Horology: Complex Clockwork Writes the Time

Posted in SteamPunk, Technology on April 23rd, 2009 by Dr. Warthan
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Got $342,275 USD to blow on a clock?  Look no further than a wind-up clock that writes the time on a piece of paper.  Bleeding-edge Swiss watch-maker Jacquet Droz invested ten years in engineering and building “La Machine a Ecrire le Temps” (the machine that writes time).  Personally, I was thinking that when I staff my mansion in New Zealand after overthrowing its government and installing myself as a dictator, I could use this machine for punching employee time-cards.

By some coincidence, in the 18th century, Jacquet Droz’s founder used to build automaton dolls to help sell his watches. Manuel Emsch’s idea was to build a similar machine that would be useful for the new millennium.

There are more than 1,200 components, including 84 ball bearings, 50 cams and 9 belts inside the machine. Wind it up, press the button, and the time is written on a small pad using a stylus. Manuel Emsch, creative head of Montres Jacquet Droz, came up with the idea and passed it on to the engineers and artisans of the company. The mechanism is kept inside a case made of liquid crystal, so that you can conceal or reveal it whenever you want.


Must Watch Movie: 9

Posted in Movie, SteamPunk on April 22nd, 2009 by Dr. Warthan
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[Narrator Voice-Over] In a time…  of post-apocalyptic destruction.  Mechanical ragdolls have risen from the ashes of the old world to replace mankind.  But in the darkness lies an evil robot monster that feeds on the souls of slain ragdolls.  Only ragdoll #9 is left to fight alone in a desperate attempt to save their dystopia, and free the undead.

Why YouTube? Why can’t I have a preview??

This is now a big-budget film with Tim Burton’s name stamped on it.  It was based on a short film of the same name.  The little mechanical ragdolls are cool.  The big movie website, and the original short-film on YouTube.  The plot (Wiki) is compelling, and the movie trailer makes it look very interesting.  I’m certainly going to see this on the big screen.  Oh, and watch the above trailer all the way through, because there are two of them one after another.

Art with Imagination: Win

Posted in Art, SteamPunk on April 21st, 2009 by Dr. Warthan
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Now here’s how you do SteamPunk art, with imagination.  The technology is really at the edge of the story, and the story centers on the woman.  Looks like a space where a person really lives.  The attention to detail, all the little objects, and nick-nacks; it’s very well done.  This is a win.


She is trapped and hidden from the world. In this cozy, but gloomy room she has spend myriads of minutes that have turned out in one moment into single continuous thin cord. The only bond with the reality is that magic mirror on the wall. It shows her in some strange perspective everything that happens beyond this prison.

Art with Attention to Detail

Posted in Art, SteamPunk on April 21st, 2009 by Dr. Warthan
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The robot is interesting, and I like the train.  The double boiler implies a double fire-box, and the catwalk on the side is a nice touch.  But a steam locomotive requires fuel and water, always pulled right behind the engine; I don’t see that here.  It must be somewhere.  While nobody is going to question the giant robot, I think most SteamPunk fans have a good idea how a steam train works.  Attention to detail is important to me.  The community demands to know where the fuel and water is!


Flame War: The Modern InterWebs

Posted in InterWebs, Music, Technology on April 16th, 2009 by Dr. Warthan
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OMG, this is so funny.  I love these College Humor guys, and this parody of Billy Joel’s “We didn’t start the fire” masterfully captures the modern internet.  Also, I saw Billy Joel’s video debut on MTV back when they played videos.  For anyone over 30, this should be a scary wake-up call.

You can’t watch it here but click on the link to watch it on YouTube.

I remember a world populated with Commodore 64s, VCRs the size of microwave ovens, microwave ovens the size of dog houses, cassette tapes coming in as 8-tracks went out, and you could smoke anywhere (bus, airplane, library, work, you name it).  I’m an IT professional, and the modern Internet is a very scary place.  The future is cloud computing, wireless video and power and everything else, throw-away data centers, and vertical farming.  Whoa, I need to live a life of solitude in my airship as it floats along the air currents high above civilization; kind of like that world in BioShock, but up in the sky…

WMD’s Found: It’s an Atomic Bomb!

Posted in Art, AtomicPunk on April 8th, 2009 by Dr. Warthan
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The GOGBOT Festival in Enschede, NL – now with Nuclear Weapons!  I was searching for more SteamPunk related stuff to report on and I came across the GOGBOT Festival hosted by PlanetArt.  According to the description, it’s supposed to be some kind of SteamPunk related exhibition – well, it was in 2008.  I think they’re doing AtomPunk (Dutch version of AtomicPunk) in 2009, but they’re foreigners (Dutch) who think differently than us.  In any case, they are now clearly communist scumbags who are armed with a “Fat Man” type atomic weapon with a blast yield of 21-kilotons.


PLANETART presents the 5th edition of the GOGBOT festival in Enschede 18-21 September 2008.  More than 150 artists, performers, musicians and other creative spirits will show their talents at 10 locations of the free entrance expo’s. GOGBOT will show robotics, electronic music and audio art, virtual worlds, freakshows, inter-active installations, live-cinema, streetart, gaming, performances, keynote speakers, lectures, steampunk videoclips, DJ’s, VJ’s, parties, lots of steam, and  more….

It sounds like fun.  However, digging deeper, I looked into PlanetArt’s Photostream hosted on Flickr and found out what it’s really about.  I found bunny rabbit zombies, dead animals, a tree growing out a person’s butt, rape immortalized in bronze, Iraqi political statements, Hitler, Jihad memorabilia, and I kid you not – a naked guy with a blow-up sheep doll on his woo-hoo.  Looks like PlanetArt and/or the Dutch are a bunch of really sick people.  I personally recommend against going to the GOGBOT Festival; but if you go, let me know…

Farming by Airship: Autumn Harvest

Posted in Food, SteamPunk, Technology on April 7th, 2009 by Dr. Warthan
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The Omega7Red website is now officially online.  I’m out of still in web development Hell, but now I can blog away about whatever steam-powered, clockwork-wielding, vacuum-tube-based, gun-carrying hottie that I want to.  And while I’m still a little unsure about what Aether is exactly, the first official blog goes to Farming.  Well, I have a farming background – Rice Farming.  Now, this:

Air Farming

Almost looks like it would work.  The large maneuvering fans, which look to be made of cloth and windmills, might just keep the airship lined up as it harvested the crop.  Though, I wonder what’s being used to cut and collect the crop (can’t see from this angle).  Usually, I would expect a cutting header pulled by beasts or tractors.  Anyways, it makes for a nice piece of art suitable for the kitchen, and it’s available in print.  Available for purchase here.

Tiny Glowbug Oscilloscope (it’s so cute)

Posted in SteamPunk, Technology on April 2nd, 2009 by Dr. Warthan
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Glowbug is the term given to describe Amateur Radio operators (HAM) and sometimes their equipment because of their fondness for vacuum tube electronics.  This cute little toy oscilloscope is completely operational and uses vacuum tubes to drive its 7cm CRT. The casing is wood, and the brass fittings add a nice touch. This is actually a Mark II variant of an earlier design.


The schematic shows a pretty simple, yet brilliant pentode-based circuit, and the engineer is happy to explain the circuit in stunning detail.  I could build one in my sleep after many hours of lost sleep:

It uses three different small-signal rf pentodes – an EF91 in the timebase circuit, an EF184 in the Y amplifier, and an EF80 in the X amplifier.  The choice of tubes is somewhat arbitrary. The EF91 would be very suitable in all three functions since, among small-signal pentodes, it is unusual in having suitable characteristics for providing a relatively large anode voltage swing with little distortion.  But I do not find the EF91 visually attractive, so I opted for the other tubes in the main functions, relegating the ’91 to the back of the chassis, where its smaller size fits in nicely.  The EF184 has high transconductance, so is used in the Y amplifier where large voltage gain is required, while the EF80 is used with cathode-degeneration feedback in the X amplifier which requires much less gain, but a larger voltage output with good linearity.

Details: http://g4oep.atspace.com/toycro/toycro.htm#Mark II version with Added Brass [broken link]