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Player piano rolls made on a Mac... and an Apple II


I'm a big fan of the Canadian TV series How It's Made, shown in the USA on the Science Channel. There's something hypnotic and soothing about all those lathes, molds, conveyors and such, producing the things that we all take for granted.

One of the older episodes was on this weekend, featuring the manufacturing process for player piano rolls (yes, they still make player piano rolls). I was pleased to see the pianist recording his score on what appeared to be a PowerPC Mac running some vintage of Mac OS X -- and then quite stunned to see the next sequence, showing the roll punch codes being loaded onto an Apple II used to control the punching machine.

Goodness gracious, as my grandma used to say. It's nice to see such persistence and reliability from this bit of Jurassic technology in a control system. Read on for the video.

Video below.

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