analogue Computing Room is one of many fascinating places within the National Museum of Computing – there’s a working 2nd world war Colussus machine there, and a bunch of old kit including the beloved ZX spectrum – a lot of the stuff is hands on – you can touch and play with it!
  • The room was quite small, so the camera is right up against one wall, and Kevin is sitting down next to the machine – the camera’s tilted to get that shot.
  • The Polaroid brand has gone through some very interesting times and the name is now licensed out. After an FBI raid, the owner of the holding company will now have to do time in prision.
  • The Impossible Project sells reverse-engineered film for the old cameras. There are some lovely videos on their site and a tour of their factory
  • Adrian Tuddenham from Poppy Records has been given very strange artefacts to play in his time, including magnetized wire and paper. If he doesn’t have a player, he’ll make one. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of microphone technology.
  • The band in the piece are very charming, and called The Men That Would Not Be Blamed for Nothing – they describe their music, roughly, as “Victorian Cockney Grindcore”.
  • Andy Heintz, one of the band members, has 4 cats, the non-ginger cat is called “Ginger”.
  • Andrew O’Neill, another band member, is a stand up comedian and charming telly crasher, smiling in the background and remaining in shot throughout another person’s  interview in the green room of a New Zealand TV show. He also hosts Jack the Ripper walks.
  • To find out more about the Steampunk movement, you can build your own stuff, pop over to  http://steampunkworkshop.com/ .

Righty ho, back to work – my next piece is all about Fitness, and I’ll tell you all about it when I get my breath back …

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Analogue Days

I was asked by BBC Technology to help with their Tech Know segment about making a wax cylinder.

And if you ever wondered what would happen if you put together cockney grindcore band “The Men That Would Not Be Blamed For Nothing“, genius sound recordist Adrian Tuddenham from Poppy Records and of course BBC Tech’s Jason Palmer and multiskilled producer Andrew Webb

… you end up with around 4 minutes of enjoyable mayhem.

From BBC's Tech Know series

RSS Readers/ Can’t see the link? Watch the video by clicking here.

The Wax Cylinder is how audio was recorded before iPods, before MP3s, before CDs and even before Vinyl.

What does the future hold for audiophiles? Do you think the new cloud-based music model will be the next big thing? I’d love your thoughts on the future of audio consumption…