Awesome Tech

Retro Sounds of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s

Retro Sounds of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s

rerunthe80s takes us back in the time machine to remind us of sounds most of us haven’t heard in decades. From analog televisions to VCRs to video game systems, see how many of them you can guess with your eyes closed. We scored 15 out of 19.

Hairy Pouter

Hairy Pouter

After 98-year-old Lillian read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, filmmaker and creative director Chris Carboni interviewed her to ask some questions about the book. He then used interpretive AI technology to create images to accompany Lillian’s amusing and endearing descriptions of the story and its characters.

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Earthquake Maker Truck

Earthquake Maker Truck

Engineers need to simulate earthquakes to make buildings and other structures safer. Tom Scott headed to the University of Texas to check out the T-Rex, a mobile test rig that can produce massive vibrations in the ground. Combined with sensors, it can measure the stiffness of soil thousands of feet beneath the surface without digging.

DJI Avata FPV Drone

DJI Avata FPV Drone

DJI latest drone is designed for first-person view flights. It captures 4K/60 fps video with a super-wide angle lens and works with DJI’s FPV Goggles 2 and a motion controller for pilot immersion and easy flying. A built-in propeller guard lets you safely fly in tight locations, and the drone self-corrects if it bumps into something.

How a VCR Works

How a VCR Works

VCRs might be obsolete technology, but they still featured some pretty smart engineering. That’s why illustrator and educator Jared Owen put together this in-depth look at the mechanisms that lie behind the VHS cassette flap. It’s cool to see how VCRs loaded and unloaded tapes without tangling them… most of the time.

MelGeek Pixel LEGO-Compatible Keyboard

MelGeek Pixel LEGO-Compatible Keyboard
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This unique keyboard has LEGO-compatible studs all over it so that you can attach building blocks and Minifigures. Even its mechanical keys are studded, so you can mix and match its 8-bit style keycaps or LEGO parts. It’s got RGB backlighting and both wired and wireless modes. Early bird pre-orders can save 26% off the MSRP.

The Shrimp Mini Gaming Keyboard

The Shrimp Mini Gaming Keyboard

The Shrimp is a minimal gaming keyboard from Nordic Game Supply. It includes only the 25 keys most used in FPS gaming, using Gateron G Pro mechanical switches. It has assignable multimedia dials at the top, RGB backlighting, and a detachable magnetic wrist rest.

A Machine That Throws Knives

A Machine That Throws Knives

The idea of a machine optimized for throwing blades as quickly and accurately as possible seems like a terrible idea. But this is the internet, so someone had to go and make one. Quint BUILDs shows off this dangerous contraption, which can launch and fire up to 10 knives with precision and from different distances.

Laser Pops Balloons

Laser Pops Balloons

When it comes to showing the power of small lasers, popping black balloons is one of the most effective demonstrations. With the right kind of reflector system, laser beams can be guided to hit precise targets, so they can pop numerous balloons in sequence like in this satisfying short video using a Wicked Lasers LaserCube.

Realistic Engine Simulator

Realistic Engine Simulator

Cars in racing games don’t have the most realistic-sounding engine sounds. AngeTheGreat’s Engine Simulator not only can replicate the mechanisms and physics of a car engine, but it also produces realistic procedurally-generated sounds. You can grab the source code for Windows on GitHub.

Around the World on Tesla Coils

Around the World on Tesla Coils

During their 28 years together, Daft Punk used lots of synthesizers and electronic equipment to make their music. But as far as we recall, tesla coils were not in their arsenal. Thankfully, we have Franzoli Electronics, who used his high-voltage noise-makers to play an awesome cover version of Around the World.

Hiding a PS5 in a PlayStation 1

Hiding a PS5 in a PlayStation 1

The PlayStation 5 is a powerful piece of gaming hardware, but its design is definitely controversial, and it doesn’t exactly blend into its surroundings. So builders Chris Salomone and Shaun Boyd got to work to conceal the console inside of a wooden shell that looks like a gigantic version of the original PlayStation.

Mr. Blue Sky Illustrated by AI

Mr. Blue Sky Illustrated by AI

As we’ve seen in recent videos, AI technology is getting very good at creating art. SolarProphet has been using the AI tech Midjourney to create images based on song lyrics and posted this great sequence of digital art based on the ELO classic Mr. Blue Sky. Not every image lines up perfectly, but it’s still really well done.

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Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept

Dodge previews its electric future, and they’re not backing down from making muscle cars. The 2-door Charger Daytona SRT has an 800-volt Banshee propulsion system, all-wheel drive, a multi-speed transmission, and a growly, emissions-free exhaust note made by pushing air through chamber and amplifying it.

OXS Thunder 7.1.2 Gaming Sound System

OXS Thunder 7.1.2 Gaming Sound System

Upgrade your gaming audio with this desktop sound system from OXS. The Thunder immerses you in sound thanks to 10 audio channels, upward-firing drivers, and a satellite neck surround speaker. It supports Dolby Atmos and has built-in LED lighting that can react to on-screen action. ScorpioTech checked out early review unit.

What Meetings Sound Like to Interns

What Meetings Sound Like to Interns

If you’ve ever had to sit through a corporate conference call, you can probably relate to Nicholas T.’s comedy sketch. It roasts the kind of bureaucratic double-speak, buzzword bingo, and nonsensical tech talk that often fills the air. Seriously, why can’t most meetings be an e-mail? (Thanks, Rob!)

Giving Snakes Their Legs Back

Giving Snakes Their Legs Back

Millions of years ago, evolutionary changes caused snakes to lose their legs. Engineer and snake lover Allen Pan thought thinks that these reptiles should have kept their limbs, so he put on his thinking cap and developed a robotic exosuit that a snake can slide into and walk around in. But will the snake accept its new abilities?

Ghosts: An AI-Generated Experimental Short Film

Ghosts: An AI-Generated Experimental Short Film

Art meets science in Vadim Epstein’s trippy digital compositions. Ghosts is an experimental short film that explores complexity emergence from AI feedback loops. It makes use of the StarGAN2 neural network to morph between machine-generated images. Sound by Alexander Kopeikin and Fractal Heads.

Cobalt Q6 Slope Rangefinder

Cobalt Q6 Slope Rangefinder

If you’re even a halfway decent golfer, a rangefinder is an essential tool to boost performance. The Cobalt Q6 Slope Rangefinder calculates distance and slope like a tech-whiz caddy. It has premium optics, an integrated display, an adjustable diopter, and a waterproof aluminum housing to prevent water hazard disasters.

Capsule Gravity Timer Gadget

Capsule Gravity Timer Gadget

At first glance, the Capsule Gravity just looks like a travel alarm clock. But it’s more than that. This portable gadget combines a clock, calendar, kitchen timer, workout timer, stopwatch, and an emergency 5000 mAh power bank. Its dot-matrix LED screen has a cool retro look and is set into a colorful polycarbonate body.

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Syng Cell Alpha Speaker

Syng Cell Alpha Speaker
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The Syng Cell Alpha is a high-end wireless speaker with upward- and downward-firing woofers and a three-element beamforming driver array to produce spatial sound. Built-in microphones calibrate the speaker to your room, and multiple Cell Alphas can be networked for surround sound. It comes in table- and floor-standing versions.

Retro Tech: Show ‘N Tell

Retro Tech: Show ‘N Tell

Techmoan looks back at a popular toy sold from the 1960s to the 1980s. Made by General Electric, and later by Gabriel Toys, the Show ‘N Tell combined a record player with a filmstrip projector. As kids played the “PictureSound” records, the film strip moved through the light path, casting images onto a rear-projection screen.

Ultimate Headphone Station

Ultimate Headphone Station
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Audio enthusiasts, Beveled Edge Studios handcrafts this elegant solid wood stand for headphones and personal listening gear. It can hold two pairs of over-the-ear headphones and has six small shelves for DACs, amps, and other small devices. They can also customize the unit to fit your audio equipment’s exact dimensions.

PC Audio Volume Slider Controller

PC Audio Volume Slider Controller
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This made-to-order controller from Return to Paradise adds five linear slider controls to your Windows or Linux PC (sorry, no Mac support). It can be used to map volume controls and faders in DJ and gaming software via a USB connection. It works right out of the box with the open-source app deej.

The Canvas of Babel

The Canvas of Babel

Inspired by the story The Library of Babel, the Babel Image Archives has randomly generated every combination of 4096-color dots that can fit into a 640 x 416-pixel canvas. In theory, that should mean the archive should contain an image of everything that ever has, will, or might exist. Solar Sands explains why it doesn’t.

InnoView Portable 4K Touchscreen Monitor

InnoView Portable 4K Touchscreen Monitor
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Measuring just 0.22″ thick and weighing just 2 pounds, this portable 14″ widescreen monitor adds an external 4K display to your PC, Mac, or mobile device. It offers 100% sRGB color coverage, a 178º viewing angle, and HDR support. It also offers multi-finger touch inputs and works in both landscape and portrait modes.

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