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The Fransworld Daily Blog is now occasionally updated- 
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April 19, 2015
I made a casual visit to the Vintage Computer Festival in Wall, New Jersey this week where Brian Benchoff and I escaped to the shore for lunch at the Asbury Park boardwalk.  Bil Herd told tales to many Commodore fans, and a recently restored PDP-8 is unveiled and started up for the first time publicly, and will be a new addition to the InfoAge Museum.

April 9, 2015
From the Associated Press today, and article by Kathy Matheson about the March 2015 Repair Fair: 

"In this March 28, 2015 photo, Fixer Fran Blanche, right foreground, examines Kathy Kruger's broken laser star projector at the Repair Fair at Greensgrow in Philadelphia. Volunteer “fixers” in Philadelphia have started offering their skills for free in an effort to promote resourcefulness and sustainability, and to help build a sense of community. "

AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma

March 19, 2015
I'm back once again with an impromptu vlog documenting the repair of my AMI-Rowe R-88 Jukebox amp, with a demonstration at the end for your enjoyment.

March 15, 2015
The first Dinosaur Den of 2015!  Bil and I answer some viewer mail and look at some cool items that were sent in, we talk about linear power supplies, and demo a vintage Nixie display module on a genuine breadboard.

March 2, 2015
Working with genuine Apollo AGC DSKY's at the National Air and Space Museum Paul Garber facility - August 8, 2014.

Photos by Eric Long

February 27, 2015
Thanks again to Brian at Hackaday for a new article about my 555/4017 Diode Steering tutorial!

February 23, 2015
The mighty diode has its day!  In this vlog I do a cool project to show how you can create advanced display drivers using diode steering.  I build a 555 timer clock to control a 4017B decade counter as a start, build a couple of simple display boards, and also get to use some of my cool vintage parts for an advanced discrete 7-segment driver.  Check out the details and schematics on my science and engineering blog to build your own project

For further reading check out Colin Mitchell's Talking Electronics 555 Circuits.

Dave Jones gets a Colin Mitchell 555/4017 scanner kit on Mailbag.


February 4, 2015
Thanks to Samantha Melamed for the great two page article in today's Philadelphia Inquirer about the Philly Fixers Guild

February 3, 2015
Thanks to Brian Benchoff at Hackaday for the cool post today about my Apollo AGC DSKY Display Project!

February 1, 2015
Apollo AGC DSKY Display Project, Pt.1 

Special thanks to all the people and institutions who have helped me with this project so far, with very special thanks to:

Stephen Masucci - general space nut and all around swell guy.
Brian Benchoff - Contributing Editor at Hackaday
Shannon Whetzel -Collections Manager, Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.
Deborah G. Douglas, PhD - Director of Collections and Curator of Science and Technology, MIT Museum.
Carl Bobrow - Museum Specialist, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Paul Ceruzzi - Chairman of the Division of Space History, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

January 18, 2015
Taped more than 25 years ago, here is the 50 Years of Television Exhibit at the Smithsonian as I recorded it on September 23, 1989. Included are lots of early Televisions, items from the 1939 New York Worlds Fair Futurama and the World of Tomorrow, and some items from the history of early recording exhibit. No commentary, just enjoy the ride. Shot in my early "blitzvideo" documenting style, where I moved and zoomed a lot so that I could capture the most detail in a short period of time, and during playback I could freeze frames to examine items and read text later on. Freeze Frame! Try it.... Lots of weird talk from strangers and you name it all included. Rendered from the original SVHS analog tape. 

January 6, 2015
Tour The Dinosaur Den in under 10 minutes! Yes, it is possible.
A reacp of The Dinosaur Den -  Best of 2014!


December 29, 2014
Genuine Moon Rock!

December 26, 2014
Bil and I are back with the Dinosaur Den 2014 Holiday Special!

December 24, 2014
Original Fran Art!  "Kurt", pencil on paper.

December 4, 2014
I got in the Hackaday Blog twice in one week - Jeez!  The first was about my DSKY Display Project (Thanks Brian!) and the second for the Philly Fixers Guild Second Repair Fair.  Is there such a thing as overexposed in the hackerworld? 

November 27, 2014
I finally got around to posting this video that I shot in August, where in addition to a teaser about my Apollo DSKY display research project, which was the reason for my visit, I also take a brief technical tour of the Air and Space Museum.  I wanted to examine this collection of historic machines that are seen by millions of people every year in a slightly different way, by detailing some of the technology close up that was involved in these priceless Space artifacts.  In keeping with strict accordance to Smithsonian rules for photography I could not use a tripod or any additional lighting, so I had to get really creative in putting this vlog together using a combination of my smartphone, portable audio recorder (for sync sound) and digital camera to document my visit.  Lots of post production was needed to present this in an entertaining format.  My many thanks to the generous hospitality and patience of the NASM staff and curators!

November 23, 2014
Here is a look into some of the work I did over four hours at the Philly Fixers Guild Repair Fair at the Shissler Rec Center in Fishtown, Philadelphia on November 22, 2014.  The philosophy of the Fixer's Guild is to promote sustainability in the community by encouraging people to bring in their broken things and we show them how to fix them free of charge.  If possible we hope to return their items to functionality at the fair, or at least direct them as to where and how to get the item fixed rather than discarding it.   Bad gym lighting and even worse gym sound also provided at no cost to you!  Enjoy! 

November 19, 2014
Just a brief update vlog to let everyone know what I am up to and what is going on with my YouTube channel and the Dinosaur Den. 

November 18, 2014
It was great hanging out with my oldtime Williamsburg friend and former Frantone employee Kyp Malone at the TV On The Radio show at Union Transfer in Philly.  And double thanks to Kyp for giving me the super cool TVOTR Seeds double LP with amazing Moiré pattern animated cover art and melted gumball vinyl!  Ooooo!


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