I’m sure if you’re a reader of my blog you know of the famous-ish YouTuber known as “The 8-Bit Guy” previously known as, “The iBook Guy”. He’s a YouTuber that does all kinds of cool retro tech videos and is part of the YouTube Retro-tech Nerd Trifecta of LGR, Techmoan, and 8-Bit Guy.
Anyway, I love a lot of his work and was browsing some weird old YouTube videos about obsolete VGA cameras looking for video samples. While I was watching a video about the this insanely crappy Vivitar Digital Camera, I was suddenly struck with the thought, wait a minute, I know that voice! That’s 8-bit Guy!
And sure enough, if you watch the video for long enough, a much younger, 2007 8-bit Guy reveals himself brandishing a headset mic to give his thoughts on the cheap camera, and it is glorious!
The video is part of the channel called MyPCHelp, and appears to have been a collaborative channel with 8-bit and some of his friends. Their oldest video is back to the earliest days of YouTube and is called “Defeating Spyware – Trailer” (below) and it was published all the way back to December 18th 2006!
The trailer is a good precursor to one of the finest pieces of Internet nostalgia on YouTube, “Defeating Spyware – Chapter 1”.
I really got a kick out of randomly happening upon this channel, and I thought I would share it. This video could easily be remixed into a Vaporwave smash hit I have no doubts.
I love vintage macs, especially the PPC era macs like the iBook G4, and the Powerbook. For many years I always thought that booting from a USB stick was impossible on these systems, but alas it is very possible and not even that hard! You just have to do things a certain way.
When you’re creating the Mac image on the USB stick, it has to be done in a very specific way. You cannot use a USB 3 stick, nor even a USB 3 port! You must use a USB 2 (or 1) drive and port.
You need to create the USB stick on a Mac, or with Transmac for PC. On a mac use Disk Utility and the restore disk image feature to create the USB drive. In Transmac, open it in administrator mode, then right click the drive you want to put the image on, and select ‘restore from image’. Transmac gives you a 15 day trial, which is plenty long enough to burn Leopard or whatever Mac image you plan on restoring.
Put the usb drive in the iBook, then turn it on and hold down ‘apple key, option, O and F keys right after you hear the mac chime. This will get you to the open firmware screen.
At the command prompt, type: boot ud:,\\:tbxi If that doesn’t work try boot usb0/disk@1:,\\:tbxi or boot usb1/disk@1:,\\:tbxi
What a time we live in for making music! Today you can buy all kinds of amazing gear for so little money, people of the 1960s would have given their left nut for some of the stuff on this list. I thought I would put together a little list of 5 awesome synths you can get brand new for under $75!
1. Stylophone Beatbox – This thing is so cheap and so freaking cool I can’t believe it. Check out the video
2. Korg Monotron Delay – I love this little synth and have used it on so many of my most popular recordings. I also used it extensively at live Demonic Sweaters shows from 2013 to 2015
3. Casio SA-46 – Probably the most bang for your buck, the SA-46 is a preset synth by Casio that is absolutely tiny, but unlike the rest of the synths on this list, it actually has a real keyboard. Don’t let it’s size fool you, because the sound quality of this little beast is nothing short of phenomenal!
4. Macchiato Mini Digital Synth DIY kit – This one is one of my favorite on the list. It’s a real synth with an actual MIDI input, and you make the case out of cardboard (plans included). I love it!
5. Gakken SX-150 Mark II – This one is a very basic analog synth with stylus control, but what makes this one especially cool is the analog filter actually has a line in feature. So you can plug any other audio source into it and tweak it with the filter in real-time!
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So there you have it. This is quite an awesome collection of synthesizers, and every single one of them will cost you less than most commercial synth VSTs out there!