Weird Shuttle Crap in Mike’s Place

Weird Shuttle Crap in Mike’s Place

The space shuttle’s cockpit layout would be instantly familiar to any airline pilot when it came to the many electro-mechanical displays that it used. With the “8-ball” attitude indicator and HSI, or Horizontal Situation Indicator, not to mention many other meters and gauges, the main control panel was gravid with intricate “old school” instruments. Starting in 1998 with Atlantis, the shuttles went through a period of cockpit upgrades to...

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Weird Crap in Mikes place

Weird Crap in Mikes place

Still more weird crap around Chez Mike. The most casual of space collectors go with the basics, that is, autographs of astronauts, mission patches, and maybe some of the paperweights that have small fragments of a document or insulation from one of the missions. The serious space collectors, the aging baby-boomers with a little extra cash in hand go after hardware. Leftover hardware or someone’s souvenirs collected by dad or grandparents who...

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Weird Crap in Mike’s Place: Twentieth Anniversary Mac

Weird Crap in Mike’s Place: Twentieth Anniversary Mac

It’s no secret that Apple has produced a number of oddball machines: the spasm-inducing Mac Portable, the original Color Mac, the eMate, and so on. Toss into this hodge-and-or-podge is the Twentieth Anniversary Mac, otherwise referred to as the “TAM.” The TAM was a boutique computer, designed by Sir Jony himself, and celebrated the 20th anniversary of Apple. Released in the spring of 1997, the TAM was initially priced at $7499, and was the...

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My First Computer – the DIGI-COMP 1

My First Computer – the DIGI-COMP 1

Oftimes those of the computer nerd persuasion like to talk about how they got hooked by these “thinking machines.” The “kids” may talk about their first Macbook Pro. Senior kids will poo-poo that and mention their Gateway 2000, Mac LC or even the Apple IIGS. Othermore grizzled veterans will shake their collective heads and whisper “amateurs” followed boasting about their Woz-signed Apple II, Commodore 64 (The Coleco Adam guys just slip quietly...

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Weird Movie Crap in Mike’s Place

Weird Movie Crap in Mike’s Place

Besides astronomy and software design, I am also a movie buff. I typically prefer the ones from the 30s and 40s, but of course, love many of the offerings since then. And good ones I’ll watch several times, study the lighting, composition, visuals and how they all dovetail into a single unified presentation.   One such film was Cameron’s Titanic. It was the troubled child of Paramount, dragging on for months due to its complicated and...

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Weird Crap in Mike’s Place, #5

Weird Crap in Mike’s Place, #5

In 1968  Popular Science magazine ran an article on a new film by the always enigmatic but brilliant director, Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick was known for taking on  very few projects, but the ones he did would force people to sit up and take notice. Serious notice. His latest “picture” (as Kubrick and indeed directors of old would refer to their medium), was as enigmatic if not more so than Kubrick himself. Based on a short story by noted science...

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