Retail Apocalypse, the sim game

Bloomberg's American Mall [Bloomberg] is a retro browser game that invites you to simulate trying to revitalize a crumbling shopping mall, taking on the persona of one of four foolish investors who then has to decide whether to give breaks to your struggling retailers, bribe politicians by contributing to their re-election campaigns, chase out rats and punk teenagers, and try various gambits to tempt customers to come to your retail temple. (via 4 Short Links) Read the rest

ParadiseOS far from it

ParadiseOS depicts an alternative computing world from the turn of the millenium: a desktop obscenely slathered in compulsory and broken services, ads and applications, an experience designed by dotcom era advertising boyars but hopelessly unrealistic before the wide availability of broadband internet and hardware video decoding. It's part Black Mirror, part vaporwave, part ironically brilliant web development by Stephen Kistner.

Paradise OS imagines an alternate version of 1999 where the personal computer is a gateway to a commercialized global network. Palm Industries, a former mall developer turned technology giant effectively controls all online experiences.

Acting as a time capsule, the desktop captures the moments of December 30, 1999 — just days before a catastrophic Y2K event leads to the computer emerging in our dimension. Participants explore this frozen moment from time, using the content to discover more about the world from which it came.

The project references the visual vernacular of the 20th century American shopping mall. It establishes a connection between the mall and the Internet as escapist experiences and hubs of social activity.

The desktop's content deals with Internet phenomena including fake news, instant gratification and information overload. By engaging with contemporary topics from the perspective of an alternate reality, the project encourages participants to think more critically about the state of our own digital spaces.

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Bad Lip Reading dubs 'Stranger Things' as a perfectly odd retro sitcom

Things have been turned upside down (see what I did there?) in the world of Stranger Things as the good folks at Bad Lip Reading have dubbed over original scenes from the show and created a funny sitcom version of it (Wonder Years, anyone?). It's 18 minutes long and worth a watch, especially if you're a fan of the popular Netflix series.

(Neatorama)

Previously: Watch this Bad Lip Reading of Trump's inauguration day Read the rest

Charles Phoenix's accidental Astro-weenie 'Tom Turkey'

Pop culture historian Charles Phoenix, the culinary kitsch king behind the Cherpumple, accidentally created this Astro-Weenie Roast Tom Turkey Dog in his test kitchen a few years back.

His space-agey "bird" is made of "turkey meatloaf skewered and studded with turkey wieners, turkey kielbasa, ‘lil turkey smokies and fresh cranberries."

He writes, "I didn’t mean to do this, it just happened. I didn’t think about it, I just did it."

Previously: 'Addicted to Americana,' Charles Phoenix's new book on 'classic & kitschy American life & style' Read the rest

A visit to Europe's biggest retro-arcade

Arcade Club, near Manchester in England, is Europe's biggest collection of classic games. Retromash went for a visit.

Let’s cut to the chase. This place has over 250 arcade machines. Just take that in for a second. It’s the biggest arcade in Europe. I don’t know even know how many arcades in the UK had that many machines back in the 80s! Funspot and Galloping Ghosts in the US are definitely much bigger but this is still pretty massive for the UK. I obviously won’t list all the machines here but what I will do is list all the ones I can think of off the top of my head without taking a breath…

It looks amazing: in addition to the 250 cabinets, there's a newly-opened floor for pinball machines, Japanese-language games that never saw the light of day in the UK, and even a restaurant!

See also Retromash's collection of old Argos catalogs. Read the rest

Disneyland to offer 'After Dark' events in 2018, starting with a 'Throwback Nite'

Starting on January 18, Disneyland will be offering a series of after-hours events called Disneyland After Dark.

The first one is called "Throwback Nite" and it taps into early Disney nostalgia:

Step back in time to the ‘50s and ‘60s for a taste of the classic after-dark experience at Disneyland. Come dressed in your best to enjoy the Happiest Place on Earth under a million twinkling lights, swinging to the tune of the bands and enjoying your favorite rides in the cool moonlight ‘till the clock strikes 1 a.m.!

Original attraction posters of Disneyland experiences from yesteryear welcome you as you commemorate the evening with special photo locations... Live music and dancing bring the bygone era to life throughout the park, and the sky lights up with an exclusive showing of “Fantasy in The Sky” fireworks. Guests will receive a commemorative lanyard and a vintage-inspired park map that will highlight the special experiences taking place throughout the evening.

It sounds to me like a nighttime, sanctioned version of the popular Dapper Day, ie. it sounds like fun!

Tickets go on sale at Disneyland.com to the general public on December 7 and on November 30 for annual passholders of the resort. Read the rest

'Addicted to Americana,' Charles Phoenix's new book on 'classic & kitschy American life & style'

Creator of the Cherpumple (and other retro-fabulous foods) Charles Phoenix has a new book that celebrates "classic & kitschy American life & style." It's titled Addicted to Americana and it looks amazing!

Here's a look inside the book (click on image to embiggen):

The book is available for $22.32 on Amazon.

Charles is also on a book signing and comedy slide show tour (mostly in California). If you've never seen him perform, please do yourself a favor and get thee to one of his shows. They are a hoot. Read the rest

Tiny 3D-printed Raspberry Pi cases look like classic computers

RetroPi makes adorable 3D-printed replicas of old, large computers for you install new, tiny computers within. [via]

Read the rest

Dial-up modem opera

Exhibit A: Opera singers dubbed with dial up modems could be the next big thing – Olaf Falafel.

Exhibit B: The Modem Choir

Exhibit C: Rooster Singing Opera

More science must be done. Read the rest

Bomba-style retro flip clock

I've always wanted one of these, and now I can get one pretty cheap! The KABB Modern Digital Flip Clock is $44, comes with black or white number flaps, and runs off a single D battery. It looks a bit cheap in the photos—I certainly don't think it'll pass for a vintage Bomba—but that hardly matters, as it's just another totem of my anxious and obsessive grasping at nostalgia for a technological age I am too young to have experienced, a timeless jumble of false comfort doomed to be discarded in a convulsion of minimalism that is itself merely another manifestation of the deracinating consumer identities to which we are all measured against and fed to like krill.

Nice gift for dad, though! Read the rest

Sci-Fi Sundays: Worlds of IF Science Fiction, August 1964

This cover illustration may not be striking enough to pull your attention from across the room. There's nothing particularly wrong with it, it just isn't an overwhelmingly dynamic composition or subject matter.

There's a guy patching a hole in what appears to be a giant space balloon holding atmosphere for people inside.  Not horrible, but not inspiring. As usual when this is the case, I start to look around at what was happening in the world.

As it turns out, 1964 brings us some amazing space stories, such as the "Afronauts"

The US and the Soviet Union were deep in competition at this point, pushing further and further outward, with sights set on the moon. A Zambian school teacher named Edward Makuka Nikoloso, inspired by Zambia's recent independence, created the space program that he dubbed the "Afronauts" and claimed that they would be the first to the moon, beating the two super powers. 

To put it simply, they didn't have the technology, training, or funding to do anything of the sort. They lacked support from their local government and ultimately dropped their plans after the pilot of their ship, 17 year old Matha Mwambwa, became pregnant. 

Publication: Worlds of IF Science Fiction

Issue: August 1964, volume: 14 No. 4

Cover art: Fetterly from The Slaves of Gree

by Morrow for Slaves of Gree

Now this would have been a hell of a cover! not only is it much more intriguing, it is for the same story and by the same artist.  Read the rest

'Can You Talk to People Around the World on the Internet?,' asks this retro eighties music video

Youtuber "Hot Dad" has broken out his Casio keyboard, some dark wraparound shades, and is asking an important question, "Can You Talk to People Around the World on the Internet?" in this retro, cyber-tastic music video.

Previously: Guy makes great song from a Facebook conversation about a hedgehog image Read the rest

Class Apples is the only album made completely on the Apple II

Class Apples by 8 Bit Weapon

The Apple II had only rudimentary audio capabilities, so Class Apples, apparently the only album ever made on one, is doubly-incredible: a contemporary technical feat underlying a classical chiptune feast.

Welcome dear friends to the world's first all Apple II music based album ever! This collection of timeless classics is not related to a game or as a demo shipped with software, that's another reason why this album unique. Yes, all sounds, even the drums are generated directly from motherboard of the Apple II personal computer!

Thanks to a breakthrough in Apple II audio technology from legendary coder Mr. Michael J Majon we are able to push 8 bit instrument samples though the Apple II's 1 bit audio output! Another amazing technology boost was Charles Mangin's incredible midi hardware allowing us to control the Apple II like a midi module!

The Apple II was created in the late 1970's and popularized throughout the 1980's! Each track has been painstakingly engineered and recorded for your listening pleasure. Some eq, filtering, and other effects have been added to enhance your listening pleasure.

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Fun retro clip-art inspired animation

Paris-based Yeaaah! Studio released this terrific homage to 80s clip art and comics, stringing together a bunch of animated gifs to tell a story of modern romance. Read the rest

No Small Children's "Big Steps"

Lovely, lovely video. Read the rest

Early Mac software comes to the Internet Archive

The unique 1-bit look of early Mac software—especially its games!—are now more easily revisited thanks to the Internet Archive's Macintosh Software Library. Check out Dark Castle, Lode Runner and Wizardry, then write up your thoughts in MacWrite!

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Hey, Let's Call the Cast of Star Trek

In 1990, probably around the time that the last film with the cast of the original Star Trek TV show had just finished wrapping up the principle shooting of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (which came out in 1991), MCI somehow managed to wrangle all the cast members, including William (I-Really-Don’t-Want-Anything-To-Do-With-The-Rest-Of-You) Shatner into making this commercial for MCI for their new “Friends and Family” package.

MC-who? For many of us over the age of 40, that was our phone company before it sailed into the corporate void and was bought and put into stasis. It still exists, and is now owned by Verizon, but are there any MCI customers still out there? Maybe they are marooned on the planet where Kirk died after living in a time warp for a century before being killed in a meaningless gesture in Star Trek: Generations. Or maybe he died on some other planet … I’ve managed to erase most of the movie from my mind.

While the commercial's dialogue never rises above late 1980s television cheese, at least it attempts to feed into the actors' onscreen characters. Of course Leonard Nimoy comes off best—he was always the coolest guy on the bridge. Read the rest

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