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Thread: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

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    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Post some awesome but little-known older tech gadgets!


    Sanyo Sound & Game (1983)



    It may look a bit goofy now, but the idea of adding a game to your portable music player technically makes this the conceptual forerunner to the iPod; it probably wasn't a good idea to make the game digital and the radio analog, and it was predictably poorly received and discontinued almost immediately.


    Hewlett-Packard 95LX (1991)



    It's a palmtop - 8088 processor, 1MB RAM, MS-DOS 3.3, PCMCIA slot RAM card data storage, software in ROM (Lotus 1-2-3, calculator, planner, telecom [serial port], etc), powered by a pair of AA batteries. Sold for $700 new, can be found for ~$10 used today.


    Toshiba Toscal Desktop Calculator (1965)



    In the 60's, $1,700 could buy you this amazing new piece of technology, a 38 pound desktop calculator; 14-digit Nixie tube display, rotary dial decimal placement, one number memory (180 bits capacitor RAM), and "silent operation". But the kicker is what's inside - not a single IC chip in the entire case, just rows and rows of hundreds of transistors, capacitors, and resistors, all painstakingly arranged into the logic circuits needed to make calculations. It doesn't always work, as the machine can't compute very large numbers reliably, can't do negative numbers, but it can attempt to divide by zero if you ask it to; "Division by zero puts the machine directly to the task of calculating the incalculable, with all of the decimal points flickering across the display, likely as a result the machine making a futile attempt to shift the (non-existent) dividend to the high-end of the register. The only way to stop the machine's fruitless attempt to resolve the impossible is to press the [C] key to reset the machine and return it to normal operation."

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Toohotruk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Very interesting! Especially that sweet Toshiba calculator!

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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    I love how the toshiba actually tries to divide by zero. I remember those HP palmtops, I didn't realise they're as old as I am...

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    Funny, I was just looking at this site and then found this thread...weird
    http://www.kosbo.com/index.php?optio...lery&Itemid=70

    George

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    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    I remember being as proud as punch having the first Nintendo handheld game on the block back in the early 80's I had this one (Snoopy Tennis) and my brother got "Parachute"


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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Quote Originally Posted by M@elstrom View Post
    I remember being as proud as punch having the first Nintendo handheld game on the block back in the early 80's I had this one (Snoopy Tennis) and my brother got "Parachute"
    heh, didn't know about those. I see they sell on EBay for ~$50..

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    Flashaholic* Vesper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Quote Originally Posted by guiri View Post
    Funny, I was just looking at this site and then found this thread...weird
    http://www.kosbo.com/index.php?optio...lery&Itemid=70

    George
    Haha. I was looking at that same site a few months ago. Been wanting to build a Nixie Clock for a while now. Yup, that Toshiba calc is pretty cool. Thanks for posting these.

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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Ah, good ol' days

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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    I was a Merlin junkie for a while...




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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    I loved the Dark Tower game, too. But the tower crapped out literally the day the warranty expired. My parents were not pleased.




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    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Buttrock Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    heh, didn't know about those. I see they sell on EBay for ~$50..
    Geez that much? I'll admit I always craved a dual screen Donkey Kong variant, perhaps you'll remember these out of 1978?


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    Flashaholic* gswitter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    My first "computer"...



    Incredibly craptastic, but I sorta learned Basic on it.



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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Let's see. When I was a kid, I had an original Game Boy, a clock radio, and a handheld racecar game from Radio Shack. Oh, I also had a 130-in-1 electronics experiment board from Radio Shack that looked like...well...damn, I can't find any pictures anymore.

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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Quote Originally Posted by M@elstrom View Post
    Geez that much? I'll admit I always craved a dual screen Donkey Kong variant, perhaps you'll remember these out of 1978?
    Nope, still before my time, though somebody on EBay has one with the box and manuals for ~$250. I definitely remember Simon though, and I got a lot of mileage out of my Merlin (though it took too many batteries.) And speaking of taking too many batteries, I also owned a Pac-Man Mini-Arcade:


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    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Nice! I preferred the smaller Pac-Man handheld game which came later (and my best mate had), does anyone remember those Gaxxon Space Invader games that peaked out at 199 points (max)?

    I had one of these in blue...


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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    One of my favorites, was the Coleco Electronic Quarterback...back in the day, if you had one of these babies, you were considered very cool!

    The graphics were unreal!





    I've still got mine somewhere...
    Last edited by Toohotruk; 07-07-2010 at 12:44 AM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Nope, still before my time, though somebody on EBay has one with the box and manuals for ~$250. I definitely remember Simon though, and I got a lot of mileage out of my Merlin (though it took too many batteries.) And speaking of taking too many batteries, I also owned a Pac-Man Mini-Arcade:

    I think I still have a Donkey Kong one of the above somewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by M@elstrom View Post
    Geez that much? I'll admit I always craved a dual screen Donkey Kong variant, perhaps you'll remember these out of 1978?
    I still have a Donkey Kong Jr dual flip screen - loved that little game. I even pull it out once in a while and still play a few rounds on it.

    Never knew they had such value now.

    Still have an original Nintendo 64 that may or may not work anymore.

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    Flashaholic* gswitter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    I've been trying to dig up a picture of the Panasonic boombox I had as a kid, but I'm having no luck.



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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Possibly the most redneck portable entertainment device ever created, the Cariole 8-Track player featuring an AM/FM and CB tuner. When you're done listening to your Merle Haggard 8-track, you can tune in to the truckers..


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Still can't find a pic of my old boombox (or WalkMan).

    I never had much vinyl as a kid, but I still wanted a Audio-Technica Sound Burger (essentially a vinyl WalkMan):



    They're still fairly popular on the secondary market.



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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    That one is kinds cool...

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    Flashaholic* M@elstrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Sega Game Gear!



    Who'd have thought a little LED technology would seriously extend this little console's runtime (backlight modification)? I just won one off eBay should be en-route soon, can hardly wait... Sonic the Hedgehog - awesome!
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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Wasted quite a few afternoons at a friend's house, tormenting his dog with one of these...



    I'm not sure if Milton Bradley's behind it or not, but someone's putting it back in production. Wonder if I can get away with giving one as a Xmas gift to a five year old girl...



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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Some memories in this thread.

    I remember playing tic tac toe on the Merlin.

    Cheers,
    Nova

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    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Quote Originally Posted by M@elstrom View Post
    Sega Game Gear!



    Who'd have thought a little LED technology would seriously extend this little console's runtime (backlight modification)? I just won one off eBay should be en-route soon, can hardly wait... Sonic the Hedgehog - awesome!
    You know you can get Sonic the Hedgehog for the Nintendo DS now, right? It already has an LED backlight, and a better screen than the GG will ever have.

    Not everything old is worth keeping, unfortunately.

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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Quote Originally Posted by gswitter View Post
    I loved the Dark Tower game, too. But the tower crapped out literally the day the warranty expired. My parents were not pleased.

    We played the hell out of that game, the first 2 towers/games failed within the warranty period and then Toys R Us had the game on closeout for $25 bucks and I bought 2, both towers were flawless.
    Gave one to my cuz and sold the other complete game on Ebay for insane money.
    Those damn Brigands.
    Quando Omni Flunkis Moritati

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    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Room where the first message was sent over the internet (ARPANET at the time) on the night of October 29, 1969; room 3420 Boelter Hall, UCLA:


  28. #28

    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Quote Originally Posted by Beamhead View Post
    We played the hell out of that game, the first 2 towers/games failed within the warranty period and then Toys R Us had the game on closeout for $25 bucks and I bought 2, both towers were flawless.
    Gave one to my cuz and sold the other complete game on Ebay for insane money.
    Those damn Brigands.
    OUt of curiosity, define insane money..?

    George

  29. #29
    *Flashaholic* Burgess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    Great thread here !




    i KNOW i commented here, several months ago.

    Guess it must've gotten "Lost In Space" during the system crash.



    I had a Sharp PC-1500 pocket computer, which i rcd. 10/1982.
    Not a calculator, it was a real computer, running BASIC !
    Took 4 AA alkalines, and had a one-line display of 80 characters !

    Radio Shack sold its own variation, which was also mfg. by Sharp.

    I learned a LOT from mine.
    Considered it to be truly a Modern Miracle of Electronics !
    Paid $200, plus some more for the additional memory card.

    Believe it was an 8k card, for perhaps 40 bucks.

    29 years ago, i felt this was *Simply Fantastic* !


    _

  30. #30

    Default Re: Awesome Older Tech Gadgets

    It was. All that stuff was amazing to us then.

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