retro

5 Gadgets That Changed My World, Part 1

5 Gadgets That Changed My World, Part 1

In the spirit of fellow SlashGear columnist Michael Gartenberg, who recently published his own list of "5 Gadgets That Changed The World For Me," I decided to tackle my own version of this list. While Michael's list tended towards gadgets that made a huge impact the gadget world as a whole, these are five gadgets that were not so universally important, but had a significant impact on the way I was shaped as a person, and not just as a gadget fiend.

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Five gadgets that changed the world for me

Five gadgets that changed the world for me

From time to time I like to think about the idea of disconnecting from the digital world for an extended period and what I'd miss as a result. In the end, I came up with five gadgets that changed the world for me, products the descendents of which I'd rather not be without on a regular basis. What's interesting is that for me, the PC didn't make the list. Perhaps it’s an uber-gadget that just goes without saying or it's just not that important to me personally anymore.

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Projected Pong puts your flat into the gameplay [Video]

Projected Pong puts your flat into the gameplay [Video]

"Show me a person who does not love Pong," Descartes once said, "and I will show you a person with no soul."  Heady words indeed (and then he got back to rejecting religious dogma), and a sentiment obviously shared by the students at the National Institute of Design in India.  They've put together a VR glove that controls a huge projected Pong wall, with the ball bouncing around various physical elements of the room as if they were part of the game.

Video demo after the cut

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Palm Foleo hits eBay [Update: Sold for $750!]

Palm Foleo hits eBay [Update: Sold for $750!]

Palm's Foleo was - depending on who you ask - either the ideal companion device, cruelly axed before it had a chance to shine, or a pointless distraction for the company's engineers and implicit in their downward spiral.  Either way, if you've always wanted to own one yourself, now you have the chance.  Ixle picked up a Foleo a month or so ago and has been blogging about it ever since; now he's putting the Palm pseudo-netbook back up on eBay.

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Google PAC-MAN playable logo gets permanent reprieve

Google PAC-MAN playable logo gets permanent reprieve

Google's PAC-MAN logo was one of the best surprises of last week, and faced with masses of appeals Google have done the only sensible thing and made it a permanent home.  The playable doodle was only meant to be live for two days, but by "popular demand" Google have set it up permanently at www.google.com/pacman.

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Google Pac-Man logo is retro-awesome

Google Pac-Man logo is retro-awesome

Google have rolled out their latest custom logo, and it's perhaps their best to date.  Celebrating the 30th birthday of the original Pac-Man, they've recreated the iconic game in a playable logo complete with audio and even a two-player mode.

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iCade iPad arcade cabinet release “a possibility” say ThinkGeek

iCade iPad arcade cabinet release “a possibility” say ThinkGeek

Grumpy old man that I am, ThinkGeek's iCade retro arcade cabinet for the iPad was the only April Fools joke that I found vaguely amusing.  Promising, then, that the retailer describes it as "our most posted, tweeted and blogged about product this April Fools" and suggests that a real-world version is in fact "a possibility."  Geekosystem pestered ThinkGeek about the chance of the iCade - which looks like a desktop arcade cabinet, into which an Apple iPad slots - crossing over from comedy mock-up to legitimate device, and while there are several hurdles (not least Apple themselves) it's definitely being considered.

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ThinkGeek iCade arcade cabinet for iPad is fake with real promise

ThinkGeek iCade arcade cabinet for iPad is fake with real promise

April Fool jokes online are generally tired, unfunny and just plain annoying, but there's usually one decent idea that slips through the net of mediocrity.  ThinkGeek's iCade iPad arcade cabinet is obviously a joke - the "Availability: 80's" pretty much gives it away - but we can see plenty of people loving the concept of a proper arcade controller for some serious retro gaming with their shiny new Apple tablet.

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LG Serie 1 Retro Classic TV: mildly-modernized

LG Serie 1 Retro Classic TV: mildly-modernized

When does retro go too far?  We reckon this Korea-only LG Serie 1 Retro Classic TV is teetering on the edge, but we still love the idea of 4:3 14-inch CRT set with 60s-futuristic stylings.  Although it may look like a TV you could stumble across in a second-hand store, LG have squeezed a digital TV tuner, composite input and a proper remote control into the package, just in case you're feeling too lazy to twiddle the (working) knobs.

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Technics 1200 & 1210 turntables not facing axe; 2009 vinyl sales up 35% on 2008

Excellent news, old school vinyl lovers.  Despite earlier reports from Technics Australia suggesting that parent company Panasonic were planning to axe the Technics 1200 and 1210 decks in February 2010, the company has issued a statement saying they have "no current plans" to discontinue the iconic turntables.

Chumbophone mixes chumby with Steampunk styling

Chumbophone mixes chumby with Steampunk styling

Since you can now pick up a set of chumby guts without bothering with the standard casing, the real fun for the platform is in fashioning a unique housing for the internet-connected widget display.  That can be as basic as the cardboard box the components come with, or you can go the route of one particular Etsy seller and put together a somewhat Steampunk-esque retro enclosure.

Called the Chumbophone, as far as we can tell the various brass horns, controls and other appendages are all decorative rather than functional.  The only real controls are the power button, the front panel key and the chumby's 3.5-inch 320 x 240 touchscreen, which is still enough to browse various web widgets, control music - either streaming or local - and do everything else that makes chumby so appealing.

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Hack-a-Sketch takes classic toy digital [Video]

Hack-a-Sketch takes classic toy digital [Video]

Electronic versions of the classic Etch-a-Sketch aren't particularly unusual, but so far this is the first time we've seen Arduino-controlled knobs with physical resistance and a proper shake-to-clear integrated into such a project.  The Hack-a-Sketch takes a Lenovo ThinkPad laptop and adds the usual two Etch-a-Sketch rotary knobs; this time, though, they're hooked up to two potentiometers which control the onscreen drawing.

Video demo after the cut

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