Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20071126


Such a silly week, I noticed in Wired < > that back in 1889 the first jukebox was constructed by the Pacific Phonograph Company (sounds like a Sixties bubblegum band). It had four stethoscope-like tubes that were attached to an Edison Class M electric phonograph fitted inside a tasteful oak cabinet (oak was the Victorian Apple white plastic). The tubes operated individually, each being activated by the insertion of a coin, meaning that four different listeners could be plugged in to the same song simultaneously. Towels were supplied to patrons so they could wipe off the end of the tube after each listening. Unlike a lot of today’s releases that should come with a barf bag.

Jukebox killed the Player Piano, not as catchy as video killed the Radio Stars but the result was about the same. You can still buy a player piano today but they are a niche curiosity. The success of the jukebox eventually killed of the player piano, which had replaced the live dude playing the piano in the corner.

The machine was originally called the “nickel-in-the-slot player” by Louis Glass, the entrepreneur who installed it at the Palais Royale. (it was noted that a nickel then had the buying power of $1.08 today). Curious how the commercial value of music is about the same over 110 years later and curious that the more things change the more they stay the same. Lets face it,with the coming of iTunes it’s no longer a long way to the shop if you want to rock and roll (sorry I couldn’t help it)

By the way it looks like Jefferson Starship were right. The First Juke Box was installed in the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco… they really did build the city on Rock and Roll.

So with a glass of Single Malt (the label came off the bottle) and some ice it’s time to “Alez Sillies”

Reading Bits: Wired has an article by Bruce Schneier. About “correspondent inference” theory. People tend to infer the motives — and also the disposition — of someone who performs an action based on the effects of his actions, and not on external or situational factors. Like most of Bruce’s writings it leaves ideas that bang around in your head for a week or two.

The New York Times has an interesting article by Motoko Rich, about our passion for dead tree reading. Yep, books. Dare I say it’s a good read

Blame time and we can tell that Jools has finished her school work for the year
“A flash version of vintage Pacman. Using the arrow keys to control the little yellow muncher is a mite harder than using a joystick controller.
Onward and outward….Love Jools”
It’s actually a lot of fun.

I have to admit I wasted SO much time on this puppy. The goal of Excit is to exit the level you’re on. Exit/Excel pretty clever huh? The game is better than the pun.

You have a level with a number of walls arranged in patterns with a bright green exit sign, there is a bunch of other stuff you can bounce off. Control is easy peasy: you can move your cursor up, down, left or right with the arrow keys, but choose wisely, because your cursor is going to continue in that direction until it hits an object that stops it, or continues off the screen (you lose). If it goes off the screen, you start the level over. Luckily, there is no concept of lives in this game, so you can continue with a trial and error approach until you succeed, or discover it’s time to go home.

It starts easy but ramps fairly quickly, a truly great little impediment.

Eye Candy: Check out this impressive collection of striking, high-quality wallpaper eyecandy. They are in the main nature based and available in a good selection of resolutions ( laptop people breathe sigh of relief). Lot’s of pretties though.

Over at you will find some new additions to the ever-growing collection. We do our 500th post today, yep we have been doing it for just under 18 months and there is a ton of amazing music there. Jools asked me for my favourite top 10 (I put in eleven). Evermore don’t count.

I only find time to read David Byrne’s blog occasionally (my bad) but his article about ‘IKEA as A Video Game” is hysterical and with Santa’s shopping season about to begin, you may never see retail therapy the same way again. Well worth the read


{Currently listening to Sophe Lux and Linkin Park (on shuffle it’s fairly scary)}
{Currently reading: Dune. yep oldies time again}
{Quick Status Check: Hmm. There’s that bloody handbasket again, I wonder what it’s for?}
{Crop Circle Status: It’s over for another year. “Bother” said a rather grumpy bear. }

Categorized as Mondays

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