Finding new uses for old technology (or not)

I recently read an article about people finding new uses for old technology. When I saw the article I was very keen to find out the what and the how, but I was sadly disappointed to discover that it was mostly about people using iPod Shuffles as hair clips. Which is not what I was after really.

For ages I’ve been trying to think of ways to make use of old technology. Uses for the technology that make sense, that are productive and interesting. I’m not really interested in using an old iPod as a hair clip. I don’t think it would suit me for one thing.

One thing I did manage to cobble together was using my old Pebble smartwatch as a key chain.

Not that it is a very useful device if I am honest. It is kind of useful to have the time on my keys, and some notifications are helpful there too, but aside from that it has not been the most successful of experiments.

So what else?

Ideally I would like to find a way to make real use of the old PDAs I have. Over the last couple of years I have sold off a lot of the old devices I owned, and I owned a lot. But I still have a few left that I feel unable to part with. Most of these devices don’t connect to the internet, and if they do they are painfully slow.

A few of them can be used for rudimentary music making, but that is really all it is though. So what could I use them for? That’s the question that is on my mind a lot of the time. Ok, not a lot of the time, but periodically and it is something that I seem to go back to on a regular basis.

As you can see I have used these devices in a variety of different ways over the years, and, whilst some of them have been interesting and fun, none of them have really had long term appeal or efficacy.

Most of the time I find that I need less technology these days rather than more, so finding a real use for any of these devices seems to become harder all the time.

To start off with I am reviving the Sony NX73V. This is a lovely device and one that I actually bought from new.

I found that there was a restore image on the memory stick from 2018, which is probably the last time I went through this process. Next I need to go through all the stuff that is now on the device from the restore process, but that is a post for another day.

Mute Synth 4.0

I’ve been a fan of the Mute Synth from Dirty Electronics since the very first one. I’ve got 3 now, Mute Synth 1, Mute Synth 2.0, and now the 4.0. It’s certainly the most complex of the Mute range, and, after a very brief play I think it has some very interesting possibilities.

I’m also interested to see how it can work with Mute Synth 2.0. Hopefully I’ll get to experiment with that in the not too distant future.

KDJ-One

Cyberstep KDJ-One

I backed this device on Kickstarter a long time ago, I mean a really long time ago. It was really late, and, to be honest, I’d wondered if it would ever arrive, but it did, and here it is.

But it’s here, and it works. It is actually better sounding than I expected it be. The keys are actually velocity sensitive and the touch screen is huge. I’m still getting to grips with it, and I think that’ll probably take me some time.

In some ways it reminds me of an updated Yamaha QY type device, which is, in my opinion quite a good thing. The other really interesting thing about the KDJ-One is that it has a whole bunch of apps that go with it. There’s a macOS app, an iOS app, and an Android app too. So far I haven’t found a way to get everything working together, but that’s on my personal roadmap.

Arduboy (and a little retro comparison)

I got this last week, which was much sooner than I’d expected to see it. It is tiny. About the size of maybe 3 or 4 credit cards stacked on top of each other. That’s why I thought it would be interesting to see it with a Rex 6000. Of course the Rex has a lot more memory than an Arduino and is of course designed to be a PDA where the Arduino nor the Arduboy is. Even so, it’s an interesting comparison.

When I get some time I’m going to try and see what I can make with the Arduboy as you can code to it via Codebender. So that’s really the next step.

Well done Miselu

It was just great to see this project finally get to kickstarter today. It’s already achieved over a third of its funding target in just one day, and I think it’ll do really well.

And it’s great to have played a very small part in this.