Play Pong While Waiting for the Light to Change

If you find yourself on the streets of Hildesheim Germany you might be pleasantly surprised to be suddenly pitted against another pedestrian in a game of pong.

A student at the HAWK Interaction Design Program discovered the touchpad-based game affixed to lamp posts. While waiting to cross the street, the user can play a quick game of Pong with someone across the street while waiting for the light to turn green. Then you can greet your opponent with a smile or a high five as you cross each other

EDIT: This video has been revealed to be altered in post-production with motion-capture tools. It is not a real product but simply a concept video. Apologies for any confusion.

[via Dude Craft]

Pacific Pinball Expo 2012

Call me old school, but there’s just a special kind of awesome embodied by pinball machines, that video games can’t compete with in my book. The artwork, the lights, the sounds, the feel, the super tactile nature, all the qualities of a good game just put the hugest smile on my face. And here in Northern California, we’re lucky to have Lucky Ju Ju and the Pacific Pinball Museum, home to hundreds of beautifully restored and maintained pinball machines from the past 80 years. Every year, they host the Pacific Pinball Expo, taking place this year on September 21-23 at the Marin County Civic Center. If you’re in the area, you won’t want to miss it.

These folks have been a playful presence at every one of our Bay Area Maker Faires, since the first in 2006. I love this quote from their fearless leader, Michael Schiess:

I really do believe there’s a soul to these machines, that they want to be played. And it’s really funny — if you don’t play them, they kind of stop working and they develop problems, but as long as you play them, they seem to go forever. Once you get one of these restored, they’re really a pretty amazing piece of American ingenuity.

They’re serious about preserving the history of pinball, and they currently have a campaign to create the epic Smithsonian of Pinball. Interested and have 10 minutes to spare? Check out their video, Pinheads:

Montreal Mini Maker Faire: Meet The Buttonmashers

One of the exhibits at this weekend’s first Montreal Mini Maker Faire will be The Buttonmashers’  Arcade Royale, a four-player, re-habbed, re-programmed, and re-made video game cabinet.

The Buttonmashers are Roberta Voulon and Étienne Caron, a couple that lives, parents, and makes together.

We had a store on Etsy back in 2005-06, where we were selling handmade stuff such as Pacman-inspired PC joysticks made from arcade parts and T-shirts with a mashup portrait of Che Guevara and Mario (it was a nod to the Nintendo Revolution coming out soon after, now known as the Wii). Basically they were products inspired by the games we used to play as kids. We had already done our third arcade cabinet by then, which had artwork inspired by Space Invaders. We still had an almost-finished 4-player cabinet that was providing lunch-time entertainment to colleagues in the office cafeteria. Last year we teamed up with the people from the Mount Royal Game Society to turn it into a showcase of games made by local indie game developers (Ephemere Games, Henk Boom, Joachim Despland, No Fun Games, Kenny Backus, Les Collégiennes and Umlautgames) and artists (Derek Kaschl). The Arcade Royale was unveiled at the Prince of Arcade event in 2011 and will now be at the Montreal Mini Maker Faire. We have several projects just longing to be made, such as fightsticks made from aluminum and wood, and we would finally be able to accept orders for custom arcade cabinets, as people ask us a lot about that. We can now make that arcade cab with HDTV for your PS3, to play StreetFighter death-matches with your friends.  Yes, we can help set up an arcade cabinet in your office cafeteria.

If you’re anywhere near Montreal, come and play Arcade Royale this weekend!

ROM Dumping Leads to Discovery of 25 Year Old Easter Egg

Adam Mayer and Trammell Hudson from NYC Resistor uncovered a series of photos stored in the ROM of an old Macintosh SE. We’ve previously covered the ROM dumping that’s been going on the Brooklyn-based hackerspace and it looks like they’ve uncovered quite an easter egg. While the existence of one of the images was already known, they used their own homebrew python tools to uncover the rest. Presumably, the people in the photos are the team members behind the creation of the Macintosh SE. Check out their full write up for how they uncovered this incredible digital time capsule.

UPDATE: Since publishing, I was able to find a few other references to these images online, but none that discuss how to get the data itself off the ROM, only how to display the image on the Mac’s screen.

How-To: Connect 4 Binary Clock

Seeing this old Connect 4 game took me on a nostalgic trip back to the early 80s, sprawled out on our old brown carpeting, spending hours strategizing, stacking the chips, then pulling the lever and watching them all fall. And the fact that three classmates thought to convert it into a binary clock and share the build instructions on Make: Projects made me all kinds of happy.

From the intro:

This is a great weekend project that will provide you with a sleek and nostalgic binary clock all at once. We focused on recycling every part of the Connect 4 game to exemplify our “green” standards, and be as creative as possible. The Connect 4 works superbly in displaying a binary clock because it has perfectly rounded holes to showcase the LED-based binary numbering system. You don’t need many supplies to make this binary clock, and it’s a great way to utilize an old Connect 4 game if you’ve lost some of the pieces, or simply want to show off your mad creative skills. And don’t worry about the coding – which we struggled against in an epic battle between sanity and madness – we already have it laid out for you!

Tim Berners-Lee And A NeXT Computer In #Olympics #Openingceremony


Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee stars in Olympics opening ceremony @ ZDNet:

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web, was greeted by cheers on Friday as the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games celebrated his work. The event showed how digital communications have become part of everyday life via the story of Frankie and June, a pair of kids who hook up via social networking on their mobile phones. At the end, Berners-Lee sat in the middle of the Olympic Stadium live-tweeting a message for the occasion.

Look close (click to see larger image) that’s a NeXT computer :)

3D-Printed Mixtape

I’m a sucker for sentimental gifts (secret admirers, take note).  At home, I have a small, highly prized collection of mixtapes: some were gifts from childhood friends, and others were tokens of affection from boyfriends of yore.  Each one was a work of art as much as it was a time capsule; a love letter delivered in 60 minutes (with one short break for flipping it over).  A mixtape was always so much more special than an store-bought album.  It was, and still is, unique:  a private message between two people, produced in an edition of one, and expressed through the words of David Byrne, or Al Green, or Neko Case.  These days, my prized mixtapes remain sanctified but unused, as every passing year (and new car) brings with it fewer and fewer opportunities to pop a tape in the deck.

That’s why I nearly lost my mind when I saw this new offering from MakerBot.  To create your mixtape, you can either print the “cassette” at home on your 3D printer (with the electronics purchased from MakerBot, for $25), or you can order an already printed/assembled cassette (for $39) directly from MakerBot.  Either way, you can make a thoughtful mix of digital music that your mix recipient can actually play!  As in– your loved one will not have to go trolling thrift stores, cursing the day they met you, trying to find some archaic piece of audio equipment on which to play your gift.

Nixie Tube Chess Set

This beautifully conceived and executed chess set was made using vintage Russian Nixie tubes. The tubes are illuminated without visible wires; they glow when at rest on the gameboard surface. Some detail shots showing the internal PCBs are available here, and announcement of plans for a kit version here. Kudos to Tony of Lasermad for producing what, IMHO, is quite clearly a masterpiece. [via Hack a Day]

How about a nice game of chess? « Lasermad

Check out some of other favorite chess sets!