Julie S Porter is basically a genius, but the obscure kind of genius few people will ever know about. She has been online for years with her page about Adelmous Fey, her automaton doll which she built.
Since the late 1990’s I was reading a lot about early computing, specifically Babbage’s Difference Engine and Analysis Engine (Cal has a really nice set of books with all the notes written by Lady Ada!), Ms Porter’s page came up in web crawls a lot.For future reference, the Babbage books were volumes 2 and 3 of the (11 volume?) set, “The Works of Charles Babbage” edited by Martin Campbell-Kelly in 1989. I have met her in person once… I think she was in a cloisonne class I took at Palo Alto adult school. She was teaching herself enamel painting in a corner of the room, while the beginning students like myself learned to pack powdered glass into the little metal wires… I believe she was making a music box of some sort. She also is a costuming enthusiast and is active in the Dickens Fair, and all sorts of other artistic societies… in half of these things I find online, I don’t know what the hell she’s talking about, but here are the acronyms she drops, with their probable translations:
- MBSI is the “Music Box Society International”
- NAWCC is the “National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors”
- BHI may be the “British Horological Institute”
Notice she’s not merely collecting these clockwork things… she’s building them. Like making the little cogs or something. Hard core!Ms Porter also translated some obscure text on “Jaquet-Droz Automata” which looks to be a type of musical clockworks.
But that’s not all. The same Julie S Porter writes all kinds of crazy, technologically-intense tinkering material, like:
- “SMT Tips” (advice on soldering LCDs?) – look at her working model with the color bars.
- a postscript font for the Voynich Manuscript, which coincidentally I was interested in as well… only I just bought the D’Imperio monograph off of Amazon, rather than write entire fonts for the thing! Incidentally, mine is the only customer review on that book, even though the review dates back to 1998. Not exactly a best-seller!
- postings on debugging ghostscript, a postscript viewer on UNIX