Monthly Archives: June 2012

Evolution of Disk (and a tape)

Posted by Andy Bergmann on June 28, 2012
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Evolution of Disk

We were cleaning out some drawers in the office yesterday and came across a clunky old SyQuest disk. Memories of a particular workflow suddenly came back to me:

– Flip through a book of stock images. Choose one.
– Walk to the stock agency and pick up the chrome.
– Drop the chrome off at a service bureau for a drum scan.
– Return to the office and wait.
– Receive package from courier several hours later.
– Take out chrome and SyQuest disk with “hi-res” image.
– Try repetitively to mount the disk until it finally works.

This last step was particularly fun, as it often required several OS reboots.

All of this is of course now accomplished with a scroll and a click (and in turn a few extra inches around the waistline), but SyQuest certainly deserves a tip of the hat for making large graphic files portable and quietly revolutionizing the design field.

This graphic focuses on some of the more popular magnetic removable storage formats from the 70’s through the mid 90’s, before optical and ultimately solid state technologies came on with a vengeance.

A quick note: Each of these formats were revamped several times to increase storage capacity over the years. I’ve just included the sizes that were most popular for long periods of time as a frame of reference.

Evolution of Ball

Posted by Andy Bergmann on June 22, 2012
data visualization / No Comments

Featured on Flowing Data and NPR.

Evolution of Ball

Every time a classic highlight flashes on the screen, we’re hit with a strong dose of nostalgia, followed by a healthy aftertaste of humor. The game was less aggressive, the video definition was low, and the shorts were tight. Really tight.

I started digging through scores of vintage images, looking at patterns of on-court apparel over the last several decades in hopes to map them out in a simple graphic. Some clear trends began to appear almost immediately.

The most obvious of which is the progressive attempt to cover up more and more skin. Those form-fitting speedo-esque shorts of the 60’s have morphed into something more akin to Italian capris. Inseam length seems to have maxed out around the All-Star game of 2006, but has since climbed back up above the knee.

The arm-length “shooter sleeves” that Lebron, Carmelo and Pierce sport on a regular basis are one of the most interesting of recent accoutrements. These covers can directly be traced back to former 76ers point guard Allen Iverson, who by legend wore one to conceal a controversial tattoo, but in actuality had bursitis in his right elbow. Somehow the sleeves caught on and are now believed to improve your shot. I guess I should get one.

Today’s norm will most certainly be tomorrow’s chuckle. When shorts drag on the ground like wedding gowns in 2030, I’m sure we’ll all look back at the hysterically classic replays of Dwyane Wade exposing his calves in the finals.

Added: I have screenprints available of this graphic printed on 12″x18″ archival 80lb stock. Let me know if you’re interested. Thanks!

Flintstones Vitamins

Posted by Andy Bergmann on June 12, 2012
data visualization / No Comments

Flintstone vitamins data visualization

I popped opened a new bottle of Flintstones vitamins and was curious about the distribution of characters. Note that this data set is based on the one single bottle (unit NAA045F) so no conclusions can be made beyond it.

The biggest surprise of the batch was the abundance of Great Gazoos. Although he was ubercool, the tiny airborne alien voiced by Harvey Korman only appeared in 13 of 167 episodes. Gazoo was a special treat on screen, so I would have expected him to follow suit in vitamin form. However, he ranked at the highest count of 10, matched only by Dino and Pebbles – also non-headliners of the show.

There were 61 vitamins in total, and the label only claims to sport 60, so major bonus for us! My apologies to the less fortunate family out there who only got 59.

I wonder if I’ll ever have time to post to this blog again.

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