Today’s Form over function is a first. A wallpaper dedicated to a machine. At Temple University we recently got rid of our oldest and most well worn Plotter, 4 foot wide printer, the machines was 7 years old, I have personally rebuilt many of its internal workings and have brought it back from the dead many times. They are only designed to last 4-5 years. Its strange to feel a sense of loss for a machine, but this machine has produced a good portion of the work for every student who has passed through this department in the past 7 years. For 4 of those years it was the sole method of printing documents this large. With an Impressive body of work to her credit Old Hickory (we name all machines after food we also have BBQ, Mesquite, and Cayenne ) had to be surplused for parts at the end of May.
During one of her last days in the lab I was taking pictures of different parts of her while taken apart to show to students as instructional aides when discussing how to fix plotters. Some of the shots look like that, snapshots. Other shots showcased the Beauty of the machine. There is a certain quality about incredibly well machines parts all working in unison to create that can inspire emotion. Injection point is a picture of the point where ink is drawn into the printer from the large reservoirs. Plotters are exactly the same as your desktop inkjet printer just on a much more massive scale. This shot stood out from the rest so I submit it to you for Form over Function Friday. No music today however the plotter made a good deal of beautiful visual music over the course of her lifetime so I think that counts for something.
Universities change more over the summer than in the other three seasons combined. Enrollment is lower, maintenance can be started and room are renovated. It is this type of situation where i currently find myself. We are getting rid of older machines, through our Computer Recycle Center. We are rotating machine placement to optimize the amount of usable computers available to students. I have to tell you when they get back they are going to be excited with some of the changes we are just starting. We have two more plotters sitting in my office right now waiting to be assembled. I think a small tribute wouldn’t be amiss in this space. All of us geeks have felt the loss of tech that has treated us well.