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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Everything old is new again » » Early computer-assisted effects (e.g. 1960-1995) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

jbum
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Burbank
16 Posts

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Hi, I'm writing a survey paper with a fairly exhaustive list of techniques used to covertly input information to a computer for purposes of magic, similar to the stuff on my website:

http://www.jbum.com/magicstuff.html

I'd be interested if any references to earlier examples of this stuff, such as might have been done on early personal computers, such as the Apple II.

I've heard that Alex Elmsley (a talented programmer) produced some computer-aided magic - if anyone knows about this, I'd like to hear more.

If you're familiar with any old magic software packages and can provide me with a few details, I'd appreciate it.

My email is jbum "at" krazydad.com.
Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24222 Posts

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One of the earliest pieces I know of was a program in Basic called "columns." This was the 21 card trick, performed on screen.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
broothal
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Europe
449 Posts

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Back in the late 70's I came across a program simply named "E.S.P". You were supposed to think of either "even" or "uneven", and the program would try to guess what you where thinking of.
At first, it was purely random, but after a while it started to recognize the pattern (if any). It was before I got into magic, so I don't really remember if there was any trickery behind it, or simply an implementation of statistical forecast algorithms.
runawayjag
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Inner circle
1085 Posts

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Elmsley had a great 3-1/2" floppy called "Alex Elsmley's Mouse Magic," and it had several effects on it. The best was the one that "divined" a spectator's sex and date of birth. That REALLY astounded people.

I still have one, but no longer have the instructions and can't remember the procedures for most of the trick. If anyone has the instruction booklet, I'd love to buy a copy.
Lee Darrow
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Chicago, IL USA
3589 Posts

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Back in 1980, I did a series of trade shows for Siemans, Ltd (Canada) doing a magical sales pitch for their data test box called the Ida-11. The color screen was programmed to allow me to reveal a picture of a selected card that a member of the audience had selected. As far as I know, that was one of the first graphic revelations on a color screen system.

Of course, the equipment cost $25,000 US at the time and was based on a PDP-11 computer!

Lee "I'm really feeling my age this morning" Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
CyberMage
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63 Posts

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Walt Noon put out a disk called appropriately, "The Disk". It was a bootable 3.5" floppy disk that would run in any IBM XT/AT compatible or higher computer. It featured a character called Mr. Sticky who would reveal your card in an entertaining and magical way. This came out about 1994.

I still have the disk.

Are you interested in magic on PDA's as well? If so there is one called the Psychic bunny that runs on the Palm computing platform. It's basically an electronic version of the Princess card trick for a Palm OS device.
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