Tag Archives: radio

Victorian Retro Steampunk Computer

stempunk

Victorian Retro Steampunk Computer by Datamancer

Currently available on eBay (opening bid a cool $14,000 US). Seller’s description –

This is a one-of-a-kind, painstakingly handcrafted full PC suite by the renowned Retro-Victorian / Steampunk builder, Richard R. Nagy aka “Datamancer” of www.datamancer.com, easily the most intricate, time-consuming, and original design to come from his workshop to date. 

 

This computer is built as an homage to the brass computational machines made by Charles Babbage in the mid 1800’s. His “Computational Engine” and “Analytical Engine” were giant, mechanical calculators and can arguably be called the first “computers” ever, as they were programmable and contained the first examples of a lot of the programming functions used by computers today.

 

There are a lot of details in this piece of art, so read carefully.

 

PC CASE:

The most striking feature of the PC case is the cosmetic display of gears, cogs, cams, and levers in the front of the machine. The rear wall of the display is polished brass, which casts a reflection making it appear as though the entire PC case is full of nothing but brass machinery. There are custom beveled-glass windows in the side though, which you can use to see your hardware, should you want to show it off. The PC case is designed around the “ATX format” of PC hardware, which is the format all PC parts obey, so this machine can be upgraded for years and years with new computer parts. This was a slow build, so we intentionally left the case empty of PC hardware until now, so that upon purchase we can install the latest equipment inside rather than letting the hardware age, which is why there are no specs listed. The included machine will be “gaming level” at the very least. Please contact us if you have specific hardware requests.

 

MONITOR:

The 20″ LCD features a brass border with custom engraved acanthus-leaf details which match the acanthus-leaf designs on the keyboard. The LCD case has a hand-carved double swan’s neck pediment across the top, with a brass finial in the center. On the sides of the LCD case are custom-made, tombstone-shaped beveled-glass windows through which you can see a vintage film projector with custom-made spinning brass film reels, which is pointing into a sort of light projection box with metal accents. Inside this light box is a small LED light source with a custom-designed strobe light circuit which flickers and flashes, giving the impression that the projector is displaying images directly to the rear of the LCD screen. The projector can be controlled through a small switch on the top of the LCD. It is a very impressive display and always draws a gasp and a cheer when shown to people for the first time. The LCD case also has small sconces on either side, which are linked to a dimmer switch on the top of the case, lending a rich, golden glow to any room. The rear panel of the LCD is removable for servicing and cleaning, and comes off with a quick tug on the supplied brass handles. On the top of the LCD case is a cast brass vent cover. 

 

KEYBOARD: 

The keyboard is one of our “Marquis” model keyboards which is constructed of sturdy solid brass and features etched, acanthus leaf designs to match the engravings around the LCD screen. The keyboard has a black leather faceplate to match the black leather on the table, and can be made for any language layout, in either 104 or 105-key configurations, and with your choice of font and color. All of our keyboards use the highest-quality mechanical switches, meaning they will last for decades

 

MOUSE:

The mouse is made from an old morse code telegraph “clacker”. The mouse pad is a custom-built pad with a gold foil map under glass.

 

TABLE:

The table is scratch-built and covered in black leather vinyl with approximately a zillion brass rivets. The table legs are cast-iron legs from an old Singer sewing machine and are built on hinges so they can fold up inside the table for ease of shipping and transport through doorways and such. There is a surge protector built onto the rear of the table as well. On the front of the table is a cushioned, burgundy wrist pad, help up by black, wrought-iron supports. In case you need to see if it will fit in your home, the table measures approximately 6′ x 3.5′ deep and the entire PC suite stands about 5.5′ tall.

 

SPEAKERS:

The speakers are authentic Atwater-Kent radio speakers into which have been install a set of modern PC speakers, with vintage knobs for power and volume, and a jewel lens for the power LED. The sound is very directional, but definitely fills up a room nicely.

 

ACCESSORIES:

Included are the Crosley Radio “Eiffel Tower” phone and the picture frame, both of which feature a similar floral motif to the acanthus engravings and the floral metalwork on the sconces.

 

CHAIR:

Not included in this auction, but we do have a French Captain’s Chair that matches this computer available and we could discuss including it as an add-on, though we would need a bit of time to finish reupholstering it. The chair is a red mahogany stain and the cushions would be the same black leather vinyl that is seen on the table top.

 

Interested ? Auction has 8 days remaining from the date of this post.

 

More and much clearer photos at the link.

 

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RADIO FRANKENSTEIN INTERNATIONAL

 

We announce the release of a new album by FRANKENSTEIN SOUND LAB.

Titled Radio Frankenstein International,  it is a collision between chance encounters ( in the form of random samples found on short wave radio) and structured music.

Free listen & download from the Malice In Sunderland website –

http://maliceinsunderland.weebly.com/rfi.html

 

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Almanac – May 06

1895 – Rudolph Valentino born.  Italian actor  and  an early pop icon.

A sex symbol of the 1920s, Valentino was known as the “Latin Lover“, and  starred in several well-known silent films including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, Blood and Sand, The Eagle and The Son of the Sheik.

His death at age 31 caused mass hysteria among his female fans, further propelling him into icon status.

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1915 – Orson Welles born.  American actor, director, writer and producer who worked extensively in theater, radio and film.

He is best remembered for his innovative work in all three media, most notably Caesar (1937), a groundbreaking Broadway adaption of Julius Caesar and the debut of the Mercury Theatre;

The War of the Worlds (1938), one of the most famous broadcasts in the history of radio;

and Citizen Kane (1941), which is consistently ranked as one of the all-time greatest films.

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1992 – Marlene Dietrich died.  German  actress and singer.

Dietrich remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself, professionally and characteristically.

In the Berlin of the 1920s, she acted on the stage and in silent films. Her performance as Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel, directed by Josef von Sternberg, brought her international fame and provided her a contract with Paramount Pictures in the US.

Hollywood films such as Shanghai Express and Desire capitalised on her glamour and exotic looks, cementing her stardom and making her one of the highest-paid actresses of the era.

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Almanac – March 01

1692 – In Massachusetts, a female slave named Tituba who had been accused of practising witchcraft confessed, leading to further accusations and the outbreak of mass hysteria known as the Salem Witch Trials.

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1893 – Nikola Tesla gave the first public demonstration of radio in St. Louis, Missouri. The principles of his wireless work  contained all the elements that were later incorporated into radio systems before the development of the vacuum tube.

He initially experimented with magnetic receivers, unlike the coherers (detecting devices consisting of tubes filled with iron filings which had been invented by Temistocle Calzecchi-Onesti at Fermo in Italy in 1884) used by Guglielmo Marconi and other early experimenters.

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1927 – Harry Belafonte born. American singer, songwriter, actor and social activist,  dubbed the “King of Calypso” for popularizing the style with an international audience in the 1950s.

Throughout his career he has been an advocate for civil rights and humanitarian causes (which got him blacklisted during the McCarthy era)  and was a vocal critic of the policies of the George W. Bush administration.

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1948 – Burning Spear (Winston Rodney) born. Jamaican roots reggae singer and musician.

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1952 – First release on the Sun Records label – Driving Slow by Johnny London

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Almanac – January 20

St. Agnes Eve

Ladies – if you want to dream the identity of your future husband, try this St Agnes Eve spell…

You must fast and keep silent all day and do not allow anyone to kiss you.

[Obviously, by the time you read this you’ll probably have eaten, spoke or kissed someone – maybe all three if you’re lucky. So you might want to save the info for next  St Agnes Eve ].

At bedtime, don your best nightdress and then hard-boil an egg.

Remove the yolk from the egg and fill the space with salt.

Eat egg [shell, salt and all].

Then walk backwards to bed, chanting:

“Fair St Agnes, play thy part
And send to me my own sweetheart
Not in his best or worst array
But in the clothes he wears every day”

[That last line sounds a bit out – “each day” would fit better…everyone’s a critic]

Anyway, you should then dream of your intended. But you must tell no-one of your dream.

This last condition makes it virtually impossible to estimate success rates for the experiment.

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1899 – Clarice Cliff born. English ceramic industrial artist active from 1922 to 1963.

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1900 – Colin Clive born. English stage and screen actor best remembered for his portrayal of Dr. Frankenstein in James Whale‘s two Universal Frankenstein films Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein.

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1929 – In Old Arizona, the first full-length talking motion picture filmed outdoors, was released. Directed by Irving Cummings and Raoul Walsh, the film was based on the character of the Cisco Kid in the story The Caballero’s Way by O. Henry.

The film made extensive use of authentic locations, filming in Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park in Utah and the San Fernando Mission and the Mojave Desert in California.
It was also instrumental in developing the image of the singing cowboy, with its star, Warner Baxter, singing My Tonia.

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1946 – David Lynch born.  American filmmaker, television director, visual artist, musician and occasional actor, known for his surrealist films, he has developed his own unique cinematic style, which has been dubbed “Lynchian“, a style characterized by its dream imagery and meticulous sound design. Eraserhead, Dune, The Elephant Man and Twin Peaks, among others, are his.

As he says – “I look at the world and I see absurdity all around me. People do strange things constantly, to the point that, for the most part, we manage not to see it. That’s why I love coffee shops and public places – I mean, they’re all out there.”

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1965 – Alan Freed died. American disc jockey. He became internationally known for promoting the mix of blues, country and rhythm and blues music on the radio in the United States and Europe under the name of rock and roll. His career was destroyed by the payola scandal that hit the broadcasting industry in the early 1960s.

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2012 – Etta James died. American singer. Her style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel and jazz.

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January 20, 2013 · 17:17

Almanac – July 1st

“In this month of July, eschew all wanton bed-sports, and of all things forbear Lettuce.”

Markham, The English Husbandman. 1635

 

1908 –  SOS is adopted as the international distress signal.

1916 – The Battle Of The Somme began. In just this one day, British casualties alone stood at 57,470 [19,240 dead] – “an army two years in the making destroyed in ten minutes.”

1925 – Death of  Erik Satie, French composer

 

 

1945 – Birth of Debbie Harry  (Blondie)

 

 

1972 –  The first Gay Pride march in England takes place.

1979 – Sony introduces the Walkman.

1995 – Death of Wolfman Jack, American radio personality

 

 

 

Mr. Frankenstein

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