“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.
THE BEST Retro
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.
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.
Take a flashback to the early days of Star Wars with this comprehensive compilation of classic TV commercials for toys captured from 1977 to 1978. Eric Stran also assembled the spots for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi toys. Action figures each sold separately.
Toronto outfit GlitchArtwork crafts each of these pieces of arcade and console game art by hand, painstakingly cutting and assembling their layers together into a 3-dimensional work of pixel art. Each framed work includes a glass cover not shown in the images.
This reel of vintage ads produced for ComputerLand’s Bay Area stores is a perfect time capsule of early desktop computing tech, from “economy-sized computers” with giant floppy drives, to daisy-wheel printers, to Apple and Atari systems that could even run Visicalc!
Retro video game fans will love this clock which displays animated pixel art from the classic arcade game. Its 512 individual LEDs show the time along with pixel-perfect art of Pac-Man and his ghostly nemeses. Officially licensed by Bandai Namco. Measures 7.8″w x 4.2″h x 2″d.
Retro gaming company Hyperkin applies its design sensibilities to a computer keyboard. This mechanical USB keyboard features super clicky backlit Gaote Blue switches, and has a grey and blue color scheme reminiscent of the classic Super Nintendo console and controller.
One of the hottest gifts this year is the miniature remake of the NES, but we’re thinking of investing our cash in this versatile palm-sized console instead. It works with a variety of retro game emulators and USB controllers, has an HDMI output, and works as a 4K media player.
Back in 1981, two of comedy’s greats appeared on the same night on an episode of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Carlin worked the audience with a solid standup routine, then Pryor spoke about his troubled personal life, while still maintaining his sense of humor.
Time warp back to 1987 with this corny ABC Afterschool Special. Like all of these, the story has a simple moral: you can’t judge a book by its cover. Stars Doc from The Love Boat, Bug from Uncle Buck, the Governor from Benson, and Mrs. Willis from The Jeffersons.
An early performance from comedian Dave Chappelle on a 1993 episode of Star Search. The then 19-year-old got us going right from the start, and has provided millions of laughs ever since. Be sure to watch his second and third appearance, which remains shockingly relevant.
The 8-Bit Guy dusts off his Connectix QuickCam to show us how quickly time flies. The first commercially available webcam, this bad boy shoots in black and white at a resolution of 0.08 megapixels at up to 15fps, requires connection to two different ports and originally cost $100.
It looks like the creators of this throwback boombox just dusted off plans from an old ’80s model. But this one has one big difference. In addition to its AM/FM/shortwave radio and cassette player, it can convert your old mixtapes to MP3s via SD card or flash drive.
Rather than just another black box, 8bitdo’s Bluetooth speaker takes its inspiration from the classic Nintendo Entertainment System’s game controller, with a giant D-Pad for power, play and volume, and red speakers that look like A/B buttons. Measures about 3″ on each side.
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