Saturday, March 18, 2017

Paper Speakers and Adapter Wiring

Recently Christopher, Colleen, and I were talking about building speakers and exchanging links. We ruminated on it for a bit then I set it on the back burner.

Over my break I prepared for a workshop and looked at the great Makey Makey Interactive 'Zine project page where I noticed a link to a paper speaker project. It seemed simple enough so I built one!

Home Despot sells neodymium magnets and I had the conductive copper tape on hand. 

I soldered hookup wire to the wires from a set of headphones I disassembled. I started with one speaker and removed the solder from one headphone. I soldered the hookup wires to the existing solder pads.

Instead of relying on the tenuous connection, I secured everything to a wood block. I used hot glue and two headed tacks. 

I used Mary Fahl's cover of "Brain Damage" to test the speaker out for the first time.

I was so happy with the results and the aesthetics of the adapter that I built a second speaker and adapter!

Next to look into some amplification! 

This was a great project that seems magical because you are coaxing sounds from the paper, magnets and copper. There are many better paper speaker designs out there but I loved the simplicity of this one and its packaging in a 'zine.

HD20 on the Mac 512K

In preparation for Winter Storm Stella I got the Mac 512K to boot to the HD20. Well, almost boot: the Mac 512K cannot boot from the HD20 but rather can boot from a floppy with the Hard Disk 20 INIT on it. The floppy boots the computer, then under the "Welcome to Macintosh" message "Hard Disk 20 Startup" appears and the floppy ejects. The Mac 512K is then booted to the HD 20 and can run applications from the hard drive, albeit at the speed of a floppy. The Vintage Mac World Notes on the Hard Disk 20 was invaluable in helping me remember how to make this magic happen, as I used the HD20 with a Mac Plus for the past 30 years.

I learned at the same time the "Feathers & Space" from 1985 was recovered and posted to the internet. This was one of the first games I had on my Mac 512K in 1985 and though I still had the floppy it was damaged and unplayable. I learned that DiskDup+ was the way to convert the .dsk archives back to physical floppies. I used a PowerMac G4 for its USB ports, a USB drive to move the file from an internet connected computer, a USB floppy drive to put the file on a 1.4 MB floppy disk, and then using a Quadra 610 and DiskDup+ to write the 400K floppy: whew!

It was worth it!

My son was super interested in some of the old games. We had fun taking turns playing them and cheering each other on.

We both loved Gun Shy, a great matching game. We never beat it!

I love all the old Mac icons and was able to identify many of the programs that they came from: ResEdit, ThunderScan, FWD Toolkit, Servant, Megaroids, MacDraw, Mathmatica, Crystal Quest, etc. I love the Bill Atkinson icon, and I noticed that the Steve Jobs icons have variations on his smile, smirk, and frown.

It is amazing that 32 years later this hard drive and computer still work. The number of programs you can run on a Mac 512K is limited, but each is a little gem.