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Like any other phone but without the wall attached
June 18, 2010 3:28 PM   Subscribe

What if our beloved modern devices had been invented in the past? Say around 1977? Introducing the Pocket Hi-Fi, The Laptron 64, MobileVoxx, and the Microcode 3000!
posted by The Whelk (63 comments total) 92 users marked this as a favorite

 
These are clever and wonderfully done. Thanks for sharing.
posted by barnacles at 3:30 PM on June 18, 2010


and every bit as cool as this real product
posted by toodleydoodley at 3:34 PM on June 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


Needs more orange!
posted by chavenet at 3:34 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


The phone is absolute genius. It looks like a tenth grade shop project.
posted by maudlin at 3:37 PM on June 18, 2010


I donno about the phone or the gameboy, but the mp3 player and the laptop were pretty dope
posted by rebent at 3:40 PM on June 18, 2010


Orange tinted retro, how I love you.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 3:41 PM on June 18, 2010


The ad copy is the best part.
posted by mrnutty at 3:58 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I cannot think of any better post to see at 4pm on a Friday.

Great stuff.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:06 PM on June 18, 2010


This is awesome.

It reminds me, for some reason, of watching the 1970s scenes in Confessions of the Dangerous Mind and seeing a curtain rod and lace curtains on an airplane window.
posted by griphus at 4:07 PM on June 18, 2010


Try early 1900's (self link).
posted by lalochezia at 4:12 PM on June 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I love stuff like this for any era.
posted by amethysts at 4:17 PM on June 18, 2010


Now I'm not only missing out on the moon-hotel jet-pack future I was expecting in the 70s, but also on the faux retro awesomeness of the 70s that never existed.

The double-screw, as it were.
posted by jquinby at 4:23 PM on June 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


Man, what is it with the 70s and orange?
posted by brundlefly at 4:27 PM on June 18, 2010


someone make these real, now
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:33 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, man. I used to blow my entire weekly allowance each Friday in about an hour playing Place Invaders. Those times were so boss.

Asterisks can still suck it.
posted by speedo at 4:40 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man, what is it with the 70s and orange?

Color has evolved all over the world, changing by the decades. The world didn't turn color until sometime in the 1930s, and it was pretty grainy color for a while, too. * Color paintings were due to the insanity of artists, which was considered a general job hazard or pre-requirement with the arts at those times (and still is, amongst . But you'll notice that classic lifelike sculptures are monochromatic, not painted in such hues we see in the world today. The 1970s were a very warm and vibrant era, and the haziness of the world continued on into the 1980s. Things got sharper in the 1990s, and today the world is crisp and vibrant. Just another reason it's great to be alive in this day and age.

* cite
posted by filthy light thief at 4:42 PM on June 18, 2010 [18 favorites]


brundlefly: "Man, what is it with the 70s and orange?"

I don't know either, but we did indeed have burnt-orange shag carpet in the house.

Oh, the humanity!
posted by bwg at 4:44 PM on June 18, 2010


Continuing the derailment of colour and history - I have always thought ships painted in dazzle camouflage moored together in the ports of the North Atlantic during world war I would have been amazing.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 4:51 PM on June 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


I wish my life were in this colour scheme.
posted by Jimbob at 4:56 PM on June 18, 2010


Wow, this is really well done. Feels seamless and pitch-perfect. Thanks, Whelk!
posted by clockzero at 4:58 PM on June 18, 2010


The office at my new job looks just like this with lots of brown and purple too. The curtains are dark brown with shiny dark brown circles. I keep hoping Gene Hunt will turn up and brutally arrest the designer. Nice link, thanks!
posted by shinybaum at 4:58 PM on June 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I love this. Agree with mrnutty, the ad copy puts it over the top.
posted by BoatMeme at 5:03 PM on June 18, 2010


I was undecided about this until I saw the faux-Atari cartridges labelled "Pratfall" and "Asterisks", and that's when I went all in.
posted by mhoye at 5:24 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


My room is still orange. Happiest color ever.
posted by datawrangler at 5:26 PM on June 18, 2010


More to the point, what is it with today and the lack of orange?
posted by scrowdid at 5:27 PM on June 18, 2010 [7 favorites]


The artist is Alex Varanese. His website (with more orange than you can shake an orange stick at).
posted by Auden at 5:28 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Orange is the best colour.
posted by maudlin at 5:31 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was disappointed that none of these had a Landau roof.
posted by tommasz at 5:34 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


That phone has an Intellivision controller sort of vibe to it.
posted by FishBike at 5:36 PM on June 18, 2010


What? Nobody remembers the World Wide Web in Zeldman Orange?

Q: Tell us what the future (net) looks like.
Z: Orange, with a two pixel black border.


That was only a few years (webcenturies) ago. But lens flare; that will never go away (not if J.J.Abrams has anything to say about it, and I fear he will)
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:36 PM on June 18, 2010


But lens flare; that will never go away (not if J.J.Abrams has anything to say about it, and I fear he will)

When I was a kid in the '80s and I'd watch old movies on Saturday afternoons, the presence of lens flare (I didn't know its name, but knew its...flare) was how I identified a movie worth watching. So much has...well, pretty much nothing has changed, at least not for me, I guess.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:40 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


One cannot blame the '70s on Orange without bringing up his buddies Shit Brown and Ol' Yeller. If anything made a statement in the northeast about where we were headed during those troubled times, it was the Caldor Rainbow.
posted by jsavimbi at 5:42 PM on June 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


my only wish is that these were large enough to serve as my wallpapers. for eternity.
posted by FuzzyLumpkins at 5:44 PM on June 18, 2010


So effin' brilliant, it hurts.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:46 PM on June 18, 2010


I don't remember orange being all that popular back then; but, well... "Evidence of the ol' glassies!"
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 5:53 PM on June 18, 2010


I don't know either, but we did indeed have burnt-orange shag carpet in the house.

I grew up in a bedroom with 3 walnut panelled walls and one wall painted orange. The shag carpet was sorta-mostly-kinda white, but had threads of pretty much ever color in it...
posted by mikelieman at 5:55 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Steamfunk?
posted by benzenedream at 5:59 PM on June 18, 2010 [29 favorites]


When dissing 1970's colors, don't forget Avocado Green!
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:10 PM on June 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is all kinds of awesome.
posted by randomkeystrike at 6:25 PM on June 18, 2010


The "what if singularity helmets existed in 2010?" goof of 2045 will have the helmets fashioned out of brushed steel with faux-basswood and turquoise accents.
posted by bendybendy at 6:26 PM on June 18, 2010 [7 favorites]


DiscoPunk?
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:36 PM on June 18, 2010


If I've seen another post that brought to mind the words "fucking genius", I don't remember it.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:38 PM on June 18, 2010


Steamfunk?

You win.
posted by JHarris at 6:43 PM on June 18, 2010


The "what if singularity helmets existed in 2010?" goof of 2045 will have the helmets fashioned out of brushed steel with faux-basswood and turquoise accents.

The parody at that point might hinge on the gratuitous externalization of that technology.
posted by clockzero at 6:53 PM on June 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Does anyone remember a commercial from the eighties, where this guy's favorite color is orange, but he's color blind and all his stuff that he thinks is orange is all different colors? Orange always reminds me of that guy.

I wanted more of those game cartridges too. Where were Depender and Missile Commode?
posted by orme at 7:03 PM on June 18, 2010


I would by a faux-wood-paneled iPhone
posted by Hairy Lobster at 7:15 PM on June 18, 2010


"buy" not "by"

ugh
posted by Hairy Lobster at 7:16 PM on June 18, 2010


Sweet-sweet seventies, how I adore thee.
posted by New England Cultist at 7:34 PM on June 18, 2010


Wonderful.
posted by ob at 7:42 PM on June 18, 2010


The design work alone is awesome enough, but the spot-on ad copy makes it even awesomer.

I wish my life were in this colour scheme.
Indeed...maybe it's because I'm a 70's child but I have always had a soft spot for those colors.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 7:51 PM on June 18, 2010


Missile Commode? I think I play that every morning.

Fast forward a decade: Commodor 64 Laptop. Made from a C64. For real.
posted by porpoise at 7:52 PM on June 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


Fast forward a decade: Commodor 64 Laptop. Made from a C64. For real.

That is absolutely amazing.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:25 PM on June 18, 2010


Man, what is it with the 70s and orange?

You noticed that too, huh?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:28 PM on June 18, 2010


That is absolutely amazing.

That? He makes portable systems out of almost everything.
posted by zabuni at 8:54 PM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pung
posted by davejay at 10:21 PM on June 18, 2010


The world didn't turn color until sometime in the 1930s

Amazingly enough -- and this is one of history's most impressive happenstances -- the very moment the world turned into color happened to be captured right in the middle of filming a movie!
posted by chimaera at 12:11 AM on June 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


It must be said that faux-wood on electric appliances, like vinyl tops on cars, was a uniquely American design element. Even at the time, they were considered pretty naff in Europe.
On the other hand, Hangover Orange, Bile Green and Vomit Yellow were pretty much universal.
posted by Skeptic at 1:05 AM on June 19, 2010


Sony PS-F5 Portable Linear Tracking Turntable
posted by permafrost at 2:23 AM on June 19, 2010


This is definitely an alternative 1977, because back in the real 1977, the only orange in consumer electronics I remember was the amber screen monitor. He got the wood-grain right, though. My stereo was silver and wood-grain, my car cassette player was black. If you look at computers from the era, the Commodore PET was white with black trim, and the MITS Altair was blue, black and gray. Also, Commodore sold a portable C-64 called the SX-64. It was more of a luggable like the original Compaq, though. I have one.
posted by rfs at 4:34 AM on June 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love the idea of futuristic objects being around but of going un-noticed because they were advertised using the same techniques that everybody else was using at the time.

But no futuristic imagining of the laptop could go by without a mention of Alan Kay's Dynabook demo from 1968 - he shows it off here. The iPad is starting to get there.
posted by rongorongo at 4:44 AM on June 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Orange is the new black, and you'll never guess what color the case on my iphone is . . .
posted by emhutchinson at 9:23 AM on June 19, 2010


I don't know either, but we did indeed have burnt-orange shag carpet in the house.

But did you have it on the walls? When we were house-hunting we looked at a place with orange shag carpet on the walls of one room. Should have bought it, clearly.
posted by not that girl at 10:33 AM on June 19, 2010


The woodgrain looks good in the ads but on the actual products (in the actual 70's I lived through) it would be a shitty decal that would start to peel off a week after you bought it. He also nailed the look of that brittle black plastic.
posted by gamera at 3:49 PM on June 19, 2010


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