Hack Attack Underway

Hand is not ball! Our little site here is currently under attack from Russian hack-bots so I’ve started to take defensive measures. I’ve had to wipe out all user accounts and some of the various redirects that have built up over the years. You will need to make new accounts and bear with me through this crap. Fucking hackers, they are the worst.


If you imagine hackbots as fembots the day goes better

Don’t worry – none of this can affect you, your computer, or anything. It’s just a take-down on my site that redirects you to other servers for their profit exploitation. If you get through and are on WFNK.com then you are fine. It’s not a spoof or anything like that.

I’m seeing the hack when I try to access from a mobile browser – it was redirecting to .ru (russia) and then to abc.go.com. As of now it’s fixed but these things can be really hard to remove completely.


Computer Shoes Zap You With Feedback

There have been shoe computers before. Since the early 1980’s people have been shoving embedded computers of some sort into their shoes for mileage and step tracking. Apple & Nike have been doing this for 15 years too.

Now, started as a system to assist the blind, there are shoes that will track your location and give you “haptic” feedback (physical). Walking the wrong way? Bzzzzz. Walking into a no-pedestrian zone? Buzz. Walking away from a hacker’s pre-determined location? Buzz!!!  Running from the police? Buzz buzz buzz!!!!



R.I.P. The Father Of The PC

Missed this one over the holiday, but on July 3rd, Douglas Engelbart died at the digital sounding age of 88. He was not a household name, but amongst PC history geeks he’s about as important as they come. By 1968 he had worked out the ideas behind and the rudimentary technology to operate: the mouse, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing, hypermedia, object oriented file management, and collaborative real-time editing.

It was not vaporware – the demo he did has been renamed “The Mother Of All Demo’s” and would be a pretty high-tech thing to pull off even in 2013. Read more and see the demo here.

If you are reading this you owe alot of that credit to the visionary genius of Mr. Engelbart.

Pippin 1996 Time Machine

17 years ago Apple tried to combine a computer and a video game for the living room. It sold nearly 0 copies although it was an interesting attempt. Check out the early tour of the machine:

Check out the full web browser for the TV. We still don’t have this worked out with 2013’s Apple TV/Roku type device. Supposedly the thing printed too!

I think Apple’s going back to the living room next, with a new AppleTV product that runs apps (games) and browses the web, in addition to it’s current media streaming features. There’s just a few tweeks needed to iOS to make it an amazing wall/surface display, and every screen you have in your house that has an AppleTV box hooked to it will become your iOS interface.


Does It Talk?

Mac Pro

I want one and so does the rest of the family.

The new Mac Pro has been teased. It’s been nearly 10 years since they’ve come out with a new case for their most powerful workstation, and they didn’t disappoint with the design elements on this one. Whether this spinning cylinder is the future of workstations or the re-hash of the low-selling G4 Cube, time will tell.

I know they are cramming that little R2D2 looking thing with alot of horsepower: Up to 12 processor cores, dual GPU’s, Fast SSD, lots of ram, thunderbird 1 and 2 connectors, and all burning under 1 fan. Most builders don’t put that much heat in such a small case, but this is Apple and the thing is designed like a little turbine.

Personally I would like to see the design be more rack-friendly. This is definitely a desktop machine, whereas audio studios would like to rack mount the thing for safety and security. But this looks pretty bad-ass, can’t wait to see it in action this fall. Check out Apple’s site for more teasing.

World?s Oldest Digital Computer Resurrected

“The Witch” is back.?‘The Witch?: World?s Oldest Digital Computer Resurrected.

I think this video story misses some key historical points. In the late 1930’s you probably know there was some serious war action popping off. Germany and Japan were making their moves, and the side with the Brits, American, & Russians were very busy responding. The need for more calculations than an army of nerds with notebooks could provide quickly, so as to build bigger and cheaper bombs and drop them closer to their targets, advanced the designing and building of huge automated-calculators.


Running scenarios and models all night with no human error, no exhaustion, and no outside?coercion?possible was the draw. The Germans were well stocked with IBM (american) counting machines and some very advanced early digital calculators of their own design called Zuse. The Brits and Americans had two early computers (Colossus and ENIAC, respectively) and were working sorta-together to design new machines. Combine this with the encryption/decryption battle raging between Germans and Poles (early software hacking) and you have the birth of the modern computer age.

[That’s right, the friendly computing device you are reading this from can be tracked back to humans needing faster ways to kill people. Fun?]

The first real computer as we know it (a machine?that could run multiple stored programs) was finally invented around 1949. They were still as big as a room, but could now accept a program along with it’s data and return results, and then load up another program to run without a complete rebuild.

This is where the computer in the video profile fits in. It crunched numbers (albiet slowly) for atomic models/programs through the early 50’s then was replaced by faster hardware, just like all of it’s?brethren?since. Ah, progress. But before you laugh at the old folks just remember that they cruised the space shuttle around the planet with less computing power than the 1st iPhone, and they walked on the moon with less total computing power than a Pentium 1. I doubt we could do either anymore.

Avid, Akai, M-Audio Oh My!

Avid software started in video editing in the early 90’s, then bought Digidesign (makers of Pro-Tools professional audio) as well as M-Audio (consumer audio) and for the last few years has been one of the biggest A/V hardware and software companies.

Today they announced they are selling M-Audio and their consumer video product division to focus on the professional market. M-Audio is being sold to the parent company of Akai, which should work out well since Akai makes great professional and pro-sumer audio gear. Corel (they are still alive?) is picking up the consumer video software, which I’ve never used.

Just an FYI – if you own an M-Audio warranty or were just about to drop on some new M-Audio gear, you might want to hold off.

8 Bit Goodness

I present the first computer I purchased and still a favorite of mine, the 8 bit goodness of the Atari 130xe. Commodore people were everywhere back then (like Windows now), waiting 23 minutes to load a game, but my Atari rolled fast and stable. I had a disk drive, a modem, and probably a whole 512k of RAM. Plus leatherette cases!

The whole system. I had a 1200 baud modem to access the FreeNet, the BBS's, and the Gopher servers. Hook into any TV set and phone line and off you go!

So what could this thing do? It had a nice soundchip for the time and could get pretty funky midi going (for 1985). If I had my studio then I would have been producing music on this thing, for sure, but I was just a snot nosed 12 year old.

Tech Titans

Market speak for computer companies during my geek-life:

My first glance:

IBM = titans, Microsoft = nerds, Apple = hippies, Atari = artists

My High school years:

IBM = clumsy old titans, Microsoft = business nerds, Apple = misguided hippies & artists, Atari = dead

My College years:

IBM = business nerds, Microsoft = titans, Apple = hippies on life support, NeXT = futurists


My 20’s:

IBM = researchers, Microsoft = clumsy old titans, Apple = colored plastic iMachines, NeXT = artists, Be = futurists

My 30’s:

IBM = futurists, Microsoft = business school, Apple = titans & artists, NeXT & Be = long gone

My point? I’ve seen most of these companies grow, shrink, dominate, follow, and some even disappear.

It’s been a wild ride to watch, and as Apple sits seemingly at the top of the mountain again (arguably the first time since 1978) I felt the need to show this cyclic nature.

You younger geeks out there can perhaps get a little context.