Thursday, November 6, 2014

The future is retro

♫ Make new friends, but keep the old, one is retro and the other's not ♫
One thing I've noticed about the my most fiendish Retrogeeker friends, they're some of the most cutting-edge mofos I know. If the idea of a retro computing nut makes you think of that dad–the one who spent countless evenings typing in basic programs from magazines on his C-64, to store on C-90 compact cassettes–but then stopped using computers altogether by 1986–think again; this ain't your grandfather's retro. Every true retrophile I know today is also a true technophile. (Which I guess makes them/us retro-techno-philes?)

Examples are all around me, incidentally with dudes who've been my friend for 20 - 30 years:

  • Mark, the guy who runs is already running iOS9 on an iPhone 7 (impossible, right?) but he also has a basement full of Performas and 8-bit Atari computers that he still puts to good use.

See 43 weird articles of
 promotional crap that
fetches mad ducketts on

  • My friend KevinO is the first person in the known universe to start geocaching, yet when asked about the upcoming release of the Apple Watch, said, "I got an Apple Watch btw. No big whoop."

  • I use my quad-core i7 Mavericks machine to automate the most menial tasks, recognize my voice commands over the telephone, and flip on and off light switches in Bangkok. Yet few would believe that I sent my first e-mail in the summer of '81, coded my first webpage in 1993, and was the first person to register back when domains could be registered at no cost. And yet, my latest purchase was a dusty old Pong machine - a chip-for-chip clone of Atari's 1972 coin-op hit released by Allied Leisure in March of 1973 called "Paddle Battle."

I've been reflecting on stuff like this a lot lately, and today stumbled upon this essay reflecting on our brief tech history and how it intersects with our humanity. Highly-recommended 23-minute read:

Friday, August 1, 2014

Can you pick Ally Sheedy out of a lineup?

Today's retro quiz - go back to 1975 and tell me - which of these three young ladies is the real Alley Sheedy, the one you later came to adore in 80's classics like Short Circuit, The Breakfast Club, and WarGames?

This is a difficult task so we'll give you the advantage of placing your answer 40 years in the future. No cheating!

Friday, July 25, 2014

HISHE: Tron Rap

An example of early computer animation.

If you're a dork like me, you'll love this. Although I still would have preferred a more old-school rap style for this particular video, like UTFO.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

eBay Watch: Mini Arcade Replicas

Not real, but an incredible simulation.
Some amazingly cool U.K. artist is selling super-awesome mini arcade machine replicas on eBay for pretty darned cheap. These hand-made little gems are non-functioning and are for display only, but feature some amazingly precise detailing and very faithful cabinet design. For around $60 U.S. you can pick three designs from over 100, including all of your favorites like Pac-Man, Tempest and Paperboy, and they'll arrive fully constructed, signed and numbered by the artist himself. And since the replicas stand around 6" tall, they're a perfect match for your nerdy action figures!


Friday, July 11, 2014

The Animated Adventures of Indiana Jones

"Soooo are you still up for doing Indiana Jones 5?"

Quick! What could be better than watching Steven Spielberg's classic adventure, Raiders of the Lost Ark, right now on your Multimedia PC for free? Well, not much, but this animated version from Squirrels Ink Productions is pretty awesome. Happy Friday and enjoy!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Division Bell 20th Anniversary

Some of the many variations of the Division Bell album cover.

It's hard to believe that it's been 20 years since the last Pink Floyd studio release, The Division Bell, which also ended up serving as their swan song. Since then the band have continued to pay for their wait-staff and limo drivers by repackaging and reselling their extensive back catalog as well as releasing the occasional live album every few years. In celebration of this David Gilmour solo album  classic Floyd album, the surviving members of the band have issued a special 20th anniversary boxed set full of all kinds of crap that only a collector will find of any value, plus a remaster of the original CD. Here's a recap of the entire contents from Rolling Stone:

The set boasts a two-LP, 180-gram vinyl edition of the album, remastered from the original analog tapes by Doug Sax and filled with all the original full-length tracks, which were initially shortened to fit on a single LP. The vinyl will also be available as a separate purchase from the box set.
The box set also includes a version of the album mixed in 5.1 surround sound on a Blu-Ray disc that also contains an HD stereo mix of the album and a brand new video for "Marooned." Directed by Aubrey Powell, the clip opens with digital footage of an ostensibly abandoned space station, before returning to Earth where the camera follows a man as he runs through ruins, which still bear markers of the Soviet Union. The clip was shot in Ukraine during the first week of April, and is streaming below.
The rest of the six disc set will include a CD of the 2011 Discovery version of The Division Bell, plus three replica colored vinyl: A red 7-inch single for "Take it Back" with a live rendition of "Astronomy Domine" on the B side; a clear 7-inch with edits of "High Hopes" and "Keep Talking"; and a blue 12-inch disc with the full versions of "High Hopes" and "Keep Talking," plus a live version of "One of These Days" (the flip side of that last disc also features a laser-etched design).
To top it off, the set will come with five collector' art prints designed by Hipgnosis/StormStudios, who also designed the 180-gram LP's gatefold sleeve.

In addition, Floyd has also released a brand-new video for the Division Bell instrumental, Marooned, which you can check out below.