MonthSeptember 2005

Salon reviews Chris Ware’s latest collection: “The Acme Novelty Library Final Report to Shareholders and Rainy Day Saturday Afternoon Fun Book.”

Ships September 20th.

How do the blind tell the difference between U.S. paper currency?

Folding techniques and portable bill readers, a la vending machines.

OS X Gramophone emulator

     This isn’t a life-changing application or anything, but I was pretty thrilled to discover RetroPlayer – an OS X gramophone emulator. Launch the program and you get a top-down view of a gramophone, sans record. Drag any audio file into the Retroplayer window, and a record appears and begins to play.

     Playback is infused with user-configurable quantities of vinyl crackle, skippage, and warping / speed distortion. You can advance the track by dragging the tone arm to the desired relative radial position on the record, and the ‘reject’ (stop) and speed adjustment controls on the graphical gramophone are functional as well. If you’re immune to quickly expiring novelty and make it through a whole track, the tone arm will spin and crackle in a pseudo lockgroove until you either hit the stop lever or quit the application. Two emphatically nerdy, impractical thumbs up.

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