Fun_People Archive
4 Nov
Dead Media Project

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue,  4 Nov 97 04:32:04 -0800
To: Fun_People
Precedence: bulk
Subject: Dead Media Project

Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <>
Forwarded-by: Phil Agre <>
From: Bruce Sterling <>

Thanks for expressing your interest in the Dead Media Project.  The Dead
Media Mailing List consists of occasional email to that stout little band
of souls who have declared some willingness to engage in this recherche
field of study.  The list-editor is Bruce Sterling ( and
the list emanates from a mail exploder at

   Traffic on  this list is light == we average three messages a week, and
never more than one a day.  If at any time you want to be removed from this
list, send me email and I will liberate you pronto.

     Contributions to the Dead Media database should be sent to me as list
editor.   These contributions should be considered as copyright-free texts
abandoned to the howling wastes of cyberspace for the good of the  We are not looking for polished commercial-quality articles,
but for raw data that is easily fact-checked  and designed for intellectual
digestibility by other Dead Media researchers.   The citation of sources is
especially important.  To date, the Dead Media Mailing List has consisted
mostly of raw research notes with occasional theoretical venturings and
general updates on the progress of the Project.

Dead Media Working Notes generally appear in the following format:

>Subject: Dead Media Working Note 00.7

>Dead medium:  the cyrograph
>From: (Dan Rabin)

>Mr. Sterling,

>I just attended your talk at Apple, and I thought I'd try
>to get this to you before you get home.

>The Dead Medium in question is the CYROGRAPH.  It was a
>form of authentication for duplicate documents used in
>the Middle Ages.  The document was written in duplicate
>on a piece of vellum (or parchment); the copies were cut
>apart and retained by two different parties.  Sometimes
>the cut was deliberately irregular in order to make
>spurious matches unlikely. In addition, lettering would
>be placed where the cut was to be made so that both the
>shape of the cut and the lettering would have to match
>in order to authenticate the copies.

>References (from Library of Congress online catalog):
>92-131963: Brown, Michelle. A guide to western historical
>scripts : from antiquity to 1600 /  London : British
>Library, 1990.  138 p. : ill. ; 29cm.
>     LC CALL NUMBER: Z114 .B87 1990

>92-160830: Brown, Michelle.  Anglo-Saxon manuscripts /
>Toronto ; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1991.
>80 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm.
>     LC CALL NUMBER: Z8.G72 E53 1991


>  Dan Rabin (

    Mr Rabin's submission is brief and to the point.  It offers intriguing
avenues for future research.  It describes a weird and deeply obscure
technique that 99.995% of the human race has never heard of.  If you send
me something with these qualities, I can pretty well guarantee you that it
will make the Dead Media Mailing List.

     Keep in mind that successfully contributing to this list is a deeply
prestigious act.  Contributors to this list are formally known as "Dead
Media Necronauts." Others  have the somewhat less stellar title of "Dead
Media Lurkers."

     On occasion we have been known to tangibly reward Necronauts, with
"official" swag such as Dead Media T-shirts, fridge magnets, snow globes,
bumper stickers, pennants, monogrammed pencils, and adhesive floppy disk
labels.  Keep watching this space.

     If you are a collector of mechanical antiques, dead software, dead
computers, dead playstations, dead recordings, PixelVisions, Teddy Ruxpins,
or books on same, then you will want to be on our cousin list, the Dead
Media Collectors' List.  This list is run by Seth Carmichael
( To join the list, send mail to
with the message "subscribe collectorz [your email-address]" in the body.
The Collectors'  List has been established expressly for the sake of
trading, bartering, want-ads, and other forms of netiquette-shattering dead
media entrepreneurism. Under no circumstances will commercial announcements
be run on the Dead Media Mailing List itself.

     Mailing List notes will be posted onto my topic on WELL.COM,  the
"Mirrorshades Postmodern Archive," and pretty much anywhere else anyone else
wants to run them.

     Dead Media  Working Notes come in "bound volumes" of twenty at a time.
I've been known to snailmail the complete works on floppy disk to helpful
Necronauts.   The notes and associated Dead Media material are also
available (at least temporarily)  on that highly unstable medium, the World
Wide Web.

Dead Media material on the web: (Canada)
(Australia) (USA)

     I can't promise these websites will last, but they've been handy, and
since they are run by volunteers at least the price is right.  If you'd like
to start your own Dead Media web site, send me email.

     Email serves the central purpose of keeping subscribers aware of  "dead
media."  Since this field of study has never been a scholarly discipline
and is not logically archived, it shows up mostly in the nooks and crannies
of the arcane, the forgotten and the technosocially repressed. The likeliest
way to discover examples of  dead media is to learn to become sensitized
through repeated exposure, then to stumble over examples of it in daily
life.  One then alerts other Dead Media students by  writing a Working Note
for us.

Here are the table of contents of the first two volumes:

Dead Media Working Notes, 1-20

00.1. The Incan quipu
00.2. Chaucerian virtual reality
00.3. The Incan quipu
00.4.  Kid media:  viewmasters, filmstrips, portable
projectors, Teddy  Ruxpin
00.5. Dead personal computers
00.6.  Dead mainframes;  early computation devices
00.7.  The cyrograph
00.8.  The scopitone
00.9.  Dead computer languages
01.0 The magic lantern
01.1 The magic lantern
01.2  Clockwork radio
01.3  The magic lantern
01.4  The term "Dead"
01.5  Silent film, the diorama, the panorama
01.6  The magic lantern
01.7  The Comparator; the Rapid Selector
01.8  Bibliography:  Magic lanterns, Photography, Optical
Toys,  Early  Cinema
01.9  The Experiential Typewriter
02.0  The magic lantern

Dead Media Necronauts: Trevor Blake, Paul Di Filippo,
Stefan Jones, Bradley O'Neill, Dan Rabin, Bruce Sterling
Alan Wexelblat

Dead Media Working Notes 02.1-04.0

02.1 Canada's Telidon Network
02.2 Dead Cryptanalytic Devices of World War II
02.3  The Stenograph
02.4 Canada's Telidon Network; Australia's Viatel and
Discovery 40
02.5  The Copy Press, the Hektograph, Edison's
Electric Pen, Zuccato's Trypograph, Gestetner's
Cyclostyle, Dick-Edison Mimeograph, the Gammeter aka
Multigraph, the Varityper, the IBM Selectric
02.6 Military Telegraphy, Balloon Semaphore
02.7 Mirror Telegraphy:  The Heliograph, the
Helioscope, the Heliostat, the Heliotrope
02.8 Schott's Organum Mathematicum
02.9 The Voder, The Vocoder, the Cyclops Camera,
the Memex
03.0 C. X. Thomas de Colmar's Arithmometer
03.1 Toy telegraphy; toy telephony
03.2 Phonographic Dolls
03.3 The IBM Letterwriter
03.4 the Zuse Ziffernrechner; the V1, Z1, Z2, Z3
and Z4 program-controlled electromechanical digital
computers; the death of Konrad Zuse
03.5 Loutherbourg's Eidophusikon
03.6 Karakuri; the Japanese puppet theater of
03.7 Dead memory systems
03.8 the Kinetophone; the "Kinetophone Project"
03.9 Clockwork wall animation -- "living
04.0 Skytale, the Spartan code-stick

Dead Media Necronauts:  Nick Montfort, Bradley O'Neill
Andrew Pam, Darryl Rehr, Jack Ruttan, Geoffrey Shea
Andrew Siegel, Bruce Sterling, Bill Wallace

     You can see by this that the Dead Media Project is a loose networking
effort by independent scholars to establish  a common source of  public
knowledge.  There is no money in this for anybody, except of course for the
fabulous CRISP FIFTY DOLLAR BILL that I am  offering to the first personage
to publish the "Dead Media Handbook," which I imagine to be the eventual
upshot of this research effort.  If you would like your own emailed copy of
the original Dead Media manifesto, let me know.  (It originally appeared in
BOING BOING magazine as "The Dead Media Project:  A Modest Proposal and a
Public Appeal.")

     At the moment, our most pressing theoretical difficulty remains a
working definition of "medium." (The term "dead" is also considerably

    Consider for instance the Babylonian cuneiform tablet.  A dried (fired?)
clay brick covered with wedge-shaped pictographs.   Dead graphic instrument
(stylus).  Dead recording device (clay tablet).  Dead language (Babylonian).
Dead alphabet (combination syllabary/pictography).  Is it a dead "medium"?
And if it is,then is a papyrus scroll also a dead medium? How about a Latin
incunabula work on medieval theology? How about a plastic-bound manual for
the Osborne computer? I hope you grasp the difficulty in drawing hard and
fast lines here -- and that perhaps you can help draw a few that make sense.

Here is the current (highly fragmentary) master-list of extinct forms of



Prehistoric etched-bone mnemonic devices and lunar

Preliterate clay tokens of Fertile Crescent area.

The Luba Lukasa mnemonic bead-tablet.
The Inuit Inuksuit.
Inuit carved maps.

String and yarn-based mnemonic knot systems:   Incan
quipu, Tlascaltec nepohualtzitzin, Okinawan warazan,
Bolivian chimpu, Samoan, Egyptian, Hawaiian, Tibetan,
Bengali, Formosan; American wampum, Zulu beadwork.


Drumming, stentor shouting networks, alpenhorns, whistling
networks, town criers,  mechanical telephones.


Signal fires, smoke signals (still in use by Vatican),
fire beacons.


Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian, Mongol, Roman and
Chinese imperial horse posts.
Extinct mail and postal systems:  Thurn and Taxis (1550
AD),  Renaissance Italian banking  networks, early
espionage networks, German butcher's-post, Chinese hongs,
Incan runners, US Pony Express, etc etc.

Balloon post (France 1870-1871)
American guided missile  mail (1959),
Styrian, Tongan, German, Dutch, American,
Indian, Australian, Cuban and Mexican rocket mail.
Russian rocket mail  (1992).
Tongan floating tin-can mail.

Pneumatic transfer tubes:
Josiah Latimer Clark stock exchange pneumatic system
London (1853);  Berlin stock exchange pneumatic system (1865);
R.S. Culler/R. Sabine radial pneumatic
telegraph/mail system London (1859); Paris pneumatic
mail system (1868); pneumatic mail transfer in
Hamburg, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Munich, Rio de Janeiro,
Rome, Naples, Milan, Paris and Marseilles.

Mechanical cash carriers.

Norwegian mountainside transport wires.

Pigeon post:  Egyptian Caliphate 1100s, Mameluke Empire
1250's, military sieges of:  Acre (11--?), Candia 1204,
Haarlem 1572, Leyden 1575, Antwerp 1832, Paris 1870-1871;
Reuter's pigeon stock-price network 1849,  military
pigeoneers of World War 1.

Chinese kite messages, 1232 AD


Roman light telegraph;
Polybius's torch telegraph ca 150 BC
Moundbuilder Indian signal mounds
Babylonian fire beacons
Fire signals on the Great Wall of China

Amontons' windmill signals (1690)

Johannes Trithemius's Steganographia (ca 1500?)
Dupuis-Fortin optical telegraph (France 1788)
Chappe's "Synchronized System" and "Panel Telegraph"
(France 1793)
Claude Chappe's French Optical Telegraph (France 1793)
The Vigigraph (France 1794)
Edelcrantz's Swedish Optical Telegraph (1795)
British Admiralty Optical Telegraph (1795)
Bergstrasser's German Optical Telegraph (1786)
Chudy's Czech Optical Telegraph (the Fernschreibmaschine)
Van Woensel's Dutch system (1798)
Fisker's Danish Optical Telegraph (1801)
Grout's American Optical Telegraph (1801)
Olsen's Norwegian Optical Telegraph (1808)
Abraham Chappe's Mobile Optical Telegraph (1812)
Parker's American Optical Telegraph (ca 1820)
Curacao Optical Telegraph (1825-1917)
Watson's British Optical Telegraph (1827)
Australian Optical Telegraph (Watson system) (1827)
Lipken's Dutch system (1831)
O'Etzel's German Optical Telegraph (1835)
Schmidt's German Optical Telegraph (1837)
Ferrier's optical telegraph (1831)
Russian Optical Telegraph (1839, Chappe system)
Spanish Optical Telegraph (ca 1846)
San Francisco Optical Telegraph (1849)
Ramstedt's Finnish Optical Telegraph (1854)

The Mance Heliograph  (Britain 1860s)
The heliostat, the heliotrope, the helioscope.
The Babbage Occulting Telegraph (never built)
American World War II pilot-rescue signal mirrors.

Semaphore and flag signals:
Byzantine naval code (Byzantium AD 900),  Admiralty Black
Book code (England 1337), de la Bourdonnais code (France
1738), de Bigot code (France 1763), Howe code (Britain
1790), Popham code aka Trafalgar Code (Britain 1803, 1813)
US Army Myer Code semaphore (USA 1860).
Military balloon semaphore (France 1790s).

Early 20th Century electric searchlight spectacles.


George Louis Lesage / Charles Morrison electric telegraph
Francisco Salva's Madrid-Aranjuez electric telegraph
Soemmering's electrolytic bubble-letter telegraph (1812)
Henry's electromagnetic telegraph (1831)
Baron Schilling's Russian magnetized needle telegraph
Gauss/Weber mirror galvanometer telegraph (1833)


Samuel Morse telegraph (patented 1837)
Karl August Steinhill paper ribbon telegraph (1837)
Charles Wheatstone / William Fothergill Cooke Five-Needle
Telegraph (1837)
The Alphabetical Telegraph
Foy-Breguet Chappe-code Electrical Telegraph
The Bain Chemical Telegraph (1848)
Alexander Bain automatic  perforated-tape transmitters

Specialized telegraphic fire alarms, burglar alarms,
railroad-signalling systems, hotel annunciators, etc.



Elisha Gray's telautograph (1886); the telescriber.

The Vail telegraphic printer (1837), the House telegraphic
printer (1846), the Hughes telegraphic printer (1856),
the Phelps telegraphic printer (1859)
Frederick Bakewell's Fac Simile telegraph (1848)
Giovanni Caselli's fascimile  pantelegraph  (Paris-Lyon
1865-1870); Arthur Korn's  telephotography (1907), Edouard
Belin's Belinograph (1913),  Alexander Muirhead's 1947


Unorthodox telephony networks and devices:
The Bliss toy telephone (1886), Telefon Hirmondo,
Cahill's Telharmonium (1895), Bell's photophone,
the Telephone Herald of Newark, Electrophone Ltd. wire

Telephonic Jukeboxes:  The Shyvers  Multiphone,
the Phonette Melody Lane, the AMI Automatic
Hostess, the Rock-Ola Mystic Music System


(Dead Telephony)
The AT&T Nipkow disk picturephone (1927),
Gunter Krawinkel's video telephone booth
(Germany 1929), Reichspost picturephone (Germany 1936),
AT&T Picturephone,  AT&T Videophone 2500, etc

(Dead Mechanical Television)
Baird Television; Baird Noctovision; Baird Telelogoscopy;
The General Electric Octagon; the Daven Tri-Standard
Scanning Disc; the Jenkins  W1IM   Radiovisor Kit,
the Jenkins Model 202 Radiovisor,  Jenkins Radio Movies;
the Baird Televisor Plessey Model,  the Baird Televisor
Kit; the Western Television Corporation Visionette

(Dead Color Television Formats):
Baird Telechrome, HDTV, PALplus letterbox format, etc.

(Dead Interactive Television)
Zenith Phonevision, the first pay-per-view TV service

AT&T wirephoto (1925)


Teletext, Viewtron, Viewdata, Prestel, The Source, Qube,
Alex (Quebec), Telidon (Canada), Viatel and Discovery 40
(Australia), the ICL One-Per-Desk, etc.

Dead bulletin board system networks:
RIME, ILink, FrEdMail, OneNet, SmartNet, InfoLink, WWIVnet,
NorthAmeriNet, FirstClass, etc.


(Dead Television)
Nipkow disk (1884), Zworykin
iconoscope (1923), Farnsworth Dissector.
Hugo Gernsback's Nipkow television  broadcasts  (1928)

Microwave relay drone aircraft (Canada 1990s)

RCA  radiophoto (1926)

(Electrical induction)

Smith's railway induction telegraph (1881),
the Edison induction telegraph (1888)


(dead text production devices and systems)

Typewriters: Henry Mill's device (1714)
Pingeron's machine for the blind (1780),
Burt's Family Letter Press (1829), Xavier Progin's
"Machine Kryptographique" (1833), Guiseppe Ravizza's
"Cembalo-Scrivano" (1837), Charles Thurber's
"Chirographer" (1843), Sir Charles Wheatstone's
telegraphic printers (1850s), J B. Fairbanks'
"Phonetic Writer and Calico Printer,"
Giuseppe Devincenzi's electric writing machine (1855),
the Beach Typewriter for the Blind (1856),
Edison electric typewriter (1872),
Bartholomew's Stenograph (1879)
Schulz Auto-typist punch-paper copier typewriter (1927)
Weir's pneumatic typewriter (1891),
the Blickensderfer rotary wheel typewriter (1892),
the Elliott & Hatch Book Typewriter (1895?)
Juan Gualberto Holguin's 'Burbra' pneumatic typewriter
(1914), the IBM Selectric, etc.

Dead copying devices:
James Watt's ink copier (1780)
The aniline dye copy press
The hektograph
Edison's Electric Pen stencil (1876), the Edison pneumatic
pen stencil, the Edison foot-powered pen stencil, the
Music Ruling pen stencil, the Reed pen stencil
Zuccato's Trypograph (1877)
Gestetner's Cyclostyle (1881)
The Edison Mimeograph (1887)
The Gammeter, aka Multigraph (circa 1900)
The Vari-Typer

Chinese imperial court printed newspaper (circa 618 AD);
Beijing city printed newspaper (748 AD)
Bi Sheng's clay movable type (1041 AD)


Extinct forms of dictation machine.
Poulsen's telegraphon wire recorder (1893)
The Wilcox-Gay Coin Recordio (1950?)


Extinct phonographic formats:  Leon Scott de Martinville
phono-autograph (1857), Edison tinfoil cylinder (1877),
Edison wax cylinder,
the Bettini Micro-Phonograph, the  telegraphone,
Bell's graphophone (1886), The Columbia Graphophone Grand, the
Edison Concert Grand Phonograph,  the Pathe' Salon
cylinder, the Edison Blue Amberol cylinder,  the Edison
vertical-groove disc phonograph, the Michaelis Neophone,
wire recorders, 78s, 8-track tape, 2-track Playtape,
the Elcaset, Soviet "bone music," aluminum transcription
disks, etc.

The AT&T Voder (1939)
The Bell Labs Vocoder
Talking dolls and cassette dolls
(von Kempelen's "talking" doll (1778), Robertson's
talking waxwork (1815), Faber's Euphonia (1853),
Teddy Ruxpin, dolls linked to television programs,
realistic sound-producing squeeze toys, etc).


Extinct photographic techniques:  Niepce's asphalt
photograph (1826), daguerrotype (1839), calotype (1841),
talbotype, collodion process (1851),  fluorotype, cyanotype,
Pellet process, ferro-gallic and ferro-tannic papers,
albumen process,  argenotype, kalliotype, palladiotype,
platinotype (1873), uranium  printing, powder processes,
pigment printing, Artigue process, oil printing, chromotype,
Herschel's breath  printing, diazotype, pinatype, wothlytype,  etc.


Naumburg's printing visagraph and automatic visagraph.


The stereopticon, the Protean View, the  Zogroscope, the
Polyorama Panoptique,  Frith's Cosmoscope,  Knight's
Cosmorama, Ponti's Megalethoscope (1862),   Rousell's
Graphoscope (1864), Wheatstone's stereoscope (1832), dead
Viewmaster knockoffs.

Medieval  and renaissance magic-glass conjuring.
Alhazen's camera obscura (1000 AD),
Wollaston's camera lucida (1807).
Magic lantern, dissolving views

Phantasmagoria:  Robertson's Fantasmagorie,
Seraphin's Ombres Chinoises, Guyot's smoke apparitions,
Philipstal's phantasmagoria,  Lonsdale's
Spectrographia, Meeson's phantasmagoria, the optical
eidothaumata, the Capnophoric Phantoms, Moritz's
phantasmagoria, Jack Bologna's Phantoscopia, Schirmer and
Scholl's Ergascopia, De Berar's Optikali Illusio,
Brewster's catadioptrical phantasmagoria,
Pepper's Ghost, Messter's Kinoplastikon.

Biddall's Phantospectraghostodrama and similar
"fairground bogeys."

Riviere's Theatre d'Ombres.


The Talking View-Master.


Joseph Plateau's phenakistiscope (1832), Emile Reynaud's
praxinoscope,  Ayrton's thaumatrope  or "magic  disks"
(1825), Stampfer's  stroboscope, William George Horner's
zoetrope or "wheel-of-life" (1834), L. S. Beale's
choreutoscope  (1866), the viviscope, Short's Filoscope,
Herman Casler's mutoscope and the "picture parlor" (1895),
the Lumiere Kinora viewer and Kinora camera, the
fantascope, etc.

Dead cinematic devices, including but not limited to:
Muybridge's zoogyroscope, E J Marey's chronophotographe
and fusil photographique,  George Demeny's Phonoscope,
Edison  kinetoscope (1893),  Anschutz's Electro-Tachyscope,
Armat's vitascope, Rudge's biophantascope, Skladanowsky's
Bioscope, Acre's kineopticon, the counterfivoscope, the
klondikoscope, Paul's theatrograph, Reynaud's Theatre
Optique,  Reynaud's Musee Grevin Cabinet Fantastique,
Lumiere cinematographe,  Kobelkoff's Giant Cinematographe,
Lumiere Cinematographe Geant (1900), the vitagraph,
Paul's animatograph, the vitamotograph, the Kinesetograph,
Proszynski's Oko, the Urbanora, the Prague Laterna Magika.

The Sony Videomat coin-op video recorder booth (1966)


the Photo-Cinema-Theatre sound film system (1900),
Gaumont's Chronophone (1910), Messter's Biophon (1904),
The Mendel-Walturdaw cinematophone (1911), The Jeapes-
Barker Cinephone (1908), Hepworth's Vivaphone (1911),
Edison kinetophone (1913),  Ruhmer's Photographon optical
sound recorder (1901), the synchronoscope,  the
cameraphone, phonofilm, the graphophonoscope,
the  chronophotographoscope, the biophonograph,
DeForest Phonofilm (1923), Warner Bros/ Western Electric
Vitaphone (1926),   Fox  Movietone (1927), Vocafilm,
Firnatone, Bristolphone, Titanifrone, Disney's Cinephone,
Hoxie / RCA Photophone (1928), General Electric
Kinegraphone (1925),  Cinerama (1951), CinemaScope (1952),
Natural Vision (1952), etc.

The Scopitone.


Raoul Grimoin-Sanson's Ballon-Cineorama ten-projector
circular screen  (1900)

Odorama, Smell-O-Vision (1960), Aromarama (1959) etc.

Morton Heilig's Sensorama.


Devignes's stereoscopic zoetrope (1860)
Stereoscopic phenakistoscopes: Seller's Kinematoscope
(1861), Shaw's stereoscopic phenakistiscope (1860)
Bonelli and Cook's microphotograph stereo-phenakistiscope
(1863), Wheatstone's stereoscopic viewer (c. 1870)

3-D projection systems:  d'Almeida's projected 3-D magic
lantern slides (1856), Heyl's Phasmatrope (1870),
Grivolas's stereoscopic moving  pictures (1897),
the Fairall anaglyph process (1922),
Kelly's Plasticon (1922), Ives and Leventhall's
Plastigram, aka Pathe Stereoscopiks, aka Audioscopiks, aka
Metroscopix (1923,1925, 1935, 1953), Teleview (New York
1922),  polarized light stereoscopic movies (1936),
Ivanov's parallax stereogram projector (Moscow 1941),
Savoy's Cyclostereoscope (Paris 1949),  the Telekinema
(London 1951), Space Vision (Chicago 1966).

VisiDep 3-D Television


Dead video:   Baird Phonovisor wax videodisk
(1927), Ives/Bell Labs Half-Tone Television (1930s)
Eidophor video projector (1945), PixelVision,
Polavision, Philips Laservision videodisk, Panasonic HDTV
(1974), McDonnell Douglas Laserfilm Videodisc (1984),
analog HDTV (1989), RCA SelectaVision CED videodisk,
Telefunken Teldec Decca TeD videodisk, TEAC system
videodisk, Philips JVC VHD/AHD videodisk

Dead videotapes: Ampex Signature I (1963),
Sony CV B/W  (1965), Akai 1/4 inch B/W & Colour (1969),
Cartivision/Sears (1972)
Sony U-Matic (197?), Sony-Matic 1/2" B/W (197?)
EIAJ-1 1/2" (197?), RCA Selectavision Magtape (1973)
Akai VT-100 1/4 inch portable (1974),
Panasonic Omnivision I (1975),
Philips "VCR" (197?), Sanyo V-Cord, V-Cord II (197?)
Akai VT-120 (1976), Matsushita/Quasar VX (1976)
Philips & Grundig Video 2000 (1979),
Funai/Technicolor CVC (1984)
Sony Betamax


Physical display environments (non-immersive):
Dioramas (no sound), de Loutherbourg's Eidophusikon
(sound and lighting) (1781), the Stereorama, the
Cosmoramic Stereoscope.

Mechanical drama:
Japanese karakuri puppet theatre
Heron's Nauplius.
Dead thrill rides.

Immersive physical display environments
Panoramas, Poole's Myriorama, the Octorama, the
Diaphorama, Cycloramas, the Paris Mareorama (1900).

Defunct digital VR systems.


accountant tally sticks
Card catalogs: The Indecks Information Retrieval System,
Diebold Cardineer rotary files, etc.
Vannevar Bush's Comparator and Rapid Selector
Scott's Electronium music composition system


Extinct computational platforms:

abacus (circa 500BC Egypt, still in wide use)
saun-pan computing tray (200 AD China)
soroban computing tray (200 AD Japan)
Napier's bones (1617 Scotland),
William Oughtred's slide rule (1622 England)
and other slide rules,
Wilhelm Schickard's calculator (1623 ?)
Blaise Pascal's calculating machine (1642 France)
Schott's Organum Mathematicum (1666)
Gottfried Liebniz's calculating machine (1673)
Charles Babbage's Difference Engine (built 1990s) (1822
Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine (never built) (1833
Scheutz mechanical calculator (1855 Sweden)
The Thomas Arithmometer
Hollerith tabulating machine (1890)
Vannevar Bush differential analyzer (1925 USA)


The Cauzin Strip Reader (archival)

Extinct game platforms:
Actionmax Video System, Adam Computer System,
Aquarius Computer System, Atari: 2600/5200/7800,
Colecovision,  GCE Vectrex Arcade System,
Intellivision I/II/III,  Odyssey, Commodore, APF, Bally
Astrocade,  Emerson Arcadia, Fairchild "Channel F,"
Microvision,  RCA  Studio II, Spectravision, Tomy Tutor,


Konrad Zuse's Z1 computer (1931 Germany)
Atanasoff-Berry Computer (1939 USA)
Turing's Colossus Mark 1 (1941 England)
Zuse's Z3 computer (1941 Germany)
Colossus Mark II (1944 England)
IBM ASCC Mark I  (1944 USA)
BINAC (Binary Automatic Computer) (1946-1949 USA)
ENIAC  (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer)
(1946 USA)

Dead mainframes.

Dead personal computers:

Altair 8800, Amiga 500, Amiga 1000, Amstrad
Apple I, II, II+, IIc, IIe, IIGS, III
Apple Lisa, Apple Lisa MacXL, Apricot
Atari 400 and 800 XL, XE, ST,
Atari 800XL, Atari 1200XL, Atari XE
Basis 190, BBC Micro, Bondwell 2, Cambridge Z-88
Canon Cat, Columbia Portable
Commodore C64, Commodore Vic-20, Commodore Plus 4
Commodore Pet, Commodore 128 CompuPro "Big 16,"
Cromemco Z-2D, Cromemco Dazzler,
Cromemco System 3, DOT Portable, Eagle II
Dragon System Dragon 32 and Dragon 64
Epson QX-10, Epson HX-20, Epson PX-8 Geneva
Exidy Sorcerer, Franklin Ace 500, Franklin Ace 1200
Fujitsu Bubcom 80,
Gavilan, Grid Compass, Heath/Zenith, Hitachi Peach
Hyperion, IBM PC 640K, IBM XT, IBM Portable
IBM PCjr, IMSAI 8080, Intelligent Systems Compucolor
and Intecolor, Intertek Superbrain II
Ithaca Intersystems DPS-1, Kaypro 2x
Linus WriteTop, Mac 128, 512, 512KE
Mattel Aquarius, Micro-Professor MPF-II
Morrow MicroDecision 3, Morrow Portable
NEC PC-8081, NEC Starlet 8401-LS,
NEC 8201A Portable, NEC 8401A,
NorthStar Advantage, NorthStar Horizon
Ohio Scientific, Oric, Osborne 1, Osborne Executive
Panasonic, Sanyo 1255, Sanyo PC 1250
Sinclair ZX-80, Sinclair ZX-81, Sinclair Spectrum
Sol Model 20, Sony SMC-70, Spectravideo SV-328
Tandy 1000, Tandy 1000SL, Tandy Coco 1, Tandy Coco 2
Tandy Coco 3, TRS-80 models I, II, III, IV, 100,
Tano Dragon, TI 99/4, Timex/Sinclair 1000
Timex/Sinclair color computer,
TRW/Fujitsu 3450, Vector 4
Victor 9000, Workslate
Xerox 820 II, Xerox Alto, Xerox Dorado, Xerox 1108
Yamaha CX5M
etc. etc. etc.

Dead computer languages.
Fortran I, II and III, ALGOL 58 and 60, Lisp 1 and 1.5

Dead operating systems.
CP/M, CP/M-86
Fujitsu E-35

Dead Internet techniques.

    We are actively hunting data in all these categories
and  also hunting for new categorization schemes.

             Bruce Sterling   October 11, 1997

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