"I didn't go online for a long time because of my fears it'd mostly be a bunch of 15-year old technoid geeks and social outcasts. ☯87DEC" Visit the early days of the Internet with @WWWTEXt which posts online conversations from 1980-94
The hardest part of writing a show in the '80s isn't getting music clearance or convincing actors to get those haircuts -- it's finding the right tech (or at least, making it look right). [more inside]
Over a decade ago, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow laid the foundations for today's effects-driven blockbusters. Why haven't its creators made a film since?
Best known for creating the nostalgic mash-up REMEMBER series (previously), Youtube user Thepeterson teams up with Slackstory to create another video clip time machine: REMEMBER 1994
Youtube user Thepeterson puts together collections of the major radio hits, movies, video games, and technology of a given year. So why not take a time machine trip to the media landscape of : 1997, 1999, and 2002
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]
"Technology presumes there's just one right way to do things and there never is." - Robert M. Pirsig
The Museum of RetroTechnology is a curated online collection of (mostly) obsolete inventions. The exhibitions include Gearwheels From Hell, the Dynosphere monowheel, Unusual Pedal Bicycles, Propeller-Driven Sleighs, Water Engines, Dog and Goat Engines, Acoustic Location and Sound Mirrors, Optical Telegraphs, and Combat Cutlery.
“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 BBC broadcasted the science and technology showcase show Tomorrow's World (titles on piano) on 7 July 1965 on BBC1, it ran for 38 years until it was cancelled at the beginning of 2003. Unlike the boosterism of US science programs, Tomorrow's World was more famous for it's live stunts and wry outlook ( James Burke experiences the "convenient" office of the future and the future of home gardening and crushing ennui). The BBC has an archive of episodes and clips for UK visitors, everyone else will have to be content with clips concerning Home Computers, New Banking, Nellie The School Computer, The Elliot Light Pen, Mobile Phones, and Moog Synthesizers.
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]
"I have never had an accident where I have pressed a button and accidentally sent seven chapters into cyberspace, never to be seen again. And have you ever tried to hack into my typewriter? It is very secure," says author Frederick Forsyth. In the computer age, people still love typewriters. BBC News Magazine examines why, with some interesting comments after the article. Via.
The Spark Museum John Jenkins' collection of vintage wireless, radio, scientific and electrical equipment, including Crookes and Geissler tubes, Barlow wheels and other early electric motors, loudspeakers and many more oddball electrical devices. [via TeamDroid]
Simcity 4 and memories of misspent youth You don't need to be a geek to enjoy creating (and destroying) cities in the funky llama-loving world of Simcity. Simcity 4 has just been released, for good or bad. A lot of people seem to have "that game" that sticks with them. Maybe an old console or PC simulator such as Simcity still pops up in your mind once-in-awhile. Do you ever get hungry and say to yourself "Must build more farms."?