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Comment Re:Lego was not the ultimate do-it-yourself playth (Score 2) 425

Moreover, Meccano taught important lessons that Lego could not: understanding engineering tolerances. Lego bricks just snap together, and unless you are building something pretty infeasible that's generally the end of it. Meccano was all about lining up plates and brackets by eye (the holes were bigger than the screws), making sure things weren't too loose or too tight, ensuring that load-bearing parts were properly cross-braced, and so on.

On the other hand, Meccano was pretty perishable. It didn't take long to scrape the paint off the parts and permanently mangle the so-called flexible plates.

Comment Re:Stay Put (Score 1) 772

Age: 50. Current status: learning OpenGL and Clojure.

I very much doubt I'd get good shot at a commercial programming gig, but I'm really not interested in that game any more, and yes, 25-year-olds have much more enthusiasm for the agencies' screening questions than I do. (So, I also have the "bad attitude.")

My advice is to both specialise and diversify. Identify particular skills that set you apart from the crowd, but also identify as many of those skills as you can. I'm holding down gigs as composer/sound artist, workshop tutor, media artist and writer: the OpenGL is for large-scale outdoor video artworks while the Clojure is for thread-safe audio/visual performance systems in MaxMSP.

Comment Re:Progress... (Score 1) 249

I'll half-grant you the webpages point, although you need a server to run your "program", and I wouldn't want a software system that wouldn't work in a train tunnel, or in a theatre space, or cost an arm and a leg when overseas.

Apps have to be approved by Apple unless you have a developer licence or a jailbroken machine - that's hardly a convenient programming environment.


Submission + - Yamaha launch Toshio Iwai's TENORI-ON Instrument (

C A S S I E L writes: "Last week saw the UK launch of the TENORI-ON electronic music instrument designed by video and sound installation artist Toshio Iwai. A magnesium frame with 256 LEDs per side, the TENORI-ON is part video toy, part interactive algorithmic step sequencer which plays samples from SD cards and has a comprehensive MIDI implementation. It is currently being test marketed in the UK, and sold through a limited number of record stores for £599. The TENORI-ON has been blogged here and here (where it's compared with the Monome controller)."

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