Category Archives: retro

Simplify Your Life with This Pocket Rotary Cellphone

With its constant siren song of distraction and endless opportunity for dopamine hits, a smartphone can cause more problems than it solves. The simple solution would be a no-nonsense flip phone, but that offers zero points for style. So why not build your own rotary dial pocket cellphone?

Of course, …read more

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Posted in 3g, adafruit fona, ATmega2560V, cell, Cellphone Hacks, dial, mashup, phone hacks, retro, rotary, trimline | Leave a comment

Flip Phones Are Making a Comeback

If you’re the kind of person who hates this new generation of smartphone users and longs for a nostalgic past, you’re not far from the new target demographic for many commercial phone manufacturers. Major phone companies like Motorola and Huawei have been developing foldable versions of conventional smartphone designs, intended …read more

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Posted in flip phone, phone hacks, retro, smartphone | Leave a comment

Foam Board, Old Electronics, and Imagination Make Movie Magic

When it comes to building sets and props for movies and TV, it’s so easy to get science fiction wrong – particularly with low-budget productions. It must be tempting for the set department to fall back on the “get a bunch of stuff and paint it silver” model, which can …read more

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Posted in decoration, Fallout, film, misc hacks, movie, props, retro, sci-si, sets, tdd, tty, vintage | Leave a comment

Odd-Sized Military Headphone Connectors, Tamed!

Military headphones, at least the older ones, are like few other sound reproducers. They are an expression of function over form, with an emphasis on robustness over operator comfort. Electrically they most often have high-impedance drivers and annoyingly proprietary connectors for whichever obscure radio system they were a part of. …read more

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Posted in connectors, headphones, repair hacks, retro | Leave a comment

Modern Linux Runs On Ancient Toshiba

While Microsoft no longer supports those of its operating systems that were in heavy use into the early 2000s, support for old hardware is not typically something that you will have to worry about if you run Linux on your machines. Sure, there will be driver issues from time to …read more

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Posted in aosc os, intel, laptop, linux, pentium, retro, retrocomputing, t4900ct, Toshiba | Leave a comment

Giving The Amstrad CPC A Voice And A Drum Kit

Back in the ’80s, home computers weren’t capable of much in terms of audio or multimedia as a whole. Arguably, it wasn’t until the advent of 16-bit computers such as the Amiga that musicians could make soundtrack-quality music without having to plug actual studio gear up to their machines. [Michael …read more

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Posted in amstrad cpc, chiptune, DECtalk, drum machine, midi controller, MIDI instrument, retro, retrocomputing, sampler, speech synthesis | Leave a comment

Creative Limitation And The Super Nintendo Sound Chips

The Super Nintendo recently experienced a surge in popularity, either from a combination of nostalgic 30-somethings recreating their childhoods, or because Nintendo released a “classic” version of this nearly-perfect video game system. Or a combination of both. But what made the system worthy of being remembered at all? With only …read more

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Posted in art, dac, donkey kong, memory, music, retro, retrocomputing, snes, sound, super nintendo, video game | Leave a comment

Run Your Own Phone to Bring the Dreamcast Back Online

Playing a video game online is almost second nature now. So much so that almost all multiplayer video games have ditched their split-screen multiplayer modes because they assume you’d rather just be alone at your house than hanging out with your friends. This wasn’t always the case though. In the …read more

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Posted in console, dial-up, dreamcast, dreamcast now, Games, gaming, internet, lan party, multiplayer, network bridge, Raspberry Pi, retro, retrocomputing, sega | Leave a comment

Copy Protection in the 80s, Showcased by Classic Game Dungeon Master

Making a copy of a purchased game used to be as simple as copying a disk. As the game industry grew, so did fear of revenue loss which drove investment in countermeasures. These mainly consisted of preventing the easy duplication of magnetic diskettes, or having users jump through tiresome hoops …read more

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Posted in classic hacks, copy protection, diskette, drm, dungeon master, Games, gaming, retro | Leave a comment

Vintage Monoscope Tubes Generate Classic TV Test Patterns Once Again

Night creatures and insomniacs of a bygone era may fondly recall a TV test pattern appearing once [Jack Parr] or [Steve Allen] had had their say and the local TV station’s regular broadcast day had concluded. It was affectionately known as the Indian Head test pattern, for the stylized Native …read more

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Posted in classic, classic hacks, monoscope, ntsc, orthicon, retro, test pattern, vacuum tube, video, vidicon, vintage | Leave a comment