Posts tagged “retro”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from wstarosta] Disney Helps Reboot Commodore and Amiga Brands [Brand Channel] – [The Commodore 64 is getting a re-boot from Tron, the movie. The company is updating the old school computer with a 1.8Ghz processor, Blu-ray drive, and HDMI! ] When Tron: Legacy was released in December, the product tie-in that drew all the attention was for Ducati. It's a product placement the Italian motorcycle maker told us was unpaid, but highly valuable. Now, the release of Tron: Legacy on DVD introduces a whole new marketing tie-in. This time for… Commodore 64?! That's right — Disney is helping promote the relaunch of the Commodore and Amiga brands, with the relaunched computers going on sale the same day (April 5th) as the DVD went on sale.
  • [from steveportigal] How To Steal Like An Artist (And 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me) [Austin Kleon] – [While the frame of reference is being an artist, you could substitute a lot of other descriptors and it’d work just as well – designer, innovator, ethnographer, what-have-you. The riffs here manage to be wide-ranging and incredibly concise.] Your job is to collect ideas. The best way to collect ideas is to read. Read, read, read, read, read. Read the newspaper. Read the weather. Read the signs on the road. Read the faces of strangers. The more you read, the more you can choose to be influenced by. [Thanks @anneincal!]
  • [from steveportigal] Recreating the Legendary Commodore 64 [Commodore USA, LLC] – [Many of my favorite themes here: reviving dead brands, retro technology, enthusiast fans become producers instead of just consumers, and of course, boat-loads of irony] The new Commodore 64 is a modern functional PC as close to the original in design as humanly possible. It houses a modern mini-ITX PC motherboard featuring a Dual Core 525 Atom processor and the latest Nvidia Ion2 graphics chipset. It comes in the original taupe brown/beige color, with other colors to follow…[We were] founded by Barry Altman in April 2010, with the express purpose of reviving and re-establishing the famous Commodore computer brand. We are Commodore and AMIGA fanatics, just like many of you. We ask ourselves what could have been, and we are appalled by Apple revisionism. Commodore is back, and we’re determined to bring the much loved brand back to the mainstream and restore its prominence in the tech industry to that which it richly deserves. It ain’t over ’till we say so.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] The time-warp room and other medical breakthroughs [CultureBy – Grant McCracken] – [A fascinating example but as usual it's Grant's gentle pokes in his analysis that offer the most value in this post] Coombe End Court, a retirement center in Marlborough, Wiltshire has a "time-warp" room. It’s outfitted with a gramophone, manual typewriters, a telephone made of Bakelite, and furniture from the 1950s. That this "reminiscence room" is loved by residents is not surprising. Who doesn’t like to see the return of an "old friend" from the object world? What captured the attention of the gerontological community (and the magnificent website Retronaut) was that this room as lead to a "dramatic" drop in the need for the anti-psychotic drugs given those who suffer from Alzheimer’s.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] ALT/1977: WE ARE NOT TIME TRAVELERS [Behance] – [Alex Varanese's thought-provoking concepts go beyond blogosphere-hipster-silliness to really provoke reflection on design and functionality often taken for granted] What would you do if you could travel back in time? Here's what I'd do after that: grab all the modern technology I could find, take it to the late 70's, superficially redesign it all to blend in, start a consumer electronics company to unleash it upon the world, then sit back as I rake in billions, trillions, or even millions of dollars. I've explored that idea in this series by re-imagining four common products from 2010 as if they were designed in 1977: an mp3 player, a laptop, a mobile phone and a handheld video game system. I then created a series of fictitious but stylistically accurate print ads. I've learned that there is no greater design element than the anachronism. I've learned that the strongest contrast isn't spatial or tonal but historical. I've learned that there's retro, and then there's time travel.
  • [from julienorvaisas] 10:10 Tags Symbolize Committment to Climate Change [10:10global.org/uk] – [The fact that this tag is tangible but also symbolic rather than overt, and versatile enough to be carried on the body as a daily reminder of a commitment to the cause of climate change can help change behavior and improve compliance, as well as subtly telegraph solidarity.] The 10:10 Tag is made from a recycled jumbo jet, and can be worn on the neck, wrist, lapel or leotard to symbolise your 10:10 commitment. Whether you pin it to the lapel of your business suit or thread it through the laces of your skateboard trainers, your 10:10 Tag shows others that not only do you know how to accessorise; you’re also part of the solution to climate change.
  • [from Dan_Soltzberg] Grateful Dead scholar in heaven at UC Santa Cruz [SFGate] – [More big things happening at my Alma Mater] The ultimate job in Dead-dom is in Room 1370 at McHenry Library at UC Santa Cruz. The door is marked by the steal-your-face logo, and superimposed over it reads the name Nicholas G. Meriwether, Grateful Dead Archivist.
  • [from julienorvaisas] Ariely’s Upside of Irrationality: using irrational cognitive blindspots to your advantage [Boing Boing] – [We've seen the principles of behavioral economics applied to help us understand and explain consumers irrational choices in a business context, now here's a self-help book helping us apply them to our own everyday lives.] Upside of Irrationality is a mostly successful attempt to transform the scientific critique of the 'rational consumer' principal into practical advice for living a better life. 'Mostly successful' only because some of our habitual irrationality is fundamentally insurmountable — there's almost nothing we can do to mitigate it.
  • [from steve_portigal] Text 2.0 – What if your book really knew where you are gazing at? – [This is essentially one of the concepts we proposed from our Reading Ahead research – where an eyetracker in a digital book manipulates the text dynamically based on your gaze. In our use case, we addressed the interrupt-driven commute reading revealed by our research. If the book saw you looking away, it could mark your spot to enable more efficient resuming]
  • [from steve_portigal] Twitter a hit in Japan as millions ‘mumble’ online [Yahoo! News] – Japanese-language Twitter taps into a greater sense of individuality in Japan, especially among younger people less accepting of the Japanese understatement and conformity. 16.3% of Japanese Internet tweet 16.3% (vs. 9.8% in US). "Japan is enjoying the richest and most varied form of Twitter usage as a communication tool…It's playing out as a rediscovery of the Internet.” It's possible to say so much more in Japanese within Twitter's 140 letters. "Information" requires just 2 letters in Japanese. Another is that people own up to their identities on Twitter. One well-known case is a woman who posted the photo of a park her father sent in e-mail before he died. Twitter was immediately abuzz with people comparing parks…"It's telling that Twitter was translated as 'mumbling' in Japanese," he said. "They love the idea of talking to themselves," he said…"In finding fulfillment in expressing what's on your mind for the moment, Twitter is like haiku," he said. "It is so Japanese."

Book lovers

In Reading Ahead, our recent self-funded study on books and digital readers, we saw how much people prize the physicality of books – the tactile and kinesthetic aspects of the reading experience. One of our design recommendations was to “include the sensual” in designing digital readers.

One tongue-in-cheek example of including the sensual is this Kindle case by Busted Typewriter.

Here is a recent iteration of the same idea; this time in a case for the MacBook.

Artist Brian Dettmer creates “book autopsies” by carving away the pages of books to reveal the images inside.

Talking about the growing popularity of digital readers, one of the people we interviewed for the Reading Ahead study said, “Someday there will be this cool retro thing called a book.”

If she’s right, what else will people do with them?

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • What were arcades like? – This thread is making the blogosphere-rounds. The video game arcades that I and many of the posters grew up with are gone; gaming takes place in the home. But the question has produced a lot of good (if not yet thick) descriptions of the environment, the participants, and the social rules that developed. Personally, "arcade" suggests a dedicated business that would provide video games, pinball and billiards. But in high school, we would typically go to local merchants and hang out. Variety (or convenience) stores were obvious candidates, but we spent a lot of time and money in a laundromat/laundry service place. I opened my first ATM account at the bank next door and would take out $5 and get change from the laundry proprietor and play after school for a few hours. Even though we had computers at home with games on 'em, this was more fun.
  • WonderCon: Comic book subculture now mainstream – "This is popular culture now," said Ferioli, 41, of Oakland, who attended his first comic book convention in New York when he was 16. "Look at Heath Ledger winning an Oscar for playing the Joker (in 'The Dark Knight'). These things that used to be fringe are now icons. It's not a subculture, it's the popular culture."
  • Steve's photos from WonderCon 2005 – There's something utterly delightful seeing an Imperial Stormtrooper at a drinking fountain

Candy-coated history

The other day I saw some unfamiliar M&Ms packaging in a local drugstore.

retro-tube

The Retro Tube!

I wondered whether this was truly a reissue of an old packaging style or just a marketing ploy—a “remember a time that never was” kind of thing—and I asked an older woman in front of me whether she remembered M&Ms ever having come in that kind of package in the past. She said no, she didn’t.

But, some quick internet research reveals that, in fact, M&Ms really did come in a tube when they were first introduced as “a compact, durable food source for troops during World War II.” (Source: candywarehouse.com)

Not only was this bit of history interesting to learn, but it led to my discovering this really cool interface on the Mars company’s M&M history page.

Related Posts:
Great food and packaging pictures
The New Yorker profiles Roald Dahl

EQ3 Store — Retro Flip Clock

3130-401-0-RetroFlipClock-G

What a scam. This Retro Flip Clock at EQ3 is about $40.00 or something (no prices on their website – hmmm). They weren’t that much when they first came out, were they? And back then, they included a radio and an alarm clock as well. I’m all for hip and retro (maybe not, I like to think I am) but you just know this cost about $1.35 to make, and wasn’t that great a product the first time around. Do you remember adjusting the time on those things – one direction only so if you went over a minute you had to circle around 23 hours and 59 minutes – not too fast or you’d go over again. They’d click and make a loud noise when they’d flip the numbers over, etc. I’m drawn to it, but not at a price premium; that’s the part that seems outrageous.

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