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Retro

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Halycon Days

Halycon Days

Along with Don Bluth, game designer Rick Dyer created 1980s classics like Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace. He would later design a radical (and expensive) game system called “Halcyon.” Polygon explores the tale of the failed console that foretold today’s voice-based AI systems.

The Legend of Zorba

The Legend of Zorba

Kevin Lieber of Vsauce2 got his hands on a vintage 1980s Telcon Zorba, an early “portable” CP/M-based PC, and demonstrates just how far we’ve come in the last 30 years, along with a little round of ZORK, still considered to be one of the greatest adventure games of all time.

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Kids React to Record Players

Kids React to Record Players

The Fine Brothers panel of youngsters goes hands-on with another technological dinosaur – a “portable” turntable. While they’re clearly fascinated with the mechanical music player, there’s no doubt they’re all going back to streaming digital tunes as soon as they’re done.

Disney’s Magic Highway U.S.A.

Disney’s Magic Highway U.S.A.

Back in 1958, Disney envisioned the future of America’s highways and automotive tech. While we still don’t have flying ambulances or self-building roads, backup cameras and traffic apps are everyday items, and autonomy is closer than ever. Watch the full movie here.

Retro Tech: SANYO Micro-Pack 35

Retro Tech: SANYO Micro-Pack 35

Techmoan takes a look at another fascinating bit of retro technology, an alternative approach to portable audio tapes that was being developed by Sanyo at the same time that Philips was working on the cassette tape. We love the heft of that old player.

Tiny Record Player

Tiny Record Player

For his latest archeotechnological dig, Techmoan rewinds back to 2004 to show off the Bandai 8-ban – a collectible from Japan which plays tiny 3″ vinyl records. Unfortunately, the one-sided recordings only could hold 4 minutes of lo-fi monophonic sound.

Retro Video Game Puzzle

Retro Video Game Puzzle

A nifty puzzle based on the neatly organized photography of artist Jim Golden, this 1000 piece set features a gallery of classic video game systems, accessories, and games, from the Atari 2600 to the Mattel IntelliVision. The perfect gift for the gamer on your list.

My Arcade: Data East Classics

My Arcade: Data East Classics

A handheld gaming system packed with hundreds of classic arcade games from the now defunct Data East, including Bad Dudes, Karate Champ, B-Wings, BurgerTime, Joe & Mac, and more. Available in landscape and GameBoy style designs.

Mechanical Speech Synthesis & More

Mechanical Speech Synthesis & More

The Royal Institution shares a 1985 lecture by professor David Pye as he shows off a vintage analog device which allowed a skilled player to synthesize sounds that approximated a human voice. He then showed off what was then state-of-the-art electronic speech synthesis.

Candle Factory c. 1963

Candle Factory c. 1963

We’re guessing not much has changed about the way candles are made since this film was made over 50 years ago, showcasing the assembly line at Price’s Patent Candle Co. and waxing philosophical (pun intended) about the ways in which candles play a part in our lives.

Wallcade Classic Arcade Machine

Wallcade Classic Arcade Machine

Etsy store BasementArcades makes the Wallcade Classic, a wall-mounted arcade machine. It protrudes only 16″ from the wall and weighs only 45 lb. It has a 2-player setup, a 22″ LCD display, customizable cabinet graphics, and a link to 3300 curated games you can install.

Mini Centipede Arcade Machine

Mini Centipede Arcade Machine

New Wave Toys’ RepliCade is an upcoming line of fully-functional sixth scale (i.e. 12″ tall) arcade machine scale models. The series is kicking off with Centipede. It has a wood cabinet, LED backlighting, laminated overlays and coin return buttons that work as controls.

The Dirty Mac: Yer Blues

The Dirty Mac: Yer Blues

A rare performance from a one-shot supergroup comprised of John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and Mitch Mitchell, as they rock out a rough-hewn track that’s as good as any garage blues we’ve ever heard. Bonus points for the silly chat between Lennon and Mick Jagger.

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JFCADE Arcade Briefcases

JFCADE Arcade Briefcases

Jason Fernandez takes retro hard-sided briefcases and kits them out with a Raspberry Pi-powered arcade emulator, an LCD screen, a removable arcade joystick, light-up buttons, and a lithium ion battery pack for portability. Now you can pack your Pac-Man anywhere!

Retro Tech: The Panapic

Retro Tech: The Panapic

Techmoan looks at another strange and wonderful bit of retro technology. This time, he unboxes a 40-year-old gadget from Japan that does something we’ve never seen before. We won’t spoil the surprise, and will let you discover it for yourself.

1945 “Dashcam” Footage

1945 “Dashcam” Footage

These days, millions of cars are equipped with dashcams to record incidents on the road. But check out this black and white film footage from a camera mounted first on the front, then on the rear of a car as it drives through Manhattan more than 70 years ago.

The Mad Doctor

The Mad Doctor

Go back to 1933 with this thoroughly creepy Walt Disney cartoon, starring Mickey Mouse as he attempts to rescue his dog Pluto from an evil doctor. Beyond its Halloween-appropriate plot, it’s a great reminder how good animation can be when every single frame is hand-drawn.

The C64 Mini

The C64 Mini

The classic 8-bit computer jumps on the mini bandwagon with a 50% scale version. It comes with dozens of games, a joystick, and has HDMI output with CRT and scanline emulation. The mini keyboard isn’t functional, but you can connect your own via USB. Drops early 2018.

Zette Portable Retro Gaming Console

Zette Portable Retro Gaming Console

The latest from gadget wizard Love Hulten. The Zette System looks like a toy boombox, but it’s actually a portable retro video game console. The tape deck splits into two controllers, and one of the speakers has a 480p projector. There’s also a variant that has an arcade stick.

Jaguar E-Type Zero

Jaguar E-Type Zero

It might be 50 years old, but this E-Type is anything but antique. This Series 1.5 roadster has been beautifully restomodded with a pure-electric drivetrain that cranks out nearly 300 hp, launching it from 0-to-62 mph in 5.5s – about a second quicker than its original V6 gas engine.

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Retrobrighting Yellowed Plastic

Retrobrighting Yellowed Plastic

Retrobright is a homebrew solution for restoring yellowed ABS plastic, which is usually what the cases of old computers and other gadgets were made of. The 8-Bit Guy tried out variants of the solution for science. TL;DW? Go with salon developer cream, water, and sunlight.

Mahna Mahna 1.0

Mahna Mahna 1.0

If there’s one tune that’s sure to get stuck in your head and rattle around all day, it’s the classic Mahna Mahna. This early appearance of the track on a 1969 episode of Sesame Street with crawl into your ear like that creature from Wrath of Khan, and won’t let go.

Is a 1999 PDA Still Useful?

Is a 1999 PDA Still Useful?

One of the cooler bits of mobile tech from the 1990s was the Psion personal digital assistant. The Psion 5 offered a 5.6″ monochrome display, and a physical keyboard. Oldtech81 dusted off one of these relics to see if it still could serve a useful purpose in 2017.

DIY Pocket Oscilloscope

DIY Pocket Oscilloscope

Keystone Science shows us how to build a nifty bit of old school tech – an analog oscilloscope, made using the tiny CRT viewfinder from an old camcorder. If you’d rather build something bigger, he’s got you covered too.

How to Dial a Phone c. 1949

How to Dial a Phone c. 1949

The next time your smartphone acts up, just sit back and watch this 1949 training film from the Bell System, which walks us through the numerous steps that telephone operators had to go through to connect two parties. Just remember to restore your dialing key, folks.

LEGO My Old Basement Kit

LEGO My Old Basement Kit

LEGO master Chris “PowerPig” McVeigh makes lots of awesome custom kits, but our favorite is this one, which includes a classic gaming console, a boxy old TV set, and lots of tiny accessories. If you prefer work to play, check out his sweet My Old Desktop kits.

CES 1987

CES 1987

An awesome tech time capsule from the 1987 Summer Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago. Art Vuolo of Videoholic Returns posted this 4 part video which shows us just how far we’ve come in 30 years. That remote control was insane. And that bar code VCR LOL.

The Home of the Future: 1999 A.D.

The Home of the Future: 1999 A.D.

A 1967 film from the now defunct Philco-Ford Corporation envisions a distant future in which people live in modular hexagonal homes with computers in every room, flat-screen TVs, and smarthome tech. While some of the predictions were solid, others just seem silly in hindsight.

The Origin of the ’80s Aesthetic

The Origin of the ’80s Aesthetic

If retromodern videos are to be believed, the 1980s were defined entirely by a neon glow and synthwave music. Vox takes a look back at the actual ’80s to figure out where some of the key styles that defined the decade came from.

Batman 1966 Metal Edition

Batman 1966 Metal Edition

POW! BIFF! THWAP! Guitarist 331Erock pays tribute to Adam West and the character he defined for generations with a rollicking hard rock take on the spy flick slash surf rock sounds of Neal Hefti’s 1966 classic Batman theme song.

What Can You Do with a $20 Laptop?

What Can You Do with a $20 Laptop?

We live in a world where technological obsolescence is an everyday expectation. But is there still value in the old electronics we’d otherwise discard? Modern Classic decided to find out by dusting off a 20-year-old IBM ThinkPad to see if it could still be of use today.

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