…Most people don’t know about the decade-long research and development effort by Bell Labs to make Picturephone work–piping a 30hz video signal (with 250 interlanced lines of resolution!) over an existing 1MHz bandwidth line. Pure analog communications, bootstrapped onto Bell’s vast telephone line infrastructure. I was delighted to find a June 1969 copy of the Bell Laboratories Record (PDF), the company’s bi-monthly magazine, dedicated to explaining Picturephone technology, complete with wonderful photographs and diagrams showing the set’s operations. I’ve uploaded it to Scribd here for easy reading. Bell took Picturephone to four cities, and businesses paid $160 a month plus 25 cents per minute to use the service. And even though it failed, the Picturephone was a fetching piece of hardware….
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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.
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