That is something you will not normally read, right? The Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc . Because as a matter of fact, who would think that is even possible? Thankfully for all of us fans of retro as well as movie buffs, one artist decided to do that very thing. Moreover this Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc manages to make it even more awesome!
The artist in question I should add is Wahyu Ichwandardi or Pinot as he is known on Twitter. Furthermore he had this to say on his Twitter channel on remaking the trailer using solely 1984 technology.
“It’s not just about a nostalgia journey, but also a tech history lesson. Kids have access to the old tech to experience better, beyond. And show it to my children.
New tech old tech, we just need to respect the tool to create something beyond its original task.”
I think you will absolutely agree with me, that Pinot just said something very wise. In addition to something incredibly true. Pinot by the way also used two other bits of 1984 technology as well. Broderbund’s Dazzle Draw which is a bitmap paint program that was developed by David Snider. Who you might know better as the designer for the groundbreaking 1982 pinball simulation David’s Midnight Magic.
In addition, Pinot of course had to animate the Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc…by hand.
He did this by using none other than the Koala Pad. A drawing tablet released by Koala Technologies. Naturally. In fact, Pinot was kind enough to comment on Rob O’Hara’s 2012 post just a few days ago.
Animating The Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc took 48 140KB double density disks. As well as 288 image files with a total of 6MB. Obviously a whole heck of a lot of work went into bringing this labor of love to fruition.
However I think after you see the work for yourself you will totally agree on two things. It was totally worth it and Pinot has created something incredibly beautiful!
Having reveled in The Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc. Why not take a few moments and really see how much work Pinot put into the project?
MCI Mail was a commercial email and messaging. It was operated by MCI Communications from 1983 to 2003. Started on September 23, 1983, it was ahead of its time. Naturally being one of the first commercial email services in the United States, it was met with confusion by many. The commercials they released for MCI Mail didn’t really answer what they were all about.
Commercial for MCI Mail from 1983
Even though it was confusing to the non-technical person, it was a clever ad. A father and son, with comically over-sized should-pads visit a museum in the future. There they see a letter from 1983. The son has never seen one before and even mispronounces the word. Then he asked what did it “let” people do. Hilarious!
The evolution of MCI Mail seems pretty logical and tried to piggyback on the technological expectations of the times. First you used it just like a closed email system. Access to the initial MCI Mail service was provided using up to a 5600 baud modem. Which you connected to a standard telephone land line. Then you would dial-in on the toll-free access number at (800)444-Mail.
Read A $339 PCMCIA Modem is a Lot Like an Oreo?
Later it would be expanded to allow you to communicate with non-MCI customers. While at the same time, you could use a hybrid service which sent electronic mails to distant areas. There they would be printed out and could be delivered in under 4 hours.
In 1994 MCI stopped supporting the product, but remarkably the service persisted for almost another decade. By 2003, e-mail and other forms of electronic communications were ubiquitous. MCI Mail just couldn’t compete. So at 11:59 p.m. ET on June 30, 2003 it was officially decommissioned.
Want a more detailed breakdown of MCI Mail? This Promo video describes the MCI electronic mail process. It outlines the benefits and includes an overview of the prices associated with the service. It is a real gem.
Promotional Piece About MCI Mail
Many people have heard of Video Professor. They ran commercial on cable TV channels and on late night programming throughout the nineties. I recall seeing the commercials and laughing at some of the concepts. In the mid-nineties, I was already “online” most days. So a lot of the concepts in videos like Learn to use the Internet seemed comically simple.
Now I wish I had watched them back then, because it would ad a nice layer of nostalgia to my appreciation of them. And I do appreciate them. Why? Because they capture a wonderful moment in time. An era before the internet became ubiquitous and before slick video production would become commonplace.
Watching this now, I am struck by how information packed this 46 minute video is. It walks you through concepts and ideas that were new to people at the time. While at the same time gives you practical advice on using the internet through Prodigy.
We learn not only the hows and whys of getting online, but what to do once you do. From email to emojis and from auto-updates to Yahoo! It is all covered in this simple video.
Read Quantum Link for the Commodore 64
If you happened to be around during this time in the internet’s history, you will find this a fun trip back in time. When blue links lead to mysterious and unpredictable places and images were few and far between. This was the internet where I saw a possible career for myself, so watching this walk-through takes me back to a time when each click of the mouse shined a light on all the potential for this burgeoning technology.
I read that Video Professor had some legal issues in their later years. Some of them well into the new millennium. Which is shocking to me, I don’t recall seeing their ads after the nineties ended, but I guess they did. Seems like the business took a dark turn at some point before disappearing.
Now I feel guilty about my negative feelings towards Video Professor in the nineties. I don’t know much about their later products, but this video is a wonderful set of instructions for early users of the web. Without videos like these, how many people would have never gotten online in the early days? So a big thanks to Video Professor for being a cheerleader and educator of this technology I love so much.
Watch Learn to use the Internet with Video Professor
I was at the Living Computer Museum again last weekend. No surprise for people who read this blog. It is one of my favorite places to visit in Seattle. Every time I go there, I find something new that captures my imagination or educates me. Today I would like to talk about another way of experiencing this wonderful facility, as a learning library. It all started when I stumbled across this PDP 11/70 Processor Handbook that someone had left near one of the PDP machines.
I had perused the books before while visiting this museum, but to see it so close to the machine it was meant for was a different experience. Picturing myself as a brand new PDP operator in the seventies, I opened up the book and attempted to start learning. It was a challenging bit of reading at first, but I found myself quickly starting to understand some of the basics of what I would need to know.
Suddenly I was looking for other books near machines. I had seen them before, but has never attacked them with gusto. Before I knew it I found myself watching videos on YouTube and skimming the books trying to learn. Pushing myself just a little to see how each of the machines work. Computer architecture has become so homogenized for the most part, that very rarely am I challenged like I was in the past. It was refreshing and perplexing.
It also peeled back another layer on this fine museum. Will I be running out to buy a PDP because of it? No, but I can find the PDP 11/70 Processor Handbook easily on Amazon. And if I ever want to tinker, the LCM will probably have a machine for me to monkey around with. Surely with the right book and enough time I could master any machine.
Okay, maybe a whole lot of time.
Growing up and loving computer with little to no money was difficult. You tended to hoard your computer supplies, especially floppy disks. I would climb through dumpsters and wheel and deal with friends to get my hands on the magnetic gold. While all brands were welcome at my desk, Elephant Memory Systems floppy disks were my favorite. Not only were they premium, but they had this striking image of an elephant on the packaging and wonderful fanciful descriptions on the sleeves.
You might ask, how often did you actually read the back of your disk sleeve? The answer is very often. Back in the day, computer load times were very long. You often needed something to keep your mind occupied during that time. So if I did not have a magazine or book on hand, I would pick up a disk and just read the back. Since Elephant Memory Systems did such a good job on theirs, I found it very re-readable.
I probably had 5 of these discs in my collection over the years, but they always stood out. They were always my favorite and I reserved them as file save home for my favorite video games.
Sadly, I currently have none in my collection at home. So I was thrilled to spot this one on a recent visit to the Living Computer Museum in Seattle. The fact that discs like this are just lying around to be used, speaks volume about the quality of the collection. Everything there is a memory waiting to be remembered. Even the stuff not under glass or featured with a sign.
About Elephant Memory Systems
Elephant Memory Systems floppy disks were produced by Leading Edge in the 1980s. They got their name from the idea that an “elephant never forgets.” Which is a perfect way to promote memory. Also a perfect way to make a memorable brand. It works on so many levels! Leading Edge filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1989 and was acquired in 1989 by Daewoo shortly thereafter .