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The UCC Mirrorball

World's First Internet-Connected Mirrorball


It all started like this:

Subject: mirrorball...
To: ucc@ucc.gu.uwa.edu.au
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 14:22:48 +0800 (WST)


Just got a great price for a 60cm mirrorball it's just $119.00* and I think we should buy it.

If we connect the motor - which we have to make - to one of the computers and then connect that to the website and have a "dispense party" and all of the people with a password or login can start the ball rollin, the lights a'flashin' and the CD player that we are going to get playing :-)

We REALLY NEED this...


..and the rest, as they say, is history. We went and bought it from Kosmic. It languished in the club room for about a month whilst we worked out how to hang it up and spin it.

Correction: the cost was $190.

The Day the Music Died

Sometime in January 2001 the mirrorball was stolen from the clubroom roof, no less. It has not been seen since.


How does it work:

Basically, the mirrorball is attached via a clip to the roller of the dot matrix printer, you print a line or a form feed and the mirrorball turns. The more you print, the faster the mirrorball turns.

mussel% echo -e "\f\f\f\f" | lpr -Pmirrorball

and for the more daring of you.


while true; do;
LOADAVG=`cat /proc/loadavg | sed -e 's/ .*//' `;
CRCOUNT=0`echo $LOADAVG 0.5 + p | dc | sed -e 's/\..*//'`;
[ 0 = $CRCOUNT ] || yes '' | head -$
CRCOUNT | lpr -Pmirrorball; sleep 1; done

A zsh one liner to vary the speed of the mirrorball in response to the load on the machine. At last a way to tell when your kernel compile finishes.

People involved: