Thursday, August 30, 2012
Little Alien Robot Erasers
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Turn Your Phone Into an Arcade
Remember when Noble Roman's didn't suck?
Hint: it was in the 80's.
Before the Indiana-based pizza chain attempted to go national, they were a reputable pizza-monger, known to locals for quality food and a groovy, dimly-lit atmosphere. All locations' windows were covered-over with wood slats to ensure darkness, facilitating movie projection on the walls. Even in the blistering hot midday sun, one could find cool air-conditioned darkness at a Noble Romans. It was too dark in there to see what you were eating. but it tasted good.
Non-hoosiers were introduced to a different face of NoBo's as they expanded into neighboring states–buying up failed Godfather's Pizza locations–and actively competing for the Guinness Book award for least edible, most-nauseating pizza in the known universe. Having eventually achieved that ignoble recognition, they moved on to a "take and bake" business model, and were never frequented again by anyone who likes pizza. Technically they remain in business to this day, but not in a form recognizable to early patrons.
Before they were terrible
A close friend who left Indiana in 1983 randomly asked me about Noble Romans recently. I had to break the news; they no longer existed. We reminisced for a bit about the restaurant's early features:
- The previously-mentioned dim lighting, ensured by blocked windows
- A glass window into the kitchen with steps and a small stoop for kids to watch flying hand-tossed dough
- Doughy, yeasty breadsticks
- Video game machines, sometimes jukeboxes
- Candles on the table during evening hours
- B&W silent films projected on the wall
An original location survived perhaps?
Apparently, I drive past a Noble Romans on my daily commute, its existence barely on the periphery of my consciousness. But after that phone call, something made me glance over as I drove past. I noticed: the windows were covered. The Italian state emblem was on the windows just like the one frequented in my childhood. Could this be a Noble Roman's throwback location? I began my research.
Reviews of this particular location on Goole Plus Local confirm:
- A "Dungeon-like interior motif." ✓
- "Best pizza and breadsticks you can buy." ✓
- Same owners for the past 29 years. - a good sign
Reviews at Yelp of the same location mention:
- "The breadsticks are soft, not greasy and covered with butter (a good thing.)" ✓
- "Deep dish pizza with tomato sauce dolloped all over the place" ✓
- The same reviewer says: "Nostalgia factor off the charts" ✓
- "A window into the kitchen were you can watch them make the pizza (there is even a step-up platform so kids can watch.)" ✓!!! We're there!
Gonna find out
Armed with coupons, I'm sending in a crack team of investigative eaters to get the story. Readers of Retrogeeker will get the scoop first. Stay tuned...
Update: A+. In the evening, (of this post,) I convinced the family to give it a try. It felt like nothing had changed since 1986. Each table had its own roll of paper towels. The restaurant layout was the same with the step stool for kids at the glass window into the kitchen, rotating oven, no other windows in the restaurant. No candles (might be a faulty memory) but stained glass Noble Romans lamps over every table. Some old Capcom machines from the early 90's.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Mad Ducketts: Converse Mario All Stars
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Ditto On That
Friday, August 24, 2012
Voice of Vampire Muppet Dies at 78
76...77...78! 78 years is how long Jerry Nelson, voice of Sesame Street's benign blood-sucker, the Count von Count, lived on this planet. He used to scare the crap out of me when I was a kid - the puppet, not the guy - that would be weird. From People magazine:
It's a sad day for numbers.Peace Jerry, you old hippie.
Jerry Nelson, the puppeteer known for playing the instructional Count von Count on Sesame Street, died Thursday of unspecified causes, according to CBC Radio-Canada. He was 78.
Besides the non-threatening vampire, Nelson, a Tulsa native who grew up in Washington, D.C., also performed Gobo Fraggle on Fraggle Rock and The Muppet Show's Sgt. Floyd Pepper of the Electric Mayhem band; "Pigs in Space" stalwart Dr. Julius Strangepork; Kermit the Frog's nephew Robin; and Gonzo's girlfriend Camilla the Chicken, among other roles, says the site.
He first trained with American puppeteer Bil Baird, who was responsible for the lively "Lonely Goatherd" marionette sequence in the 1965 movie blockbuster The Sound of Music, starring Julie Andrews.
That same year, Nelson worked with Muppet creator Jim Henson on TV's The Jimmy Dean Show, a variety program on which Kermit and the gang first became popular with American audiences.
Nelson's Sesame Street stint began in the '70s, and he continued to be the Count until his retirement in 2004.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Microsoft Mixes It Up...A Little
“Starting today, you’ll see the new Microsoft logo being used prominently. It will be used on Microsoft.com – the 10th most visited website in the world. It is in three of our Microsoft retail stores today (Boston, Seattle’s University Village and Bellevue, Wash.) and will shine brightly in all our stores over the next few months,” Mesiner wrote on the company’s blog.
The new logo is inspired by the company’s brand values, fonts and colors, he explained.
“The symbol is important in a world of digital motion … the symbol’s squares of color are intended to express the company’s diverse portfolio of products.”
The revision comes, Meisner said, ahead of “one of the most significant waves of product launches in Microsoft’s history.”
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
Pitfall Harry In Your Pocket
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Beam Me Up, Portland!
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE AND GALLERY ON CBS NEWS
Friday, August 17, 2012
Tristan Perich: 1-Bit Music
CLICK HERE to visit Tristan's 1-BIT MUSIC site
CLICK HERE to go to Tristan's main site
CLICK HERE to explore more 1-bit music
Atari joystick for your PC or Mac
Get back to where you once belonged.
You know it ain't right; trying to play Defender with one of those new-fangled things they call a "game pad." Scooping up humanoids requires only a stick and a button, and does not benefit from "dual shock" or 19 differently-shaped buttons spread out over every rounded surface. You only have 17 fingers so they just get in the way anyway.
Boost your coolness quotient with a life-like working model of the Classic Atari Joystick with USB »
Not authentic enough?
If you're one of the chosen few who still has a working Atari joystick, protected from the elements by a thin layer of sebum from your adolescent years, give it new life. First, fetch it from your parents basement, then plug it in with a Stelladapter interface, set the stick in the groove between your thumb and index finger and get your callus on »
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Learn to Spell While Phoning Home
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Space-Aged TV's From the World of Tomorrow
Luckily, greed reared its ugly head and the brains at Philips decided to let the Philco name make them some money by licensing it out to various third-party companies, the best result of which is the brand-spanking-new line of Predicta TVs from a little upstart called Telstar (named after the 1960s comm satellites). True to their retro-leanings, their website is styled a la 1958 and features a wide selection of retro TV styles from which to choose, including the Flash Gordon-inspired Meteor, the Latin-esque Corona and the colorful and way-mod Debutante, all made in the U.S.A. for that authentic retro experience. So take a trip down memory lane with Lucy and Desi by going HERE and plunking down some hard-earned plastic for a seriously fun piece of the past.
Monday, August 13, 2012
The birth of the video arcade
If you believed the first coin-op video game was Nolan Bushnell's Pong, like most people, you'd be wrong. The first arcade game as we know them today was Nolan Bushnell's Computer Space, which preceded its better-known, wood-paneled cousin by a full year. Computer Space was released by Nutting Associates in 1971 and represented an impossible feat of visionary genius. The machine had no microprocessor, no RAM, and by all accounts should not have been possible to bring to market for several years after the fact. (It was also a giant flop.)
If you're talking about the first successful coin-op video game: yeah, that was Pong. Easier to learn, cheaper to produce, and manufactured by Atari, it was released in 1972 and sold over 10,000 units. It sparked a craze that would put video arcades in every town in America. The game itself was just uh, Pong—a rip off of the Magnavox Odyssey Tennis game, but with the novel addition of sound.
Computer Space, both the game and the story of its unlikely birth, are far more interesting. Bushnell's drive to turn his arcade vision into reality is covered in-depth in this Technologizer article: Computer Space and the Dawn of the Arcade Video Game »
Update - Aug. 30, 2012
Credit where it is due
The in-depth Technologizer article linked above was published just 2 months after an in-depth RetroGamer feature on Computer Space hit the shelves, no doubt providing much of the research for the article. Check out RetroGamer issue #93 to support the original investigative journalism.
Or for additional info that won't cost you 5 euros, see ComputerSpaceFan.com for an obsessive array of pictures, minutia, and even a Computer Space sim for PC.
Update - Sept. 13, 2012
Quick video snippet
Into the Fox's Den
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Mad Ducketts: iPhone 1st Gen
Want an original 1st generation 2007 iPhone? Me neither, but someone sure does. If you go HERE you'll be taken to an eBay page where some lucky guy is selling one of these things new and sealed in its original packaging, and as of this post the bidding is up to $8,100! Luckily shipping is only $11 so that'll spare some pressure on the winner's wallet. $8,100! Can you believe it? I could pay off so many things with $8,100!!! You've got 2 days left to bid, GO GET IT!!!
Friday, August 10, 2012
Third Planet from Awesome
You can check out his site HERE.
Now turn to page 6.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Retro Tees = Evil Genius?
Monday, August 6, 2012
This Ain't No Fooling Around: USB Disco Ball
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Attack of the Princess Bride Jedi!
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Pac 'yer buckaroos, retrogeek style
Next time you travel back to the future—or just to an 80's theme party—complete your bitchin' retro fashion ensemble with the ultimate retro billfold.
We'll assume you're already decked out in the aforementioned 8-bit sunglasses and Casio calculator watch, and are clad in a denim jacket with your favorite band painted on the back. Maybe some kind of vaguely mullety hairdo... I digress.
When it's time to pay for your drink—we'll assume you ordered cherry 7up cuz that shit is outrageous—whip out your hardshell cash protector. The ladies swoon: