Under strict secrecy we were asked to supply a NeXT Cube computer for a VT sequence used in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.
The sequence was celebrating the inventor of the world wide web - Tim Berners Lee.
The NeXT Cube is fairly rare and now vintage computer, but working in partnership with The Centre for Computing History we were able supply the exact machine and even have it working and booted into the NeXTstep operating system.
We were asked to make the computer control a printer so that upon a keypress the dot matrix printer would spool out paper with 'Thanks Tim' printed in large ascii art style text.
To do this, we simply controlled the printer from an old DOS laptop sending the text file from the command line. This made it very quick and efficient to set and reset between takes and eliminated the need for us to burden the actor with instructions.
The video sequence was shown on the huge screens at the event.
The NeXT Cube was the machine that Tim Berners Lee used to design the WWW protocol that we all use today to browse the internet.
It can be seen on display at The Centre for Computing History - a computer museum near Cambridge : NeXT Cube
Date : 28th July 2012
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