Went to Hive 76 for their open house night on Wednesday to check out the space. While I was there Jack Zylkin demoed his very cool Arduino based vintage typewriter > USB Keyboard hack, and it’s actually quite ingenious and cool. There are contact relays underneath the main typewriter carriage and he uses magnets for other registers and the Arduino chip figures out the characters pressed based on time delay. And he’s made the plans available for ‘from scratch’ DIY types under a Creative Commons license. & who doesn’t want to carry around a 50 pound vintage type writer with their iPad? Jack’s website is usbtypewriter.com and his Etsy page [here].
Another sweet item I saw at Hive 76 was an older Sony Vaio automated DVD changer that connects via 1394 (FireWire 400). Supposedly, using DBPowerAmp and some basic scripts it is possible to batch rip up to 200 CD’s at a time into .flac image files with good metadata and .cue sheets. Alex Wetmore wrote several years ago, and I’m paraphrasing his sentiment here, that he had better things he’d like to do with his day, like go on bicycle rides, because the fact is that he is not a CD changer.
So the general idea is you use one of these big Sony Vaio XL1B* changers, load it up with your music, walk away from it for about 24 hours and when you come back hopefully you’ve got a hard drive full of music in a format that is future proof. If I can actually get this to work it would be a beautiful thing, and Brendan said it was good go.