Back in 1992, sci-fi futurist and console cowboy cyberpunk William Gibson of Neuromancer fame helped come up with a puzzle that has been puzzling computer cryptographers ever since.
At the 1992 Meeting of the Americas Society, a 3.5-inch disk meant to run on a Mac PowerBook was distributed alongside a limited print noir art book by Dennish Ashbaugh and Kevin Begos, Jr. On the disk was an unknown poem Gibson had penned called “Agrippa (a book of the dead)”. When the disk was plugged into a PowerBook, the text of the poem was displayed exactly once… and then a script on the disk caused the poem to be permanently scrambled so it could never be read again.
Two decades later, one cryptography student is trying to get to the bottom of how it all works.
The Sosumi sound continues to be a part of the Mac OS today.
If you’ve spent any amount of time with a Mac in the last 15 years or so, you may have noticed the Sosumi sound, one of several system alert sound options. Even though you most likely just passed it over without a thought, there’s a huge backstory behind the formation of that sound, one that starts with the Beatles, surprisingly enough.
Some people dream of flying sheep, but blogger Mike Cane thinks different, dreaming of flying toasters. His dream – in November 2011 – was to see the classic Macintosh OS running on a nook Simple Touch, the eInk reader from Barnes and Noble. His dream seemed far-fetched, perhaps, even to him, but consider the following specs:
Original Macintosh: 68000 Motorola CPU at a blistering 8MHz(!), 128K(!) of RAM, and 512×342 screen Nook Touch: TI OMAP3621 (ARM Cortex-A8 core, 800MHz), 256MB RAM, and 600×800 screen.
The Nook Simple Touch outperforms the original Mac by quite a bit. All he needed was someone to bring his dream to life.
For those who yearn for the glory days of the Classic Mac OS and Beige Boxes, Andrea Grell offers up an authentic and interactive working demo of System 7 running on a Performa 6116CD. From the startup chime to eWorld, this blast from the past is worthy viewing for all old Mac fans.