Opening The Ark
I’ve just finished a long week of unpacking in Singapore. This wasn’t just unpacking the stuff that filled our home in Hong Kong, it was also unpacking things that had been in long term storage since we left India in 2006! The guitar body above – a half finished restoration project – was just one […]
I’ve just finished a long week of unpacking in Singapore. This wasn’t just unpacking the stuff that filled our home in Hong Kong, it was also unpacking things that had been in long term storage since we left India in 2006!
The guitar body above – a half finished restoration project – was just one of many oddities that I pulled out the storage containers.
I kind of loathe the term “geek” and would normally never apply it to myself. But, what could be more geeky than having not one, but two Texas Instruments TI99/4A computers, still in their original boxes. My first computer was a TI-99/4, but because of reliability/warranty issues (and a fight with a reseller) we ended up with two TI-99/4A machines in our home. This machine was the first domestic 16-bit computer and came standard with a whopping 16KB of RAM! I used mine to play some games (including the awesome Parsec) as well as my first attempts at computer programming (BASIC, Assembly Language and PASCAL).
Another old bit of kit that I enjoyed seeing again was my Roland VS840. I have fond memories of using this once state-of-the-art digital recorder (the last purchase I made before leaving Australia for the UK). Although dwarfed by the power of today’s computer based systems (and hampered by recording to ZIP drives), I remember this unit being fun to use and capable of some decent sounds.
Another delight was this old power supply that my father bought from Kreisler, where he worked until their Caringbah factory closed in 1982. I hope it still works because I love the idea that a tool that sat on my father’s workbench for many years might still be able to do service on my repair table today.
This “red knob” Fender 210 was my main amp for many years. In fact, I’ve played more gigs with this amp than any other and it had a beautifully warm and focussed clean sound. I have a feeling it may need some love and care before it comes back to life – but if memory serves it right, it will be worth the time and effort.
This desktop fan was a personal favourite in both London and Delhi and I really adore this type of industrial design aesthetic. In fact I feel really at home around these kinds of pieces and I’d like to use this fan as the starting design point for the small repair and maintenance room I will be setting up in the new home.
This little shopping token really caught my attention. In Delhi, when you go into many stores, you have to check your bags at the door. These days you are mostly given a plastic chit with a number on it. But, when I lived there some stores had metal, hand stamped pieces like this. I honestly don’t remember how I would up taking one of these home. Maybe I left my bag of good at the entrance to Big Bazaar and never went back for it? Who knows.
What matters is that I love the look and feel of this souvenir and I plan to use it as a major cue for the design of my studio.
Overall, the unpacking experience has been a huge roller-coaster; equally draining and addictive. There are plenty more oddities that have come out of the boxes (including an awesome old Hewlett-Packard signal generator). I’m now starting to wonder what the effect was of living for five years with so much of my stuff in storage and what it will mean to include all this stuff in my new patterns of life and work.
Anyway, time to find some good articles and blogposts on de-cluttering and sorting out which belongings to keep.