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Re: "Digital Dark Age"



On Thu, 11 Feb 1999, DT Fletcher wrote:
> It is complete nonsense to believe for an instant that the knowledge of, or
> even assess to, use this basic level of computer technology will ever be lost.

I am a participant in the Dead Media Project, which has been addressing
these issues for several years now.  A quick overview of previous posts to
this list can be found at...

http://www.islandnet.com/~ianc/dm/dm.html

... anything credited to house127@teleport.com, box2321@teleport.com or
box2312@box2321.com is by me.

The following is a list compiled as a hobby by amateurs of dead media.
Consider what might be accomplished by professionals and multiply the dead
media accordingly.  Then please let me know where the ongoing access to
any media stops and the "complete nonsense" starts.

Dead medium:  All of them now known

From:  bruces@well.com (Bruce Sterling) circa 1/18/1997

DEAD PRELITERATE MEDIA

Prehistoric etched-bone mnemonic devices and lunar
calendars.

Preliterate clay tokens of Fertile Crescent area.

The Luba Lukasa mnemonic bead-tablet.
The Inuit Inuksuit.
Inuit carved maps.

String and yarn-based mnemonic knot systems:   Incan
quipu, Tlascaltec nepohualtzitzin, Okinawan warazan,
Bolivian chimpu, Samoan, Egyptian, Hawaiian, Tibetan,
Bengali, Formosan; American wampum, Zulu beadwork.

DEAD SOUND-TRANSFER NETWORKS

Drumming, stentor shouting networks, alpenhorns, whistling
networks, town criers.

SMOKE DISPLAYS AND NETWORKS

Signal fires, smoke signals (still in use by Vatican),
fire beacons.
Skywriting.

DEAD PHYSICAL TRANSFER NETWORKS

Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian, Mongol, Roman and
Chinese imperial horse posts.
Extinct mail and postal systems:  Thurn and Taxis (1550
AD),  Renaissance Italian banking  networks, early
espionage networks, German butcher's-post, Chinese hongs,
Incan runners, US Pony Express, etc etc.

Balloon post (France 1870-1871)
American guided missile  mail (1959),
Styrian, Tongan, German, Dutch, American,
Indian, Australian, Cuban and Mexican rocket mail.
Russian rocket mail  (1992).

Pneumatic transfer tubes:
Josiah Latimer Clark stock exchange pneumatic system
London (1853); R.S. Culler/R. Sabine radial pneumatic
telegraph/mail system London (1859); Paris pneumatic
mail system (1868)

Norwegian mountainside transport wires.

Pigeon post:  Egyptian Caliphate 1100s, Mameluke Empire
1250's, military sieges of:  Acre (11--?), Candia 1204,
Haarlem 1572, Leyden 1575, Antwerp 1832, Paris 1870-1871;
Reuter's pigeon stock-price network 1849,  military
pigeoneers of World War 1.

Chinese kite messages, 1232 AD

DEAD OPTICAL NETWORKS

Roman light telegraph;
Polybius's torch telegraph ca 150 BC
Moundbuilder Indian signal mounds
Babylonian fire beacons
Fire signals on the Great Wall of China

Amontons' windmill signals (1690)

OPTICAL TELEGRAPHY:
Johannes Trithemius's Steganographia (ca 1500?)
Dupuis-Fortin optical telegraph (France 1788)
Chappe's "Synchronized System" and "Panel Telegraph"
(France 1793)
Claude Chappe's French Optical Telegraph (France 1793)
The Vigigraph (France 1794)
Edelcrantz's Swedish Optical Telegraph (1795)
British Admiralty Optical Telegraph (1795)
Bergstrasser's German Optical Telegraph (1786)
Chudy's Czech Optical Telegraph (the Fernschreibmaschine)
(1796)
Van Woensel's Dutch system (1798)
Fisker's Danish Optical Telegraph (1801)
Grout's American Optical Telegraph (1801)
Olsen's Norwegian Optical Telegraph (1808)
Abraham Chappe's Mobile Optical Telegraph (1812)
Parker's American Optical Telegraph (ca 1820)
Curacao Optical Telegraph (1825-1917)
Watson's British Optical Telegraph (1827)
Australian Optical Telegraph (Watson system) (1827)
Lipken's Dutch system (1831)
O'Etzel's German Optical Telegraph (1835)
Schmidt's German Optical Telegraph (1837)
Ferrier's optical telegraph (1831)
Russian Optical Telegraph (1839, Chappe system)
Spanish Optical Telegraph (ca 1846)
San Francisco Optical Telegraph (1849)
Ramstedt's Finnish Optical Telegraph (1854)

Heliography:
The Mance Heliograph  (Britain 1860s)
The heliostat, the heliotrope, the helioscope.
The Babbage Occulting Telegraph (never built)

Semaphore and flag signals:
Byzantine naval code (Byzantium AD 900),  Admiralty Black
Book code (England 1337), de la Bourdonnais code (France
1738), de Bigot code (France 1763), Howe code (Britain
1790), Popham code aka Trafalgar Code (Britain 1803, 1813)
US Army Myer Code semaphore (USA 1860).
Military balloon semaphore (France 1790s).

Early 20th Century electric searchlight spectacles.

DEAD ELECTRICAL TRANSFER NETWORKS

ELECTRICAL CURRENT TRANSFER
George Louis Lesage / Charles Morrison electric telegraph
(1774)
Francisco Salva's Madrid-Aranjuez electric telegraph
(1796)
Soemmering's electrolytic bubble-letter telegraph (1812)
Henry's electromagnetic telegraph (1831)
Baron Schilling's Russian magnetized needle telegraph
(1832)
Gauss/Weber mirror galvanometer telegraph (1833)

CODED ELECTRICAL TRANSFER

Samuel Morse telegraph (patented 1837)
Karl August Steinhill paper ribbon telegraph (1837)
Charles Wheatstone / William Fothergill Cooke Five-Needle
Telegraph (1837)
The Alphabetical Telegraph
Foy-Breguet Chappe-code Electrical Telegraph
The Bain Chemical Telegraph (1848)
Alexander Bain automatic  perforated-tape transmitters
(1864).

Telex.

CODED ELECTRICAL TRANSFER OF IMAGES

Elisha Gray's telautograph (1886); the telescriber.

The Vail telegraphic printer (1837), the House telegraphic
printer (1846)
Frederick Bakewell's shellac conducting roller (1848)
Giovanni Caselli's fascimile  pantelegraph  (Paris-Lyon
1865-1870); Arthur Korn's  telephotography (1907), Edouard
Belin's Belinograph (1913),  Alexander Muirhead's 1947
fax.

ELECTRICAL TRANSFER OF SOUND

Unorthodox telephony networks and devices:
The Bliss toy telephone (1886), Telefon Hirmondo,
Cahill's Telharmonium (1895), Bell's photophone,
the Telephone Herald of Newark, Electrophone Ltd. wire
broadcast
Telephonic Jukeboxes:  The Shyvers  Multiphone,
the Phonette Melody Lane, the AMI Automatic
Hostess, the Rock-Ola Mystic Music System

ELECTRICAL TRANSFER OF SOUND AND IMAGE

(Dead Telephony)
The AT&T Nipkow disk picturephone (1927),
Gunter Krawinkel's video telephone booth
(Germany 1929), Reichspost picturephone (Germany 1936),
AT&T Picturephone,  AT&T Videophone 2500, etc

(Dead Mechanical Television)
Baird Television; Baird Noctovision; Baird Telelogoscopy;
The General Electric Octagon; the Daven Tri-Standard
Scanning Disc; the Jenkins  W1IM   Radiovisor Kit,
the Jenkins Model 202 Radiovisor,  Jenkins Radio Movies;
the Baird Televisor Plessey Model,  the Baird Televisor
Kit; the Western Television Corporation Visionette

(Dead Color Television Formats):
Baird Telechrome, HDTV, PALplus letterbox format, etc

(Dead Interactive Television)
Zenith Phonevision, the first pay-per-view TV service
(1951).

AT&T wirephoto (1925)

DEAD DIGITAL NETWORKS

Teletext, Viewtron, Viewdata, Prestel, The Source, Qube,
Alex (Quebec), Telidon (Canada), Viatel and Discovery 40
(Australia), the ICL One-Per-Desk, etc.

TRANSFERS BY ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION

(Dead Television)
Nipkow disk (1884), Zworykin
iconoscope (1923), Farnsworth Dissector.
Hugo Gernsback's Nipkow television  broadcasts  (1928)

(Microwaves)
Microwave relay drone aircraft (Canada 1990s)

(Radio)
RCA  radiophoto (1926)

DEAD INK-BASED MEDIA

(dead text production devices and systems)

Typewriters: Henry Mill's device (1714)
Pingeron's machine for the blind (1780),
Burt's Family Letter Press (1829), Xavier Progin's
"Machine Kryptographique" (1833), Guiseppe Ravizza's
"Cembalo-Scrivano" (1837), Charles Thurber's
"Chirographer" (1843), Sir Charles Wheatstone's
telegraphic printers (1850s), J B. Fairbanks'
"Phonetic Writer and Calico Printer,"
Giuseppe Devincenzi's electric writing machine (1855)
Edison electric typewriter (1872),
Bartholomew's Stenograph (1879)
Schulz Auto-typist punch-paper copier typewriter (1927)
Weir's pneumatic typewriter (1891),
Juan Gualberto Holguin's 'Burbra' pneumatic typewriter
(1914), The IBM Selectric, etc.

Dead copying devices:
James Watt's ink copier (1780)
The aniline dye copy press
The hektograph
Edison's Electric Pen stencil (1876), the Edison pneumatic
pen stencil, the Edison foot-powered pen stencil, the
Music Ruling pen stencil, the Reed pen stencil
Zuccato's Trypograph (1877)
Gestetner's Cyclostyle (1881)
The Edison Mimeograph (1887)
The Gammeter, aka Multigraph (circa 1900)
The Vari-Typer

Chinese imperial court printed newspaper (circa 618 AD);
Beijing city printed newspaper (748 AD)
Bi Sheng's clay movable type (1041 AD)

DEAD SOUND-CAPTURE TECHNOLOGIES

Extinct forms of dictation machine.
Poulsen's telegraphon wire recorder (1893)
The Wilcox-Gay Coin Recordio (1950?)

DEAD SOUND ARCHIVAL TECHNIQUES

Extinct phonographic formats:  Leon Scott de Martinville
phono-autograph, Edison tinfoil cylinder, Edison wax
cylinder,
the Bettini Micro-Phonograph, the  telegraphone,
Bell's graphophone, The Columbia Graphophone Grand, the
Edison Concert Grand Phonograph,  the Pathe' Salon
cylinder, the Edison Blue Amberol cylinder,  the Edison
vertical-groove disc phonograph, the Michaelis Neophone,
wire recorders, 78s, 8-track tape, 2-track Playtape,
the Elcaset, Soviet "bone music," aluminum transcription
disks, etc.

DEAD SOUND REPRODUCTION TECHNOLOGIES:
The AT&T Voder (1939)
The Bell Labs Vocoder
Talking dolls and cassette dolls
(von Kempelen's "talking" doll (1778), Robertson's
talking waxwork (1815), Faber's talking automaton (1853),
Teddy Ruxpin, dolls linked to television programs,
realistic sound-producing squeeze toys, etc).

DEAD STILL-IMAGE CAPTURE TECHNOLOGIES

Extinct photographic techniques:  Niepce's asphalt
photograph (1826), daguerrotype, talbotype,  calotype,
collodion,  fluorotype, cyanotype, Pellet process, ferro-
gallic and ferro-tannic papers, albumen process,
argenotype, kalliotype, palladiotype, platinotype, uranium
printing, powder processes, pigment printing, Artigue
proces, oil printing, chromotype, Herschel's breath
printing, diazotype, pinatype, wothlytype,  etc.

DEAD STILL-IMAGE TO TACTILE IMAGE TECHNOLOGY

Naumburg's printing visagraph and automatic visagraph.

DEAD STILL-IMAGE DISPLAY TECHNOLOGIES

The stereopticon, the Protean View, the  Zogroscope, the
Polyorama Panoptique,  Frith's Cosmoscope,  Knight's
Cosmorama, Ponti's Megalethoscope (1862),   Rousell's
Graphoscope (1864), Wheatstone's stereoscope (1832), dead
Viewmaster knockoffs.

Medieval  and renaissance magic-glass conjuring.
Alhazen's camera obscura (1000 AD),
Wollaston's camera lucida (1807).
Magic lantern, dissolving views

Phantasmagoria:  Robertson's Fantasmagorie,
Seraphin's Ombres Chinoises, Guyot's smoke apparitions,
Philipstal's phantasmagoria,  Lonsdale's
Spectrographia, Meeson's phantasmagoria, the optical
eidothaumata, the Capnophoric Phantoms, Moritz's
phantasmagoria, Jack Bologna's Phantoscopia, Schirmer and
Scholl's Ergascopia, De Berar's Optikali Illusio,
Brewster's catadioptrical phantasmagoria,
Pepper's Ghost, Messter's Kinoplastikon.

Biddall's Phantospectraghostodrama and similar
"fairground bogeys."

Riviere's Theatre d'Ombres.

DEAD STILL-IMAGE "3-D" WITH SOUND

The Talking View-Master.

DEAD MULTIPLE-IMAGE PERSISTENCE-OF-VISION TECHNOLOGIES

Joseph Plateau's phenakistiscope (1832), Emile Reynaud's
praxinoscope,  Ayrton's thaumatrope  or "magic  disks"
(1825), Stampfer's  stroboscope, William George Horner's
zoetrope or "wheel-of-life" (1834), L. S. Beale's
choreutoscope  (1866), the viviscope, Short's Filoscope,
Herman Casler's mutoscope and the "picture parlor" (1895),
the Lumiere Kinora viewer and Kinora camera, the
fantascope, etc.

Dead cinematic devices, including but not limited to:
Muybridge's zoogyroscope, E J Marey's chronophotographe
and fusil photographique,  George Demeny's Phonoscope,
Edison  kinetoscope,  Anschutz's Electro-Tachyscope,
Armat's vitascope, Rudge's biophantascope, Skladanowsky's
Bioscope, Acre's kineopticon, the counterfivoscope, the
klondikoscope, Paul's theatrograph, Reynaud's Theatre
Optique,  Reynaud's Musee Grevin Cabinet Fantastique,
Lumiere cinematographe,  Kobelkoff's Giant Cinematographe,
Lumiere Cinematographe Geant (1900), the vitagraph,
Paul's animatograph, the vitamotograph, the Kinesetograph,
Proszynski's Oko, the Urbanora, the Prague Laterna Magika.

DEAD MULTIPLE-IMAGE, PERSISTENCE-OF-VISION, SOUND
TECHNOLOGIES

the Photo-Cinema-Theatre sound film system (1900),
Gaumont's Chronophone (1910), Messter's Biophon (1904),
The Mendel-Walturdaw cinematophone (1911), The Jeapes-
Barker Cinephone (1908), Hepworth's Vivaphone (1911),
Edison kinetophone (1913),  Ruhmer's Photographon optical
sound recorder (1901), the synchronoscope,  the
cameraphone, phonofilm, the graphophonoscope,
the  chronophotographoscope, the biophonograph,
DeForest Phonofilm (1923), Warner Bros/ Western Electric
Vitaphone (1926),   Fox  Movietone (1927), Vocafilm,
Firnatone, Bristolphone, Titanifrone, Disney's Cinephone,
Hoxie / RCA Photophone (1928), General Electric
Kinegraphone (1925),  Cinerama (1951), CinemaScope (1952),
Natural Vision (1952), etc.

The Scopitone.

DEAD MULTIPLE-IMAGE, PERSISTENCE-OF-VISION, IMMERSIVE

Raoul Grimoin-Sanson's Ballon-Cineorama ten-projector
circular screen  (1900)

DEAD MULTIPLE-IMAGE, PERSISTENCE-OF-VISION, SOUND, SMELL
Odorama, Smell-O-Vision (1960), Aromarama (1959) etc.

DEAD MULTIPLE-IMAGE, PERSISTENCE-OF-VISION, SOUND, SMELL,
IMMERSIVE
Morton Heilig's early virtual reality.

DEAD MULTIPLE-IMAGE, PERSISTENCE-OF-VISION, "3-D"

Devignes's stereoscopic zoetrope (1860)
Stereoscopic phenakistoscopes: Seller's Kinematoscope
(1861), Shaw's stereoscopic phenakistiscope (1860)
Bonelli and Cook's microphotograph stereo-phenakistiscope
(1863), Wheatstone's stereoscopic viewer (c. 1870)

3-D projection systems:  d'Almeida's projected 3-D magic
lantern slides (1856), Heyl's Phasmatrope (1870),
Grivolas's stereoscopic moving  pictures (1897),
the Fairall anaglyph process (1922),
Kelly's Plasticon (1922), Ives and Leventhall's
Plastigram, aka Pathe Stereoscopiks, aka Audioscopiks, aka
Metroscopix (1923,1925, 1935, 1953), Teleview (New York
1922),  polarized light stereoscopic movies (1936),
Ivanov's parallax stereogram projector (Moscow 1941),
Savoy's Cyclostereoscope (Paris 1949),  the Telekinema
(London 1951), Space Vision (Chicago 1966).

DEAD MULTIPLE-IMAGE, PERSISTENCE-OF-VISION, SOUND,
ARCHIVAL

Dead video:   Baird Phonovisor wax videodisk
(1927), Ives/Bell Labs Half-Tone Television (1930s)
Eidophor video projector (1945), PixelVision,
Polavision, Philips Laservision videodisk, Panasonic HDTV
(1974), McDonnell Douglas Laserfilm Videodisc (1984),
analog HDTV (1989), RCA SelectaVision CED videodisk,
Telefunken Teldec Decca TeD videodisk, TEAC system
videodisk, Philips JVC VHD/AHD videodisk

Dead videotapes: Ampex Signature I (1963),
Sony CV B/W  (1965), Akai 1/4 inch B/W & Colour (1969),
Cartivision/Sears (1972)
Sony U-Matic (197?), Sony-Matic 1/2" B/W (197?)
EIAJ-1 1/2" (197?), RCA Selectavision Magtape (1973)
Akai VT-100 1/4 inch portable (1974),
Panasonic Omnivision I (1975),
Philips "VCR" (197?), Sanyo V-Cord, V-Cord II (197?)
Akai VT-120 (1976), Matsushita/Quasar VX (1976)
Philips & Grundig Video 2000 (1979),
Funai/Technicolor CVC (1984)
Sony Betamax

DEAD VIRTUALITIES

Physical display environments (non-immersive):
Dioramas (no sound), de Loutherbourg's Eidophusikon
(sound and lighting) (1781), the Stereorama, the
Cosmoramic Stereoscope,

Mechanical drama:
Japanese karakuri puppet theatre
Heron's Nauplius.
Dead thrill rides.

Immersive physical display environments
Panoramas, Poole's Myriorama, the Octorama, the
Diaphorama, Cycloramas, the Paris Mareorama (1900).

Defunct digital VR systems.

DEAD DATA-RETRIEVAL DEVICES AND SYSTEMS

accountant tally sticks
Card catalogs: The Indecks Information Retrieval System,
Diebold Cardineer rotary files, etc.
Vannevar Bush's Comparator and Rapid Selector
Scott's Electronium music composition system


DEAD COMPUTATIONAL TECHNOLOGY (ANALOG)

Extinct computational platforms:

abacus (circa 500BC Egypt, still in wide use)
saun-pan computing tray (200 AD China)
soroban computing tray (200 AD Japan)
Napier's bones (1617 Scotland),
William Oughtred's slide rule (1622 England)
and other slide rules,
Wilhelm Schickard's calculator (1623 ?)
Blaise Pascal's calculating machine (1642 France)
Schott's Organum Mathematicum (1666)
Gottfried Liebniz's calculating machine (1673)
Charles Babbage's Difference Engine (built 1990s) (1822
England)
Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine (never built) (1833
England)
Scheutz mechanical calculator (1855 Sweden)
The Thomas Arithmometer
Hollerith tabulating machine (1890)
Vannevar Bush differential analyzer (1925 USA)

DEAD COMPUTATIONAL TECHNOLOGY (DIGITAL)

The Cauzin Strip Reader (archival)

Extinct game platforms:
Actionmax Video System, Adam Computer System,
Aquarius Computer System, Atari: 2600/5200/7800,
Colecovision,  GCE Vectrex Arcade System,
Intellivision I/II/III,  Odyssey, Commodore, APF, Bally
Astrocade,  Emerson Arcadia, Fairchild "Channel F,"
Microvision,  RCA  Studio II, Spectravision, Tomy Tutor,
etc.

DEAD BINARY DIGITAL COMPUTERS

Konrad Zuse's Z1 computer (1931 Germany)
Atanasoff-Berry Computer (1939 USA)
Turing's Colossus Mark 1 (1941 England)
Zuse's Z3 computer (1941 Germany)
Colossus Mark II (1944 England)
IBM ASCC Mark I  (1944 USA)
BINAC (Binary Automatic Computer) (1946-1949 USA)
ENIAC  (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer)
(1946 USA)

Dead mainframes.

Dead personal computers:

Altair 8800, Amiga 500, Amiga 1000, Amstrad
Apple I, II, II+, IIc, IIe, IIGS, III
Apple Lisa, Apple Lisa MacXL, Apricot
Atari 400 and 800 XL, XE, ST,
Atari 800XL, Atari 1200XL, Atari XE
Basis 190, BBC Micro, Bondwell 2, Cambridge Z-88
Canon Cat, Columbia Portable
Commodore C64, Commodore Vic-20, Commodore Plus 4
Commodore Pet, Commodore 128 CompuPro "Big 16,"
Cromemco Z-2D, Cromemco Dazzler,
Cromemco System 3, DOT Portable, Eagle II
Epson QX-10, Epson HX-20, Epson PX-8 Geneva
Exidy Sorcerer, Franklin Ace 500, Franklin Ace 1200
Gavilan, Grid Compass, Heath/Zenith, Hitachi Peach
Hyperion, IBM PC 640K, IBM XT, IBM Portable
IBM PCjr, IMSAI 8080, Intertek Superbrain II
Ithaca Intersystems DPS-1, Kaypro 2x
Linus WriteTop, Mac 128, 512, 512KE
Mattel Aquarius, Micro-Professor MPF-II
Morrow MicroDecision 3, Morrow Portable
NEC PC-8081, NEC Starlet 8401-LS,
NEC 8201A Portable, NEC 8401A,
NorthStar Advantage, NorthStar Horizon
Ohio Scientific, Oric, Osborne 1, Osborne Executive
Panasonic, Sanyo 1255, Sanyo PC 1250
Sinclair ZX-80, Sinclair ZX-81
Sol Model 20, Sony SMC-70, Spectravideo SV-328
Tandy 1000, Tandy 1000SL, Tandy Coco 1, Tandy Coco 2
Tandy Coco 3, TRS-80 models I, II, III, IV, 100,
Tano Dragon, TI 99/4, Timex/Sinclair 1000
Timex/Sinclair color computer, Vector 4
Victor 9000, Workslate
Xerox 820 II, Xerox Alto, Xerox Dorado, Xerox 1108
Yamaha CX5M
etc. etc. etc.

Dead computer languages.
Fortran I, II and III, ALGOL 58 and 60, Lisp 1 and 1.5
COBOL, APT, JOVIAL, SIMULA I and 67
JOSS, PL/1, SNOBOL, APL

Dead operating systems.

Dead Internet techniques.

    We are actively hunting data in all these categories.
We are also searching for new taxonomical methods and
alternative categorization schemes.  Send email if
you (a) are personally willing to re-format this list along some
specific taxonomical scheme or (b) you have a novel idea for
a taxonomical approach.

Bruce Sterling  (bruces@well.com)   Jan 18, 1997


- Trevor

Telephone: +503-236-2364
Fax: +503-232-0664

--
Trevor Blake     http://www.jwhirler.com/
J. Whirler Used and Rare Children's Books
P. O. Box 2321 Portland OR 97208-2321 USA


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