Playing "Still Alive" with a fiber laser and a piece of stainless steel


19 Responses to “Playing "Still Alive" with a fiber laser and a piece of stainless steel”

  1. Is it bad that after, what, almost five years now I still enjoy these videos?
    Small correction, you stated the laser carved the valve logo when it actually carved the Aperture Science logo.

  2. Martijn Rotman says:

    “Valve’s logo” is technically correct because they designed it but most would call it “Aperture logo”
    Edit: James was a couple of seconds quicker

    • I understand your point and slightly agree with you, but when I think of the valve logo i think of that image of a bald man with a valve protruding somewhere from his skull (they seem to change its location with each new game they release; not that there are a whole lot of those….)

  3. peterkvt80 says:

    Lasers are awesome, but maybe not for music. Sometimes slightly flat and nearly as melodious as a Stylophone.

  4. styrofoam says:

    Started to watch the video for the concept, had to finish watching because I’m apparently physically incapable of shutting off any rendition of “Still Alive”.

  5. Gah, I thought the track was fun when I heard it in-game, but it’s so old now, I thought it was too much when I could download the track for Guitar Hero, and that was at least 2 years ago.

  6. info says:


    But would anybody kindly explain to me how the plate is tuned? I must be stupid, but I can’t understand how a superhot light beam can vibrate at discrete frequencies something apparently lying flat on something else.

  7. nixiebunny says:

    I’m sorry, sir, but your job has been held up in CAM for two days. We’re not sure quite what the programming problem is, but I’ll see that it gets etched right away.

  8. CH says:

    This is so much full of win it knocked me right over!!!!

    But… I… I never realized it was a Jonathan Coulton song! Or I’ve forgotten… my memory is shorter than my nose. I’m so ashamed, please don’t take my geek badge away from me!!!

  9. Mike Norman says:

    Somehow, I misread that and was expecting Aretha Franklin’s “I Will Survive.”

    While I understand that this sentiment would not be shared by all here if they were under my circumstance, I was disappointed.

    • jamesjamesm says:

      I misread it as “Stayin’ Alive” by the Beegees…  I am also disappoint.

    • Donald Petersen says:

      And here I was expecting “Stayin’ Alive.”  Which, while certainly possessed of the groove to make your booty move, probably wouldn’t work so well played on the LaserSteel as this tune does.

      I’ve always liked “Still Alive” since I first played Portal a few years back, but I’m pretty sure it’s the only Jonathan Coulton song I’ve ever heard.  Is he, like, a thing?

      • danimagoo says:

        Technically, he’s a person not a thing, but yes. He is also an extremely talented musician, and very funny. The other song of his most people are familiar with is Code Monkey.

  10. JohnHinesJr says:

    Awesome to see someone use “lagniappe” in a sentence that isn’t about the word itself.  

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