Mashable: In 1977, Radio Shack's 3,000 stores started selling the TRS-80 (Tandy/Radio Shack, Z-80 microprocessor). Largely forgotten by the general public, the TRS-80 was, with Apple and Commodore's products, one of the pioneering personal computers of the late 1970s, and a key machine in the personal computer revolution. Byte magazine described the "1977 Trinity" of computers: Apple, Commodore and Tandy. [Images by Mefi's own Jscott]
The Commodore 65 (aka C64DX or C64DX Development System) was never officially released. Prototypes escaped development hell when Commodore was liquidated in 1994, and 200 have survived to this day. The complete manual can be read here (all 660K of it). One just sold on eBay for €20,500.
Mesmerizing: Aston Martin DB9, Space Shuttle, harmonic, Tutankhamun, locomotive, Marilyn(-esque). Slow: Art Plotter, Teapot, big! burny! mighty! Home-made: Rostock, DVD drive, with lasers!, old scanner, Lego, mug, whiteboard. Art Projects: Hektor, Pedro & Sybil, sand plotter, Paul, XY, PolarGraph.
Television Without Pity re-capper Jacob Clifton has written a short steampunk story for Tor.com. “There’s a level on which the story is an indictment of using steampunk as a fashion or trend. It came about because I wanted to see what would happen if you substituted Jane Austen for Jules Verne in the steampunk equation...” The Commonplace Book
In the early 80’s, personal computers were a new innovation. Films like WarGames made it seem as if a kid with a keyboard could hack into anything: a school or corporate mainframe, NORAD, the US nuclear arsenal or your neighborhood bank. Hoping to capitalize on this, in 1983 CBS premiered a show which could have been considered WarGames’ intellectual successor. It featured a group of resourceful kids who solved crimes by hacking and cracking, led by Matthew Laborteaux, child star of Little House on the Prairie, and advised by a Gavilan SC-toting, mustachioed reporter played by Max Gail, formerly of the show Barney Miller. Whiz Kids lasted only a single season: 18 episodes, but all of them live on in cyberspace, on YouTube. Complete episode links contained within. [more inside]
“We try and illustrate a “universe-next-door” where the new product is the only novelty. Where there is still tea, and the traffic is still miserable.”
Future Drama is a tumblr devoted to that particular kind of futurism - corporate prediction demos of how their products will change the world - See The Mother Of All Demos from 1968 introducing the mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing - Apple in 1987 - Philco-Ford The Future Now!
The Osborne 1 was the first commercially successful portable microcomputer, released in April 1981 by Osborne Computer Corporation. It weighed 23.5 pounds, cost $1,795, and ran the then-popular CP/M 2.2 operating system. The computer shipped with a large bundle of software that was almost equivalent in value to the machine itself. [more inside]
TVOntario's Bits and Bytes: the world of personal computers explained in 1983 by Billy Van and Luba Goy. [more inside]
Newspapers rush to deliver news online. A look at the future from 1981.
Typing...on a screen! Text (and cover image) of a 1973 issue of Radio-Electronics mag, showing a new fangled way of typing with a TV screen. I like how the mag is billed as "for MEN with ideas in electronics." Heh...
Adventure games! They seem to be "old school" in this world of Quake shooters and real time strategy but does anyone remember the halcyon days of King's Quest, Maniac Mansion, and even ... Leisure Suit Larry?