This report from the Second West Coast Computer Faire -- in 1978 -- from Byte magazine is a perfect time-capsule of the heroic age of personal computing:
I enjoyed the many special features of the show, particularly the excellent computer generated art on display in the lobby. The microcomputer chess tournament proved to be one of the hits of the show. Larry Wagner from Atari presided over the 3 day battle of the processors, taking time out to give me a guided tour of the tournament. The level of play was impressive, and the winning program, called SARGON, was a 16 K byte Z-80 assembler program written by a husband and wife team, Kathe and Dan Spracklen. It beat some highly touted com- petition. (A copy of the SARGON program is available for $15 postpaid from the Spracklens, 10832 Macouba PI, San Diego CA 92124.) I was impressed with the professional appearance of the show, which held its own with many of the established engineering and computing shows. The Third West Coast Computer Faire will be held this coming November 3, 4 and 5 in Los Angeles. Plan to see it if you can.”
Behold, the Blue Marlin, a “semi-submersible heavy lift ship” that is capable of hoisting and transplanting other, full-sized ships (that is ships as big or bigger than a US Destroyer-class vessel) all around the oceans.
Mister Alphabet is an action-figure designed to cleverly bend and contort into every letter of the Latin alphabet; the website is long on trademark warnings and arty Instagram photos, but short on details, like, “Is this an object of commerce?” and “If so, where does one buy it?” (via Kottke)
Phone chargers usually only deliver a few volts of juice at a feeble amperage, but they’ll deliver a lot more if you give them the chance. The BBC writes that a UK man died in the bathtub after being shocked by a charger connected to an extension cord. Richard Bull, 32, died when his iPhone […]
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]
The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]
All the filters in the world won’t save your smartphone pics from a shaky hand. To really step up your mobile photography game, you’ll need some kind of mount to hold it steady. You could buy a smartphone attachment for a conventional camera tripod, but who wants to carry that kind of gear everywhere they […]