TURN IT INTO ART
pastingand beyond! You too can be a creative reformatter, like Toronto artist Mike
Steventon. The "regulated five-volt supply," found only in 1980-model computers,
drives Steventon's electronic-based art pieces. The "electro-physical" artist
dreams of collecting about 400 of these motors for a giant installation piece. He also
uses the phototransistors from old floppy drives to
sense movement and trigger music or light in his installations.
Ken Gregory, a Winnipeg-based sound artist, also makes use
of discarded Macintosh computer models to co-ordinate operations of his sounds capes. His latest installation
piece uses an old computer to regulate brushes that vibrate against 12 fire-alarm bells, creating an ambient tone.
"I want to make a statement out of
redirecting old technology," says Gregory.
MAKE IT A WEB APPLIANCE
Fear not. With so much free junk available, some
of the best minds in the world are at work to solve the problem. The key reason we have so many obsolete machines is not
processing power but bloatware. Operating systems are now crammed with features that many people never use but that require more
electronic resources. If you remember a while back we had New Deal software in to show
their amazing product called New Deal Office 97.
If you can also remember they all worked on a 286
and provided a feature rich GUI interface and an excellent suite of products which worked quite well with one
another. At that time there was a hint that Internet browsing might be possible. They haven't let you down. Yes it is
true! NewDeal's software looks similar to Windows and Office, only smaller and easier to use. It offers four levels of simplicity for
its desktop icons, e-mail, browser, chat, a
100-kilobyte word processor, spreadsheet, database, drawing program, calendar, games,
graphics, HTML editor and more. Suddenly
that 286 you're using for a doorstop can be wired to a household network to provide low
cost Web connections anywhere in the home.
Not the fastest browser around but hey, this
works! I loaded New Deal Office 98 on my trusty old 286 and with very little configuration
was able to dial up my ISP and browse the net with a browser named Skipper. It only
supports HTML version 2.0 and some of the graphic rich sites didn't appear the same as
they would normally using a Netscape or IE, but none the less, the performance was good.
Actually, INCREDIBLE, if you consider it was a 286 with a dual twist plasma display. It
worked much better when I hooked up a 14,400 modem instead of using the 9600 baud modem
that I tried initially. On a test 486DX2-66 with a 28.8 modem, browsing was quite
acceptable. I then loaded New Deal Office 98 on my Pentium and 56K US Robotics X/2 modem
and browsing didn't go any faster at all.
- Product Review by Harald Freise
MACINTOSH -vs- PC's, WHICH SYSTEM IS RIGHT
Some people ask me if they should consider
owning a Macintosh or a PC-compatible computer. If you ask a person who has only used a
Macintosh, they'll will say that's the ONLY system worth your time and trouble. On the other side of the coin, if you talk to someone who
has only used a PC-compatible, they'll put Macintosh systems down to the ground and argue
likewise. Well, guess what? I'm from BOTH
environments and I like both of them! And to be totally fair in my evaluations, I operate
the same software (Photoshop) on both systems.
A Macintosh system is "graphics" based
while a PC-compatible is "text" based. This means that a Macintosh's entire
operation is centered around graphics and desktop publishing, but both systems can perform
the same functions and do well. In my opinion, a Macintosh is the "Cadillac" for
However, I own a PC-compatible. Why? Because of
cost, compatibility and availability of parts and software. It all boils down to cost. The
PC-compatibles now have Windows-based operating systems which work similar to a Macintosh.
In the old days, Macintosh held the title for desktop publishing, but now a PC -
compatible can function just as well. For
instance, I bought a 300Mhz with a 8 GIG hard drive for around $900 complete (including
software). The comparable Macintosh would have cost me around $1,500 - a $600 difference!
I like to also compare my PC-compatible with a
Ford truck. If the starter on my Ford goes out, I can go down the street and get a much
cheaper one. However, if I had a Mercedes Benz (Macintosh), I could only buy a true
Mercedes Benz part and have to pay a real Mercedes Benz expert to put it on for me.
Therefore it is more important to save money than the status.
A Macintosh system used to run faster than
PC-compatibles if you compare the same type of systems. However, this is no longer true. A
PC-compatible will now give you more value for your money compared to a Macintosh. Before you make a decision, sit down and test both
systems. Then only you decide. If you do this, you do not have to waste money purchasing
the latest computer but do not require all the features.
LAID-OFF COMPUTERS FIND
Discarded IBM PCs are
transformed into litter boxes for his cat Sylvester.
Beloved, but antiquated Apple machines become
elegant "Macquariums" for exotic tropical fish living at 128 bps (bubbles per
"It's my art," says Lower. This
high-tech Heloise is formulating plans to turn discarded PC towers into flip-top garbage
cans and unbootable Apple Powerbooks into ant farms in his Sarasota home.
- E-cycle Innovation Cubic, DO-YI