The Oregon Trail: Official Movie Trailer


The more you know about the nascent computer education game the funnier this trailer is. I can’t tell you how many times I watched fourth graders lose everyone in their travel party because they shot more bison than they could eat or carry (or like the guy in the trailer, they spent all of their money on bullets and no other previsions). Good times in the computer lab.

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Video Fridays: When Is Machine Music Real?

So yesterday I got an email from my girlfriend, Tricia, who was so amazed by this video of this music making machine that appeared to make some really complicated music via shooting balls at the various rhythm instruments. The writer of the original message ends the message with, “Of the all the balls you will see, NOT ONE hits the floor!!”

So, being the kill-joy that I am, when she pulled up the video I said, oh yeah, I’ve seen that before, way back in the Tech-TV days. And then went on to explain that the whole video is computer generated. [fail trombone]. She was so disappointed that she couldn’t be bothered to finish watching the whole three-minute 26-second video. In her mind, finding out that it was all CGI meant that it was all fake. I tried to explain that the original creators didn’t just create a pretty bouncing ball virtual machine and then just dropped in the soundtrack, but designed the virtual machine to “play” the notes, so they had to program the timing to literally play the tune one hears on the video. She wasn’t having any of it. The fun was destroyed.

So I went on to confirm that the video was in fact CGI and alas I was correct, all CGI. The detail of the hoax was amazing (seriously, this was all built using re-purposed John Deere farming gear?!). One cool thing, I did find that Intel had actually built a machine inspired by the CGI machine in the Pipe-Dream video. So, when I was watching the video of the Intel machine, I couldn’t help but wonder if the soundtrack on the video was being created by the machine or a remixed thing overlaid onto the video. What do you think, real music or pre-recorded fakery???


Microsoft’s TellMe vs. Apple’s Siri

Uploaded by techaudottv on Nov 24, 2011
Video comparison between Microsoftt’s Tellme and Apple’s Siri. The results speak for themselves.

More than 1 Million views!! more than 2,000 comments. You guys are certainly opinonated.

I wonder how many of you read the post wrapped around this video?

One Last Thing: The PBS Steve Jobs videos

I know that I’m venturing dangerously close to Steve Jobs Biography overload, with my last number of blog posts being related to the passing of Steve Jobs and the subsequent publication of his authorized biography… but as I was going through my sources I found the following two PBS documentaries. The first covered familiar territory previously shared in Cringley’s mini-series Triumph of the Nerds (with Cringley making frequent apparences in the “One Last Thing” video). The second documentary was an unedited interview from 1990 when Jobs was still in exile from Apple and working at NExT. Enjoy.

Watch Steve Jobs: One Last Thing on PBS. See more from STEVE JOBS – ONE LAST THING.

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Eric Whitacre: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong [TED talk]

At TEDx Orlando 2011 we were shown the following video/TED talk by Eric Whitacre. I’ve been working in online education for over three years and earned my master’s degree and worked on a doctorate online, I know how powerful the connections can be. Far from being a weak substitute for “being there,” there is a powerful “being there” that we apparently take for grant when together that is all the more precious when our only connection is via youtube video and scrolling text. As Whitacre hints at in his TED talk, we make it work. The beauty of these thousands of voices, joined in spirit though spread across the world speaks to the power we have to connect and sing with thunderous passions and careful dignity. Enjoy.

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Know Your Tech History – Steve Jobs Biography


Been working my way through the Steve Jobs biography the past week and I’ve been a bit surprised at what some have found to be “new” revelations from the book. Chief TWiT, Leo Laporte, was surprised at how much crying seems to have taken place around and including Steve Jobs. And while crying hasn’t been too common in my work experience, I have read about this phenomenon at Apple in other books before. So, it concerns me that tech pundits like Laporte, who actually met Jobs and Woz, might not have as strong a grasp on our tech heritage and history as we might assume.

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