Thursday, March 08, 2012
It is only when they go wrong that machines remind you how powerful they are.
Ezra takes over the world! Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, Hobart. February 2012.
Those of you logging in today this merry Theme Thursday expecting me to wax lyrical about the distribution of a characteristic of a physical system or phenomenon, or a graphic or photographic representation of such a distribution or indeed list a broad sequence or range of related qualities, ideas, or activities will be sorely dissatisfied!
When I here the word SPECTRUM I think about a computer system that I have never seen in person, let alone used or owned. Yes, the Sinclair ZX SPECTRUM! To explain, we must travel back to the heady days of 1986...
NASA needed another seven astronauts; we were all let down by Halley's Comet; and we all suddenly discovered an obscure little place called the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Unlike the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, we had a Commodore 64 home computer. At the time, the terminally slow cassette drive did not worry us (although we coveted floppy disks in secret). In retrospect the fifteen minute load time to have another three-second crack at dying in Dragon's Lair just does not seem worth it.
But you see, it could have been worse… It could have been a SPECTRUM. The SPECTRUM gave me perspective. The SPECTRUM gave me hope.