Why I like old stuff

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I have a bit of a thing for vintage stuff. Typewriters, film cameras, vinyl records, I like these old everyday items. Here’s why:

Typewriters

IBM Selectric II, Brother Charger 11

Typewriters are nice mostly because there’s no printing. You press the key, the letter appears. You’re done. That’s it. Also, they often don’t require electricity, meaning you don’t have to worry about running out of battery juice. And even if you have an electric typewriter and it loses power, your work is not going to disappear. After all, typewriters have letter-by-letter autosave! How hi-tech!

Also, typewriters are very palpable and mechanical. You touch something which directly affects something else and causes someting else to happen which eventually stamps a letter onto paper. It’s a direct, tangible connection to what you do and what happens.

Film Cameras

From top left to bottom right: Polaoid OneStep Rainbow, Polaroid M80, Polaroid OneStep express, Sprocket Rocket, Diana F+, Pentax K1000

Film cameras are fun partially because of the surprise aspect. You never really know how the final product will turn out until you develop the film. In addition, you never run out of battery – one roll of film and you’re good for 24 (or 36) shots, whether they’re taken all in one second or all in one year.

Similarly to the typewriter, film cameras are palpable. It’s a direct reaction between the light coming in through the lens and how the strip of film under it reacts. It’s a direct connection between what is seen and what is captured.

Another little benefit to film is that the resolution is very high, and is usually dependet on the highest possible resolution of your scanner. A square inch of film has way more silver hallide crystals on it than a camera’s sensor.

Vinyl Records

Vinyl records are known for their sound quality and natural, warm tones. Because vinyl records are analog, they skip the digital conversion into 10100010100100010101010101 (binary) and are straight from analog sound to analog etchings into vinyl to analog sound.

In addition, vinyl records are touchable, tangible, existing things. You can actually hold the music itself, as opposed to some imaginary sequence of 101010101010101011000 (binary).

Conclusion

All of the above items have a couple of things in common. First of all, advantages to digital counterparts. Typewriters don’t need electricity and auto-save on a letter-to-letter basis. Film cameras don’t need electricity and have very very very high resolution. Vinyl records do need electricity, however they have outstanding sound tone and no digital conversion.

The other thing that all of them have in common is their direct palpability. No electrical signals, 101001010110001111, encodings, or digitization; nothing but direct, easy-to-understand cause and effect.

I understand that many may disagree with me, and I would love to hear about that in the comments below.

side-note: feel free to check out my new personal blog http://swsr.me, and follow me on twitter/instagram: @maxswisher on twitter, @maxswisher on instagram). Also, if you enjoy my writing, please please PLEASE make a small donation towards the cause!




Special Thanksgiving How-to: Floppy Disk Notepad

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Everyone knows what floppy disks are. They mark the real beginning of the evolution of data storage, which meant smaller space and more capacity.

Yet, now they remain useless, as they only hold 1.44MB. I can’t even put a song onto that much.

But after you think about it, you can see that floppy disks are very versatile – in the same way as duct tape.

In fact, you could almost definitely make a floppy disk wallet.

But the thing that I really want to show you is a floppy disk NOTEPAD!

Floppy Notepad!

I must say, making it was simple.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 Floppy disks with lock switches (more on that later)
  • A small stack of the paper of your choice
  • Scissors
  • A hole punch (preferably 3 hole)
  • A Pencil
  • Zip ties

First things first- Your floppy disk needs to have a lock/unlock switch. This is so 2 holes on the same side are exposed to put the zip tie through, as shown below:

Two Holes!

After, trace the outline of a floppy disk on a stack of no more than 4 sheets of your preferred paper (I used graph paper). Next, cut about 1/4 cm. inside from the lines you traced and cut out the square. After cutting out one stack, you can make another outline and do the same thing somewhere else on the paper(s).

Cutting...

After you should have a nice stack of papers.Split the stack into shorter stacks that can be done by a hole puncher. On the top paper of each stack put your floppy on it and trace the inside of the litle holes that are on the floppy disk.

Tracing the holes...

Next, go at the stacks with the hole puncher. Punch as close as you can to exactly centered to the tracings you made from the holes on the floppy (exactly centered might have you cutting through the edge of the paper). After, line all of the stacks and floppies up (one floppy on top, the stacks, then one floppy on the bottom). put the zip ties through the holes on the floppies, then the holes in the stac, then the other floppy. loop it around and tighten until it is VERY LOOSE!! You don’t want it tight or else it won’t be able to open or close! You should be able to have the two floppies open side by side with a little space in between, as shown below.

You need space between the disks!

Now you’re done! Trust me, everybody will be JEALOUS of how awesome it is.

Now go off and write…well…whatever needs to be written!

Go write... well...whatever needs to be written!

***I hope you enjoyed this special how-to, with “special” images. I’ll do something special for most of the major holidays in the future.***