Some small progress with the first of three research projects:
I have hunted high and low to solve the problem of the password protected Siements/Telenorma Minitel terminal. However, another Minitel I bid for on eBay under £20 arrives, no password this time to deal with! This one has the all important function key and is monochrome. An Alcatel Minitel 1.
This little item turned up when the system at my place was upgraded. The item was fitted around 2001 and unusually, it has a rather odd mini CRT (Cathode ray tube) bent at 90 degrees insed the unit. High voltage apart, it delivers a soft indistinct alalogue image, blurry – possibly due to it being out of adjustment!
The opportunity to use this as part of an installation is seductive. Three buttons (to release gate, activate screen and to speak) and a the button on the handset cradle will all be nice interactive elements. There are dials to adjust the brightness and contrast of the CRT.
Possible uses: live CCTV around the world, CCTV recorded footage of crimes, surveillance of the space with hidden cameras – all linked to a Raspberry Pi zero hidden inside the case.
Inspired by: Live VJ performance of live webcam streams by Magnus Bugge last year at Transmediale (2018) of CCTV – around the planet in real time. This inspired me to look further. I also have footage of the theft of my motorcycle outside, I might use that. Further possibilities showing apocalytic/dystopian/soothing imagery driven by temperature sensors in phone handset/OSC/direct intervention of the visitor operating buttons on the unit – all used by the viewer.
The manufacturer is still in business in the UK and they do not offer a manual for this unit, as it is discontinued but I have contacted them for any information they might have on file. Spoke on the phone to a very helpful person, expecting to get spec sheets soon!
(Life: A User’s Manual – Michelle Teran’s performance ‘Life: A User’s Manual’ was nominated for its political intervention and the experimental risk it takes. Her exploration of public and private space makes a comment on the use of surveillance cameras in contemporary urban settings. The jury was convinced by the act of subverting existing surveillance tactics by transmitting the camera’s footage to the public.)
Lisa Nakamura (LN) focuses on a case history of Fairchild Industries in their manufacture of integrated circuits (IC) in the 1960’s-70’s. The need for accurate and highly reliable IC’s becomes apparent by the semiconductor industry and Fairchild opted for manufacture based in Navaho Indian reservations.
The use of Minitel as a predecessor to the Internet was piloted in 1978 and rolled out in 1982 in France. President Valerie Giscard d’Estaing was inspired to initiate the project. One has to admire the French with their amazing ability to deliver large projects e.g. Ariane rocket, the Pompidou Centre and the TGV, this visionary network connected Devices anticipated the forthcoming Internet. Its original proposal was to replace paper-based directories for phone numbers it was soon being used interactively to order Cinema tickets email and chat. Other services on offer were mail-order retail, airline and train tickets information on another database and message boards. Even before the advent of Minitel, Parisians could order local grocery deliveries via a service called Peapod. Continue reading “Tech “Archaeology”; Minitel and Inception of a deeper speculative project”
I sweep up the kipple from the garage floor; PLA printed fragments, crucifixes, metal filings, screws, wires and some valuable items I mislaid in the frantic rush to finish my final installation for the MA exhibition – Echosystems .
After a route march with my wife in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Hebron, Ramallah and Armageddon I return to an anxious UK, an uncertain future for the country and one of the hottest October days on record.
After some experimentation with tiny N20 5V DC motors, the same type found in MG905 servos – I realise that they run just too fast. For the DC motor to work I have used a small 2N7000 / 2N7002 / NDS7002A — N-Channel Mosfet.
I will use a few of these DC motors in the forthcoming installation for the final project, however, because the RPM is too fast, I will be converting some of the servos I have into continuous and much slower, rotating servos. Continue reading “Motors and Prototyping”