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ElectriClerk Computer Of The Future 89

ElDuderino44137 points out this "Fully functional retrofitted prop computer." Chocolate / peanut butter, Mac SE / Underwood. This is no spray-paint job.
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ElectriClerk Computer Of The Future

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  • by General Sherman ( 614373 ) on Sunday May 09, 2004 @02:26PM (#9101122) Journal
    They must have been running the server from that SE.
  • Wow... (Score:5, Informative)

    by JayBlalock ( 635935 ) on Sunday May 09, 2004 @02:26PM (#9101124)
    The site is already Slashdotted (with 1 comment!) but it's very simple to describe. He turned a 1988 Macintosh into one of the computers from Gilliam's movie "Brazil." Truly impressive piece of work.
    • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Have Blue ( 616 ) on Sunday May 09, 2004 @02:58PM (#9101281) Homepage
      The site is already Slashdotted (with 1 comment!)

      I really wish people would stop being amazed at that. What's obviously going on is that the site has been slashdotted by subscribers who see the article before us freeloaders, as the front page constantly reminds us.
      • Moreover (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Galvatron ( 115029 )
        The largest surge of traffic is going to occur when the site first becomes available to non-subscribers. In other words, if the site lives past the first 2-3 comments, it'll probably stay up.
    • Re:Wow... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tunabomber ( 259585 )
      From the headline and summary, I was expecting it to be a fake prop computer (like the kind you see in furniture stores) that had been retrofitted with electronics so that it actually worked.
      Now THAT would have been a pretty damn postmodern casemod.
      *sigh*, well I guess this compute-writer thing is OK too.
  • Interface. It would save so much on the laser printer and give me the best keyboard ever made.
  • by mattyohe ( 517995 ) <matt.yohe@g m a i l . c om> on Sunday May 09, 2004 @02:27PM (#9101130)
    Purchase the Criterion edition if you can. Yes it may be 50 dollars, but there is a lot of great content on it.

    Actually deep discount DVD has it for 43 dollars.. Free shipping too!

    http://www.deepdiscountdvd.com/dvd.cfm?itemID=HVD0 00152

  • by vinit79 ( 740464 ) on Sunday May 09, 2004 @02:29PM (#9101142)
    The site is already slashdotted but here is the text (not too useful without the photos though) Built for a game of Cthulhu Lives! that has yet to be played, this piece was inspired by the retro-futuristic machines in the movie Brazil by Terry Gilliam. It was one of the most difficult and time-consuming pieces I've ever attempted. Despite the ridiculous amount of abuse I subjected it to, and despite the fact that all its components are now exposed to the air, the 1988 Macintosh SE which forms the heart of this piece still works just fine. Click on the photo at left to see an enlarged view.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 09, 2004 @02:30PM (#9101145)
    If you had an ink ribbon, you could save your progress.
  • by mios ( 715734 ) on Sunday May 09, 2004 @02:30PM (#9101146) Homepage
    ... still looks hotter than the latest Dell box I've seen ... and who ever said Apple Computers just look sexy from the outside ... hey ... if you zoom up in on the monitor of that picture, I think I can make out the AmigaOS 4 AmiDock running on the bottom of there ...
  • by rocketjam ( 696072 ) on Sunday May 09, 2004 @02:32PM (#9101152) Homepage
    Timothy is killing websites right and left today!
    • No kidding. Is there a way to prevent that?

      It's not like I'll ever have anything on my site that /. has a burning desire to see, but for reference sake - is there a way to put a limiter on traffic to mitigate, perhaps even stop the /. effect?

      Basic redirection, perhaps?
      • is there a way to put a limiter on traffic to mitigate, perhaps even stop the /. effect?

        You could set up your site so that any referals from /. get redirected to the google cache. People who want to see the real site can still visit, but if slashdot ever does find you, you'll be safe from most of the traffic. This should be do-able with just a few lines of PHP. Test to see whether $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'] contains "slashdot.org", and if so send header('Location: [http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:
        • The only other method I can think of would be scanning /. for any mention of one's personal site, and shutting it down if it's ever mentioned.

          Well, and perhaps if the /. editors would kindly inform sites before they /. 'em.
  • Archive.org cache (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Here's the Arhive.org cache of the website from June 2003.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030602070516/http:/ /w ww.ahleman.com/ElectriClerk.html
  • by Anonymous Coward
    http://home.earthlink.net/~ahleman/ElectriClerkLit e/ElectriClerk.html

    Seems to work
  • Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 09, 2004 @02:42PM (#9101210)
    There seems to be a mirror (with pictures that load) here [earthlink.net].
  • Oh yeah. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mrseigen ( 518390 ) on Sunday May 09, 2004 @02:46PM (#9101226) Homepage Journal
    I've seen this already in a magazine (MacAddict?) but it's nice to see it's made its way into Slashdot.

    Now just to trick out a G4 cube like this...
  • The Animatrix (Score:2, Interesting)

    I've never seen Terry Gilliam's Brazil, so I can't compare this with the machine he says its based on, but it is very reminiscent of the computer used by the private detective in the Detective Story short film in The Animatrix. Very retro-cool. Though why build it with old circa 1980s Mac parts instead of present tech escapes me.
    • Re:The Animatrix (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kfg ( 145172 )
      Though why build it with old circa 1980s Mac parts instead of present tech escapes me.

      Because it's there.

    • Though why build it with old circa 1980s Mac parts instead of present tech escapes me.

      Maybe because the monitor size/shape was perfect. Monochrome, small, non-flat screen. Just disembowel the old SE and rearrange it as needed.

  • why do i think that coding on that beast would be a little problematic - I'd be afraid of killing the keyboard setup. in all, a deeply cool object. now i need to make one
  • by fiffilinus ( 45513 ) on Sunday May 09, 2004 @03:02PM (#9101290) Homepage

    This neat little prop was done in 2002, as the wayback machine [archive.org] will tell you. Seems /. is loosing its edge as far as up to date news go :-)

    On a redeeming note, I am sure I saw this on /. before...

    • I am sure I saw this on /. before...

      Yes, you did see this on Slashdot before. I too have been visitng this site for years, and obvious repeats like this one disappoint me. Am I the only one here paying attention?

      The original is here [slashdot.org] if you're interested in reading the original comments.

      The mod is still cool. It reminds both of the movie Brazil as well as Theora Jones' terminal in the TV show Max Headroom. Ah, wonderful!

    • On a redeeming note, I am sure I saw this on /. before...
      Here. [slashdot.org]
  • by Chris Tucker ( 302549 ) on Sunday May 09, 2004 @03:02PM (#9101291) Homepage
    He tricked out the machine to use the original typewriter keyboard, hacked the carriage return lever to act as the return key, cleverly grafted a trackball onto the side of the typewriter chassis to replace the mouse. The grafted on trackball looks just like part of the chassis.

    There are exposed vacuum tubes and the chassis of the Mac, as well as the CRT are alao exposed.

    There is a swingaway Fresnel lens in front of the mac CRT.

    Recall the computer Theora used in the old Max Headroom TV series? That's a lot what the ElectriClerk looks like.

    It is one VERY sexy/Retro casemod!
  • Given the heat problems of that classic-style Macintosh case, i'm sure the components are actually cooler now than they were inside that thing.

    The SE had a fan at least, the Mac Plus didn't have one, which spawned a significant aftermarket in attachable fan modules that would slide into the handle vent (and had an AC cord of their own).

    That was all a Steve Jobs snafu - he wanted the Macs to be silent so they were. They were so silent they overheated. After his departure from Apple the fan was added in.
    • Interesting...I admit, I never heard of overheating Mac Pluses. My dad bought one a few months after they came out, and it finally was replaced (before it actually gave out!) by my grandfather in 1999. To my knowledge, it never suffered from heat problems, but I suppose some of those random "type 11" crashes could very well have been due to overheating.
    • by gb506 ( 738638 ) on Sunday May 09, 2004 @03:31PM (#9101424) Homepage
      I've supported hundreds of pre-jobs departure fanless macs and I've *NEVER* had one overheat in normal operating environments... Please dig deeper into the bag to find some reality-based crap to fling, cuz this is FUD.
    • by green pizza ( 159161 ) on Sunday May 09, 2004 @03:54PM (#9101524) Homepage
      I've had a Plus for about 14 years as well as a 128K and a 512Ke for the past 8. All run fine, the Plus even ran 24/7 for three years as my X10 home automation controller. The top vent gets warm, as does the vent on my oldschool G3 CRT iMac... but I've never had heat-related crashes. Very few crashes at all, actually.

      OT: On the other hand, my well-vented PowerMac 8100 was a crashy nightmare, but that was due to the horrid versions 7.5.x and 8.x of the OS.

      Further OT: I never tried 9.x. I did the NT, 2K, and XP thing. Came back to Apple/Mac/NeXT with a PowerBook G4 and OS X 10.3 Panther... and I couldn't be happier!
      • Most of the sales of the cooling units for the Plus/512ke were in conjunction with the sale of aftermarket memory or accelerators.

        It still doesn't avoid the issue of why Apple added a fan later. "because it got too hot in there" is the obvious answer.
      • by Macgrrl ( 762836 ) on Sunday May 09, 2004 @07:08PM (#9102370)

        While working as an Apple repairer, I once had a Mac SE in for repairs that had a serious heat issue - it would work fine for about 10-15 minutes then cut out. When we opened it up we found about 1.5 inches of fine red sediment had collected in the bottom of the unit, encasing the logic board and causing it to overheat.

        When I checked the paperwork which had come with the machine, it became clear that the computer had come from a cattle breeding station in the country.

        I was the first computer I had ever seen that was literally drowning in bull dust. I stripped the machine down, cleaned it thoroughly inside and out, and it worked a treat.

    • by michaeldot ( 751590 ) on Sunday May 09, 2004 @05:47PM (#9101978)

      That was all a Steve Jobs snafu - he wanted the Macs to be silent so they were. They were so silent they overheated. After his departure from Apple the fan was added in.

      The Mac Plus came out in 1986 and was still fanless. Steve Jobs had already left by this time.

      The first fanned Macs - the Macintosh SE and Macintosh II - came out in 1987, a long time after he'd left. They were also the first Macs to include internal hard drives, a much more likely reason for the fan to be included.

      The G4 Cube does not have overheating problems, that was a myth which went with its "cracks" (in reality, scratches in the mould). Its efficient chimney design transfers heat very effectively from the unit. I still use mine to drive a "photo wall" that is on 8+ hours a day without issue.

      The Cube was designed with a place for a fan, It was there if it was needed, should it survive in the market long enough for hotter 1+ GHz PowerPC chips to require one. But at 450/500 MHz it simply didn't.

      The Cube flopped, not because of overheating, but because it presented confused expectations of how a computer should look, and because of poor access to its ports and limited expandability. It was still a brilliant design.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday May 09, 2004 @03:03PM (#9101295) Homepage
    The original had a pneumatic tube attachment.
    • I beleive the pneumatic tubes were separate, not part of the ElectriClerk. Watch the movie again - every office has a tube, only some have the machine (and in many cases, they are not placed together).
  • Can't find the article right now, but this is an old project, and was linked to a loooong time ago. I still have the bookmark to the guy's website.
    • Re:Dupe de doo (Score:3, Informative)

      by the_quark ( 101253 )
      Here's the dupe story, from November 3, 2002 [slashdot.org]. I remembered it, too, surprised more people didn't jump on this:

      An incredibly bizarre sort-of case mod: someone recreated the computer terminals from Terry Gilliam's Brazil, using an old Mac and a 1923 underwood typewriter.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I realize we all have short memories, but this is a repeate of another Slashdot article [slashdot.org].

    Might I suggest the editors search Slashdot before posting articles to avoid repetition?

  • EPIA PC Equivalent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by isny ( 681711 ) on Sunday May 09, 2004 @03:12PM (#9101335) Homepage
    Check out the Underwood No. 5 PC [mini-itx.com] where yet another fellow with too active an imagination has converted a typewriter to a computer. Quite clever, actually.
  • I could follow the link. But the whole idea is that you have some text to help you decide whether or not to follow the link. In some cases the text can help you interpret what you're looking at when you do follow the link. In this case, when I followed the link, I still had no idea what I was looking at.
  • Duplicate from Nov (Score:2, Informative)

    by sirshannon ( 616247 )
    a classic [slashdot.org]
  • Deja Vu (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by The Dark P ( 545554 )
    I swear that I have seen this posted to Slashdot before. Admittedly a slightly longer timescale than most dupes.
  • "Prop" computer? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CityZen ( 464761 )
    When I first read the "prop" part, I imagined those prop computers you see in furniture stores. You know, those plastic computer shells that resemble a generic computer (though lately Ikea seems to be using actual gutted computer cases).

    In any case, I thought it would be hilarious to take something that was designed to look like a computer but not be one and make it into a computer. Or a toaster. Or anything functional.
  • is that I want one.

    If some enterprising PC user wants to give something like this a go, maybe they can start with this antique vintage underwood noiseless portable typewriter [ebay.com] of their own. Noiseless! Even better, it's advertised as "ALL KEY DO WORK AND NO STICKING."

    If anyone hasn't seen Brazil, you should rush out and rent a copy tonight. Definitely one of the most brilliant movies ever made.

  • I have three SE models in my basement. One of them is an SE/30 which I was going to install OpenBSD on as soon as I upgraded the hard drive to something bigger than 80M. Now I have a use for them besides that Fish Tank case mod. ;)
  • despite the fact that all its components are now exposed to the air, the 1988 Macintosh SE which forms the heart of this piece still works just fine.

    uh, yeah, i'm sure glad my computer is in a vacuum chamber, that darn air that's everywhere could get inside the components...

  • I've been looking for this for ages, ever since I saw it in the pages of Macaddict.

    Talk about design. Man. Really takes you back to a time when art and science were one in the same.

    Pity we can't mass produce these things, but then, if we did, no one would buy them, because they don't look "professional."
  • Hey, that almost looks functional for a Mac. Maybe they are starting to catch on that good looks don't always mean a good 'puter.

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced -- even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it. -- John Keats