1976 Apple computer made of wood
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wooden console
Indulge me a little romance for technology long past. I generally avoid waxing nostalgic over the time before people like me got to live on the Internet all day, but there’s something so compelling about the primordial technology that served only brief, esoteric purpose.

Long before computers were mass-produced, you had arcane wooden lovelies like this one, hand-made by Steve Wozniak himself. There’s undeniable warmth to the console, and not just because of the organic materials; the wood-shop quality reveals a creator, and the personal touches connect us to a craftsman, as well as a programmer.

A model like this one (only 200 were made) originally sold for $666.66, though collectors now pay up to $50,000.


Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace’ Episode 1

The first episode in the new series by Adam Curtis, All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace is now available to watch in full on YouTube.

Starting by examining our current era of supposed economic, social and online freedoms, Curtis manages to join the dots between Ayn Rand, Alan Greenspan, the IMF’s involvement in East Asia, radical Islam and Silicon Valley’s economic boom. This episode features some very interesting and candid interviews with Rand confidants Nathaniel and Barbara Branden, Nathaniel having had an affair with Rand that lasted many years. Presented in the typical, excellent Adam Curtis style, using lots of obscure stock footage and a great soundtrack, this is essential viewing.

Episode two of All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace (“How The Idea Of The Ecosystem Was Invented”) is available to watch here.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace: Trailer for Adam Curtis Doc
Adam Curtis on the death of Bin Laden


Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Jonathan Viner’s paintings of ‘70s-style computer geeks
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Jonathan Viner

Ha! These are great! New York-based artist Jonathan Viner paints “computer geeks” from our 70s mainframe past. His solo exhibition, “COMPUTER SCIENCE” is currently being shown March 31 to April 30, 2011 at Sloan Fine Art.

Shortly after his first son was born, artist Jonathan Viner naturally had fatherhood and his own childhood on his mind. As children, Viner and his twin brother spent hours visiting the robotics lab at the New York Institute of Technology, where their father taught and worked. Faded memories of “computer nerds” playing Dungeons and Dragons, sharing ideas, and celebrating on New Year’s Eve came back to him as the artist shuttled between infant care, painting and conversations with artists, critics and enthusiasts over Facebook.

Inspired by the stunning impact these unlikely heroes from his childhood have had on the world, Viner began hunting online for class photos of computer science majors from the 1970’s. Those old photos, mined through Google on an iPad, became the starting point for “COMPUTER SCIENCE.”

More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Look, I’m on television!’: Steve Jobs preps for the big time

Six years after he graduated high school, and four years after the LSD experiences that he’s called “one of the two or three most important things I’ve done in my life,” and less than two years after he co-founded a company named after a fruit, the biological son of graduate students Abdulfattah Jandali and Joanne Simpson prepped nervously for his first TV interview.

Ya gotta figure most game-changers have found themselves “deathly ill and ready to throw up at any moment,” right?

Thanks, Cameron Macdonald!

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment