Incredible Machine: Circuit Simulation, Digital Animation, and ASCII Art from 1968
While wandering through the AT&T Archives Techchannel I came across this neat film from 1968. The general tone of the film is the standard “gee whiz computers are amazing look what they can do” pitch, but some of the specific examples chosen here are pretty neat. The one which really caught my eye is the first example: schematic capture and circuit simulation using a CRT and lightpen. While circuit simulation had been done on computers since the first analog models, this is probably the oldest example I’ve seen of using a computer for graphical schematic capture and output (in this case, a frequency response plot). Even though this is an early example, it’s got a sort of elegance to it — if you look closely you’ll even see it’s got some drag-and-drop functionality.
The sections of the film that follow cover other things like creating animated movies (tell me the ‘graphic artist’ doesn’t look like Dennis Hopper), creating ASCII art (though perhaps not explicitly ASCII) and generating music and speech. There’s a lot to absorb here — definitely worth 15 minutes of your time — so check it out!
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.