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Retro

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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Driven: 1963 Maserati Sebring

Driven: 1963 Maserati Sebring

DriveWithDave spent an afternoon with the Maserati Sebring, a car that made Jeremy Clarkson’s all time top 100 list.  Luxurious, stylish, only 348 were built, and the Sebring has a direct connection with such historic names as Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio.

Making Matchbox Cars: c.1965

Making Matchbox Cars: c.1965

A fascinating bit of archive footage shot at the London factory for Matchbox cars, showing off how the cars went from concept to wood model, to production. We enjoyed watching the car bodies spin by on the assembly line, and the miniature traffic jam on the conveyor belt.

The VODER

The VODER

We’re so used to hearing computers sound like Siri and Alexa, but the earliest days of synthesized vocals dates back all the way to 1939, and Homer Dudley’s invention, which combined buzzes and hisses with varying intonations to produce humanoid voices.

Retro Tech: TEAC Open Cassette

Retro Tech: TEAC Open Cassette

Techmoan digs up all kinds of strange and wonderful “high-tech” stuff from the past. One of the crazier items has to be this cassette tape which defeated the entire purpose of a cassette, making you load in tiny reels of tape. Perhaps this was the precursor to the fidget spinner.

Making Globes

Making Globes

A campy old film from British Pathé that shows how globes used to be handmade using papier mache, plaster, paper cutting, and painting. While most of today’s globes are mass-produced from plastic, there are still a handful of globemakers who still make them this way.

John Frusciante: I Feel Love

John Frusciante: I Feel Love

We’re not sure if we’re more impressed by Flea’s ability to nail Giorgio Moroder’s synth bassline, or former RHCP guitarist John Frusciante’s falsetto in this 2006 cover of Donna Summer’s disco classic. Anthony Kiedis’ dance moves, on the other hand…

Pan Am Dining Experience

Pan Am Dining Experience

Return to the grand days of air travel with a meal aboard a replica Boeing 747 jumbo jet. $300+ for dinner isn’t cheap, but it’s less than a First Class ticket just about anywhere. This LA hotspot sells out months in advance, and they’re considering a Las Vegas location.

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Retro Tech: Atari Video Music

Retro Tech: Atari Video Music

Techmoan looks back at one of the odder bits of tech that video game maker Atari created. The Atari Video Music was an analog device that could produce a lightshow on your TV using your stereo system as its input. While it wasn’t a hit, the Atari 2600 was their next release.

Ronald Jenkees: Quest for the Jam

Ronald Jenkees: Quest for the Jam

Electronic music phenom Ronald Jenkees’ music video is a tour de force of colorful retro-style pixel art, created by animator Ben Luce of Soul Proprietor, who will use funds raised by fans of the video to support cancer research. From the new album Rhodes Deep. (Thanks Scott!)

Retro Tech: The Analog iPod

Retro Tech: The Analog iPod

Techmoan checks out an awesomely complex bit of 1970s tech. The Panasonic RS-296US used a mechanical carousel filled with 20 extra-long cassette tapes to allow for up to 2.5 days of continuous music. There was no way to select individual tracks, but you could choose tapes.

Atari Flashback Portable

Atari Flashback Portable

A handheld edition of the classic Atari 2600 game console with a 3.2″ color display. It comes pre-loaded with 60 games, and can also play game ROMs loaded onto an SD card too. Has a built-in rechargeable battery, and can connect to a TV with RCA composite inputs.

NYC in HD in 1993

NYC in HD in 1993

1993 was a good 5 years before HDTV was even a thing in the US, and about 10 years before it became commonplace, but JVC captured this footage of The Big Apple for an early high-definition VHS player demo tape. Seeing the Twin Towers still standing gave us chills.

Tubular Bells Live c. 1973

Tubular Bells Live c. 1973

Put on your headphones and crank them up to 11 for this incredible 1973 BBC broadcast, featuring musician Mike Oldfield and his bandmates as they perform all 25+ minutes of the esoteric prog rock creation Tubular Bells Part 1, best known for its use in the horror film The Exorcist.

RCA: Wireless Wizard

RCA: Wireless Wizard

“The greatest advance in television since color television itself!” A hilariously kitschy time capsule of technology over 50 years ago – as RCA shows off its fancy 7-function wireless television remote control which it released back in 1961. Oh, the days before a “mute” button.

Narita Boy

Narita Boy

This upcoming 2D fighter features amazing retro-style character and environment designs, and thrilling battle mechanics. You play as Narita Boy, a young man who is transported from the world of playing video games into the Digital Kingdom. (Thanks Timothy!)

Computer Predictions from 1979

Computer Predictions from 1979

David Hoffman released this footage from a 1979 documentary he worked on called The Information Society. In it, privacy expert Alan Westin provided a remarkable view of what future computing might be like. Among his predictions – online review services like Yelp.

Grammys Synthesizer Showdown

Grammys Synthesizer Showdown

An awesome bit of classic footage from the 1985 Grammy Awards ceremony in which Herbie Hancock, Thomas Dolby, Howard Jones and Stevie Wonder do battle on a stage packed with their favorite electronic keyboards. Oh, and on the same night, this happened. Damn.

’80s Logo Graphics

’80s Logo Graphics

Take another flashback to the 1980s with this compilation of neon-tinged “high-tech” logo graphics from the era. This vintage video comes from a 1981 showreel from Image West, and extensively used Scanimate, an early analog computer motion graphics system.

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