Computer Wizardry After School Specials

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m kind of a fan of 1970s and 1980s computer culture. (In fact, that fascination heavily informs my current project, Of Many Trades.) One often overlooked aspect of early computer culture is the way it was covered in contemporary press. Presented here are two TV Documentaries, both filmed before the rise of the internet, that cover the home computer revolution at two pivotal points. They are entertaining, and educational, reminders of a time when the Home Computer Revolution still felt Revolutionary.

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Push Notifications with IFTTT

Apparently IFTTT can monitor RSS/ATOM streams (like mine) and perform an action for new items. That means that I can have TradeSocial output an RSS feed for the system as a whole, for the feeds of individual users, and for @replies. Then I can tell IFTTT to look at those feeds and (send an email -OR- send a push notification -OR- Post a Tweet -OR- etc.) any time one of them changes.

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A collection of articles by Robin Sloan [link dump]

A few years ago, I discovered an author. His name is Robin Sloan, and he writes things that resonate with me, including the Wonderful Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour bookstore (which is likely my favorite novel of the last ten years.) Sloan is also a fairly prolific essayist, and some of his essays touch on ideas that are important and realted to the work that I do. This is a quick collection of links to some of his essays, projects, and short stories–along with a brief description of each–(posted half for personal reference.)

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Tech meets DIY/Punk

This morning, I spent 20 minutes hacking to gether a basic social media service for Of Many Trades. It’s not much, but it’s functional. It lives here: TradeSocial. There’s a simple reason that I was able to get it done so quickly: I cheated.

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Software for People (not for profit)

Computers in general, and the internet specifically, used to be really interesting. When the industry was younger, there was an element of DIY, of community, and of comradery. It was a wild space, and many people considered it be potentially revolutionary. Then capitalism stepped in, and everyone realized that the best way to make money was to datamine their users. I want to return to this Wild West of computing, and to that end, I have built OfManyTrades.com.

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