Mission Control

Dear friends,

Ours is a push-button digital world. Very convenient it is too, but somehow it’s lost the tactile sense that old analog equipment had. My study is a strange hybrid of the old and the new. On the wall now is a generator control panel from the early 20th century, and it is slowly coming back to life. It’s made of slate, and weighs about half a ton. The ammeters show the current used by the house – good for getting a feel for just how much power we’re using and reminding me to turn off unneeded lights and equipment. And the big circular switches control the lighting mounted on top of the panel which illuminates my desk. They’re high-current spring-loaded switches and they’re complete overkill for this; when you turn them, they engage with a loud clunk-sproing that always makes me grin. And the two meters under the LCD monitor display computer CPU usage. All very analog and wonderful.

For details of how it all works, see here.