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Video recording before VHS & Beta….

December 26th, 2007 by AV-Club

Panasonic NV-201 VTR

Most folks out there familiar with home video recording think that it all started with the emergence of the VHS and Betamax home video formats in the mid-1970s (and the format war that broke out between the two shortly after, a war being unfortunately repeated nowadays between HD-DVD & Blu-Ray discs).  But there was an era of video recording devices predating VHS & Beta, dating from shortly after the introduction of the very first videotape format (the 2″ Quadraplex format, aka 2″ Quad, introduced in 1956 by Ampex, and becoming the de facto videotape format for television networks and stations worldwide, but not for the home due to the format’s recorders being very costly, complex, and large, hence only the TV broadcast industry embracing it), to Betamax & VHS’s debuts of 1975 and 1977 respectively.

Some of the recorders from this era, like the 1967-vintage Panasonic NV-204 pictured above, usually were small enough to be practically used in any environment outside of a television control room, but their still high cost (but much less than the incumbent 2″ Quad) meant that they still weren’t ready for the home user just yet.  But they were still attractively priced for the industrial/institutional customer, i.e. schools, hospitals, businesses, etc.  However,  the popularity of these recorders was hampered by the fact that there was no standard format for them.  Most of these early non-professional industrial-market video tape recorders (VTRs), like the NV-204 pictured above also, did not use an industry-standard format, relying on proprietary formats usually specific to the make and model of VTR, and as a result, recordings made on one make and model of VTR could only be played back on the exact same make & model of VTR.

This was all to change in 1969, when the Electronics Industries Association of Japan, or EIAJ, called up a meeting with all the companies making industrial-market VTRs to have them all sit down and design and decide on an industry-standard format, which would ensure all recordings made on one manufacturer’s VTR could play back on another from a different manufacturer.  Hence, the EIAJ format was born.  It used  7″-diameter open-reels of 1/2″-wide videotape, and originally recorded black and white video (later VTRs using the EIAJ format in the early 1970s would offer color video as well).

The EIAJ format made non-professional industrial video standardized, and as a result, more affordable and attractive to purchase.  Many schools, businesses, and some of the first cable access TV channels debuting in the early 70’s made heavy use of EIAJ.  It would pave the way for the VTR industry to invade the home just a few short years later.

There are two very good and very informative web sites featuring these post-2″ quad and pre-VHS & Beta machines in all their retro glory, Labguy’s World (where I got the image above), and Quadruplex Park, which focuses more on professional broadcast machines (such as 2″ quad), but also focuses on the VTRs in mention here.

More GOTO80 goodness!

December 3rd, 2007 by gameboygenius

The king of the SID has been more productive than ever. December Data Kaos means a load of new releases!

GOTO80 - Bortabra
BORTABRA is 5 tracks in 55 minutes, mostly based on C-64 improvisation in ambient/electronica style. Well-balanced between chaos AND cute, ideal for chromatic enjoyment in sofas and meadows.

GOTO80 & Entter - _2_4×4
6 tracks and one machinima glitch video! Funk, acid, electro, ambient, buggy dub, house and noise - but somehow it’s all techno!?

He’s also on three newly released compilations, Level Up on DWD, Sudd mixtape vol. 2 (8-bit edition) and Holy 8bit Night on the newly started Japanese indie label VORC Records.
The compilation CD from VORC records costs 2500 Yen, about $23. (But you can preview the trcks online) It’s still unknown to me whether VORC records are associated with my favourite chiptune news central,

I’ve listened to the tracks, and I can attest that they are good sid indeed! So grab’em while they’re hot.

Santastic: Holiday Mash Ups for free download

December 1st, 2007 by admin


Brand new christmas compliation of mashed up songs for your pleasure. Created by DJ BC and his crew.


Also Check out Santastic II: Clausome , Santastic: Holiday Boots For Your Stockings, Santastic III in 3-D!

Tay Zonday

November 30th, 2007 by admin

For those of who don’t know Tay Zonday cruise over to his wikipedia page and find out. The main reason why I think he’s important is because he is one of the first youtube celebrities to get major sponsoring for a Dr Pepper commercial. Another example of how the mainstream media is desperately trying to catch up and grasp a presence on the web. In this case, I think they are quite sucessful as the video produced doesn’t seem like a commercial (even though it is very high quality). They definitely had some good consultants working on this one.

Nerdcore Calendar

November 30th, 2007 by admin

nerdcore calendar

So this is the girl from the new Nerdcore Calendar, and I’m thinking. Ummmm. What makes this girl appear intelligent or the least bit nerdy. I know that porn is supposed to live within the world of fantasy. But sorry this new photo set just seems like bland old rehashed naked girlie photos. So I thought, hey maybe this girl was part of the team that developed askimet, or works for Cnet or something so I googled her name. Well, I found out that she’s Karlie Montana, just another standard porn actress. So, the reason I’m bringing this up is that it seems to point to a larger trend of Nerdcore being co opted by the mainstream and morphed into something that doesn’t exist. Kind of how Punk started as a true rebellion and then turned into studded belts available at Wal Mart. For a real nerdy girl who made her own site, runs linux, and is actually interesting you can go to I have my money on Anna when it comes to a mean game of scrabble or jeopardy :)

via G4TV

Two Chipmusic is dead compilations!

November 28th, 2007 by gameboygenius

Gainlad Chip Music is Dead coverChiptorrent Chip Music is Dead cover

August 31, 2007, Ignatz posted a manifesto called “Chip music is Dead” on the LSDj mailing list. The message and the intense discussions following it can be observed here. After a while, someone got the idea to make a compilation with just that theme, “chip music is dead”. And because of some confusion or something, there are now not one, but two compilations on the theme.

The first one is was compiled by Ignatz and released on his own netlabel, Gainlad. It contains tracks from several of the oldies from the LSDj wave of chip music. In fact the album appears to be dominated by Gameboy music made with LSDj. Most of the tracks that are not made with LSDj seems to be made either with another chip, or pigggytracker. And as always, Bud Melvin’s track is an LSDj track accompanied by his banjo.

The other release marks the start of the new netlabel chiptorrent. As the name suggests, the idea is to distribute chip music with the bittorrent protocol. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this, the torrent is not seeded, so I can’t give any form of review of i right now, but judging from the people on the compilation I think it will be good. Notably, the name flashbob appears twice, making him the only artist participting on both compilations. Also notable, the cover of the chiptorrent compilation says “Music is dead”, which is a possible pun on Ignatz’ manifesto.

The 20 tracks on the two compilations shows what I always knew: The chip scene is alive and kicking!

Buy my paintings

November 27th, 2007 by admin


Well I’ve finally jumped into the madness of which is selling paintings on etsy. I have been making paintings of the internet, videogames, and television for the last 10 years. I guess it was about time to just put them all up for sale and see what happens.

Click Here to check out my Etsy Store

Click Here to see my blog of my paintings

Pushpin Gameboy MIDI Synth Now Open Source

November 27th, 2007 by gameboygenius

Pushpin Gameboy synth

After much secrecy, the Pushpin Gameboy MIDI synth has finally been release to the public as open source. The software lets you tweak just about every parameter the Gameboy sound chip has to offer. The source code instructions how to build are available on Google Code:
There’s also a mailing list for those interested in the tech talk.

The wave of Gameboy music has not ended. It has merely begun!

Gameboy Color foot controller

November 16th, 2007 by gameboygenius

Gameboy Foot Controller

This is a far out creation by Joey Mariano, aka Animal Style. It is a breakout box for his Gameboy color, which allows him to control each button of the GBC with any foot switch of his choice. The foot switches can even be used to do button combos, for use with nanoloop. And needless to say, the box also features a prosounded output, for optimum audio output quality.

Edit: Fixed the name…

Star Trek Blu-Ray Laser Phaser

November 8th, 2007 by gameboygenius

Blu-Ray Lase Phaser

This guy, Kipkay, found an old Star Trek Laser Phaser toy 1976. The design is cool, but the light in it is a tad too wee. So he replaced the original lamp with a laser diode from a PlayStation 3 Blu-Ray laser pickup. The result: A great looking laser beam.

And he even had the courtesy of telling the world how to do it, for under $100!

Instruction Video