On Modern Mechanix, Charlie's posted a wonderful article about the Floppy ROM, an exotic dead medium that encoded software onto flexidiscs that you played into your computer. The Floppy ROM distributed with Interface Age in 1977 held up to 80 pages' worth of code (this was from the days when programs were distributed as text printed in magazines, for hobbyists to retype into their computers) and plugged into a 187-character-per-second interface intended for cassette-players. Charlie even got some hi-rez photos of the disc, in which you can see the bits on their surface.
From an editorial point of view the listing alone comprises over 80 pages not including the text. When you consider the amount of programming and the space which it must occupy on a Floppy ROM™ you realize that the Kansas City Standard and 300 baud will never cut the mustard on a 6-inch disc.
Now the Floppy ROM™ must reenter the experimental domain for higher baud rates and complexities. The results were quite pleasing as 1200 baud proved to be no problem for the crew and equipment at Eva-Tone, nor for those who spent long hours in preparing the program prior to transcription. Hats off to the good people at the Chicago Computer Store, Inc., Park Ridge, IL, who provided the computer equipment and technical expertise in the form of Lou Van Eperin, president; Jim Rembis, senior technician; and Terry Marshall, graduate student Northwestern University.
As most of you are aware the first Floppy ROM™ took nine months to debug and produce. Under the direction of Bill Turner and Bill Blomgren they were able to overcome the hardware and software idiosyncrasies in less than a week for this program. It has become quite clear that for future Floppy ROMs we will have to standardize on hardware that allows the maximum flexibility for the user to feed the data from the Floppy ROM™ directly into a computer. The philosophy behind this concept is that the original recording is made directly from a computer output to the master cutting head on a first generation basis. Having to record it on a tape subsequently provides at best a second generation program which potentially could contain bugs.
THE FLOPPY ROM: Software Distributed on Records (Oct, 1977)
Mark Marcino writes, “Boingers might be interested in this new free 3-week course I’m co-teaching with UnderAcademy College founder Talan Memmott: How to Write and Read Fake News: Journalism in the Age of Trump. It starts Jan. 20, of course.”
dj BC writes, “My best Christmas mashups from the past decade are collected for this year’s Santastic (previously) holiday music sampler. You can also dig on the site for the full albums from past years, our ‘Menorah Mashups’ Chanukah collection, and my chill instrumental album of holiday classical remixes. It’s all free.”
I first started writing about the remarkable Joi Ito in 2002, and over the decade and a half since, I’ve marvelled at his polymath abilities — running international Creative Commons, starting and investing in remarkable tech businesses, getting Timothy Leary’s ashes shot into space, backing Mondo 2000, using a sprawling Warcraft raiding guild to experiment with leadership and team structures, and now, running MIT’s storied Media Lab — and I’ve watched with excitement as he’s distilled his seemingly impossible-to-characterize approach to life in a set of 9 compact principles, which he and Jeff Howe have turned into Whiplash, a voraciously readable, extremely exciting, and eminently sensible book.
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]
The Pocket Tripod PRO had massive Kickstarter success in 2013, raising almost $85,000 in a single month. But this isn’t just another case of pre-release product hype. This ingenious little device folds out from a credit-card-shaped plastic slab into a sturdy stand with a surprisingly wide range of motion. In portrait orientation, your phone slides […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]