Dead Media Reloaded: A Hypothesis Concerning Writing Systems, Plague, and History
Back to Directory of White Papers
Philosophical Society/ORICL Lecture, Summer Qtr, 2004
Dead Media Reloaded: A Hypothesis Concerning Writing Systems, Plague, and History
by Robert Kennedy, P.E.
Slide presentation for the Philosophical Society thru the Oak Ridge Institute of Continued Learning (09Jul2004)
a generalized communications medium
- content may be written, aural, visual
- communication may be symmetric or not
- channel have more than one node, i.e. network, and network may have more than one mode
- channel can be real time or delayed
- any or all of these elements may be extinct to be dead media
drilling through the onion I: Languages
- over human history, ~100K languages emerged
- now, ~6K human languages extant
of which ~200 are written routinely
plus several hundred machine languages
- 90% of both classes are moribund/extinct
~500 languages projected to survive by 2100
- languages are organic and protean, like life itself:
- in constant flux, absent recording
- simplicity, regularity are hallmarks of maturity
- uniformity over geographic range, ubiquity are sign of youth, radiation
- languages and media die when they fail to attain critical mass
- many other phenomenological analogues between language and life, just like physical analogues between electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic systems
- the Cambrian explosion of languages occurred in prehistory
orthogenesis followed by radiation into niches
- writing, recorded media tend to arrest evolution of language
- like life, most forms of language died out, as did most writing systems
extinctions of both due to lack of critical mass, disease, or external disasters, just like life
understanding the extinction of ancient writing systems based on modeling radiation in modern media analogues, plus factoring in the role of infectious disease, is my current research focus
drilling through the onion IIA: Writing
- extrasomatic information storage across space and time; transcended limitation of face-to-face, real time
- though it can be artistic, writing is different than art: regular, repeatable, unambiguous, e.g., Mayan glyphs vs. Gothic gargoyles
(in fact, this is the argument against so-called pure logographic full writing, or symbols without words)
- truly unique writing systems are extremely rare
If it were easy, there would have been as many systems of writing as there were media. Instead there have been only 3-4 demonstrably unique systems in all of human history (not counting undeciphered systems, see below). 2 of these systems are dead (plus all the unknown scripts, obviously). All other systems are result of blueprint copying (Greek, Hebrew -> Cyrillic) or idea diffusion (e.g. Sequoyah). The survivors are alphabets and ideograms, and ideograms themselves might not be unique.
So, truly, there is nothing new under the Sun.
-Voltaire (but he was just quoting Ecclesiastes!)
or as the old Romans said, NIL NOVI SVB SOLE
3 major writing strategies, in order of frequency:
all systems are hybrids; no system uses one pure strategy, even today (see science)
- alphabets (1 symbol per phoneme, e.g., Roman letters, Celtic runes, Braille, Cherokee, Irish ogham)
- logograms (1 symbol per word-concept, e.g., punctuation, Arabic numerals, mathematical operators, traffic signs, circuit symbols, Japanese kanji, some Chinese, Sumerian cuneiform, heiroglyphs)
- syllabaries (1 symbol per syllable, e.g., Linear B, Japanese kana, Korean han'gül)
most writing systems start life as logographic, evolve to alphabets via syllabaries
pure full-range symbolic thought without words may not be possible in humans
3-4 unique loci of writing, in order of antiquity:
- Locus: Sumer, Mesopotamia - circa 3000 BCE
99+% of all writing systems ever developed are alphabetic, highly evolved or transmitted via idea diffusion, from ancestral Sumerian cuneiform to Egyptian heiroglyphs to Semitic alphabets (current users ~80% of race):
(a) old Arabian evolved into modern Ethiopian
(b) Aramaic evolved into modern Arabic, Hebrew, Indian, SE Asian
(c) Phoenician evolved into modern Roman, Cyrillic
(a) identity (1 symbol/consonant),
(b) mnemonic order A-B-C (aleph is for ox, beth is for house, gimel is for camel),
(c) written vowels
- Locus: Crete? - circa 1700 BCE
probably syllabic, sole example Phaistos disk found 1908, first printed document in history, undeciphered, Thira - most energetic event in recorded history ~3000 megaton-equivalents, extinct circa 1500 BCE
- Locus: Yellow River Valley, China - circa 1300 BCE
logographic; possibly ancient diffusion of writing idea from Fertile Crescent; evolving to syllabic/phonetic in different cultures; current users ~20% of race
- Locus: Mesoamerica - circa 600 BCE
logographic; puns (rebi), zero, superb predictive calendar, extinct circa 1000 CE.
- Other Possible Loci of Invention: (but depends on decipherment to determine if writing system is truly original or not:
Fertile Crescent (modern Iran/Iraq) Proto-Elamite - circa 3000 BCE, unknown script, unknown language
Mohenjo-Daro (modern Pakistan) Indus Valley script - circa 2500 BCE, unknown script, disputed language
Byblos (modern Lebanon) Pseudo-heiroglyphic - circa 2000 BCE, unknown script, unknown language
Crete Linear A - circa 1700 BCE, partly known script, unknown language
Etruria (modern Tuscany) - circa 700 BCE, known alphabetic script, partly known language
Sudan Meroïtic - circa 200 BCE, known script, partly known language
Mesoamerica La Mojarra - circa 150 CE, disputed script, disputed language
Easter Island Rongorongo - pre 1800 CE, unknown script, unknown language
drilling through the onion IIB: the role of disease
(speaking of lifelike properties & dead media)
- only recently (20th century) have scholars appreciated the strategic decisive role of infectious disease in human history
- Plague of Athens (431 BCE)
- Antonine Plague (measles, 165-180 CE), Cyprian's Plague (smallpox, 251-266 CE), Plague of Justinian (bubonic, 529-~700 CE)
- Columbian plagues, et seq. in the New World
- the very characteristics which created the need for a writing system:
also created the conditions for epidemic infectious disease
- all proto-writing systems must have started out with tiny communities of practitioners (scribes) - possibly just one inventor!
- in nature, separation, orthogenesis, and radiation is the source of most variability and new species
- in nature, small populations evolve much faster than large ones
- in media space, writing systems would have likewise proliferated and evolved rapidly, just like life forms in nature
- HYPOTHESIS: therefore many more proto-writing systems must have emerged than known, but were vulnerable to destruction due to insufficient mass in the face of inevitable disease
drilling through the onion III: Ciphering
- need for security (authentication, low probability of detection/intercept, antispoofing) since Day One
- at first, security by obscurity, limiting literacy to the elite, official xenophobia and class orthodoxy, punishing unauthorized communication
- nowadays, infosec by math, machine
drilling through the onion IV: Media
- Everything is media
- credo of postindustrial art
- the Cambrian explosion of media occurred during Industrial Revolution; 99% of forms created and abandoned since circa 1700
- physical examples (Korean horse post medallions, analog Videophone) forthcoming at end of quarter?
THE MASTER-LIST OF DEAD MEDIA
DEAD PRELITERATE MEDIA
- Prehistoric etched-bone mnemonic devices and lunar calendars.
- Preliterate clay tokens of Fertile Crescent area.
- The Luba Lukasa mnemonic bead-tablet.
- The Inuit Inuksuit. Inuit carved maps.
- String and yarn-based mnemonic knot systems:
Incan quipu, Tlascaltec nepohualtzitzin, Okinawan warazan, Bolivian chimpu, Samoan, Egyptian, Hawaiian, Tibetan, Bengali, Formosan; American wampum, Zulu beadwork.
DEAD SOUND-TRANSFER NETWORKS
- Drumming, stentor shouting networks, alpenhorns, talking drums, whistling networks, town criers, mechanical foghorns, city-wide public address systems, dead public sirens, mechanical telephones.
DEAD PHYSICAL TRANSFER NETWORKS
- Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian, Mongol, Roman, Chinese, Korean imperial horse posts.
- Extinct mail and postal systems: Medieval monastic rotula, Thurn and Taxis, Renaissance Italian banking networks, early espionage networks, German butcher's-post, Chinese hongs, Incan runners, US Pony Express, etc
- Balloon post (France 1870-1871)
- American guided missile mail (1959),
- Styrian, Tongan, German, Dutch, American, Indian, Australian, Cuban and Mexican rocket mail.
- Russian rocket mail (1992).
- Tongan floating tin-can mail.
- floating logs carved by zeki in GULAG
- Pneumatic transfer tubes:
Josiah Latimer Clark stock exchange pneumatic system London (1853);
Berlin stock exchange pneumatic system (1865);
R.S. Culler/R. Sabine radial pneumatic telegraph/mail system London (1859);
Paris pneumatique mail system (1868);
pneumatic mail transfer in Hamburg, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Liverpool, Manchester,
Birmingham, Glasgow, Dublin, Newcastle, New York, Philadelphia, Munich, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Naples, Milan, Paris and Marseilles.
- Mechanical cash carriers.
- Norwegian mountainside transport wires.
- Pigeon post:
Egyptian Caliphate 1100s, Mameluke Empire 1250's, military sieges of: Acre (11--?), Candia 1204, Haarlem 1572, Leyden 1575, Antwerp 1832, Paris 1870-1871; Reuter's pigeon stock-price network 1849, Russo-Japanese War pigeoneers, military pigeoneers of World War 1, World War II, Korean War, US Signal Corps pigeon lofts, British Air Ministry Pigeon Service (World War II), French Army military pigeoneers and Orissa Police Pigeon Service (both still operational).
- Chinese kite messages, 1232 AD
DEAD OPTICAL NETWORKS
DEAD ELECTRICAL TRANSFER NETWORKS
ELECTRICAL CURRENT TRANSFER
- George Louis Lesage / Charles Morrison electric telegraph (1774)
- Francisco Salva's Madrid-Aranjuez electric telegraph (1796)
- Soemmering's electrolytic bubble-letter telegraph (1812)
- Henry's electromagnetic telegraph (1831)
- Baron Schilling's Russian magnetized needle telegraph (1832)
- Gauss/Weber mirror galvanometer telegraph (1833)
CODED ELECTRICAL TRANSFER
- Samuel Morse telegraph (patented 1837)
- Karl August Steinhill paper ribbon telegraph (1837)
- Charles Wheatstone / William Fothergill Cooke Five-Needle Telegraph (1837)
- The Alphabetical Telegraph
- Foy-Breguet Chappe-code Electrical Telegraph
- The Bain Chemical Telegraph (1848)
- Alexander Bain automatic perforated-tape transmitters (1864).
- Specialized telegraphic fire alarms, burglar alarms, railroad-signalling systems, hotel annunciators, etc.
CODED ELECTRICAL TRANSFER OF IMAGES
- Elisha Gray's telautograph (1886); the telescriber.
- The Vail telegraphic printer (1837), the House telegraphic printer (1846), the Hughes telegraphic printer (1856), the Phelps telegraphic printer (1859), Frederick Bakewell's Fac Simile telegraph (1848), Giovanni Caselli's fascimile pantelegraph (Paris-Lyon 1865-1870); Ernest Hummel's Telediagraph (1895), Arthur Korn's telephotography (1907), Edouard Belin's Belinograph (1913), Alexander Muirhead's 1947 fax.
ELECTRICAL TRANSFER OF SOUND
Unorthodox telephony networks and devices:
- The Bliss toy telephone (1886), Telefon Hirmondo, Cahill's Telharmonium (1895), Bell's photophone, the Telephone Herald of Newark, Electrophone Ltd. wire broadcast
- Telephonic Jukeboxes: The Shyvers Multiphone, the Phonette Melody Lane, the AMI Automatic Hostess, the Rock-Ola Mystic Music System
ELECTRICAL TRANSFER OF SOUND AND IMAGE
- The AT&T Nipkow disk picturephone (1927), Gunter Krawinkel's video telephone booth (Germany 1929), Reichspost picturephone (Germany 1936), AT&T Picturephone, AT&T Videophone 2500, etc
(Dead Mechanical Television)
- Baird Television; Baird Noctovision; Baird Telelogoscopy; The General Electric Octagon; the Daven Tri-Standard Scanning Disc; the Jenkins W1IM Radiovisor Kit, the Jenkins Model 202 Radiovisor, Jenkins Radio Movies; the Baird Televisor Plessey Model, the Baird Televisor Kit; the Western Television Corporation Visionette
(Dead Color Television Formats):
- Baird Telechrome, HDTV, PALplus letterbox format, etc.
(Dead Interactive Television)
- Zenith Phonevision, the first pay-per-view TV service (1951).
- AT&T wirephoto (1925)
DEAD DIGITAL NETWORKS
- Teletext, Viewtron, Viewdata, Prestel, The Source, Qube, Alex (Quebec), Telidon (Canada), Viatel and Discovery 40 (Australia), the ICL One-Per-Desk, etc.
Dead bulletin board system networks:
- RIME, ILink, FrEdMail, OneNet, SmartNet, InfoLink, WWIVnet, NorthAmeriNet, etc.
TRANSFERS BY ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION
- Nipkow disk (1884), Zworykin iconoscope (1923), Farnsworth Dissector.
- Hugo Gernsback's Nipkow television broadcasts (1928)
- Microwave relay drone aircraft (Canada 1990s)
- RCA radiophoto (1926)
- Smith's railway induction telegraph (1881), the Edison induction telegraph (1888)
DEAD INK-BASED MEDIA
(dead text production devices and systems)
- Henry Mill's device (1714)
- Pingeron's machine for the blind (1780),
- Burt's Family Letter Press (1829),
- Xavier Progin's "Machine Kryptographique" (1833),
- Guiseppe Ravizza's "Cembalo-Scrivano" (1837),
- Charles Thurber's "Chirographer" (1843),
- Sir Charles Wheatstone's telegraphic printers (1850s),
- J B. Fairbanks' "Phonetic Writer and Calico Printer,"
- Giuseppe Devincenzi's electric writing machine (1855),
- the Beach Typewriter for the Blind (1856),
- Edison electric typewriter (1872),
- Bartholomew's Stenograph (1879)
- Schulz Auto-typist punch-paper copier typewriter (1927)
- Weir's pneumatic typewriter (1891),
- the Blickensderfer rotary wheel typewriter (1892),
- the Elliott & Hatch Book Typewriter (1895?)
- Juan Gualberto Holguin's 'Burbra' pneumatic typewriter (1914),
- the IBM Selectric, etc.
(Dead copying devices)
- James Watt's ink copier (1780)
- The aniline dye copy press
- The hektograph
- Edison's Electric Pen stencil (1876), the Edison pneumatic pen stencil, the Edison foot-powered pen stencil, the Music Ruling pen stencil, the Reed pen stencil
- Zuccato's Trypograph (1877)
- Gestetner's Cyclostyle (1881)
- The Edison Mimeograph (1887)
- The Gammeter, aka Multigraph (circa 1900)
- The Vari-Typer
- Chinese imperial court printed newspaper (circa 618 AD);
- Beijing city printed newspaper (748 AD)
- Bi Sheng's clay movable type (1041 AD)
DEAD SOUND-CAPTURE TECHNOLOGIES
(Extinct forms of dictation machine)
- the Ediphone, the SoundScriber, etc.
- Poulsen's telegraphon wire recorder (1893)
- The Wilcox-Gay Coin Recordio (1950?)
- Timex Magnetic Disk Recorder (1954)
DEAD SOUND ARCHIVAL TECHNIQUES
(Extinct phonographic formats)
- Leon Scott de Martinville phono-autograph (1857),
- Edison tinfoil cylinder (1877), Edison wax cylinder,
- the Bettini Micro-Phonograph,
- the telegraphone, Bell's graphophone (1886), The Columbia Graphophone Grand, the Edison Concert Grand Phonograph,
- the Pathe' Salon cylinder, the Edison Blue Amberol cylinder, the Edison vertical-groove disc phonograph,
- the Michaelis Neophone.
- Extinct wire recorders, 78 rpm vinyl, 8-track tape, 2-track Playtape, the Elcaset, Soviet "bone music," aluminum transcription disks, etc.
(Mechanical music machines)
- the Organetta, Organette, Aurephone, Cecilla, Organina Cabineto, Tournaphone, Cabinetto, Melodia, Musical Casket, Gately Automatic Organ, Tanzbar, Seraphone, Celestina, etc.
DEAD SOUND REPRODUCTION TECHNOLOGIES:
- The AT&T Voder (1939)
- The Bell Labs Vocoder
- Talking dolls and cassette dolls
- (von Kempelen's "talking" doll (1778), Robertson's talking waxwork (1815), Faber's Euphonia (1853), Teddy Ruxpin, dolls linked to television programs, realistic sound-producing squeeze toys, etc).
DEAD STILL-IMAGE CAPTURE TECHNOLOGIES
Extinct photographic techniques:
- Niepce's asphalt photograph (1826), daguerrotype (1839), calotype (1841), talbotype, collodion process (1851), fluorotype, cyanotype, Pellet process, ferro-gallic and ferro-tannic papers, albumen process, argenotype, kalliotype, palladiotype, platinotype (1873), uranium printing, powder processes, pigment printing, Artigue process, oil printing, chromotype, Herschel's breath printing, diazotype, pinatype, wothlytype, etc.
DEAD STILL-IMAGE TO TACTILE IMAGE TECHNOLOGY
- Naumburg's printing visagraph and automatic visagraph.
DEAD STILL-IMAGE DISPLAY TECHNOLOGIES
- The stereopticon, the Protean View, the Zogroscope, the Polyorama Panoptique, Frith's Cosmoscope, Knight's Cosmorama, Ponti's Megalethoscope (1862), Rousell's Graphoscope (1864), Wheatstone's stereoscope (1832), dead Viewmaster knockoffs.
- Medieval and renaissance magic-glass conjuring.
- Alhazen's camera obscura (1000 AD),
- Wollaston's camera lucida (1807).
- Magic lantern, dissolving views
- Phantasmagoria: Robertson's Fantasmagorie, Seraphin's Ombres Chinoises, Guyot's smoke apparitions, Philipstal's phantasmagoria, Lonsdale's Spectrographia, Meeson's phantasmagoria, the optical eidothaumata, the Capnophoric Phantoms, Moritz's phantasmagoria, Jack Bologna's Phantoscopia, Schirmer and Scholl's Ergascopia, De Berar's Optikali Illusio, Brewster's catadioptrical phantasmagoria, Pepper's Ghost, Messter's Kinoplastikon.
- Biddall's Phantospectraghostodrama and similar "fairground bogeys."
- Riviere's Theatre d'Ombres (Paris 1887-1897).
DEAD STILL-IMAGE "3-D" WITH SOUND
- The Talking View-Master.
DEAD MULTIPLE-IMAGE PERSISTENCE-OF-VISION TECHNOLOGIES
- Joseph Plateau's phenakistiscope (1832), Emile Reynaud's praxinoscope, Ayrton's thaumatrope or "magic disks" (1825), Stampfer's stroboscope, William George Horner's zoetrope or "wheel-of-life" (1834), L. S. Beale's choreutoscope (1866), the viviscope, Short's Filoscope, Herman Casler's mutoscope and the "picture parlor" (1895), the Lumiere Kinora viewer and Kinora camera, the fantascope, etc.
Dead cinematic devices, including but not limited to:
- Muybridge's zoogyroscope, E J Marey's chronophotographe and fusil photographique, George Demeny's Phonoscope, Edison kinetoscope (1893), Anschutz's Electro-Tachyscope, Armat's vitascope, Rudge's biophantascope, Skladanowsky's Bioscope, Acre's kineopticon, the counterfivoscope, the klondikoscope, Paul's theatrograph, Reynaud's Theatre Optique, Reynaud's Musee Grevin Cabinet Fantastique, Lumiere cinematographe, Kobelkoff's Giant Cinematographe, Lumiere Cinematographe Geant (1900), the vitagraph, Paul's animatograph, the vitamotograph, the Kinesetograph, Proszynski's Oko, the Urbanora, the Prague Laterna Magika.
- The Sony Videomat coin-op video recorder booth (1966)
- Abel Gance's Polyvision multiple-screen silent cinema.
- The Chiu-mou-ti Hsing-wu-t'ai (Shanghai 1920s)
DEAD MULTIPLE-IMAGE, PERSISTENCE-OF-VISION, SOUND TECHNOLOGIES
- The Scopitone.
DEAD MULTIPLE-IMAGE, PERSISTENCE-OF-VISION, IMMERSIVE
- Raoul Grimoin-Sanson's Ballon-Cineorama ten-projector circular screen (1900)
DEAD MULTIPLE-IMAGE, PERSISTENCE-OF-VISION, SOUND, SMELL
- Odorama, Smell-O-Vision (1960), Aromarama (1959) etc.
DEAD MULTIPLE-IMAGE, PERSISTENCE-OF-VISION, SOUND, SMELL, IMMERSIVE
- Morton Heilig's Sensorama.
DEAD MULTIPLE-IMAGE, PERSISTENCE-OF-VISION, "3-D"
- Devignes's stereoscopic zoetrope (1860)
- Stereoscopic phenakistoscopes: Seller's Kinematoscope (1861),
- Shaw's stereoscopic phenakistiscope (1860)
- Bonelli and Cook's microphotograph stereo-phenakistiscope (1863),
- Wheatstone's stereoscopic viewer (c. 1870)
(3-D projection systems)
- d'Almeida's projected 3-D magic lantern slides (1856), Heyl's Phasmatrope (1870), Grivolas's stereoscopic moving pictures (1897), the Fairall anaglyph process (1922), Kelly's Plasticon (1922), Ives and Leventhall's Plastigram, aka Pathe Stereoscopiks, aka Audioscopiks, aka Metroscopix (1923,1925, 1935, 1953), Teleview (New York 1922), polarized light stereoscopic movies (1936), Ivanov's parallax stereogram projector (Moscow 1941), Savoy's Cyclostereoscope (Paris 1949), the Telekinema (London 1951), Space Vision (Chicago 1966).
- VisiDep 3-D Television
DEAD MULTIPLE-IMAGE, PERSISTENCE-OF-VISION, SOUND, ARCHIVAL
- Baird Phonovisor wax videodisk (1927), Ives/Bell Labs Half-Tone Television (1930s), Eidophor video projector (1945), Westinghouse Phonovid vinyl video (1965), PixelVision, Polavision, Philips Laservision videodisk, Panasonic HDTV (1974), McDonnell Douglas Laserfilm Videodisc (1984),analog HDTV (1989), RCA SelectaVision CED videodisk, Telefunken Teldec Decca TeD videodisk, TEAC system videodisk, Philips JVC VHD/AHD videodisk
- Ampex Signature I (1963), Sony CV B/W (1965), Akai 1/4 inch B/W & Colour (1969), Cartivision/Sears (1972), Sony U-Matic (197?), Sony-Matic 1/2" B/W (197?), EIAJ-1 1/2" (197?), RCA Selectavision Magtape (1973), Akai VT-100 1/4 inch portable (1974), Panasonic Omnivision I (1975), Philips "VCR" (197?), Sanyo V-Cord, V-Cord II (197?), Akai VT-120 (1976), Matsushita/Quasar VX (1976), Philips & Grundig Video 2000 (1979), Funai/Technicolor CVC (1984), Sony Betamax
DEAD DATA-RETRIEVAL DEVICES AND SYSTEMS
- accountant tally sticks
- Card catalogs: The Indecks Information Retrieval System,
- Diebold Cardineer rotary files, etc.
- Peek-a-Boo Index Cards: Aspect Cards, Optical Coincidence Cards, and Batten Cards;
- Keydex, Termatrex, Minimatrex, Omnidex, Findex, Selecto, Sphinxo, Sichtlochkarten, Ekaha, Vicref, Find-It, Brisch-Vistem and Trio Index Cards.
- Polish Index Card Cryptography.
- Microfiche cards: Microcite Microfiche Index Cards;
- Jonkers' Minimatrex Microfiche Index Cards
- Vannevar Bush's Comparator and Rapid Selector
- Scott's Electronium music composition system
DEAD COMPUTATIONAL TECHNOLOGY (MECHANICAL)
Extinct computational platforms:
- abacus (circa 500BC Egypt, still in wide use)
- saun-pan computing tray (200 AD China)
- soroban computing tray (200 AD Japan)
- Napier's bones (1617 Scotland),
- William Oughtred's slide rule (1622 England)
- and other slide rules,
- Wilhelm Schickard's calculator (1623 ?)
- Blaise Pascal's calculating machine (1642 France)
- Schott's Organum Mathematicum (1666)
- Gottfried Liebniz's calculating machine (1673)
- Charles Babbage's Difference Engine (built 1990s) (1822 England)
- Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine (never built) (1833 England)
- Scheutz mechanical calculator (1855 Sweden)
- The Thomas Arithmometer
- Hollerith tabulating machine (1890)
DEAD COMPUTATIONAL TECHNOLOGY (ELECTRONIC, ANALOG)
- Vannevar Bush differential analyzer (1925 USA)
DEAD COMPUTATIONAL TECHNOLOGY (DIGITAL)
- The Cauzin Strip Reader (archival)
Extinct game platforms:
- The Video Brain (1975?) Fairchild/Zircon "Channel F" (1976), Bally Astrocade (1977), RCA Studio II (1977), Emerson Arcadia (1978), Imagination Machine (1980), ColecoVision (1982), Entex Adventurevision (1982), Zircon Channel F II (1982), Mattel Aquarius (1983), Ultravision Arcade System (1983), Nintendo Famicon (1983),
- Nintendo Entertainment System (1985), Sega Master System
- (1986) Konix Multi-System (1989), NEC Turbo-Grafx 16
- (1988), Actionmax Video System, Adam Computer System,
- Atari: 2600/5200/7800, GCE Vectrex Arcade System, Intellivision I/II/III, (aka Tandyvision One, Mattel Entertainment Computer System, Super Video Arcade, INTV System III/IV, Super Pro System) Odyssey, Commodore, APF, Spectravision, Tomy Tutor, etc.
DEAD BINARY DIGITAL COMPUTERS
- Konrad Zuse's Z1 computer (1931 Germany)
- Atanasoff-Berry Computer (1939 USA)
- Turing's Colossus Mark 1 (1941 England)
- Zuse's Z3 computer (1941 Germany)
- Colossus Mark II (1944 England)
- IBM ASCC Mark I (1944 USA)
- BINAC (Binary Automatic Computer) (1946-1949 USA)
- ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) (1946 USA)
Dead personal computers:
- Altair 8800, Amiga 500, Amiga 1000, Amstrad
- Apple I, II, II+, IIc, IIe, IIGS, III
- Apple Lisa, Apple Lisa MacXL, Apricot
- Atari 400 and 800 XL, XE, ST,
- Atari 800XL, Atari 1200XL, Atari XE
- Basis 190, BBC Micro, Bondwell 2, Cambridge Z-88
- Canon Cat, Columbia Portable
- Commodore C64, Commodore Vic-20, Commodore Plus 4
- Commodore Pet, Commodore 128 CompuPro "Big 16,"
- Cromemco Z-2D, Cromemco Dazzler,
- Cromemco System 3, DEC Rainbow, DOT Portable, Eagle II
- Dragon System Dragon 32 and Dragon 64
- Epson QX-10, Epson HX-20, Epson PX-8 Geneva
- Exidy Sorcerer, Franklin Ace 500, Franklin Ace 1200
- Fujitsu Bubcom 80,
- Gavilan, Grid Compass, Heath/Zenith, Hitachi Peach
- Hyperion, IBM PC 640K, IBM XT, IBM Portable
- IBM PCjr, IMSAI 8080, Intelligent Systems Compucolor and Intecolor, Intertek Superbrain II
- Ithaca Intersystems DPS-1, Kaypro 2x
- Linus WriteTop, Mac 128, 512, 512KE
- Mattel Aquarius, Micro-Professor MPF-II
- Morrow MicroDecision 3, Morrow Portable
- NEC PC-8081, NEC Starlet 8401-LS,
- NEC 8201A Portable, NEC 8401A,
- NorthStar Advantage, NorthStar Horizon
- Ohio Scientific, Oric, Osborne 1, Osborne Executive
- Panasonic, Sanyo 1255, Sanyo PC 1250
- Sinclair ZX-80, Sinclair ZX-81, Sinclair Spectrum
- Sol Model 20, Sony SMC-70, Spectravideo SV-328
- Tandy 1000, Tandy 1000SL, Tandy Coco 1, Tandy Coco 2
- Tandy Coco 3, TRS-80 models I, II, III, IV, 100,
- Tano Dragon, TI 99/4, Timex/Sinclair 1000
- Timex/Sinclair color computer,
- TRW/Fujitsu 3450, Vector 4
- Victor 9000, Workslate
- Xerox 820 II, Xerox Alto, Xerox Dorado, Xerox 1108
- Yamaha CX5M
- etc. etc. etc.
Dead Personal Digital Assistants.
- Apple Newton.
Dead computer languages.
- Fortran I, II and III, ALGOL 58 and 60, Lisp 1 and 1.5
- APT, JOVIAL, SIMULA I and 67
- JOSS, SNOBOL, APL
Dead operating systems.
- CP/M, CP/M-86
- DEC RSTS/E
- Fujitsu E-35
- GO Penpoint
- Sharp FDOS
- Newton OS
1. Master List courtesy of those dedicated necronauts over at The Dead Media Project.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - READ IN THIS ORDER:
2. Zinsser, Hans Rats, Lice, and History, (Bantam: 1960).
3. MacNeill, William Plagues and Peoples, (Anchor/Doubleday: 1976).
4. Diamond, Jared Guns, Germs, and Steel, (W.W.Norton, New York: 1997).
5. DeCamp, L. Sprague Ancient Engineers, The, (Dorset: 1990).
6. MacNeill, William Pursuit of Power, The, (Univ. of Chicago Press: 1982).
7. Robinson, Andrew Story of Writing, The: Alphabets, Heiroglyphs & Pictograms, (Thames & Hudson, London: 1995).
graphic examples of each major writing system; global animation of disease and writing versus time.
About the Speaker
Robert Kennedy is president of the Ultimax Group Inc., a corporation distributed across 11 time zones from Moscow to L.A. He speaks enough languages to start bar fights in all of them. Robotics engineer, amateur historian, and jack of all trades, he spent 1994 working for the House Science Committees Subcommittee on Space as ASMEs Congressional Fellow. On the Sputnik anniversary in October 1997, he managed to make the Russian evening news. Robert telecommutes from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where he resides with his wife, numerous cats, and a yard full of trees and Detroit iron.
Back to Directory of White Papers
This site proudly powered and maintained with
Lecture and notes © 1994-2004 by The Ultimax Group, Inc.
For product or dealer inquiries within the USA & Canada, call:
West Coast: (888) ULTIMAX..................................................................East Coast: (800) ULTIMAX
Outside USA: +1 (865) 483-7097 -- note area code has changed from (423)
or send us a fax: +1 (865) 483-6317 -- note area code has changed from (423)
or write to us:
The Ultimax Group, Inc.
112 Mason Lane
Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA 37830-8631
or send email to email@example.com
The entire content (images and text) of these pages is copyrighted and may not be distributed, downloaded, modified, reused, re-posted or otherwise used without the express written permission of the authors.
These pages last updated July 9, 2004