Posts tagged with "Hewlett-Packard":

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On View> Mapping the Information Age: Microchips become high art at the Pacific Design Center

If the adage is true that “God is in the details,” then the current exhibition at Christopher W. Mount Gallery in West Hollywood might grant the venue some status as a holy site. On view through January 20, 2016,  in the second floor space of the Pacific Design Center’s “Blue Whale” and entitled Mapping the Information Age, the exhibition is comprised of a collection of thirteen large, intricately detailed and color-coded microchip circuitry diagrams, framed and accompanied by a projected slideshow of historic imagery from the companies that produced many of the prints, such as Intel Corporation, Synaptics, Inc., and Hewlett-Packard, among others. “The complexity is appealing,” said gallery director Christopher Mount, as he discussed the strong impression conveyed through the diagrams. “There’s rigor here, even if we don’t understand it.” The diagrams, upwards of four to six feet wide, were used by microchip engineers and designers if something went wrong in the development process. “If you were designing a chip and it just wasn’t working, you’d bring these out,” said Mount. “Somebody would make sure that the memory was connected in the right way. You would spend days with them.” Mount, who has curated exhibitions at MOCA and LACMA, and held directorial positions at the Pasadena Museum of California Art and Parsons, first became interested in the prints while working on an exhibition at MoMA in 1990 that was organized by Cara McCarty, titled Information Art: Diagramming Microchips. The prints currently on view at Mount’s gallery were culled from that show. The collection engages with a discussion about the status of the drawing in contemporary design practices. The idea that such visually substantial prints, which are well suited to the gallery context, are the outcome of technological troubleshooting or routine “debugging” processes on the part of the microchip makers, raises questions about the expectations that we generally have of drawings. Designers and architects often use drawings to present idyllic possibilities, usually before the constraints of reality have come to bear on the design. The visually intricate microchip diagrams, however, are themselves the outcome of an error, a means to visualize and correct a problem. “These were not intended as art,” Mount noted. “But as functional design drawings.” For Mount, the question of authorship is another complicating factor: “People walk in here all the time and say, 'So, who’s the artist?' And I have to explain: 'Well, it’s Hewlett-Packard, or it’s Intel, or it’s Rockwell Technologies.'” The visual abstractions captured in the diagrams suggest a number of interesting and alternative readings. Mount recalled that some visitors see patterns for textiles, others see architectural plans. “They look like cityscapes, or any kind of urban complex.” he said. “They have the spirit of Corbusier.” In the precisely ordered, nanoscale grid of the plans, the viewer can read systems and interactions at a scale that is more relatable to everyday life; imagining some processor components as parking garages, others as apartments, and the green spaces in-between as parks. “The colors are all particular to the companies,” he explained, but are generally used to convey the visual depth and order of how the components would be stacked. “The lightest colors go deeper, the darker colors are higher up on the chip.” The diagrams might also reveal a sense of collective anxiety about how little we actually understand about computational processes. As smart devices occupy more of our time and attention, how important are the inner workings that these “black boxes” obscure? “We all use a computer every day, but you forget that this is the thing inside,” Mount said of the processor components. “People forget that in 1990 these were brand new.” Because desktop computers and microchip processors were less common twenty-five years ago, there tended to be a greater appreciation for the efforts and outcomes in the development of computer hardware.“Now, I think everybody comes in and recognizes them as microprocessors.” The computational complexity seems to be taken for granted, which means viewers are more interested in the formal qualities of the diagrams. Perhaps the shift from technological wizardry to mundane ubiquity is the neglected aspect of the information age that demands a more detailed mapping. As such, the diagrams on display might also reveal something about how we relate to designed objects more broadly. “I think everyday things aren’t appreciated,” said Mount of the objects that we often take for granted. “I’ve always been a real advocate for design.I like the fact that it’s available to everyone. I like the idea of a calculator that’s wonderful to look at and makes you happy, and can sit on your desk for twenty-five dollars.”
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Products> High-Tech Hardware for Architects

The right hardware can go a long way toward easing the design process. From analyzing infrastructure and documenting site conditions to monitoring construction and updating archives, there's a tool for every task. Laser Scanner Focus3D X Series FARO These ultra-portable scanners enable fast, straightforward, and accurate measurements of objects and buildings. They record architectural façades, complex structures, production and supply facilities, accident sites, and large-volume components. Models are equipped with GPS and offer the possibility to perform scanning even in bright sunlight. Remote scanning as well as almost limitless scan data sharing via SCENE Webshare Cloud make the laser scanning solution truly mobile. Instant Transmitting Paper to iPad Pen Hammacher Schlemmer This pen digitizes handwriting to instantly transmit notes written on paper to an iPad. Combining the ease of handwriting with the convenience of electronic backup, editing, and emailing without the tedious steps of retyping or scanning, the comfortable stylus writes like a familiar ballpoint pen, and it pairs with a small 3” receiver clipped at the top of any piece of paper. The Bluetooth device transmits handwritten notes or drawings to a tablet or smartphone. The pen is ideal for sharing sketches on social media, marking up work files by hand, or jotting a missive in a cramped airplane seat while your tablet stays packed away. The receiver stores up to 100 pages of content. Compatible with iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini, and iPhone 6, 5/5s/iTouch 5c, or 4/4s. GigapixelCam X10 EarthCam This camera is capable of auto-generating 360° panoramas up to 10 billion pixels in size. The user-controllable PTZ system can capture jobsite progress in super-high-definition for verifying compliance, disputing claims, and historic archival records. A specialized Nikon lens adds another element to this project management tool: With high-powered optics delivering a 17x optical zoom, users can examine specific areas on the jobsite in extreme detail, via 24 megapixel images. RollerMouse Red Contour Design The ingenious device, with its integral roller design, eliminates the need to grip or reach for a mouse, which can strain the neck, shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Centered on the keyboard in an optimal work zone, it corrects posture and prevents repetitive-stress injury. ScanSnap SV600 Contactless Scanner Fujitsu The ScanSnap SV600 Contactless scanner provides a new perspective on document scanning. It easily scans newspapers, magazines, documents, or books directly without cutting or damaging them, and compensates for curved pages with an image-flattening technology. There’s even a function that erases any errant appearances by a fingertip. It automatically detects when pages are turned, and allows users to set a timed interval for that operation. The scanner creates searchable PDFs and JPEGs. Sprout Hewlett-Packard Part of Hewlett-Packard’s "blended reality" initiative, this machine is more than a Windows-based desktop computer. It's also a dual-screen creative console with its own projector, a giant touch-enabled screen, and a 3D-capable scanner. Sprout aspires to bridge the gap from the real world to the virtual one, allowing users to interface with 3D products and hands-on creation. The product is the result of a partnership between HP, Microsoft, Intel, and 3M.