Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 20:26 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
Hardware, Embedded Systems "One of the world's oldest commercial computers has been brought back to life by two enthusiasts in a barn in Kent. The ICT1301 computer, known as Flossie, was restored to working order on its 50th anniversary by engineers Roger Holmes and Rod Brown in Bethersden."
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Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 24th Oct 2012 14:02 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

When I saw these blinking lights in series and movies I always thought it was fake, but apparently this isn't always the case.

Now if only they'd do a remake of Blake's 7 like they did with Battlestar Galactica. The most dramatic open ending of any (SF) series ever and they never came with a 5th series or a remake, terrible!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by zima on Thu 25th Oct 2012 02:36 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

From more recent examples, BeBox also had functional Blinkenlichten. But yeah, they were a more usual sight in the past, it seems ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Front_panel ) - curiously, with its own demos (maybe also games? ...Tetris would fit perfectly); and, from that Wiki art, some Hollywood movies supposedly used one actually existing ~computer.
Also, the "proper" look was reinforced early on in the public imagination: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_SSEC#Legacy (first two sentences; and it was installed behind a shop window in NY)

Though if you think about it, an LCD monitor is just an array of very many small Blinkenlichten. CRT bitmapped screen also tries to simulate that, even if it works quite differently.
LEDs on routers are even closer analogue. Maybe even HDD access light and keyboard LEDs... (or Sansa Clip, a miniature OLED Blinkenlichten machine!)

BTW scifi TV - is there really nothing newly made on air right now?... :/ (no, Red Dwarf doesn't quite cut it) Maybe I just missed some new series, they usually sneak up on you.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Thu 25th Oct 2012 05:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Blinkenlichten? Despite not being a Dutch word, Dutch people would understand what you meant.

Red Dwarf is more comedy than SciFi (IMO). I'm watching Revolution, which is good, not great.

I like SciFi, but it's hard to find any good series/movies. Apparently it's very easy to make bad SciFi.

As a kid I really liked Blake's 7, Logan's Run, Buck Rogers, V, Battlestar Galactica. They were okay for their time, but are rather dated now. Recently there was an awful remake of V. Blake's 7 probably has the most interesting plot that has the most potential to make something great.

The problem is that I suspect if you make a really great SciFi series the general public won't watch it in masses. Space: Above & Beyond was rather good, but got canceled. Although the Battlestar Galactica remake did do very well. All those Stargate spinoffs seem somewhat popular, but they are rather cheap and crap.

Not SciFi, but these days SciFi/Fantasy seems to be a single category, but a very good series is Game of Thrones.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by zima on Sun 28th Oct 2012 09:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Blinkenlichten? Despite not being a Dutch word, Dutch people would understand what you meant.

I believe faux-German is also actually the more proper form: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Blinkenlights-original.png ...does the Dutch being kinda "between" DE & EN make that word feel native? ;p

Red Dwarf is more comedy than SciFi (IMO). I'm watching Revolution, which is good, not great.
I like SciFi, but it's hard to find any good series/movies. Apparently it's very easy to make bad SciFi.

It's quite hard to find good series/movies of any kind; very easy to make bad ones - scifi or not. But while I do have quite a few older decent series on my to-watch list, it's still a bit unfortunate that we don't really have an airing now series - whatever its quality. And yeah, as I said, Red Dwarf doesn't quite count. Not sure about Dr Who ...well, it's at least something.

Oh well, I might check out Revolution (already heard some things about it; also how stupid it can be: 1. growing food in heavy-metals-included body of a rusting car is not a good idea 2. diesel engines or basic turbines would still work fine...)

As a kid I really liked Blake's 7, Logan's Run, Buck Rogers, V, Battlestar Galactica. They were okay for their time, but are rather dated now. Recently there was an awful remake of V. Blake's 7 probably has the most interesting plot that has the most potential to make something great.

My "scifi youth" is mostly Sea Quest and a bit of Star Trek TNG or DS9 (chaotically broadcast at my place :/ ); I guess Earth 2 and... Space: Above & Beyond are also included. At least all of mine aged rather well ;) (even Sea Quest CGI still looks good - technically it was just as "bad" as in Babylon 5, but in SQ it was masked by underwater, "foggy" environment)

Yes, the recent V remake was horrible - but at least it had a funny ending ;)

So... is the original Blake's 7 worth checking out?

The problem is that I suspect if you make a really great SciFi series the general public won't watch it in masses. Space: Above & Beyond was rather good, but got canceled. Although the Battlestar Galactica remake did do very well. All those Stargate spinoffs seem somewhat popular, but they are rather cheap and crap.
these days SciFi/Fantasy seems to be a single category

WRT the kind of productions that get on air, which of them stay there, and which get cancelled - IMHO the "general public" thing you mentioned goes deeper: something I tend to call "scifi cargo cultism" (and on which I touch in http://www.osnews.com/permalink?523521 or http://www.osnews.com/thread?492454 or http://www.osnews.com/permalink?489385 ).

So, yes, "scifi" is (tech?) fantasy, really - a lot of it is just thinly disguised old flying carpet fantasy or the Argonauts/Odysseus. Or like using nuclear-submarine-era technology to build an Ancient Greek kind of warship (we will almost certainly never do things in space as is usually depicted in works of popular fiction). Mostly lazy script writers, aiming at easy and palatable stories, afraid to depict the wild realities and great possibilities of actually existing universe.

But it goes further - we have droves of scifi fans(?) who root for such style of entertainment; who insult and even, effectively, kill really nice and ambitious productions. Like they did with one Stargate spinoff - SG:Universe was IMHO phenomenal, certainly not "cheap and crap" (I hope you simply didn't watch SG:U, being used to the mediocre earlier series ;p )

The above also means that I like Dr Who because it really knows what it is, doesn't treat itself seriously at its very core - it's essentially magic (how any really advanced tech would appear to us)

BTW, OTOH I recommend the very realistic (though still with some brain-farts) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Odyssey_(TV_series) short docudrama (avoid US version). Sad/frustrating: it has a "demake" (that horrible), Defying Gravity, with fantasy elements and poor acting - which was quickly cancelled ...& probably blocked the prospect of semi-realistic scifi for a few years.


Anyway, here's another idea: recommend something local, something which the other person can't possibly know about :>
From here ...no scifi series, but at least two decent films:
1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexmission (too bad half+ of its humour is untranslatable)
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avalon_(2001_film)
So, anything Dutch? Or from Benelux, at least? ;)

(but come on, you really thought I don't follow Game of Thrones already? ;p ...hm, in that case, are you watching The Walking Dead?)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Sun 28th Oct 2012 11:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Blake's 7 is from the late 70's, early 80's. The budget was a bit low and the acting during fights is very suspect, but it's still a good series. It's certainly a classic you must have watched.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pn-LZApBBE

I'm not aware of any Dutch SciFi, but if you manage to find any I'd suggest no to bother.

My feeling is the English are better, potentially, at making SciFi, they just lack the Hollywood budget. A series called Survivors was nice, but it got canceled. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivors_(2008_TV_series)

Obviously I'm not watching anything zombie related as I quite dislike horror stuff, because it's scary.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by zima on Sun 28th Oct 2012 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

But Game of Thrones has (ice) zombies ;) ...which were already scarier than anything in The Walking Dead, IMHO (but maybe I'm skewed, from growing up on the first Silent Hill game ;> )

BTW the British, there was Outcasts TV series in 2011 ...which got cancelled. Kinda theme-related to Survivors would be also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threads (and The War Game in #See_also), but those aren't exactly scifi (though, luckily, they are fiction)

One more nice example of (surplus military, retired) Blinkenlichten in films: http://starringthecomputer.com/computer.html?c=73 - in Battlestar Galactica, among many other productions.

And unfortunately(?) nothing Dutch in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Science_fiction_films_by_coun... ...but one Belgian production seems encouraging.
(wouldn't you want to dig out something Dutch? Might be fun, at the very least ;p - the two examples I gave are "merely" decent, it's just that one has attained the status of a cult film, and the other comes from Ghost in the Shell director & its main "sepia" part was filmed in the city where I lived, its streets & trams quite recognisable)

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Sun 28th Oct 2012 19:14 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Yes, Outcasts was also something I was watching until it got canceled. Sadly! Just like Caprica and a series I forgot the name, it involved aliens on Earth that are detained, escaped and them warped their home planet in to Earth orbit. This was a pretty cool and dramatic scene... and then it got axed.

Game of Thrones hasn't sacred me yet. It doesn't really try to, unlike horror movies.

I'm not very fond of anything Dutch, especially music, tv series and movies. SciFi is considered something for weirdos. Mention SciFi and they'll think you're a Trekkie. I do like the original Star Trek, not the later ones.

It's very unlikely there ever will be a Dutch SciFi movie. If there will be it will be without spaceships and probably set in the current time period. Probably some alien looking like a normal human visiting The Netherlands, causing some funny situations and then bugging off.

Blade Runner did feature a Dutch actor.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by MOS6510
by zima on Sun 28th Oct 2012 19:44 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

It's very unlikely there ever will be a Dutch SciFi movie. If there will be it will be without spaceships and probably set in the current time period.

Somehow, this reminded me about a recent Dutch scifi (short) movie ;)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tears_of_Steel
(with almost-kinda-spaceships, and in the future!)

Outcasts is still on my to-watch list... thanks for spoilers, I suppose ;)
And yes, Caprica, another one prematurely cancelled - at least we got a fairly epic closing sequence, the ~sermon. Overall, I suppose scifi in most places is considered something for weirdos - and aren't you one, for example also with your old-computers-junkyard/museum?*

But really, The Walking Dead isn't particularly scary - doesn't try to be much, that's not about what it is: a group of survivors in a decaying world (and, in the tradition of zombie flicks, I suppose it's about showing some parallels with present society, making a point)

WRT Rutger Hauer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssHEAOrAdCU the title itself is already epic :>


*BTW, recently the first Connectix QuickCam found its way to me - the first purpose-built & promoted to masses webcam ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QuickCam ). I think I like collecting webcams, for some reason - I also have the classic QuickCam Express, QuickCam VC LPT, Philips Vesta Pro/Scan, and Creative Live!Cam Vista IM. Kinda related to scifi, I suppose... (after all, video-conferencing features prominently)
Too bad I don't have any ADB Mac around.

Edited 2012-10-28 19:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2