Making Webmaker Makes with videos

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For the past month or so, I've been involved in Mozilla's Webmaker Fellows program. In essence, the program has brought together a bunch of artists to do make cool things using the Webmaker tools. So I made some stuff, which I hope is pretty cool. My own goal was to tell some stories about both my own personal history with computers, and their larger history. In the current fuss over making sure that every child grows up computer/web/media/etc. literate, we forget a little that the ability to be a passive user of computers is really new. So I made some things that revolve around that theme.

Crucially, most of my Makes used video and audio from the Prelinger collection on What's excellent about that collection is its mandate to collect ephemera. A quick search for the term "computer" turns up loads of wonderful stuff from the 1950s-70s. Produced by governments and corporations, the truly excellent ephemera I found and used were largely originally made to represent technology to the public. That means there's excellent footage of computer programmers (both men and women), punchcard machines, early computer graphics, and a procession of cathode ray tube monitors.

Below, a little about the Makes I made using material from the Prelinger collection. Worth remembering about the Webmaker tools: they produce content that's easy to remix, rejig and rework.

"Noise! Noise! Noise! Computer history!" A trip through popular images of computers and their programmers in the 1960s and 70s, to the tune of computer generated music from the time.

The simplest Goggles remix ever. Results from the Prelinger Archive for the term "computer," with the term "Results" replaced with "History, through the eyes of those who were there." Reframing and, yes, adding some favourable bias to an aggressively neutral source of amazing historical video.

"Hold on!" Hold on! Let me do that for you. A supervisor checks the work of a computer technician.

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