Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Commodore Christmas Demos



In this submission, we take a look at how a holiday season was expressed through the Commodore 64.

Released in 1982, the Commodore 64 was, at one point, the biggest selling computer ever, selling up to 17 million units in it's time. As a retail-focused product (as opposed to an electrical one), Christmas was an important time to attract this highly desirable present. As well as this, groups and communities around the machine emerged, creating shareable demos of images, animations and music for themselves, a highly humanizing response to a digital technology. It's happened with other machines as well (the ZX Spectrum, the Amstrad, various Atari machines, the Amiga etc ...), not just in it's time but also currently where communities exist around these older technologies. It also happens around file formats, for example, with the GIF net art community and the GIF Wrapping project where artists randomly selected together to produce something for each other.

Commodore 64 Christmas Demo (1982)



This charming demo was created by Commodore themselves, shipped to retailers to demonstrate the graphical and sound capabilities - via csixty4:

Commodore wrote their famous Christmas Demo in 1982 to demonstrate the capabilities of their new Commodore 64 computer and the upcoming Executive 64 (SX-64) portable. It was included with the test/demo disk that shipped with every SX-64 so dealers could introduce customers to the machines' advanced (for the time) sound and graphics. Though its character graphics and SID sound seem quaint by today's standards, the Christmas Demo reminds many Commodore fans of the morning they woke to find a computer under their tree.


Should you wish to get a copy of this demo and try it in an emulator, csixty4 have links to everything you need here

A Twisted Christmas (1987)



GIF via noname64




A ...

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: The 3D GIF





Sample from Animated GIF in 3D

A collection of examples from the Prosthetic Knowledge Tumblr archive and around the web on experiments which take the familiar animated GIF format and take it out of its 2D origins.

This has been a good year for the Animated GIF— not only has it reached its 25th birthday, it has also become America's word of the year according to Oxford Dictionaries USA. It has been one of the internet's most creative canvases since it's availability, whether it has been employed in early homegrown HTML pages, to communities such as B3ta, YTMND, 4Chan and others. From it's continued popularity, some creatives have explored ways to take the animated GIF into new contexts. Here are a few examples:

GIFPumper

 
 
 

Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Internet Coolhunting


A collection of examples where pop culture was clearly inspired by smaller creative activities on the web (with some people not necessarily happy about it). With online chatter regarding the performance by Rihanna on Saturday Night Live and it's adoption to the net-art 'Seapunk' style, it's worth knowing that the mixed reaction is not an isolated occasion. Marketers employ 'coolhunters' to look out for interesting small cultural developments to make their artist's seem 'fresh' and ahead of the game, an activity that has been happening since the early 1990s, which was a key subject in William Gibson's 2003 novel Pattern Recognition. It is now becoming more apparent in our more modern technological age — here are some of the better known examples:

Chiptune / Timbaland

Chiptunes, the lo-fi music associated with soundchips of old computers and gaming consoles, started to make their way into contemporary music with one piece eventually leading to a file for infringement, the Timberland-produced 'Do It' for Nelly Furtado:
 


Compare this to "Acidjazzed Evening" by Tempest/Damage
 


For a much more clearer comparison, the Demoscene documentary by Moleman breifly compares and contrasts the two songs. 

According to Wikipedia:

In August 2007, an action for infringement was filed in the District Court of Helsinki against Universal Music, Ltd alleging Nelly Furtado's song "Do It" infringed "Acid Jazz Evening". In January 2009, after a trial that included multiple expert and technical witnesses, a three judge panel unanimously dismissed the plaintiff's case.

On December 17, 2008, Abbott also testified as a witness of prosecution in the Helsinki court in Gallefoss' case against Universal Music Finland. The Finnish court reportedly threw out the case after ruling in only one aspects of the three claims (sampling, performance rights, producer rights), and the case remains in appellate court ...

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Web Toys


Online browser-based projects which you can play or create with from the Prosthetic Knowledge Tumblr archive:


 



YATTA!

Developed by Emilio Gomariz and Kim Asendorf (under the guise MAADONNA), you can drag an image from your desktop into the page to be transformed into a matrix of animated icons. There are various sets including classic animated emoticons (both Western and Japanese) and sprite blocks from old Nintendo games (such as Super Mario Brothers, pictured above).

You can try it out for yourself here.
[PK Link

Neticones


Similar to YATTA! is this piece which can convert your image into a matrix made up of Facebook icons (Webcam needed).

Try it out here.
PK Link

Streetview Stereographic


This webtoy takes Google Streetview photographic images and turns them into 'Little Worlds' style fisheye panoramas. It has even been used to create videos, here by Halcob

You can try it out here
[PK Link
]

ASCII Streetview




Another Streetview project, this one turns it's photographic panoramas into ASCII text characters (including new data which is captured inside buildings)

Texter




Made by Tim Holam, this tool allows you to draw with words, sentences and paragraphs. You can choose whatever text you wish to use, change it's colour, and save the results.


You can try it out here and view Tim's other projects here.

WebcamMesh


Fun webcam toy by Felix Turner turns your visual feed into a trippy 3D mesh, running on HTML5 in your browser (Note: Only works with Chrome and Opera).


Try it out here
[PK Link]

Webcam Displacement



Another webcam toy, this by Mr.doob (aka Ricardo Cabello) which turns the visual feed into pseudo-3D forms (Chrome required).


Try it out here
[PK Link]

Other Links:

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Kinect Genealogy - A Brief History of Gestural Interfaces


 


In honor of the approaching second birthday of the release of Microsoft's Kinect, we will take a brief tour of the experimental technology that preceded it. But before we begin, it is worth noting a few facts about the Kinect we know today, a piece of technology that almost overnight changed the development of contemporary interactive art by being powerful and affordable. 'Project Natal', as it was originally known, initially used a system called "Time-of-flight" which had origins military laser radar systems, but changed when a start-up called Primesense, an Israeli company made of ex-military engineers, were trying to sell their consumer-focused product: 

the PrimeSense technology uses a proprietary technology called “light coding,” rather than the time-of-flight cameras used by of its competitors. Time-of-flight emits strong pulses of light and measures the delay in their return to calculate positions.
“Time-of-flight came from laser radar systems with military applications,” said Aviad and Inon. “[But] the DNA of the PrimeSense technology was from day one for the consumer market.
“There are a lot of differences between PrimeSense and time-of-flight cameras in general. PrimeSense has achieved a breakthrough on price and performance. The performance we generated through the device is better in a long list of parameters [than time-of-flight].” 
PrimeSense's product was initially targeting Apple, a sensible approach to a company that introduced a new type of interface to mass market. Yet, it wasn't to be
“It was the most natural place for the technology,” [Inon Beracha, CEO of PrimeSense] said.
Apple has a history of interface innovation, of course, and had recently introduced the iPhone with its paradigm-shifting multitouch UI. PrimeSense’s system went one step further: It was multitouch that you didn’t even have to touch. Apple seemed like a natural fit.
Yet the initial meetings hadn ...

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