Blog archive January 2009

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25.01.09 / 01 / manned spacecraft in colour

yesterday on a whim i scanned in the illustrations from 'manned spacecraft in colour', a recent find. i had intended to do one or two but when i saw the results i had to do nearly all of them. the originals are not much bigger than A6, but blown up on screen the level of detail is amazing - you can get down to the crayon strokes. they are wonderful examples of the technical illustrator's art. nowadays such things as the apollo mission sequence would be modelled on a computer, but i doubt the results would be as engaging.

these late 60s early 70s space illustrations and books are a genre. i notice that the same illustrations and diagrams were used in numerous books [especially the rockwell apollo sequence] - and the authors were often shared too - which gives the output of the time a certain unity. the illustrations were standing in for photgraphs and attempt to be realistic and factual, but they can't escape the graphic 'feel' of the period - indeed for those of us who grew up on these things they were the graphic feel of the period, which is why i'm interested in them now.

24.01.09 / 02 / netsurfin' 1994

from the same archive, this macworld piece from 1994 about the mosaic browser and the then-new web. stephen levy might be embarrassed by it now - crass surfing metaphors, vague sexism, and naive astonishment at accessing stuff from around the world at random - however bad the stuff. only people over 35 will remember how strange that once seemed. 15 years on, global random access is taken for granted and we are astonished when we can't get it. still, levy was prescient:

The latest status symbol is putting up one's personal home page - a private URL is more desirable than a Beverly Hills area code - complete with digitized portrait, hypertext resume, your vacation photos, and of course the proper links to your favourite Web sites and the home pages of all your friends. Mosaic, I think, will one day be everyone's personal interface with the world. Soon we will have Secure Mosaic and be able to use our credit cards to buy things directly from Mosaic sites.

24.01.09 / 01 / macintosh 1993

since today is the 25th anniversary of the macintosh, i thought i'd publish a couple of pages from macworld april 1993 showing the entire mac range at that time. i was reading up to buy a computer, but i was too unemployed/broke at the time. by 1994 apple were changing to the power pc chip, so i let that change get established, and then bought a 7200/90 in january 96 as an act of belief, i suppose, during apple's lowest point when it wasn't clear if the company could survive the copland OS debacle. my work machine at that time was a 66MHz compaq, compared to which the 7200/90 was like a ferrari.

04.01.09 / 02 / credit crunch cooking?

these squirrel meat recipes come from a late 1940s cookbook belonging to my mother [though she hasn't tried these on us!]. squirrels aside it's actually a very good and comprehensive guide to traditional british cuisine before foreign influences started to come in post-war [elizabeth david, terence conran etc]. george orwell and his wife get an acknowledgement alongside Department of Food and Eating for Victory bods [all very 1984/1948].

as we enter a new age of austerity maybe we can learn from the last. squirrels are plentiful and have no food miles.


There is a stall at the local farmers market that occasionally sells squirrel if you're inclined to try any of the recipes.

adam baxter

04.01.09 / 01 / i cracked

i finally bought one after years of resistance


bought an ion turntable too, to digitize my 12" vinyl and cassettes - some of that stuff is otherwise unobtainable. it will be good to recover a large chunk of my musical history that i haven't heard for years.


I never thought I would like my iPod as much as I did and I am not a huge music person. We have three in our house now (Touch, Nano, and a Shuffle) which would have seemed absurd a couple of years ago. I hope you enjoy it.

jordon cooper

I had no idea you had been holding out. I can't believe I gave in to a piece of Apple technology a full 18 months sooner than you. Some of the best money I've spent, though. Especially now that I train it into work every day.

daniel miller

i didn't really need it until now. at work i had a CD player [until it was stolen] and then i used my phone. I don't listen while commuting. but i got frustrated at the limited capacity of my phone, and i'm over CDs gathering dust on shelves. and Grace sound is now just ipods dropped into the IDJ mixer.

although i appreciate technologies and gadgets i seldom feel the need to possess them until they are of real use to me.


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