Vectorbeam Outrun

Outrun, the classic racer that blew players' minds with its huge colorful sprites, is getting an ususual port: to the monochrome vectorbeam world of the vintage Vectrex console.

Creator Chris Parsons:

A little "demo" I put together today to warm up my coding skills as I get back to developing my second full Vectrex game. I put the Pole Position overlay on at the end as it comes out clearer without it when filming. Check out my Vectrex home brew games on here and at www.vectorrepublic.co.uk

He's gotten the Ferrari, the tarmac and some roadside palms going, but it's missing other vehicles and curves: "Now, should I try to add some game in there???" Read the rest

Video game catalog from 1996 is a wonderland of gamer nostalgia

If you weren't a kid or a nerd in the '90s, these video game advertisements might look strange. Read the rest

The one beer to have when you are having more than one

Schaefer. Read the rest

Sony announces miniature Playstation Classic, with 20 games built-in

The fad for fire-and-forget retro consoles continues with Sony's PlayStation Classic. It's $100, has 20 games built-in, modern connectors, and the original 1995 design—albeit shrunk to the size of the original's controller.

Five of the games were announced: Final Fantasy 7, Jumping Flash, R4: Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3 and Wild Arms.

The mini console is approximately 45% smaller than the original PlayStation, and it emulates the original’s look and feel by featuring similar controllers and packaging. Long-time fans will appreciate the nostalgia that comes with rediscovering the games they know and love, while gamers who might be new to the platform can enjoy the groundbreaking PlayStation console experience that started it all. All of the pre-loaded games will be playable in their original format.

The NES Classic and SNES Classic are huge moneyspinners for Nintendo, so this was an inevitability.

It'll be out on December 3. Sony's press release says you can pre-order it, but the only place I could find was this unnervingly empty database stub at Best Buy. Read the rest

Wonder of wonders: a Trapper Keeper for your 7" or 10" tablets

I can not express the joy that a Trapper Keeper for tablets brings me. Read the rest

The Beach Boys' "Do It Again" with the delay removed from the drums

Do It Again is one of my favorite songs, not least because of the distinctive delay effect applied to the drums by sound engineer Stephen Desper, giving it its weird blend of electronic fuzz and nostalgia ("like something from another planet"). Here it is with the delay effect removed. Being honest with myself, I have to say it's better this way. But then, I wasn't there in '68. Read the rest

Basic Engine: $10 open-source gadget designed to be the best game machine of the 1980s

The Basic Engine is a tiny but intentionally limited computer platform designed to be like a late-1980s game console or home computer, but with some useful modern benefits. In effect, it's like Pico-8, but hardware instead of a set of abstract and arbitrary design limitations on software.

The BASIC Engine is a very low-cost single-board home computer with advanced 2D color graphics and sound capabilities, roughly comparable to late-1980s or early-1990s computers and video game consoles. It can be built at home without special skills or tools and using readily available components for under 10 Euros in parts, or mass-produced for even less.

Graphics and sound · 256-color text and graphics at resolutions from 160x200 up to 460x224 (PAL: 508x240) pixels · Software sprites (up to 32 sprites sized up to 32x32 pixels). · Scrollable tiled background graphics engine with up to four layers. · Wavetable synthesizer and PLAY command that renders music in MML format. · Loading and saving of PCX image files to and from video memory. · Various text fonts built-in, including an ATI 6x8 font (for up to 76 (PAL: 84) characters per line) and PETSCII. · Direct manipulation of video memory and controller registers possible, permitting higher-color screen modes, custom resolutions and other video effects.

"Why not just use a Rasberry Pi?" is a common question but the answer should be obvious: it's about a nostalgic idea of the perfect thing that never existed, a technological hiraeth, forbidden to exceed the place and time the yearning was born. Read the rest

What was hot in pop culture in June of 1998

YouTuber thepeterson makes video montages that pull together clips from pop culture days of yore, highlighting what movies and TV shows the masses were watching, what they were listening to on the radio, and what video games they were playing. In the latest one, June 1998 is put into the spotlight. Prepare to take a (possibly nostalgic) trip down memory lane to see what was "in" twenty years ago this month.

(Tastefully Offensive) Read the rest

Grafx 2 is "the ultimate" 256-color pixel art app

Designed to look like something running on the Commodore Amiga but with all the modern conveniences, Grafx 2 is pitched as "The ultimate 256-color painting program."

GrafX2 has a long history, with the first versions being published in 1996. The development by the original team (Sunset Design) continued until late 1999, when they stopped working on it because no one had interest in running a DOS drawing tool by then. Fortunately, they published the sources so that their work would not be lost.

In 2007, PulkoMandy recovered these sources and ported them to modern operating system. This was the rebirth of GrafX2, which then saw many improvements and finetuning, making it the great tool you know and use today.

Neat touches include extreme custom resolutions (including nonsquare pixels), powerful pallette manipulation (including color cycling) and a prominently pixelated King Tut, as is mandatory for all pixel-art related Amiga shenanigans. Read the rest

Very short films about very small sculptures made from scraps

Lydia Ricci's From Scraps project repurposes bits of refuse into tiny sculptures of objects that have often fallen out of wide use. She also made some very short films with some of the objects: Read the rest

Hasbro trademarks Play-Doh's "sweet, slightly musky" scent

One of the most iconic scents of childhood, Play-Doh's, has been trademarked.

Hasbro, the company behind the modeling clay, made the announcement Friday:

The trademarked scent, which Hasbro formally describes as a unique scent formed through the combination of a sweet, slightly musky, vanilla-like fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, and the natural smell of a salted, wheat-based dough, makes the PLAY-DOH brand one of the few active and certainly most famous scent trademarks in the country...

“The scent of PLAY-DOH compound has always been synonymous with childhood and fun,” said Jonathan Berkowitz, senior vice president of Global Marketing for the PLAY-DOH brand. “By officially trademarking the iconic scent, we are able to protect an invaluable point of connection between the brand and fans for years to come.”

Apparently it's not easy getting a scent trademarked because few qualify. The Wall Street Journal reports, "In the U.S., you have to show that a fragrance serves no important practical function other than to help identify and distinguish a brand. The smell of an air freshener or a women’s perfume wouldn’t count, for example."

To obtain a non-conventional trademark such as scent, it first has to be accurately described. A sample of the scent then has to be sent to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for inspection, which Hasbro did in February 2017. They were granted the trademark on May 15, 2018.

Interesting side note, Play-Doh wasn't invented for children. It was first created as a wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s. Read the rest

Floppy disk coasters

It's been a long time since I used a floppy disk as a coaster, and I'm not sure I could find one now if I needed to. There's something unsettling, though, about these silicone floppy discs [Amazon] intended for use as coasters: they're convincing at a distance, are otherwise just little slabs of silicone, but are more expensive than the complex mechanical media whose superficial appearance they crudely imitate.

Anyway, I ordered a set of 4. Read the rest

"Pirate Water" and other fragrances inspired by Disney resorts

We've seen Disneyland-scented candles before but now there are new contenders in the category of "Things that smell like something you'd find in a Disney resort."

While the Magic Candle Company in Kissimmee, Florida is not affiliated with Disney in any official way, they have made an entire line of candles, wax melts, and spray-on room fragrances that smell like something you'd find in a Disney park.

I think the funniest one is this "Pirate Water" which is scented like the "musty, damp smell" of a familiar "dark water ride" (ie. the Bromine-filled waters of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride).

Take a whiff down memory lane with their other (completely unofficial and unsanctioned) scents like: Pinocchio's Village (a "powerful aroma of pistachio nuts, almond, honey, heliotrope, and rich, creamy vanilla custard"), Churro ("cinnamon, sugar and hints of bergamot and creamy dark chocolate"), and the Pineapple Float (they write, "'Dole' out a smile every time you smell our Pineapple Float fragrance").

There's also something called Walt's Office which is the "warm and spicy aroma of cured pipe tobacco."

Prices are $7.95 for wax melts, $18.95 for the room sprays, and between $15.95 and $28.95 for the candles.

The Magic Candle Company

Thanks, Frank! Read the rest

VHS is making a comeback

Free VHS rentals are part of the planned fun at Video Vortex, a new venture by Alamo Drafthouse. The first one is under contstruction in Raleigh, North Carolina. Read the rest

Behold the cacophonous Furby Organ

Looking remarkably like the Mogwai creatures from the 1984 film Gremlins, Furbies first hit the market in November 1998, becoming an instant success. In just the first three years of production, over 40M of these fake fur-covered robotic toys were sold. Since their early days, the Furby has been re-introduced a few times.

That means there are a lot of Furbies collecting dust on this planet.

Well, musician and inventor Sam Battle of Look Mum No Computer salvaged over 44 of them and attached them to an organ. Watch the video to hear a cacophony of "Furbish" music (?).

I won't lie, as noisy as it is, I totally want a Furby Organ for myself. Read the rest

Monorail socks

I'm fresh back from Florida where my daughter and I stopped in Orlando to for a side trip to Walt Disney World and the Disney Springs shopping complex. At the latter, I spotted these monorail socks. Now, I rarely see Disney merch that I really like but I kind of went nuts for these.

If you'd like to slip your feet into some futuristic transportation too, you can get yourself a pair at the online Disney Store for $13.99. Read the rest

Horrors: Chucky the bath bomb

Bathe with one eye open because 80s and 90s horror film icon Chucky is now a bath bomb.

Its scent? Orange soda.

This Chuckie Bath Bomb is a recent creation of California-based beauty brand Loquita Bath and Body who has already sold out of the fizzy Child's Play doll head.

Loquita's founder Mira Perez told HelloGiggles:

Well the name came from my husband, he says I am a “loca” [crazy] which I have to admit, I can be a loquita in the best way possible. The brand, however, came because I was throughly mesmerized by these bath and body companies catering to the “goth” style and as much as I love the dark or obscure I didn’t feel like it screamed “ME!’ So, I decided to create bombs that were nostalgic and that I could identify with.

Read the rest

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