The Internet Archive Is Digitizing & Preserving Over 100,000 Vinyl Records: Hear 750 Full Albums Now

These people do important, amazing work. While shiny, digitally mastered vinyl releases pop up in big box stores everywhere, the real musical wealth lies in the past—in thousands upon thousands of LPs, 45s, 78s—relics of “the only consumer playback format we have that’s fully analog and fully lossless,” says vinyl mastering engineer Adam Gonsalves. Few institutions can afford to store thousands of physical albums, and many rarities and oddities exist in…

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In October, 1999 I was blogging about college application essays, Willie Crowther, and Elizabethan English for RenFest workers

Jessica found herself wishing that somebody — anybody — in her family had died: ”Because then I could write about it.” — College application essays. >As a young man I needed someone to look up to, someone to emulate. I was something of a nerd: I needed someone who’d integrated highly technical talents with the basic social graces. —Tribute to Willie Crowther, by Martin Heller Proper Elizabethan is more akin…

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In September 1999 I was blogging about Tom Stoppard, techno-utopianism, voice-recognition software, and Edgar Rice Burroughs

In September 1999, I was blogging about What makes a play worth seeing twice, according to Tom Stoppard The then-unrealistic expectations of voice-recognition software A critique of the “information wants to be free” mantra A Microsoft exec who predicted that digital publication would eclipse print publication within a decade How marketers are pushing your buttons with the help of technology and semiotic theory The storytelling genius and embedded racism of…

The history of Tetris randomizers

A pleasantly detailed analysis of how the various editions of Tetris chose what piece was next. In 1985, Alexey Pajitnov and Vadim Gerasimov released Tetris to the public. This fun and highly addictive game challenged players to fit pieces together that were dealt in a random order. Since then, over 150 licensed versions of Tetris games have been released. Varying in game modes, rules, and implementations, they all play slightly—or very—differently. In…

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In August 1999 I was blogging about Poohsticks Bridge, penmanship, Archimedes, and ebooks

In August 1999, I was blogging about Conservation efforts at Poohsticks Bridge A Penmanship camp in Philadelphia Recovering the only known copy of a lost work by the Greek mathematician Archimedes (erased by a 10th-century monk who scraped off the writing to reuse the parchment) Fourth-graders using e-books at Resurrection Catholic School in Dayton, Ohio Noted bibliophile Sven Birkerts having a disappointing encounter with ebooks