Please don’t step on the keyboard

keyboardIn November, good friends of ours gave us a Brambach baby-grand piano. They were moving and no longer wanted it, and we had first refusal. We didn’t really have a place for it, to be honest, but it’s a very pretty instrument and I’ve been wanting to improve my piano abilities for years now. It sounds nice enough and the action is light. Brambach pianos were originally of average quality, but when in the 1930s they were purchased by another company the workmanship quickly deteriorated. This instrument dates from the mid-1920s.

My friend Noel advised me to remove the keyboard and vacuum it well. There are seven hidden screws, after which the keyboard pulls right out. It’s odd to have the entire mechanism sitting on the floor, but it’s a great way to learn how it works. Each key is a marvellously complex set of levers and knobs — my Brambach mechanism has a gizmo called a “Thayer’s knuckle.” Evidently Steinway uses a much better kind of knuckle, but you’d expect that for the money.

The state of the art, 25 years ago

trs1For the low, low price of just $4999, you could have all of this raw power at your fingertips:

  • 256K of memory
  • one 8″ floppy disk drive
  • unique dual-processor design

For just a skosh more money you could have two 8″ floppy drives, or splurge for a 15M hard disk. What on earth would you do with 15 whole megabytes of disk space?

And you thought there was only one…

solar-system-of-the-month1NASA  has probes on their way to Mercury, Pluto, and the asteroids Vesta and Ceres. But Great Caesar’s Ghost, why stop there? Now you can belong to the Solar System of the Month Club! Visit Gamma Hydra 4 during spring break, or Omicron Ceti 3 when Grandma and Gramdpa come to visit. You’ll find bargains in all the bazaars and markets because the dollar is very strong against the quatloo this winter. Book your flights now!