Leica has gone nouveau-retro with the digital Leica M series. Other companies, like Vivitar, have come out with digital cameras featuring current tech, but designs reminiscent of retro rangefinder cameras.
This retro camera beats them all. The maker shoehorned a Sony DSC-WX1 digital camera into a Leica (or, more accurately, what appears to be a Soviet FED Leica copy) rangefinder body. The text and video are in Japanese, but a picture is worth a thousand words, right?
My Buddha Machine arrived yesterday.
I opened the shipping container to find a box roughly the size of a deck of playing cards. The outside is festooned with the FM3 logo and chinese lettering.
The box opens to reveal a retro-looking plastic slab resembling a 1970’s transistor radio. It’s the brainchild of FM3 (aka Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian) an ambient duo based out of China. The Buddha Machine plays “drones”, little low-fi downtempo ambient clips ranging from 2-45 seconds. Each drone plays continually, or at least until the 2 AA batteries run out. A 4.5v DC adapter (not included) allows the unit to play for longer periods of time.
The only controls are aÂ volume control/power switch, a push button to change drones, and a pitch-bending dial. The Buddha Machine plays through a small speaker and can fill a small room; the tinny response seems to improve the quality of the sound. Think of film grain improving an image. If you choose a more personal experience, there is a mini headphone jack on top.
Even though you could download the sound files from FM3â€™s site, itâ€™s just not the same unless you hear the cracks and pops of the unit’s tinny little speaker. It’s deliciously analog, completely non-upgradable, and offers a warm, imperfect analog sound.
The Buddha Machine can only be found a few places right now, including Forced Exposure.
I swear by SwitchProxy for Firefox. I use proxies to test our work environment and route web traffic through a SSH tunnel when I’m on an untrusted wireless network. Unfortunately, SwitchProxy hasn’t been updated for some time – it doesn’t work on newer versions of Firefox.
I read this post which talked about tweaking .xpi files – the files mozilla uses for add-ons. Changing the extension from .xpi to .zip results in a file you can open with Windows Explorer. Open it up and look at the install.rdf file. There’s a line in the file that reads:
Change the lines to reflect your current version, update the file, change the name back to .xpi and you’re good to go.
This won’t work with all add-ons, as some of them require specific versions. SwitchProxy seems to work just fine, however.
Ok, so I post to WordPress. WordPress posts an update to Twitter via Twitter tools and to Livejournal. LJ gets the whole post with comments redirected to WordPress. Twitter posts a shortened URL to the blog post. Twitter gets slurped once a day into LoudTwitter, which also posts to LJ. And, Facebook also gets updated by Twitter. Which redirects people to WordPress. I couldn’t get Wordbook to work, but since Twitter already updates Facebook via Loudtwitter, I figure I have it covered.
My head is spinning.