Category Archives: Vintage Computing

Awesome old technology! VODER (1939) – Early Speech Synthesizer

Considered the first electrical speech synthesizer, VODER (Voice Operation DEmonstratoR) was developed by Homer Dudley at Bell Labs and demonstrated at both the 1939 New York World’s Fair and the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. Difficult to use and difficult to operate, VODER nonetheless paved the way for future machine-generated speech.

A friend of mine showed me this video on youtube and I had no idea speech synthesis was this old! Too cool not to share with my readers!

Netflix documentary feature Atari: Game over

Atari: Game Over

Atari: Game Over

Netflix documentary feature Atari: Game over

Even individuals who are not considered gamers by today’s standards know that the name Atari is synonymous with the birth of video games. Atari paved the road for game consoles from Sega to X Box and showed the world a new tomorrow of home entertainment. Today Atari’s games are still loved and often played with nostalgia. Yet, there has always been a bit of speculation to what exactly caused Atari’s demise. An urban legend has also haunted the company claiming millions of cartridges of Atari’s ill fated game ET, based on the Steven Spielburg smash movie, were hidden, buried away, in a landfill out west like a cursed treasure. In the documentary film Atari: Game Over available on Netflix, screen writer Zack Penn decides to go after the urban legend in an attempt to prove what is true and what is false in the history of the first game system.

The historical documentary is short but filled with interesting facts from the forming of the Atari Company, its million dollar rise, and it’s final illfated downfall. Zack Penn not only leads you on the tour but directs the film and does an adequate job of presenting the information in an entertaining way. Several shocking secrets are revealed on what it was like to work for the famous company as well as stories on the creaton of the infamous game ET, told by the creator of the game Howard Scott Warshaw. Helping Warshaw along the journey, the head of Atari, Nolan Bushnell also reveals stories from the golden years and exactly what went wrong with the creation of the ET game. Interviews with other famous game makers of today also share their knowledge and opinions. The fascinating narrative of Atari’s past will fill not only just gamers with insight, but anyone interested in the rise and fall of giants.

In between the history lessons Zack Penn, city officials, and city workers bring excitement to the documentary as they narrow down the location and then make plans to begin digging in the spot where the game cartridge treasure trove is rumored to be. Everyone including the viewer gets caught up in this quest and several self professed Atari and game nerds show up to talk about their love of the game and the console. They also share in their hopes that the urban legend is true. As you watch the film you too begin to hope they really do find the ET games as they dig through tons of garbage and earth.

It may not be a classic film you would watch on numerous occasions but Atari: Game Over is an event you will be glad you partook in. Atari: Game Over is an engrossing documentary that will make you feel nostalgic and even emotional, especially for the ET game and it’s creator Howard Scott Warshaw who unfairly became the scapegoat for the end of an era.


Fairlight CMI Sample Collection | Free Fairlight CMI IIx Sample Pack

Fairlight CMI free sample library


This awesome Fairlight CMI sample library originated from a VSE forum post located here. The poster put all the files up on a sendspace account but were all broken up into separate files, so it took quite a while to download all the samples from the multiple sendspace pages.

I went ahead and downloaded them all then created a new rar file to download them all at once. Unfortunately the link on the original post was dead for disks 7 through 10, but the vast majority of the samples are still here and are quite good. Super gritty, lofi, 80s sounding stuff. You can load them into just about any soft-sampler and manipulate them and trim to your liking!




Dial up and log in to the Internet of 1993! The Computer Chronicles

This show is such a wonderful historic archive. The Computer Chronicles shows us the this crazy new invention “The Internet” in 1993.

zen and the art of the internet

1993 doesn’t even seem that long ago, yet so much is different now. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and use a dial up modem again. Weird, I know.

Amiga Demoscene alive and well in 2015!

Where did all these awesome pixel art pictures come from? From, that’s where! I stumbled across this site and it’s one of those places on the internet that after you find it, you have to spend like an hour just clicking around and exploring all the insanely cool and eccentric content lying deep within it’s pages.

If you don’t know what Demoscene is, well you’re probably on the wrong website, but just in case, Wiki defines it as ” The demoscene is an international computer art subculture that specializes in producing demos: small, self-contained computer programs that produce audio-visual presentations. The main goal of a demo is to show off programming, artistic, and musical skills.”

The Demoscene was quite big especially in the early 90s in the Amiga Computer heyday. You can still find hundreds of thousands of demos online. It’s not just confined to Amiga either, Bit Fellas feature Demoscene data from all platforms. They also have a huge art library, online radio, and a podcast. This is just a really really cool place. Check it out and explore for a while. You can tune in to the radio with this link. You’ll have to right click and save as then open it in VLC or iTunes or whatever media player you have installed.