Byte Magazine’s “CPU Architectures” Cover Re-created As a Photograph

The Galactic Studios Blog writes about re-creating Robert Tinney’s Byte magazine paintings as photographs. The latest work is “CPU Architectures”.

Byte’s May 1988 issue had a a series of articles about CPU architectures. Mr. Tinney painted an urban scene of a building made of binary digits, resting on a foundation of integrated circuits. As I’ve done with Inside IBMComputer EngineeringChip Building, and Number Crunching, I re-created Tinney’s vision as if it were real, and as if a photographer had been standing next to Tinney as he painted.

My biggest artistic struggle with this picture was the building. Mr. Tinney painted it as pure white. I 3D printed a model of the building in white, but it looked fake. It wasn’t just that it was 3D printed plastic; it’s that it was white. So I photographed concrete blocks and superimposed their texture on the model. It’s not completely faithful to Tinney’s painting, but it looks more real.

An additional issue was that Tinney’s integrated circuits did not match real size chips. He has an 8 pin DIP (4 pins visible) being half as long as a Pin Grid Array chip (PGA) with 14 pins visible on an edge. At the time he painted this, he likely used an 80386 as a model. But those chips had 0.1″ pin spacing. Even if he had a PGA with 0.05″ pin spacing (which likely were not widely available in 1988), the comparable sizes of the PGA and the 8 pin DIPs don’t make sense. Clearly, he took some artistic license.

See more here.


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