This is an old Sony Tape Recorder completely out of order. He has so beautiful switches, potentiometer allowing interactivity. The first part of my job was to cut everything that I didn't need (a lot of useless wires). After what I soldered new wires connected to an Arduino board.
To grab the data on my Mac I use the serial over USB link. The final goal is to produce sounds and make music. So I have used Cycling '74 Max/MSP and Arduino2Max. As I'm not a great fan of the MSP sound engine, I prefer send Midi data (through MidiYoke - now obsolete) from Max to my favoutite Native Instrument Synth : Massive.
Finally, the result of the workshop was presented in public. Here is the video :
After what it seemed more interesting to avoid Max/MSP sending directly from the Arduino Midi data. I used that simple scematic available at ITP Physical Computing.
We also added a lot of new wires connected to other switches allowing more interactivity. It is now a real homemade midi controler.
I have used that version during the DorkbotBRU #2 at IMAL-Brussels in june 2008.
Here is a video of me performing and improvising with the Junk Machine.
It is a work in progress; I'm still working today on that machine. I try to use the sound coming from the playhead of the Sony Tape Recorder to play with. There will be more on that site soon.