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Ye Olde World Charm

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the anachronistic-appliances dept.

Hardware Hacking 130

The Solitaire brings us a link to Datamancer, where Richard R. Nagy shows off his Steampunk Laptop. The attention to detail and the creative style, which includes a copper-plated keyboard and speakers shaped like violin f-holes, make this an impressive case mod. From Datamancer: "This may look like a Victorian music box, but inside this intricately hand-crafted wooden case lives a Hewlett-Packard ZT1000 laptop that runs both Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux. It features an elaborate display of clockworks under glass, engraved brass accents, claw feet, an antiqued copper keyboard and mouse, leather wrist pads, and customized wireless network card. The machine turns on with an antique clock-winding key by way of a custom-built ratcheting switch made from old clock parts."

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That is truly amazing work ... (3, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21716868)

Although the HP laptop does bring new meaning to the phrase "turnkey system".

what the fuck is a steampunk? (0, Troll)

pjbaldes (635377) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717634)

It was bad enough that boingboing devotes half the damned blog to steampunk shit, but now I have read about it here? steampunk, as an aesthetic is the most unappealing and annoying thing I have ever seen

Re:what the fuck is a steampunk? (3, Informative)

paleo2002 (1079697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717864)

I guess you didn't like Bioshock then . . .

I'm not a big fan, I've only read The Difference Engine. Stephenson's Baroque Cycle may count too. The point of the genre is to draw attention to the parallels between the modern boom in technological progress and innovations on a similar scale which appeared at the end of the 18th and 19th centuries. Appreciation of history and all that.

As for aesthetics, well art simply is.

Re:what the fuck is a steampunk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21719522)

I think that his point was that as an aesthetic this virtue of historical connection is lost. It's just a bunch of metal crud bolted onto a laptop.

Building a functional difference engine: cool, and bonus points for elegantly design;
Sticking bronze plates onto a laptop making it heavier; interfering with wifi (probably); and with no practical effect at all: have fun if you're doing it, but ... meh... it is a bit tiresome;
Writing historical function: good if it's insightful and consistent enough, otherwise STFU.

The key here is _functionality_. Even extravagant and esoteric form is appreciated here, but it has to do SOMETHING, or demonstrate some not-totally-obvious physics/math/science-in-general principle.

Re:what the fuck is a steampunk? (1)

mad flyer (589291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21718020)

Dude, the other half is only "those wacky japanese" crap...

And the third half (!?) is devoted to half backed attempt at capitalising on the lolcat joke.
  In the beginning it was the fake old comics, now the fake history doc...

Talentless attention whoring at its best...

If only I could find the youtube about lolcat in ancient egypt... this one at least was funny...

Re:what the fuck is a steampunk? (1)

LordNightwalker (256873) | more than 6 years ago | (#21718426)

Probably not what you're looking for, but it includes "lol", cats and ancient egypt: http://youtube.com/watch?v=NVOFmu2ZIqI [youtube.com]

Re:what the fuck is a steampunk? (1)

rah1420 (234198) | more than 6 years ago | (#21718880)

I normally don't respond to trolls but come on - De gustibus non disputandum est, bro.

Dear Santa..... (1)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21716872)

I know now what I want for Christmas.....

I usually don't fawn over things like this but, damn, that is one friggin' awesome thing of beauty.

The Fossil Computer (4, Interesting)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 6 years ago | (#21716886)

Years ago, before I had my second kid, I created a Fossil computer [archive.org] that was Victorian themed in brass, wood, and had an old fish fossil mounted where the tag went. It took a huge amount of time, but was one of those great father-son bonding experiences (he has a full machine shop, so he did most of the work). I loved the look and still feel I should turn it into a Media PC and stick it in our living room.

It seems a little sad that it's now my daughter's computer, sitting on the floor. The most excitement it gets these days is to play online Barbie or NickJr games.

Re:The Fossil Computer (3, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717008)

Nice job. Personally I've always liked the idea of a computer system simply disappearing into the background as just another piece of furniture (never really understood the case modders that put electroluminescent tape and UV tubes inside their machines. But hey, whatever floats your boat ... no accounting for taste.) Quite some years ago, strictly as an experiment, I took my regular tower case and covered it in mahogany-grained contact paper: the front was already black so they went well together. People would look at my keyboard and display and ask me where the computer was. It was right there on the floor in front of them, but since it was almost a perfect match for my desk it blended right in and they didn't see it. I dunno, must've thought it was a wastebasket or something

I loved the look and still feel I should turn it into a Media PC and stick it in our living room.

You know, you should do that: put together another system for her, and return your wooden gem to its former glory. I have an old Compaq desktop enclosure that I use in our living room as a media PC: it fits nicely in the entertainment center and that's all well and good. However, if I were to do what you did and turn it into furniture, I'd buy myself a lot of brownie points. Well, and now you've gone and made me think about my next winter project ...

Re:The Fossil Computer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21717378)

When the warm fire of faith is getting a little too toasty it's nice to open the window and let in some of the bleak certainty of reason to get things back to a nice temperature. Similarly, if it's getting a bit too bleak in the certainty of reason, it's nice to have the warm fire of faith to keep things comfortable. Only the fool who understands the true nature of neither would find either exclusive.

Re:The Fossil Computer (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717512)

Nice speech. I have the exact opposite perception: only a fool who understands the true nature of neither would find them remotely similar or of equal value.

I will say that Robert A. Heinlein had a pretty good grasp of both, and that's who I was quoting. The two are, at the most basic level, incompatible. That's because faith is, by it's very definition, unreasoning. Much anguish has been caused down the centuries by repeated attempts to merge the two. In most cases, that meant simply ignoring reason, ignoring what is entirely ... in favor of faith. It just doesn't work, you know it doesn't work, and you can't make it work by calling someone a fool. When you get right down to cases, what do you call a person who insists that his own worldview is correct, flying in the face of reality which says otherwise? Yet, that is precisely what those of faith will do. That's their choice ... but don't try to legitimize their unreason. Only a fool would do that.

Re:The Fossil Computer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21718218)

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

(Yes - I am aware of the irony of AC talking about first-rate intelligence.)

what do you call a person who insists that his own worldview is correct, flying in the face of reality which says otherwise?

I call you a fool for having blind faith in reason. :-P

Start reading up on Zen philosophy. [catb.org]

The worlds of Belief and Reason are Orthagonal (3, Insightful)

beer_maker (263112) | more than 6 years ago | (#21718392)

Nice description of your position ... from a reasoning point of view. As anyone who has attempted to understand the feminine mind can attest, reason isn't everything.

I will happily agree that science (the world of Reason, or Rational thought) cannot be made compatible with any scheme of religion or belief, because they do not intersect to any great degree. Science is a wonderful tool for explaining how things work, but it cannot do diddly to explain the 2AM question "Why are we here?" (And the mere existence of the Creationist Museum proves the converse.)

My question is why people keep dragging out this moldy old conflict? We all hold mutually exclusive thoughts in our heads ('All politicians are crooked' vs 'My senator fights the good fight', for example) so why can't we just drop this disagreement? If you fervently believe that Science holds all the answers and your neighbor fevently believes the FSM hold them instead, what have you lost?

As for myself, for matters pertaining to materials, speeds, and distances, and all things that can be measured, I choose Science and Reason as my tools. I believe that the scientists who do that stuff have a method that gives a very accurate result, a very good picture and explanation of the way the world works. For matters unmeasurable, I have found no such system or method that can explain them nearly so well ... but I'm not so arrogant that I assume there can be no such system. I believe that many religious laws make excellent interpersonal 'Rules to Live By' even if they can never be "proved" to have come from their purported source.

Re:The worlds of Belief and Reason are Orthagonal (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720176)

Only moderately related to your topic...

As anyone who has attempted to understand the feminine mind can attest, reason isn't everything.

Humans are eminently predictable, and the female of the species is no exception.

It's merely a matter of having enough information to be able to make at least a reasonably accurate stab at predicting what the response will be in any given situation. The more information, the more accurate your prediction, much like predicting the weather.

That doesn't mean that the weather doesn't operate along guidelines that can be analyzed, does it?

Really, that's an issue I've always found- people give up when they see a complicated issue. "It's not logical, because I can't see the logic behind it."

And yet that description belies the flaw: The fact that you, or I, personally, cannot determine the logic behind a system does not mean that a system does not operate along logical lines.

It means we have yet to determine what those lines are.

Re:The worlds of Belief and Reason are Orthagonal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720688)

Humans are eminently predictable, and the female of the species is no exception.
I knew you were going to say that.

Re:The worlds of Belief and Reason are Orthagonal (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721148)

If you fervently believe that Science holds all the answers and your neighbor fevently believes the FSM hold them instead, what have you lost?

Nothing, unless he then goes out to vote for policies which put FSM over science, outright outlaws areas of scientific investigation, or scares schools into yanking funding for programs which touch on their forbidden areas. All of which happen a lot more than most people seem to be aware of.

Re:The Fossil Computer (2, Insightful)

Falladir (1026636) | more than 6 years ago | (#21719108)

I doubt that faith is often billed this way in the unenlightened circles where it is most successful. If your religious leader, whom your society reveres, tells you something, you'll be inclined to believe it not because you "have faith," but because it's the most reasonable explanation you've been given. Put another way, you can't have faith that's the antithesis of science unless you've been trained in science. Faith, then, does not have as long and illustrious a history as the faithful would make it out to have.

Re:The Fossil Computer (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721930)

Maybe if you understood faith as something beyond god, as a belief that things may not be as they seem and the future isn't as bad as one's limited perception might say.

Re:The Fossil Computer (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717486)

People would look at my keyboard and display and ask me where the computer was. It was right there on the floor in front of them, but since it was almost a perfect match for my desk it blended right in and they didn't see it.

Well, that's a start, isn't it?

I'm thoroughly impressed by people who have the time and skill to do what the guy in the article did, but my compromise approach has always been to put everything in a cabinet and hide it. It's a shame the desktop computer hasn't evolved into something that's rack mountable, or alternatively, something that resembles audio equipment. I don't think I've ever seen a piece of audio equipment that I wouldn't mind putting anywhere in a living room or even a bedroom, but a plastic/metal box with a big stupid DELL logo that's plastered with cheap assed "Intel Inside" stickers?

There are alternatives, of course. But typically such an approach would require building everything yourself and not objecting to paying premium prices for specialty components and/or cases.

And then there's those folks who live in an alternate universe. I've always wondered whether long term Mac users all live in post modern looking New York lofts, or whether they live in crappy apartments and houses with popcorn ceilings, beige walls, beige carpeting and cheap fake wood furniture like the rest of us, and don't really notice or mind the fact that their white plastic devices don't really go with anything other than more white plastic, plastic in other colors, or metal.

Re:The Fossil Computer (1)

White Shade (57215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21719080)

I think the problem with nice looking computers is that everyone upgrades their systems so often that it's foolish to spend the money on "looking nice" when it's gonna get tossed pretty quickly. Stereo equipment tends to last a lot longer. Still, older stereo equipment definitely had more charm than even the modern stuff does; wood or faux-wood, brushed metal, giant knobs, etc.

Re:The Fossil Computer (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721664)

I think Apple really figured that part out, but I think you already said that. The color iMacs (blue dalmation and floral print) were something you could put in the living room. Also, they had asthetics in mind when they built the Twentieth Anniversary Mac [wikipedia.org] and replaced it with the G4 Cube [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The Fossil Computer (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21719952)

"I dunno, must've thought it was a wastebasket or something"

Hmm, now i know my next mod.......

Wish i could see the one we are supposed to be talking about :(

Re:The Fossil Computer (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720036)

Hmm, now i know my next mod.......

Huh ... that's not a bad idea. Matter of fact, it could still serve as wastebasket: just put a false floor in it. You could fit a Mini-ITX motherboard, power supply and a hard drive in there easily. Use USB or Firewire for your peripherals.

Re:The Fossil Computer (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717038)

Fossil computer? Does this mean it runs windows?

Re:The Fossil Computer (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717092)

Nah ... it runs Ancient UNIX [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The Fossil Computer (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#21718446)

Obviously, it's a plan9 fossil setup -- duh!
Please turn in your geek cards on the way out.

Re:The Fossil Computer (0, Troll)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717122)

I salute the creativity and craftsmanship that go into these projects, but "Steampunk" has not only jumped the shark, but the shark has torn it to bits and there's blood in the water. In fact, you can have my portion of all "tech-nostalgia" and divide it amongst yourselves. I've finished with it, thanks.

Re:The Fossil Computer (-1, Flamebait)

aurispector (530273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717210)

Who gives a flying fuck what YOU think?

Re:The Fossil Computer (5, Insightful)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717358)

Who gives a flying fuck what YOU think?
Just in case you didn't notice, I would like to point out that you are not being entirely polite.

Furthermore, please note that this is a discussion site. This means that it is intended as a place where people may voice their thoughts and opinions, just like the grandparent did.

You might consider bearing this in mind in the future, should you wish to give a less stupid impression.

Re:The Fossil Computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21717514)

True, I sure don't give a fuck what you think.

Re:The Fossil Computer (2, Interesting)

Windom Earle (1200137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717564)

That's right. Fashion may come and go, but the nixie-tube digital voltmeter on my bench just keeps on measuring.

IOW some of us sat and watch it come and go. The excellent gear sticks around, though. I fired up an old Superior Instruments CR Bridge (with 'eye-tube' indicator) last week that probably hadn't been powered in two decades. Yep, it still works, and now it will be useful. I keep saying that someday I will put my vacuum tube random noise generator online to share it as a source of randomness with the world, but haven't done that yet.

It breaks my heart to see people putting current ITC boards (obsolete before the glue hardens) into cool but gutted vintage gear, when the original gear still had a long useful life ahead. To be ironic, if I had a bunch of money, I would order the latest new Dell box, gut it, and install a MicroVAX in the enclosure. (preserving the enclosure and hardware from the orignal, so it could be put back together after a few milliseconds when the cleverness wore off)

Re:The Fossil Computer (2, Insightful)

tubegeek (958995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717730)

Nixies. The technology that died too soon. R.I.P. -j

A wooden laptop... what next? (2)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21716890)

I HAVE to have that! Not only is it a great laptop, but also it has it's own anti-theft. Who would steal something that could be easily overlooked as an old box?

Re:A wooden laptop... what next? (2, Insightful)

Sorcha Payne (1047874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21716994)

It kinda looks like an old box that might be worth something, so thieves don't even need to know its a computer.

appropriate user (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21716894)

This would have looked right in place in the recent remake of the movie Time Machine. The gears in the lid are a very nice touch.

Only thing that I wouldn't like is how big it is. It looks to stand over 3" tall, a lot of that is in the lid I think.

Re:appropriate user (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717124)

I have the feeling the thing is intended more to impress people than anything else, and it is impressive.

Not Steampunk per se... (1)

bomanbot (980297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21716900)

Meh, as long as it doesnt really RUN on Steam, it is not a Steampunk Laptop to me ;)

Re:Not Steampunk per se... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717036)

Well, that's really easy to fix. Go download Steam [steampowered.com] and run your computer on it.

Re:Not Steampunk per se... (0)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717242)

Yeah, but it DOES run Linux. ;-)

alternatives (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21716920)

You can find alternative designs here. [google.com]

Re:alternatives (5, Informative)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717104)

You can spot these hidden goatse links quite easily. Let's break the code

Here's a search for "test" on google

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=test&btnG=Google+Search [google.com]

Now q is the search string. btnG is the function. If I clicked I'm feeling lucky I'd have got btnI instead.

Let's look at the parent link.

http://www.google.com/search?Searchq=old+world+case+mod&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&gn=10&refer=4e9fd9f4624c02685096769364a81d95&ref=cff0e9b1f2db017a44b88bb0d174771d&q=goatse.ca&btnI&link=hooray [google.com]

Searchq is ignored by Google. The next few things are obfuscation too. At the end we see q=goatse.ca and btnI which means I'm feeling lucky. First hit on goatse.ca is the dreaded image and btnI means "I'm feeling lucky", i.e. jump to the first hit.

Re:alternatives (1)

celardore (844933) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717352)

I'm not sure this would even be that easy for Google to fix. Sure, they could probably not accept GET requests using the btnI parameter, but don't some things pretty much rely on the parameter? Firefox for instance uses a form of "I'm feeling lucky" when you enter words into the address bar and press enter, I do not know if Firefox explicitly calls btnI, it might have another method.

I don't mind clicking a goatse link so much, as I can just roll my eyes and press the 'back' button. The last measure link that was posted using the same method last week was worse, even on Ubuntu I had to kill the firefox process. Its an interesting exploit though, but my advice will simply be to be cautious of long google links now.

Re:alternatives (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21718028)

Google could prevent this pretty easily by only allowing I'm feeling lucky if the referrer is Google itself. This would actually be in their interests, since it would mean they'd get to show adverts, although since the only people who ever post links to I'm feeling lucky (as opposed to the URL of the resulting page) are trolls it probably isn't worth bothering with.

Re:alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720166)

Seems you missed an important part of my message. The fact that other services perhaps utilise the btnI feature, such as Firefox. If these services DO indeed use the btnI 'feature', if Google made it so it only worked if the referrer was Google, other service providers would not be able to use the feature. I do tend to use it in FF a lot, rather than go to google etc.

Re:alternatives (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720240)

The referrer header is set by the user agent. User agents, such as FireFox, could set it when submitting queries using the I'm feeling lucky feature. Links, however, could not.

Re:alternatives (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21717712)

the md5s in the link are slashdot, and goatse.ca respectively. In future, I can provide alternative MD5s to assert myself as the troller. I AM THE TROLL. Ph33r me, because once I get myself a first result on google again, back comes the last measure! I can use snipurls, btnI and even domain redirects. I consistently bookmark my trolling posts, and check back later to review the comments, which are always appreciated, as they help me improve the trolling process.

I have experimented with hex encoding certain terms within the link, but Slashcode seems to correct that. The exploit reaches further than just slashdot, or even google. I have to ensure that the terms I use correspond to content I wish to deliver to the user in the first result of Google. Now we move onto some more advanced Google Gaming.

Stay tuned for more troll posts. To ensure that I am not connected to any of the much lamer trolls on Slashdot, I will include an md5 hash as further obfuscation in the url, but I hold the original string. If you ever need to know if the google link you were looking at is a genuine troll (I Haven't thought up a cool name for myself yet, any ideas?) then you can always check the md5 which I will supply the uncrypted md5.

Happy holidays!

Erudite Trolls (2, Funny)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717802)

Dear Mr. Troll.

At least you have given a high class description of your eyeball wrenching escapades.

However, Goatse is no longer the cutting edge of Troll Theory. You're much too good for that.

Instead, make yourself a valuable memeber of the community by supplying links related to the story titles. In this case, it would be a "hard hack laptop", which would be a photoshopped image of the Dell Gaming Machine with a Mining Excavator parked on top of it.

Re:alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21717804)

Happy holidays to you too. If you're lucky, Santa might bring you a life for Christmas!

Time line.... (1)

mulvane (692631) | more than 6 years ago | (#21716928)

This story is about as old as the genre of the articles coverage itself.

Too bad about the cover (4, Interesting)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21716982)

It really is a shame to put that much effort into making something, and then totally ruining it with that cover, that just screams that the creator knows nothing about how clockwork actually works. It really is kind of an eyesore on an otherwise beautiful piece of work.

Re:Too bad about the cover (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717058)

Yes, I tend to agree. Now, if that clockwork were motorized and actually did something it would be unbelievably cool. Imagine if you turned the key, and the clockwork engaged and did a Rube Goldberg thing and finally turned the power on.

Re:Too bad about the cover (5, Informative)

CensorshipDonkey (1108755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717556)

If you read the article, you'd see he originally attempted actual, moving clockwork on the back powered by an electric train motor. However, in order to hold gears in the very precise positions necessary, their axles must be set in a thick piece of material. This made for a top case so thick and heavy the laptop would overbalance and fall backward when opened. So, he instead went with a thinner, workable cover and cosmetic only gears.

Re:Too bad about the cover (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21718690)

their axles must be set in a thick piece of material.

Yeah, alignment is critical with mechanism that tiny. Actually, what he could have done was have smaller pieces of strong material: that would have provided local rigidity without as much mass. Oh well. In any event, no I didn't read the article, I was too busy marveling at the pictures.

Re:Too bad about the cover (2, Funny)

Falstius (963333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21719022)

"I read it for the Articles, I swear"

Re:Too bad about the cover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21717382)

Uh, ok. I strongly recommend that you do NOT go to a modern art museum. They are full of representations of things that cannot possibly work. I guy like you would blow a gasket in mere seconds.

Re:Too bad about the cover (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717614)

No, no. Maybe a minor attention to that detail, but it would definitely bump up the functionality a notch. I'd like to be able to tell someone who needs the time to look at the laptop cover, or point to it, with a Spock-ian eyebrow lift. Remember when Intel made some concept art for laptops? Some of them managed to trickle down to actual implementation in the form of CD/MP3 players that didn't require you to boot up or open the laptop. Another was a display on the lid that could show the time and so on.

Still, kudos to the artist! We're not worthy!

Re:Too bad about the cover (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21718406)

Sorry, I do know art. I know it well enough that I also know that it goes deeper than simple looks. Which is all this is, disregarding all but the most shallow features of what it tries to replicate, ending up as mockery instead of an homage.

Re:Too bad about the cover (1)

NekSnappa (803141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21719184)

Ah, the true sign of one "Who Knows Art." Self important snobbery.

Re:Too bad about the cover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21719334)

actually, the thing that bothered me was the quill pen in the video of it turning on.
Quill pens are just the shaft, they didn't leave the feathers intact.

Re:Too bad about the cover (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21719580)

And the true sign of the incompetent: mocking others for having knowledge.

PS: Try re-reading that discussion. I am not the one who bought up art, nor the one who implied that knowledge of art make a person somehow superior.

Re:Too bad about the cover (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717452)

True, but how many people will take that close of a look, or actually understand?

Re:Too bad about the cover (2, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21718984)

Anybody who knows how a gear or ratchet works?

What is this, a defence of the lowest common denominator?

Re:Too bad about the cover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21718414)

Please post photos of your projects that you actually have built where the gears actually work. Or else, maybe you could apologize for being a bit of a jerk.

It's quite easy to say things like "the gears should actually work". It's a lot harder [brassgoggles.co.uk] to make them work.

It really is a shame to post a comment on /. that just screams that the poster is a bit of a jerk.

Re:Too bad about the cover (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21718820)

Dude, that's the most childish argument on the internet. Please don't make it around grown-ups, OK?

You can judge a book without being able to write one. You can judge a building without being an architect. You can judge a meal without being able to cook it.

And "it's too hard" is not an excuse for doing a poor job. If it's too hard to do it right, don't bother doing it. Make something else that actually looks good.

Re:Too bad about the cover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21719622)

Dude, that's the most childish argument on the internet. Please don't make it around grown-ups, OK?

Naw, there are way more childish arguments. E.g.: "FUCK YOU!!!!!111"

You can judge a book without being able to write one. You can judge a building without being an architect. You can judge a meal without being able to cook it.

Eh, true enough.

You can also judge things without being overly harsh. Saying that something could be better is one thing; saying it "screams" incompetence is over the top.

And "it's too hard" is not an excuse for doing a poor job. If it's too hard to do it right, don't bother doing it. Make something else that actually looks good.

See, right here is where you lose it. That dude did NOT do a "poor job". That laptop is a beautiful piece of work.

In matters of taste, there can be no dispute... if you had made a milder comment like "I'd have liked it even better if the gears actually did something" I wouldn't have commented at all. He made a project that he found worthwhile, and the vast majority of people seem to be oohing and aahing over it. And here you come along saying that if he couldn't make the clockwork do something, he shouldn't have made the whole project in the first place. Did you read the link, where he talked about trying to make the clockwork do something? He had already started the project. I guess you feel at that point he should have just thrown everything in the trash bin?

Maybe YOU have ridiculously high standards, and you see a horrible failure here. But I think you are being way harsh.

In fact, I'm upgrading you from "being a bit of a jerk" to "being a dick about it" status.

P.S. I'm kinda guilty of the same thing, huh. I could have just ignored you, and instead I took the time to criticize you. I was hoping that you might feel some twinge of "yeah maybe I'm too harsh" but I guess I was just wasting both our time.

I just hope you don't harsh on people like that face-to-face. Not the recipe for happiness in your life and not the way to make lots of friends.

Re:Too bad about the cover (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21719966)

If you actually went back and read what I said, you would have seen that I called it beautiful. It's simply that the crudity and tackiness of the cover is such a stark contrast to the beauty of the rest of it that causes me to react so hard to it. If he had just left the cover an empty plate of wood, it would have been a much better work overall, for instance.

I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720418)

Quote = "You can judge a book without being able to write one. You can judge a building without being an architect. You can judge a meal without being able to cook it."

To JUDGE something you need some expertise in the field, otherwise it is just an OPINION. You can give your opinion of how a book reads or how a building looks, but to JUDGE something you need a field of knowledge behind your opinion.

Just my opinion on it as I am not educated in internet ramblings so therefore I cannot judge!

Re:Too bad about the cover (1)

clem (5683) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720726)

You can judge a book without being able to write one. You can judge a building without being an architect. You can judge a meal without being able to cook it.
But is judging all you do? You don't have to excel in every field of endeavor in order to criticize. However, nothing tempers judgment like putting your own ego on the line in order to create something of merit. And it's been my experience that the bigger the blow hard critic, the less they've attempted (much less accomplished) in their own lives.

Re:Too bad about the cover (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720746)

So what is this now, a pissing contest? I'm pretty sure I've accomplished a fair bit more than you, if that's what you're wondering.

Re:Too bad about the cover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21720666)

Or it was a charger to actually power the thing...

HOAX (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21716990)

This was proven to be a hoax [myminicity.com] why dredge it up now?

Re:HOAX (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21717138)

Get raped, spammer.

Ugly (0, Troll)

tristian_was_here (865394) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717136)

Its ugly, its the sort of thing my great, great and great grandfather would use to help him navigate on the high seas.

Re:Ugly (2, Interesting)

Windom Earle (1200137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717664)

It's the kind of thing my grandpa would have found at the dump, brought home, and converted into something useful.

I think I caught 'the bug' from him. He once turned an old wind-up phonograph mechanism into a jig to make his spearfishing lure rotate out in the ice house on the lak.

Re:Ugly (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21718664)

I think I would have liked your grandpa.

Ye olde worlde .... YECH! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21717156)

Ye Gods.

Once upon a time, there was a letter, Thorn [wikipedia.org] . It made a th sound. It came to look like the letter Y. Then it disappeared. What we are left with is Ye Olde Everything.

Thorn in the form of a Y survives to this day in pseudo-archaic usages, particularly the stock prefix Ye olde. The definite article spelled with Y for thorn is often jocularly or mistakenly pronounced /ji/ or mistaken for the archaic nominative case of you, written ye. It is used infrequently in some modern English word games to replace the th with a single letter.


Sigh. Anyway, the computer is amazing. I have to find one of those Underwoods.

Re:Ye olde worlde .... YECH! (1)

RFaulder (1016762) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717492)

Also funny that this is a Victorian era look, but old english is a few centuries before that. I'm sure in another hundred years we'll have people talking about ye olde Slashdot, too.

Re:Ye olde worlde .... YECH! (1)

Webs 101 (798265) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717924)

I was going to point this out, but I'm somewhat heartened that somebody equally pedantic beat me to it.

Re:Ye olde worlde .... YECH! (1)

srmalloy (263556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721144)

It's one of my pet peeves, too. The usage in the illiteracism "ye olde" comes from the usage of the eth character 'ð' to spell 'the'; over time, the character was partially elided as a shortcut in writing the character, so that only the cross stroke and the upper end of the riser were drawn, looking like a superscripted 'y'. People who read period texts or signs would see what looked like 'yE' and took it to be a period usage, rather than an abbreviated form of 'the' (and pronounced the same way). Over time, the usage -- particularly in the phrase 'ye olde', has come to be impossible to eradicate.

Re:Ye olde worlde .... YECH! (1)

tengwar (600847) | more than 6 years ago | (#21721216)

Conversely, there used to be a letter yogh [wikipedia.org] in Scots, which for similar reasons became written with a "z" character. This is why some names and place names are pronounced oddly - for instance Menzies is pronounced "Mingis"

Love it (1)

pkadd (1203286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717228)

I gotta get one of those. I've always been a fan of retro and nostalgia when it come to technology. I can't seem to find a price, though :/

/.ed (4, Funny)

gaderael (1081429) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717238)

Me doth thinkest yonder website has been Slashdotted...eth

Re:/.ed (3, Funny)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21718416)

Blinketh thine lantern once if the slashdotting cometh by tube, twice if it cometh by dumptruck

Re:/.ed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21719222)

Thou art a very astute young man, forsooth this site truly hath been Slashdotted.

He'll get some of my cash (3, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717250)

Here's an artist worth supporting, not for the work he's done, but for the work he's going to do.

Is it frivolous? Yes, but most art can be called that. Is it useful? Probably not, but we all need entertainment.

As a "jackass-of-all-trades" myself, my biggest wish was to be able to make my dreams into reality in a physical aspect, but I don't have the drive to work on a project as long as this guy does. Heck, even complicated LEGO designs lose my interest less than half-way through.

If you have a little bit of wealth, don't forget to support the arts -- it's the job of the wealthy to bring the unmarketable to the masses.

Great, but... (1)

TransEurope (889206) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717432)

...are there any sites with selfmade high quality _Cyber_-Punk casemods or gadgeds around? I visited a dozen casemodding gelleries, but i found nothing really cool or interesting there. Any tips for good sources?

Re:Great, but... (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#21718258)

We don't have time, we're too busy clubbing etc :-)

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a VNV Nation concert to attend, which I just woke up for :-D

Corel Cache (5, Informative)

Razed By TV (730353) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717444)

Re:Corel Cache (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717562)

Thanks for the cache. To all others wanting a sneak peek, well worth it.

It looks like he's running grub, and powers off the laptop unconventionally with a ... wouldn't be very sporting of me if I finished that sentence, now would it?

Slightly off topic - clockwork (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717454)

For those who like clockwork that actually does something, the Russian Orion watch company makes inexpensive skeleton watches with both front and back transparent. Kind of an open source watch, for around $100

The problem with something like this computer is obsolescence, whereas an analog clockwork watch may wear out but will not become obsolete. Babbage was all too well aware of this, because owing to the slow pace of mechanical development, his designs became successively obsolete before they could even be built. It's a pity.

so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21717754)

this was on msnbc.com about a month ago. so much for slashdot being up on the latest tech and trends.

More Laptop Retro Moddings: Retro Typewriters (1)

wehe (135130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717890)

This is not the first steampunk laptop. Besides this approach there is a special retro modding technique: converting a laptop or notebook into a retro typewriter [repair4laptop.org] .

I wonder what... (1)

biscon (942763) | more than 6 years ago | (#21717984)

these f-holes are for ;)

Mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21718536)

Site is slashdotted, so here is a mirror link:

http://www.duggmirror.com/mods/Steampunk_laptop_2/ [duggmirror.com]

Posting as AC to not be a karma whore.

Old news (1)

CorbaTheGeek (1037074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21719056)

was on Wired blogs Nov 2nd...

Gizmodo interview with Datamancer (2, Informative)

Fzz (153115) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720018)

Seeing as Datamancer's site is slashdotted, you can catch the laptop on Gizmodo [gizmodo.com] . Better still, here's their interview [gizmodo.com] with Richard Nagy, its very talented creator. Cheers, Fzz

actually... (1)

shar303 (944843) | more than 6 years ago | (#21720678)

I started this post to say that his website looks more dated than the contraption

Then i had a proper look at the keyboard and...my heart melted. Maybe its getting close to xmas.

I'll take 3.

My favorite steampunk: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21721908)

Best juxtaposition of new and old: a 21st century computer with a 19th century typewriter keyboard [wikipedia.org] attached to it.

My personal favorite: the keys Q and A and Z aren't lined up, and the spacing between them isn't the same, either. The reason for this? No, it's not anatomical -- it's another leftover from mechanical typewriter days. If Q-A-Z were all in the same column, their typebars would have to occupy the same space (or be funny-shaped, but I guess the effort to machine fancy typebars wasn't worth it back then).

Heck, I'm almost surprised there's not a quill holder on the side of my monitor, or a spittoon on the side of my case, or a CAPS LOCK key on my keyboard.
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