mouse finished

so i finished the mouse hack. well, sort of. it works great, but i broke a few things in the process and ended up having to hot glue the origional enclosure shut. also, i totally didn't document any of the process (which i want to be able to share). so it's sortof a working prototype, i'll probably make another one so it's cleaner, and so i can document the process.


progress on keyboard

I've begun restoring the keyboard. I took the guts of a modern keyboard, and tapped all of the contacts, laying out the matrix whose relationships create the keystrokes. I've wired up some of the keys on the Ohio Scientific keyboard, and they're a bit glitchy, but nothing that can't be worked around. I also gutted the Mac M0001 (thanks, David Webber for helping me not fry my brains).

about the project

At the begining of my fall 2006 semester (at Alfred University) I was fortunate enough to find an old Macintosh M0001 (the computer that revolutionized the term "personal computer"). After it sat around for a while I decided it would be fun to draw with it and make digital prints. I bought a mouse and keyboard on ebay, but was not able to make a startup disk for it. It sat around collecting dust for a few more months, just looking pretty. Just recently a retiring teacher was giving away all sorts of old computers, printers, modems and in the pile I found this totally gnarly keyboard. The keyboard was made by Ohio Scientific in the late 1970s, and is about 12"x7" and at it's thickest point it is about 3", the casing is metal... let's just say this is one beefy keyboard.

I decided that I wanted to restore the old keyboard and make it's connection a USB. It had this great rainbow colored ribbon cable coming out of it, which for some reason made me think of a rainbow colored guitar strap. I then decided that this keyboard had to become an instrument. Later that day I introduced the new keyboard to the Mac, and they really hit it off. They've become great friends. I saw this back when I first found the Mac, and still had that video rolling around in the back of my head.

So I'm going for it. I'm gutting the Mac M0001 and building a custom computer inside of it, restoring the Ohio Scientific keyboard to its full glory, and gutting the origional Mac mouse and putting the guts of an optical mouse inside of it. I'll then be creating a Max/MSP/Jitter application which turns the keyboard into a synthesizer, and turns the computer into a psychedelic color explosion.

In this web space I will be documenting progress and developments.