Topic: Industrial design
The IBM Selectric typewriter was a highly successful line of electric typewriters introduced by IBM on 31 July 1961.
Instead of the "basket" of individual typebars that swung up to strike the ribbon and page in a typical typewriter of the period, the Selectric had an "element" (frequently called a "typeball", or less formally, a "golf ball") that rotated and pivoted to the correct position before striking. The element could be easily changed so as to use different fonts in the same document typed on the same typewriter, resurrecting a capability that had been pioneered by typewriters such as the Hammond and Blickensderfer in the late 19th century. The Selectric also replaced the traditional typewriter's horizontally moving carriage with a roller (platen) that turned to advance the paper but did not move horizontally, while the typeball and ribbon mechanism did.
The Selectric mechanism was notable for using internal mechanical binary coding and two mechanical digital-to-analog converters, called whiffletree linkages, to select the character to be typed.
Selectrics and their descendants eventually captured 75 percent of the United States market for electric typewriters used in business. IBM replaced the Selectric line with the IBM Wheelwriter in 1984 and transferred its typewriter business to the newly formed Lexmark in 1991. By its 25th anniversary, in 1986, a total of more than 13 million machines were made and sold.
- "IBM Selectric Typewriter" | 2013-03-20 | 34 Upvotes 34 Comments
The list of commercial failures in video games includes any video game software on any platform, and any video game console hardware, of all time. As a hit-driven business, the great majority of the video game industry's software releases have been commercial failures. In the early 21st century, industry commentators made these general estimates: 10% of published games generated 90% of revenue; that around 3% of PC games and 15% of console games have global sales of more than 100,000 units per year, with even this level insufficient to make high-budget games profitable; and that about 20% of games make any profit.
Some of these failure events have drastically changed the video game market since its origin in the late 1970s. For example, the failures of E.T. and Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 contributed to the video game crash of 1983. Some games, though commercial failures, are well received by certain groups of gamers and are considered cult games.
- "List of commercial failures in video games" | 2020-03-09 | 21 Upvotes 20 Comments
In industrial design, preferred numbers (also called preferred values or preferred series) are standard guidelines for choosing exact product dimensions within a given set of constraints. Product developers must choose numerous lengths, distances, diameters, volumes, and other characteristic quantities. While all of these choices are constrained by considerations of functionality, usability, compatibility, safety or cost, there usually remains considerable leeway in the exact choice for many dimensions.
Preferred numbers serve two purposes:
- Using them increases the probability of compatibility between objects designed at different times by different people. In other words, it is one tactic among many in standardization, whether within a company or within an industry, and it is usually desirable in industrial contexts (unless the goal is vendor lock-in or planned obsolescence)
- They are chosen such that when a product is manufactured in many different sizes, these will end up roughly equally spaced on a logarithmic scale. They therefore help to minimize the number of different sizes that need to be manufactured or kept in stock.
Preferred numbers represent preferences of simple numbers (such as 1, 2, and 5) multiplied by the powers of a convenient basis, usually 10.
A skeuomorph () is a derivative object that retains nonfunctional ornamental design cues (attributes) from structures that were inherent to the original. Examples include pottery embellished with imitation rivets reminiscent of similar pots made of metal and a software calendar that imitates the appearance of binding on a paper desk calendar.
- "Skeuomorph" | 2010-06-25 | 66 Upvotes 47 Comments
Biophilic design is a concept used within the building industry to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions. Used at both the building and city-scale, it is argued that this idea has health, environmental, and economic benefits for building occupants and urban environments, with few drawbacks. Although its name was coined in recent history, indicators of biophilic design have been seen in architecture from as far back as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
The Xerox 914 was the first successful commercial plain paper copier which in 1959 revolutionized the document-copying industry. The culmination of inventor Chester Carlson's work on the xerographic process, the 914 was fast and economical. The copier was introduced to the public on September 16, 1959, in a demonstration at the Sherry-Netherland Hotel in New York, shown on live television.
- "Xerox 914" | 2022-09-30 | 53 Upvotes 22 Comments
The Venetian Arsenal (Italian: Arsenale di Venezia) is a complex of former shipyards and armories clustered together in the city of Venice in northern Italy. Owned by the state, the Arsenal was responsible for the bulk of the Venetian republic's naval power from the late Middle Ages to the early modern period. It was "one of the earliest large-scale industrial enterprises in history".
- "Venetian Arsenal" | 2023-05-28 | 27 Upvotes 2 Comments