Human Flower Project

Orrington, MAINE USA

flag flower bed

parker basket thumb
Princeton, MAINE USA

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wordless Processor

Old computers live again. Just add soil.


Tatung Einstein, pushing up daisies

Photo: Zyra’s Website

Where have all the typewriters gone? And where have all the old computers gone? We remember hauling an early so-called portable computer on the plane to Washington,  D.C. for a research trip years ago. It was of course summer in the city, and though the machine and its carrying case weren’t so large, they could nearly separate your shoulder.  How “convenient”! We limped around the capitol for three days with a grip on what could have been Davy Jones’s locker, with Davy’s corpse inside.

The ghost of Davy lives on…. Taking up half the precious closet space in our house are old computers, an old printer or two, and even one Royal typewriter, with a pocked black and red ribbon. We might nobly offer them to a public elementary school except of course the schools’ equipment is several generations better than what we’re tapping on right now.

So, many thanks to Zyra and her astounding website. Here we have found the answer to our conundrum about how to handle old word processing equipment: She writes:

“In the early days of home computers there was a computer known as the Tatung Einstein. It was like a Z80 version of the BBC Micro. This particular Tatung Einstein had seen better days and was cunningly converted into a FLOWER POT. Placed strategically in the sunshine it already looked quite surrealist with plants growing out of it, but then the scene was improved even more when this CAT decided it would be a nice soft warm place to sleep. Cats have a knowledge of computers to the extent that they recognise them as worth sleeping on, a computer giving off plenty of heat even when indoors…”

imageDave and Jenny’s Mac-Planter

Photo: via Apartment Therapy

Excited to have come upon Zyra’s computer-to-planter, we found another, this one a Mac (catless). We commend this excellent bit of retrofitting to anyone, but it seems especially well suited for the legions of garden bloggers who, we imagine, share both our fondness for interesting containers (most computers even have a hole or two in the bottom, for good drainage) and our lack of closet space.

We also commend to all Zyra’s amazing website. A polymath, she raises interesting questions: “What would tea taste like if it were brewed in a hot water bottle?” for example. There is a wealth of information on folding bicycles, the elimination of child poverty, and five star hotels in Dublin. We especially like her essay on location discrimination. Zyra argues that websites can never truly be local.

“Even sites that are about a particular place are of interest to people from far afield,” she writes. “The site is an example of a site that ‘tries to encompass the entire world.’” Zyra, thank you for your solution to the old computer problem. Consider us encompassed.

Posted by Julie on 04/25 at 09:24 PM
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