Vintage rotary phone lamps

Theron of IDIDTHAT.com isn't letting old rotary phones go to waste. This Bay Area artist is repurposing them into cool lamps ($167+) whose headset is hovering in mid-air as its light source. The cord is flexible and can be repositioned as you like. Neat!

They write:

In the early 1970s herds of rotary phones spanned the countryside. Social by nature, the phones bred in most homes and soon every imaginable color was available. Hunting was easy! Firmly attached by a cord, trappers harvested their cases by the thousands. They were at the brink of extinction when a few cordless models got into the population. Today’s cellular phone is the result of careful breeding management. We celebrate the near extinction event, with the release of our popular recycled phone lamps in every imaginable color. Relive the 1980s or earlier and be the talk of the town. Like really, people talked on these and now they will talk about these. One customer said “Truly the coolest thing I’ve ever purchased.”

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(Princess and her regal consort both SOLD) Our expeditionary team returned with one of the last breeding pairs of turquoise blue phones known to exist.  Behold a princess phone lamp and her regal consort in their corded glory.  Several large and unnamed museums have made offers, but we just can’t see them locked in a glass case!  They belong in their natural habitat, the rumpus rooms of America.  Take one home today before they are forever extinct.

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Vintage Apple TV and Alexa

Thomas Martin Lewins V has done what they said was impossible. He's made modern technology work with old fashioned devices.

First, he installed Apple TV on his big, clunky floor console television and now he can watch TV apps, like Netflix and Hulu, on it.

He writes:

Best Buy said it couldn’t be done. The internet said it was impossible. Eat my ass Best Buy, eat my ass internet.

HDMI to rca, rca to vcr, vcr to coaxial, coaxial to antenna.

After months of pulling my hair out and eating it. I present to you.

Vintage Apple TV.

Then, he installed Alexa on a bunch of vintage devices around his house.

Might have went a little overboard on this one,

The police were called to my house twice for noise complaints. (worth it)

I present to you,

Vintage Alexa.

Impressive! Read the rest

How to use a rotary dial telephone (1927)

In 1927, folks in the Fresno, California area went down to the local cinema to learn how to use those new-fangled dial telephones that everybody was talking about. This is the charming footage, a combo of live action and cartoons, created by the American Telephone and Telegraph Co. (AT&T) that they saw 91 years ago.

The AT&T Archives writes:

In 1922, New York City was introduced to dial. The first popularized dial telephone was a desk set candlestick model; the smaller, more familiar desk set came later.

It took decades for dial to sweep the entire Bell System. The last holdout was Catalina Island, off the coast of California, which finally converted to dial in 1978. In Camp Shohola, Pennsylvania, an internal automatic switch system still connects campers with the outside world, it's the oldest functioning Strowger switch in the world.

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Tom Hanks changes the ribbon on a vintage typewriter as his 'secret talent'

According to this Vanity Fair video, Tom Hanks has the "secret talent" of changing the ribbon on a circa 1960s (stunning pastel green) Hermes 3000 typewriter. Watch as he does just that.

Next up: watching paint dry.

Just kidding. This is a cute video. It reminds me of a time, maybe three years ago, when I was at a Digital Detox event at Children's Fairyland in Oakland. The organizers had set up tables of typewriters for people -- milennials -- to play with and I sat nearby watching as they struggled to figure out how to operate them. Most gave up just trying to load the sheet of paper but one gal didn't. She walked right over to me and asked if I could help her out. She knew I was old enough to have typewriter-using knowledge!

I remember thinking, at the time, that I should start a YouTube channel for young people on how to work obsolete devices. Now Tom Hanks has upped and stolen my thunder. Thanks, Hanks... ;) Read the rest

Obsolete technology LEGO kits

Chris McVeigh of Halifax, Nova Scotia builds all kinds of cool things with LEGO. Recently, he's been creating kits that showcase obsolete office technology. This particular kit, which he calls "My Old Desktop: DOS Edition 2.0," features a few reminders of the 1980s office, including a rotary-dial desk phone and a beige desk computer that can be partially fed one of the miniature 5.25" floppy disk replicas.

If this is your kind of thing, be sure to take a look at all of his retro LEGO kits. He's even got a little tiny "Atari" console.

(Colossal) Read the rest