Showing posts with label Godzilla. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Godzilla. Show all posts

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pi Day! The Ultimate Pi Day of the Century.

Ooo... such a beautiful sequence of numbers this is! Today is the day that Pi and time collide and for an infinitesimally long bit Pi is repeated forever...
At least in the artificial construct we call time. All I know is that we don't have enough of it. Even Elder Spawn got to experience little of the small death known as sleep this week with homework and rehearsals. She is a number fanatic and obsesses about sequences, but is opting to sleep in. We have another chance in the PM, but we will be watching Joshua Bell from the third row center at the Kauffman Center.We could be on a cruise ship full of Spring Break extroverts instead. Nah.


 I know a lawyer who memorized Pi out to 2,000 places, backwards and forwards. I'm consistently remember 3.14. But for today, we can contemplate the great beyond:
3.141592665335989793238462 etc.


Thanks for geeking out with me!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Geek Pride Day! The 2013 Edition

Happy Geek Pride Day!

Today we recognize one of the defining moments in modern Geekdom that was the release of Star Wars on May 25, 1977. As with last year, I will celebrate by featuring the some of the awesomely geeky things I have featured on this blog or photographed in the last year.

Sometimes I even surprise myself. What kind of a geek put this blog together, anyway?

This is the Army that turned the tide in the war against the Mayan Destructors.

Could it be the Mayans came up with that world ending calendar concept as an elaborate means to introduce a new typewriter acquisition?  Anything is possible in tinfoil hat conspiracy land.

The Christmas Squirrel is an astute military commander.

The freakingly amazing Curiosity!

Celebrating a special birthday.

Experts in green inspect a repainted machine.
Zombie on the streets of Kansas City. I hope no one steals their coffee.

The House Full of Nerds viewing the Transit of Venus.

Typecasting on vacation.

I got to see five separate Shakespeare performances since Geekday 2012.

A Maker, making.



You never know what will turn up at the local Maker Faire. Go, you must.

Your career at NASA

The Vintage Technology Obsessions crew visits San Francisco for Greenbuild 2012


Godzilla put up a valiant fight against the Mayan Destructors. Thank goodness the world didn't end!
The absolute highlight in my year in Geekdom was staying up to watch the livestream of Curiosity landing on Mars. This bit of awesome was brought to us via the great, modern disruptive force known as the Internet. It is gratifying to see personalities from the mission team become media rock stars. Really, we live in the Golden Age of Geek.

Photographing my screen.



That's without mentioning the amazing photos from the ISS courtesy of Chris Hadfield (my daily Twitter fix) and all of the awesome news rolling out of Elon Musk's technological market disruption empire. Tesla just became the first auto maker to fully pay back its government loans and is attempting to circumvent the dealer franchise model of selling cars. SpaceX completed the first commercial mission to the ISS. Geeks, without a doubt, are on a roll!

Oh, and thanks to Yahoo, Flickr and digital imaging, everyone is now a professional photographer!

Prom photos at the Duke University Gardens last week. Sure, Yahoo's CEO rolled back the snarky comment about professional photographers, but it appears she really meant it. Does that mean every 12-year-old that makes an app is on par with a Google system architect?

On a personal note, I am especially proud of my Geeklings. They have had an amazing year full of music, drama and obsessive academic over-achievement. Highlights include Geekling the Elder playing Curtis in a school production of "Taming of the Shrew" and Geekling the Minor (aka: gingercat) being recognized in the Duke TIP 7th Grade Talent Search.
 

In case you are interested, the 2012 parade of geek that is Vintage Technology Obsessions is at http://vintagetechobsessions.blogspot.com/2012/05/geek-pride-day.html

Thanks all for reading this little blog of mine! I would probably do it without anyone looking, but the hit counts (approaching 50,000), Google Plus Ones and comments from people like you are gratifying.


Friday, April 19, 2013

How green is the Olivetti Lexikon 80?

Just how green is our Olivetti Lexikon 80? Let's ask the experts!

Most Green Experts Agree: "So pretty!"

 A few weeks ago I received a functional Lexikon 80 purchased through ebay. The fact that it worked is a testament to sound engineering and design. It was covered in the all-too-familiar sludge patina of old nicotine, dried lube and fine dust. Over the years, the dull, gray body shell had been cleaned aggressively. The color was none too attractive to begin with and was only made worse for wear by embedded dirt and fine scratches.

The machine as shown on ebay. You'll have to imagine the sticky nicotine and oil film. The end of the carriage draw band came undone during shipping.
Why did I buy this ugly machine? I've been watching Lexikon 80s for close to a year and have only seen five listed on ebay. Of the two others confirmed as functional, one was pickup only and another had an extra wide carriage. One entertaining listing showed a Lexikon with a two+ foot or so carriage covered in rust with no hood. I saw one come and go on etsy priced at several hundred dollars. This beast was $49 plus shipping.

 Obviously, this machine needed a makeover. I looked at the rattle-can paint available at several local auto supply stores and was unimpressed. Ultimately, I picked a color available at a local hardware store. It is vaguely reminiscent of an Olivetti color. We think it looks nice enough to live indoors. As for the shade of green, we asked the experts to weigh in on our redecorated machine.

Little Godzilla approves of the keyboard feel. "Light and snappy!", he says.

Shogun Godzilla and the Attacking Martian find this shade to be appealing.
Getting color balance right can be tricky when shooting green objects. One of the images I posted on Google+ was trippy acid green. In some light it looks darker. If I were less lazy I would break out camera manuals and figure out how to balance against a gray card. Maybe someday.

The infamous Google+ introduction. I took this with an early iPhone in my garage under fluorescent lighting. The extreme does make an impression.


We could compare the Lexikon with another green typewriter. How about Keylime, our Duotone Royal?

I just spent a week running off an iPad and iPhone. Forgive the typos, etc.



Other Lexikon 80 posts from the Typosphere:
http://idreamlo-tech.blogspot.com/2012/07/holy-grail-reveal-olivetti-lexikon-80.html
http://writingball.blogspot.com/2011/11/olivetti-team-installment-1.html
http://writingball.blogspot.com/2010/08/olivetti-lexikon-80.html

And two Graphika machines:
http://writingball.blogspot.com/2010/12/olivetti-graphika.html
http://writingball.blogspot.com/2013/03/going-public-part-4.html
http://www.retrotechgeneva.com/2012/05/big-reveal-olivetti-graphika.html


Friday, March 1, 2013

Remington 8 Number 8,000,000 80th Birthday!


On March 1, 1933, Remington manufactured its eight-millionth machine. Unlike most typewriters, we know exactly when this one was made since they affixed an engraved nameplate.


A proper birthday celebration might have featured party hats, party favors, a Deco style layer cake, lots of sugared up portable typewriters, a bouncy castle, dancing bears, mimes, jugglers, fire-eaters and a Polka band. However, it's Friday and we are just getting over the latest blizzard and the school/work week. MEK of the House Full of Nerds baked banana bread today. I'll take fresh banana bread over a store bought cake any day!

As I was taking these photos, my Spousal Unit, MEK, commented that "This has to be the Nerdiest thing we've ever done!" Well, I beg to differ. We went one step further and sang "Happy Birthday" to the typewriter. Extreme Nerds have no limits!

You can read about this lovely machine in excruciating/loving detail at ITAM Special Report: The Eight Millionth Remington

If you dare, read all about this machine's acting debut at "Last Stand at the Remington"  Godzilla loves the attention!

This was all Teeritz's fault. That and an impulse control issue on my part.

Happy Birthday, Remington!

The Dread Copyright Notice: All words and images are copyright Dwayne F. of vintagetechobsessions. Beyond penalties allowed under law, we have a legion of barely controlled robots and giant monsters at our command. You don't really want to meet them in the middle of the night. Share the love and link back to this site. I'm good with non-commercial use with attribution. See, I can be totally reasonable.



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gojira vs. the Mayan Destructors!

Godzilla is back and he's mad!  But can he save us from the Mayan Destructors?

Agent Svetlana Optima is still on the job and has gotten close enough to watch the terror unfold.

No two bit Mayan robot monster thing is going to stomp San Francisco!  That's Godzilla's job!
The Vintage Technology Obsessions team was pretty optimistic when the photos started coming in over the satellite uplink.  Godzilla has some new and unexpected tricks!  Sure, he vacillates between being for or being against human civilization, but today he is with us and that is all that matters.

Ha!  Take that, Destructors!  Godzilla now has Atomic Balls of Doom at his command!
The photos gave us a lot of hope.  Godzilla has faced much worse.  Mecha Godzilla almost did him in.  The King of Monsters will not be denied!

And then a message was delivered from the office to our underground lair:





That's it.  Three more days and it's over.  We don't even know what happened to that brave giant robot who did battle with these same Destructors yesterday.  Godzilla didn't even slow them down.

The EMP from the last atomic blast took down Svetlana's sat comm.  At least the Stasi built up their agents' resistance to radiation.  She is a survivor.  We should be so lucky.

Seventy-two hours and counting...



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thoughts on Greenbuild 2012 and San Francisco

Welcome to my post Greenbuild 2012 blog entry!  Scroll on down for the typecast...

This is probably the most touristy thing I took a photo of other than looking back on the Ferry Building from an adjacent pier.
This hybrid Fisker Karma is about 3,000 times cooler than my hybrid Prius.  Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket.


This is USGBC Founder and CEO Rick Fedrizzi delivering a message to the anti-LEED lobby during the Opening Plenary session.  I work for a construction product company, but I also help write and maintain LEED.  Politics is a complicated beast.

Fast forward from Tuesday to Friday for the Closing Plenary.  That statistic on the screen is accurate: the entire number of volunteer hours that have gone into building and curating Wikipedia are equal to three weeks of Angry Birds play.  This statistic makes me a bit more prone to be focused on life and learning.
The Closing Plenary was a bit more dynamic than last year's, but they all tend to seem long after several days and nights of sessions and receptions.  The speaker, Jane McGonigal, is a TED favorite.  She presented a variation of her TED talk on harnessing the problem solving and creativity of gamers to crowd source solutions to difficult problems.

The next speaker is a prominent architect and proponent of regenerative design, William McDonough. Among others, his most widely known project is the redesign of the Ford Rouge Truck Plant.  From the perspective of moving towards a Net Zero future, he raised the fundamental question of "What's Next?"


William McDonough has very strong opinions on materials in design.  His consulting group has worked with a number of Fortune 500 companies.  His TED talk tracks many of the concepts brought forth at Greenbuild.


This cursive typeface is unique to Royal portables from the 1960s.  Mine is a grey on grey Futura 800/

And the last Greenbuild related photo below is the view from the Google Green Team lair.  The food was fabulous as well.





Here are a few scenes from around San Francisco.  For anyone who is curious, all shots were taken with a Sony NEX-3 with the kit lens or 16mm f2.8 pancake lens.  Many of the street photos were taken by pointing the camera in the right direction without looking at the view screen.  The auto-focus is quick enough to shoot from the hip and capture casual scenes.

Public skating rink at Union Square.  The sight of palm trees and a giant Christmas tree together was only a little disconcerting.

The homeless fleet massing across from the Ferry Building.  In my limited experience, I found the panhandlers to be far less aggressive here than in Atlanta, Chicago or Washington, D.C.

Public protest is a way of life in San Francisco.  This is across from the cordoned off entrance to the Federal Reserve building.

Again, public protest is a common event.  However, this guy was angry, loud and semi-intelligible.  Even the locals were giving him wide berth.

This much vacant sidewalk at midday is a rarity.
At the very end of Greenbuild week, I found myself with no meetings or working meals.  I hopped the bus to find the Super7 Store.  The fact that it is located in Haight-Ashbury was a happy coincidence.  The food was great and cheap.  The stores were great for browsing and I was able to bring home some Super7 merch straight from the source!

Yeah, it was sunny all week while I was in the convention center (sigh).  This gives a little bit of the flavor of the area.



One of the cool specialty stores.  Well, cool if you enjoy irony.  They even had an Underwood 3-bank portable for sale!


But the main reason I took the bus to Haight-Asbury is the one and only Super 7 Store!  Imagine, a store full of giant robot, Star Wars, giant monster and urban vinyl paraphernalia.  Nerd heaven!



Unexpected bonus:  the first Kid Robot store was just up the street!


And with one last awesome storefront, we shall bid the fair city of San Francisco adieu.


 Hmmm...let us see if I can think of something creatively snarky to say about my Copyright to the text and images contained herein this little blog of mine.  Well, I own it all!  Bwa, ha, ha.  Yes, so greedy of me in this open-source world; but that is just the way it is.  Images may be used for non-commercial purposes with attribution pointing back to this blog or to my Picasa collection.  They may not be utilized for commercial purposes without express permission from the owner - that being Dwayne F.  I know:  that which can be published digitally can be hacked.  Go ahead.  Just see what happens.  I happen to have a fleet of giant robots and monsters at my command.  Remember what happened to poor San Francisco in my last post.  I repeat:  bwa, ha, ha.