Tags Past Perfect

Watching Computer Scientists Recall Their First Computer Is So Adorable

Your first computer is (kind of) like your first kiss: exciting at the time, deeply memorable later in life, and yet still potentially embarrassing when recounted in public. For those reasons, watching dozens of computer scientists recall their first (computer) in this video is oddly compelling.

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Jamie Condliffe

December 15th

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How Netflix Could’ve Looked in the 1950s

The Phlico Predicta was a TV that, in design terms at least, was way ahead of its time. But what if it had come loaded with Netflix?

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Jamie Condliffe

November 10th

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You Might Not Believe This Beautiful Satellite Image Is 50 Years Old

This stunning image of the Florida Straits and Grand Bahama Bank — with its bright blue waters, moody grey seas and fluffy white clouds — looks like the kind of image NASA may publish on any given week. In fact, it was taken on June 4th 1965.

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Jamie Condliffe

June 5th

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Happy Birthday To Betamax, Sony’s Next Big Thing

On May 10, 1975, Sony took out full-page ads in a bunch of newspapers to proudly announce the arrival of a new product, “The Next Thing”: Betamax.

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Chris Mills

May 10th

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That Time the Postal Service Actually Used Gyrocopters To Deliver Mail

When a Florida mailman landed a gyrocopter with a USPS logo on the lawn of the Capitol today, I’m sure you were asking yourself the same question I was: Does the postal service really deliver mail via gyrocopter? Not today. But it turns out they did, back in the 1930s.

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Alissa Walker

April 15th

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9 Highlights from the First and Only Sears Catalog On LaserDisc 

The early 1980s were a watershed moment for digital technology. Aside from the imminent personal computing revolution, it was clear that video recording could change the way we did everything from watch movies to shop for new clothes. And Sears was on it.

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Adam Clark Estes

April 6th

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The Last Time Apple Sold an Obscenely Overpriced Gadget

Now that the collective eye roll around Apple's $10,000 watch has turned into a blank stare, it's time for a little bit of nostalgia. Apple is not new to this game of selling seemingly everyday gadgets for ridiculous dollar amounts. The Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (TAM) wrote the rules nearly 20 years ago.

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Adam Clark Estes

March 18th

Apple

​Satellites Looked So Futuristic in 1958

You'd be forgiven for thinking that this was a piece of modern sculpture. But in fact you're looking one of NASA's old Vanguard satellites, photographed at Cape Canaveral, Florida in 1958.

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Jamie Condliffe

March 18th

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This Digital Mondrian Was Made in 1964

Piet Mondrian sits well in the world of science and technology , his clear geometric forms so neatly and rationally ordered. But perhaps the earliest example of technology and Modrian intersecting is in these images, created digitally way back in 1964.

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Jamie Condliffe

February 19th

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The Wild, NSFW World of Old Teletext Porn

Back in the 70s and 80s, there was a little piece of technological magic known as Teletext. Basically, it allowed the broadcast of text, and crude text-art, over unused TV spectrum, so long as you had a special decoder. Very proto-internet. And so of course, it was used for pornography.

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Eric Limer

February 13th

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