Sunday, September 6, 2009

Open the Valves!

When I started writing this post, I asked myself: if a steam age guy wanted to say, "Fire it up" or "Turn it over" what would he say? 'Fire it up' makes some sense, but actually, after 'firing it up', it would take up to three days before the machine actually got ready to do anything worthwile... Then I realized what the starting of a steam-driven machine is characterized by: The opening of the valves. There you have it. I don't know if anyone interested in steampunk ever came up with this before, but now I did. So, let's wrap some bows and ribbons round the main valve, order a brass band, and open the valve to the flashes of burning magnesium powder. This blog is now officially open for business.

Now, you may ask yourself: 'Why steampunk of all things?' Well, that's easy. Being both geek and goth, steampunk caters two of my most basic needs: tech and style.
I've been a tinkerer longer than I can think, and while I've never scorned upon new developments, I have also always loved old technology. That being said, it also has to be mentioned that I've also always loved the victorian age (not strictly that, but around that period) and I devoured the books by Jules Verne and his lesser-known colleagues like e.g. Hans Dominik. I was fascinated by the thought of futurism, no matter what age the setting was futuristic in. But not only did I read about it and take interest in it, I also always wanted to participate in it.
As long as I can remember, our neighbours would bring me old technojunk to take apart and play with. Soon enough I got bored with taking appart, and started to put things back together - first in the same way, then in any number of ways. I've always lived by the motto: "If it doesn't need fixing, it needs improving". I'm the only guy I ever heard of who cut apart a working pcb to fit it into a 5 1/4" slot - preserving function of course. But more about that in a future post.
For a long time, I also loved computer games and movies taking place in a steampunk or dieselpunk setting, be it Wild Wild West, or Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. The thing is: I just didn't know this genre had a name. Until, in a whim, I looked up the word 'steampunk' on wikipedia - that was the time the other shoe finally dropped. It's also thanks to wikipedia I came across the wonderful works of Datamancer and Jake von Slatt. As soon as I saw them, I knew I was in love - and I knew I just HAD to build something like that.
I'm full of ideas right now, some of them will, others may not be feasible or within my financial reach. Time will tell - And I will tell you, right here. Why? Because I am firmly rooted in the open source community and even apart from that honestly love to share my findings and tinkerings with others.

Now you know how and why I came to love steampunk (et al.) and how I came to write this blog.

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