Category Archives: Technology

Google Street View Hyperlapse

Google Street View Hyperlapse from Teehan+Lax Labs on Vimeo.

What an absolutely amazing idea! I love the way the video and music match so well. Excellent work, and an excellent idea. I think you can make your own videos, but you need Google Chrome to make it work.

I bet the video won’t embed properly, but as I’m about to dash out the door for our monthly Invicta Shutterbugs photowalk you’ll have to click through and see it for yourselves.

Progress

It seems to be inevitable that eventually you begin to hit the end stops of what your computer is capable of. I’ve owned my current Mac, a 2.33GHz Intel Core2Duo MacBook Pro, since the middle of 2008. It has served me well, and still manages to just keep its head above water most of the time. Sadly, software moves on, and I find myself getting frustrated and struggling at times to make headway.

As an example of what I mean, let’s take a look at how my machine handles processing images in Aperture. I import Canon RAW files to Aperture, and do the small amount of post processing I generally require. I rate and make selections, shuffle things about into projects and folders, and export directly to Flickr or 500px via plugins, or export JPEGs for other uses.

Exporting
Exporting JPEGs. According the Activity Monitor, that relatively simple process needs nearly all of both processor cores.

With the Mac maxxed out with 3GB RAM, there’s precious little overhead left for anything else. It’s reaching a point where I have to plan my productivity, deciding which applications to run and when. When running Pixelmator, I even have to periodically reboot the computer to clear caches and memory. It’s like the 1990s all over again!

Activity
The galling thing is a new Mac is affordable, just not right at the moment. After nearly a decade of mobile computing, I’ve decided to put down roots at my desk again. My next Mac will be a Mac mini, and I’ll max out the RAM from the start!

Why we’re building Charles Babbage’s Victorian computer

But Babbage’s machine has something that no others have: its sheer scale. It is about the size of a small steam locomotive, which means that people will be able to appreciate the architecture and internal workings of a computer by watching it in operation. The analytical engine has a central processor (today’s “chip”) and expandable memory, is programmed with punched cards, and even has a printer. And Babbage hadn’t forgotten the human operator: a bell is included to summon help in case of a problem.

Once complete, the machine should be able to run some of the programs that have been waiting almost two centuries for the computer they were designed for to be finished. Babbage prepared punched cards containing programs (perhaps containing programs worked on with collaborator Ada Lovelace), that have to this day been carefully preserved.

via Why we’re building Charles Babbage’s Victorian computer | John Graham-Cumming | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.

I wish them luck. I’ve seen the Difference Engine that was built a few years ago, and to see a full-scale working Analytical Engine will be just awesome.

BBC News – Flossie restored: Early computer back to life in Kent

One of the world’s oldest commercial computers has been brought back to life by two enthusiasts in a barn in Kent.

The ICT1301 computer, known as Flossie, was restored to working order on its 50th anniversary by engineers Roger Holmes and Rod Brown in Bethersden.

The 20ft (6m) by 22ft machine was built to replace rows of clerks doing office work and featured in the 1974 James Bond film The Man With The Golden Gun.

Bought for £200 in 2003, it has 100 times less power than a smartphone.

via BBC News – Flossie restored: Early computer back to life in Kent.

I love the history of computing. It’s a fascinating story, even without the geekery and nerdism.