Monday, July 30, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Fan films seem to be a dime a dozen these days, given the proliferation of high-speed internet and low-cost video equipment – hell, you can shoot, edit and upload an entire film just using your phone these days. But back when the internet was still all grey backgrounds and lo-res graphics, bandwidth was thin and frail which resulted in suuuuuuper-slow data transfers and frequent dropped connections. The worst was when your ISP was so packed with users already that you couldn't even get connected when you wanted to, at which point I suppose you'd just go back to watching X-Files on your standard definition TV or reading about Heaven's Gate in the newspaper. Ahh the salad days. So, with a dearth (no pun intended) of internet bandwidth available to the general masses (salutes) and the limitations of a cost prohibitive and a relatively immature desktop video industry, fan films were being made, just not being seen by anyone outside of the director's local radius. The videos that did circulate on the then fledgling internet were generally clips from popular TV shows and movies, and were so small (in order to facilitate their transfer over standard telephone modems) that the term "thumbnail video" was quickly adopted to describe these 15 second, 128x128 pixel little movie files. But, and here's the payoff, in 1997 just as modem speeds were beginning to pick up, a Star Wars fan film shot in the Mojave Desert called TROOPS (a parody on the TV series 'COPS') made its debut on the web. There was no YouTube at the time and search engines were still rudimentary at best, so trying to actually watch the thing was kind of difficult. But against all odds, the little-fan-film-that-could would eventually become one of the earliest internet smash-hits, inspiring hordes of up-and-coming movie makers to pick up their VHS-C cameras and start shooting their friends wearing Stormtrooper helmets. You can view the entire thing in negative-HD down below.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
I was never much of a Halo player. I think the last first-person shooter I took seriously was Duke Nukem 3D back in '96. OK that's not entirely true, but for whatever reason, I just never got around to playing more than a few minutes of the game here and there before getting frustrated and limping back to my Atari to play Missile Command. Well thanks to former Microsoftee, Ed Fries, fans can now spend QT with their 2600 consoles and play Halo at the same time, sort of. Yes the man who was originally responsible for bringing the smash-hit and its developer, Bungie, to Microsoft way back in 2000, has figured out a way to shrink it, well a version of it, into 4K, the standard size for an Atari 2600 cartridge. It originally started out as simple retro-coding project that Ed was working on for fun before he eventually fleshed it out into a full-fledged, and pretty engaging, homebrew Atari 2600 game. There are a handful of physical copies floating around out there that were distributed by the AtariAge.com guys at the 2010 Classic Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, but your best best is to play Halo 2600 online HERE for free. Or if you want to download the ROM to use with your favorite 2600 emulator, you can do that HERE for free. Have fun and frag away!
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Retrogeeks rejoice, Thomas Dolby released his first studio album in 20 years. The soundtrack of 80's geek culture would be incomplete without the hits of Thomas Dolby, who brought his mad-scientist persona to the Mtv airwaves seemingly always surrounded by measurement equipment, "tubes and wires," and other arcane gadgetry. [See the Europa and Pirate Twins video for a prime example.]
Well he's back. Recording in a lifeboat, powered by renewable energy. Take this video tour of his personal studio where he talks vintage boat refurbishing, recording his new album with a Mac PowerPC G5, and why he prefers ProTools to Logic. Dolby fans: full-screen it, and be sure to watch all three parts.
It seems fitting that the man who sang Windpower in 1983, now powers his home studio with, well, windpower.
It's long been known that geeks, retro and otherwise, enjoy the novelty of "playing records" – not just listening to music, but the act of collecting vinyl records and gathering together to play them on vintage, and otherwise, music reproduction equipment. However those in the know will quickly point out that the 1/8-inch compact cassette at least equals the classic vinyl disc in terms of pure retro coolness (don't even get me started on 8-track). Finally someone has decided to revisit the long-abandoned idea of combining these two mediums into one package, and that someone has turned out to be the increasingly clever ION Audio, a consumer brand introduced by Numark Industries, who have already made waves in the music industry with their innovative DJ turntables and mixing gear. While it's certainly not the first of its kind, the ION Duo Deck is probably the first vinyl/cassette combo player to feature powered on-board USB, which not only allows the transfer of music to a PC or Mac (using the included cable and software) but also eliminates the need for a traditional wall-wart power adaptor, although one is included. Small enough to fit into your backpack, the unit can be powered by batteries as well and features both a built-in speaker and headphone jack making it a complete package in the category of portable retro music players. Here are the stats of this soon-to-be-released wonder:
• Compact, portable design fits easily into a bag or backpack
• Plays and converts vinyl records and cassette tapes
• Built-in speaker allows you to listen to your records or cassettes anywhere
• Convert records and tapes into MP3s using the included EZ Vinyl / Tape Converter software
• Headphone output for private listening or connection to external speakers
• Plays and converts 45 and 33-1/3 RPM records: 45 adapter included
• Plays and converts both normal and chrome cassette tapes
• Onboard light makes finding the groove quick and easy
• Retractable tone-arm clip for secure, compact travel
• Powered by batteries (not included), USB connection or wall adapter (included)
Click HERE to go directly to the product page.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Mario. The very name conjures up memories of me sitting cross-legged for hours in front of an aging Zenith chugging cans of Coke while my thumbs went numb from relentless button-mashing and my brain formed tiny little dents from the incessant repetition of the Mario theme song. Good times, good times. Well for those of you who also share a kinship with the NES and its unique franchise of video game characters like Link, Mega Man and, of course, Mario, there's now a way to get all of your Nintendo jollies in one place. "Where" you ask? Why right here on the internet, of course! Head on over to Exploding Rabbit and try your hand at Super Mario Bros. Crossover 2.0, a complete rewrite of the original Super Mario Bros. game, but with the very special option to play not just as Mario, but as one of your favorite classic NES-game characters like Samus from Metroid, Simon from Castlevania or even that dude from Ninja Gaiden. Whichever one you decide to play also features the powers of that particular character, so for instance, if you play as the Contra guy, you can use your rifle to blow away Goombas and pick up coins. What more can I say? Go check it out!
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Sunday, July 15, 2012
You can check out the first viral video from the upcoming blockbuster below. It's just enough to whet your appetite, though.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012
• 8-Digit Calculator
• Constants for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
• Water Resistant
• Dual Time
• Daily Alarm
• 1/100 second stopwatch
• Measuring modes: Elapsed time, split time, 1st-2nd place times
• Hourly Time Signal
• Auto Calendar (pre-programmed until the year 2079)
• Approx. battery life: 5 years
So for less than 25 bones you can have the computing-equivalent of a Timex Sinclair 1000 (there's a post for a later time) strapped to your wrist and let me tell you, if you were seen at the mall in 1983 wearing one of these badboys you felt like you were in friggin' Star Trek! Most gnarly!
To go to directly to Casio's product page click HERE. Then you'll be able to finish your Marty McFly costume just in time for Halloween!
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
• USB Port and SD/MMC Slot for MP3 Playback
• Bluetooth Connectivity to any Bluetooth Enabled Phone or Tablet
• AM/FM/RBDS (Radio Broadcast Data System)
• Real Time Clock with Full Alarm Functions
• 15 Watts x 2
• AUX IN
• Remote Control
One nice little touch is the authentic slathering of bright, angular 90s graphics on the product's casing which mean absolutely nothing but make it look very important and exciting. The list price is $349 but you can pick it up for much less over here and probably even cheaper if you use this.
Monday, July 9, 2012
|Copyright Enrico Ferorelli 2007|
Click HERE to go directly to the product page.