The Geek Month in Review: January 2015

By JB Sanders

Frigid, frigid January…

Flying Cars of Future Past
So where are all our flying cars, anyway? See illustrations of what folks in 1862 thought we’d be flying around in come the year 2000.

Star Wars Concept Art
From the first three movies, starting with New Hope. Seriously cool 1960’s style scifi artwork.

Consumer Electronics Show (CES) from 1960’s to 1980’s
See the evolution of what has become (or perhaps now was) the largest electronics (then computers) show in the world.

New Uses for a PowerGlove
Remember that failed attempt at “virtual reality” that Nintendo came out with? The one where you wore a clunky glove thing on your hand to control on-screen games? Yeah, it’s back and doing stop-motion animation. Bonus points for video of the taking-apart phase of the conversion.

Microsoft’s Virtual Reality Assisted Holographic Interface
Really feels like the future when we can write headlines like that, right? Microsoft introduced a set of tools for creating programs with augmented reality elements — in holographic form. They require the use of Google glass like headset, but not quite as obnoxious. For those familiar with the previously linked NASA program that let you interact with virtual versions of their various rovers, this is like the big boy version of that.

More detail and a hands-on overview:

Elon Musk — Supervillain or Science Hero?
Is it just me, or is the resume of engineer-billionaire Elon Musk starting to look like the CV of a Grade A super villain? Dude got his start helping to make e-payments possible, then went on to revitalize electric cars (almost single-handedly), and now he’s got his own commercial space company. Also, he wants to build a city on Mars, and he’s going to pay for it by putting 4000 satellites into orbit, and provide internet connections wirelessly to anyone (who pays) anywhere.

About John:
John’s a geek from way back. He’s been floating between various computer-related jobs for years, until he settled into doing tech support in higher ed. Now he rules the Macs on campus with an iron hand (really, it’s on his desk).

Geek Credentials:
RPG: Blue box D&D, lead minis, been to GenCon in Milwaukee.
Computer: TRS-80 Color Computer, Amiga 1000, UNIX system w/reel-to-reel backup tape
Card games: bought Magic cards at GenCon in 1993
Science: Met Phil Plait, got time on a mainframe for astronomy project in 1983
His Blog: