Hi rez images from NASA's 1967/8 Lunar Orbiters were withheld to hide US spying capabilities

In 1967, the Lunar Orbiter missions sent back exciting -- but grainy and low-rez -- photos of the moon's surface. Read the rest

The first "portable" computer fit in two trailer vans and weighed 20 tons

The first electromechanical computers occupied whole buildings, making them rather unwieldy; in the 1950s, an effort to create a "portable" computer called the DYSEAC bore fruit in the form of a computer on wheels that could be relocated, provided you had the trucking logistics to move two trailers with a combined weight of 20 tons. Read the rest

To do in San Francisco: an evening celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Whole Earth Catalog

I was practically raised on the Whole Earth Catalog and its successors like the Co-Evolution Quarterly, the Whole Earth Review and the WELL -- pioneering publications whose motto, "access to tools and ideas," turned into the maker movement and helped create the movement for free, fair and open internet infrastructure. Read the rest

Rebooting Tomb of Horrors, Gary Gygax's incredibly hard D&D module for "invincible characters"

In 1975, Gary Gygax revealed the Tomb of Horrors module at the first Origins convention, presenting it as a campaign that would specifically challenge overpowered characters who would have to rely on their wits to outsmart incredibly lethal, subtle traps, rather than using their almighty THACOs to fell trash-mobs of orcs or other low-level monsters. Read the rest

Founder of Diamond Comic Distributors donates 3,000 comics rarities to the Library of Congress

Gary Price writes, "The Library of Congress announced today that collector and entrepreneur Stephen A. Geppi (owner of Diamond Comic Distributors) has donated to the nation’s library more than 3,000 items from his phenomenal and vast personal collection of comic books and popular art, including the original storyboards that document the creation of Mickey Mouse." Read the rest

The paleocomputing miracle of the 76477 Space Invaders sound effects chip

In 1978, the 76477 Complex Sound Generation chip was foundational to creating the sound effects in many popular games, notably Space Invaders; it was also popular with hobbyists who could buy the chip at Radio Shack -- it could do minor miracles, tweaking a white noise generator to produce everything from drums to explosions, using an integrated digital mixer to layer and sequence these sounds. Read the rest

The Computer History Museum just published the sourcecode for Eudora

Eudora -- first released in 1988 -- was the first industrial-strength email client designed to run on personal computers like IBM PC and the Macintosh; though there are still die-hard users of the program, the last version was published in 2006. Read the rest

A handheld version of Oregon Trail!

The Oregon Trail Handheld Game is a Target exclusive at $25, but for $29.20 you can get resold/new ones with Prime -- it's a straight port of the Apple ][+ game with a specialized keypad, about the size of a G1 Gameboy. (via Red Ferret) Read the rest

AT&T's 1993 "You Will" ads, the rightest wrong things ever predicted about the internet

In 1993, AT&T ran a series of ads trumpeting the future of the internet, called "You Will." Read the rest

Vinegar Valentines: Villainous Victorian woodcuts that lament the irritations of engaging tradesmen

Spitalfields Life highlights a selection of the "Villainous Valentines," Victorian-era prints that illustrate the irritations of hiring different kinds of tradesmen, accompanied by appropriate doggerel. It's like a bougie mirror-world version of London Labour and the London Poor, with illustrations by way of John Tenniel. Read the rest

Rod Serling: human rights activist as science fiction showrunner

Science fiction author Hugh Spencer (previously) has published an essay on how Rod Serling's activist views on human rights were embodied in The Twilight Zone, drawing on the practice of using fantastic fiction to evade social constraints, in the tradition of Gulliver's Travels (to say nothing of books like Pinocchio and Inferno). Read the rest

A huge trove of vintage movie posters from the University of Texas's Ransom Center archive

The University of Texas's Ransom Center (previously) has posted a gorgeous selection of digitized movie posters from its Movie Poster Collection, from the 1920s to the 1970s. Read the rest

The Alexis: a homebrew typewriter from 1890

Martin from Antique Typewriters writes, "The Alexis typewriter is the result of a small town inventor with the desire to design and manufacture his own typewriter. James A. Wallace (1845 - 1906) was born in Alexis, Illinois (pop. 900) where he is now buried. He was a dynamic man with various occupations including bicycle repair, writer, and photographer (see his portrait below). He was also an avid musician. The Alexis is a superb example of a unique typewriter from the 'Wild West' of typewriters during the 1880s & 1890s when all sorts of ingenious designs came forth. Some ideas were better than others though and there were many successes and failures." Read the rest

Facsimile editions of the "Negro Motorist Green Books" from 1940, 1954 and 1963 are selling briskly in 2017

In 1936, Hugo Green, a postal worker in Harlem, published his first "Negro Motorist Green Book," a guide to the places that black travelers could eat, sleep, gas up, and be physically present and alive without being discriminated against, harassed, threatened, beaten or murdered. Read the rest

In 1977, the Sex Pistols played their last UK gig: a Christmas show for children

In 1977, the Sex Pistols did a charity gig to raise money for the families of striking miners and firefighters in Huddersfield; the show started at lunchtime with an all-kid audience, and went on into the night, with adult punks showing up later in the day. Read the rest

A playable version of Oregon Trail to promote Oregon tourism

The semi-independent Oregon Tourism Commission has created a playable version of the classic Apple ][-era adventure game Oregon Trail to promote Oregon tourism. Read the rest

Buy a random permanent tattoo from this vending machine

Choosing art to be inked permanently on your body can be a crippling decision, at least for some folks.

Elm Street Tattoo in Dallas, Texas thought of a fun way to make the process simpler. They created a vending machine that picks the art for you.

Yup, for $100 you get one turn of their "Get What You Get" machine. "What you get" is an old-school tattoo design which pops out in a plastic toy capsule and is then inked on your person. If you aren't cool with the design, don't throw a fit because for another $20 you can buy yourself another spin. No one is forced to put the design on their body; however, there are no refunds.

Boogie, a shop employee, told the Dallas Observer, "All of these tattoos I would price out between $160 and $180 ... maybe $250."

Tattoos will be completed on a first-come, first-served basis. If there's no line, you can get yours right away. If all of the artists are booked, you may have to make an appointment.

Get What You Get now at #elmstreettattoo! Drop by the shop and get tattooed! #dallastattoo #2146531392 #walkinswelcome #americantraditional #walkintattoo #deepellum #deepellumtattoo #deepellumart #heartinhandgallery #tattoospeakeasy #heartinhand #getwhatyouget

A post shared by Elm Street Tattoo (@elmstreettattoo) on Aug 8, 2017 at 3:54pm PDT

The shop's co-founder and Ink Master star Oliver Peck writes, "Not a bad design in the bunch."

This Friday at @elmstreettattoo I will be doing tattoos out of the "Get What You Get " machine ...

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