Many machines on Ix

New machines.
Aug 05


I was an intern at Microsoft in the summer of 1996, after my first year of college.  I had plans to work as the first mate on a fishing boat on the Maine coast that summer, as I had assumed that real computer companies didn’t actually hire 19 year-olds.  

There were about 500 of us, although I only ever ended up meeting a few. I was over in the Red West campus, which was 4 or 5 buildings in a separate cluster from the main (30+ building) campus.  In a way it was isolating, but I ended up liking it.  For one thing, I had my own office, since space was plentiful.  On the main campus, not everyone did.

One day, my manager/mentor came by my office and said he needed a favor.  He was getting married in the fall, he said, and he needed to stop taking naps at work and getting home so late.  We dragged a futon out of his office, down the hall, into mine.  So then I had a futon.

It was a small team, only 8 people or so.  We would hang around in the halls or spill out of one person’s office and talk to each other.  Sometimes we played Warcraft 2 with each other in the late afternoons.  Later that summer, people started playing Quake, but I disliked first-person shooters and didn’t partake.

Like the rest of the Microsoft campus, people had dragged old arcade machines into the buildings and stashed them in every open space.  There was a Q*bert machine around the corner from where I worked.  Everyday after lunch, two engineers with Southern accents would spend 20 minutes playing Q*bert. Each would heckle the other as he played.  Sometime in late July the Q*bert machine blew its tube, so they switched seamlessly to the Galaga 88 machine right next to it.

I liked a lot of the grown-ups working at Microsoft, and hated most of the other interns.  It took me another ten years or more to figure out why that had been.

Jul 25


Of the hundreds of times I have seen the Saturn V rocket, at all the locations it is on display in the world, never has it ever been as beautiful or commanding as it was this time.

The five J-2 engines on the second stage attracted my eye the most. The countless wires, chambers, and fuel pumps of the engines contrasted with lack of aerodynamic protection gave the business end of the S-II a mechanical sense that I have never really appreciated before. Sure, the five F-1 engines on the S-IC or the single J-2 on the S-IVB are equally as complex and exposed, but for some reason, the cluster of them on the second stage is appealing.

A surprising lack of people in the building gave me great opportunities for pictures I normally avoid taking due to crowds, and I was able to see the rocket in a totally different perspective.

Jul 24
Jul 23
Emoji usage in the Better Homes and Gardens Story Book, 1950.

Emoji usage in the Better Homes and Gardens Story Book, 1950.

Jul 22

got sidetracked


got sidetracked

Jul 17
Jul 15
A British company has produced a “strange, alien” material so black that it absorbs all but 0.035 per cent of visual light, setting a new world record. To stare at the “super black” coating made of carbon nanotubes – each 10,000 times thinner than a human hair – is an odd experience. It is so dark that the human eye cannot understand what it is seeing. Shapes and contours are lost, leaving nothing but an apparent abyss.

If it was used to make one of Chanel’s little black dresses, the wearer’s head and limbs might appear to float incorporeally around a dress-shaped hole.

Rest here.

give me that dress immediately. 

(via birdwarden)

paging baptismus-flaminis, cilantroknees, others

(via badfuckingpuns)

I also want the dress

(via keplyq)

omfg fuligin

(Source: kierongillen, via keplyq)

Jul 13


Best Products (also known simply as BEST) is a defunct chain of American catalog showroom retail stores founded by Sydney and Frances Lewis, formerly headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.

In the 1970s, Best Products contracted with James Wines’ “Sculpture in the Environment" (SITE) architecture firm to design nine highly unorthodox retail facilities, notably a tongue-in-cheek structure called the "Indeterminate Facade" in Houston, Texas with a severely distressed facade. The store in Sacramento also had a unique design. In the morning, its corner entryway would slide open, and would slide back shut at night. The structure, with its breakaway entry removed, is now a Best Buy.[2] Photographs of these storefronts appeared in several Best catalogs.

Best employed the “catalog showroom” concept for many of its product offerings. Although some product categories (such as sporting goods and toys) were stocked in traditional self-serve aisles, the majority of products (notably consumer electronics, housewares, and appliances) were featured as unboxed display models. Customers were permitted to examine and experiment with these models, and if found to be desirable, they could be purchased by submitting orders to store personnel. Saleable versions of the merchandise (typically boxed and/or in its original packaging) would then be retrieved from storage and delivered to a customer service area for subsequent purchase.

Best filed twice for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The first bankruptcy period began in January 1991 and lasted through June 16, 1994. The second and final filing was made on September 24, 1996. At the time of the second filing, Best operated 169 Best stores and 11 Best Jewelry stores in 23 states, and a nation-wide mail-order service.

Jul 01
You see these Transformers movies and sense that as long as the studios are turning over action and superhero franchises to geeks and hipsters and smarty-pants, Bay will want to keep making these films. He knows how to orchestrate the mayhem that’s now a rite of everything from Marvel sequels to Melissa McCarthy movies. He perfected that mayhem, and now comedians are trying both to duplicate and mock it. I’m sure for Bay this is an insult, like, “What’s next, Amy Schumer in Sophie’s Choice?” These guys are doing bong hits. He’s power-lifting, and nobody lifts more, more loudly. The perverse entertainment of a Michael Bay movie comes from his sincerity. When he destroys your city, your street, your house, he means it.
— Typically brilliant bit from Wesley Morris, talking about Transformers, Snowpiercer, and the end of the world.