tech history

Re-Exposure

That Time Steven Spielberg and Sega Built the Arcade of Your Dreams

GameWorks was a Hollywood-powered barcade so glamorous, Carmen Elektra hosted its launch.
Ernie Smith
4.29.17
Re-Exposure

The MP3 Player That Made Every Other MP3 Player Possible

The Diamond Rio PMP 300 could barely even hold a single album, but it was a hugely important device in the history of digital music.
Ernie Smith
4.19.17
Re-Exposure

Was This the Best Small Computer of the 90s?

The keyboard-laden Psion Series 3 personal digital assistant helped prove that computers could be both small and highly functional—though the real star of the device turned out to be its operating system.
Ernie Smith
4.2.17
Re-Exposure

Copies of Copies: The Surprisingly Complicated Process of Making a CD

It takes a whole lot of steps to get an optical disc ready for your CD Walkman—yet it has a surprising amount in common with pressing a record.
Ernie Smith
3.27.17
Tedium

The Story of Science Faction, the Company That Brought Lasers to Rock and Roll

Science Faction's Richard Sandhaus spent his twenties installing laser projections all over the world. He blew a lot of minds along the way.
Ernie Smith
3.24.17
Re-Exposure

This Is What 1970s Motion Capture Tech Looked Like

How one of the most infamous TV shows of all time—one apparently cancelled in the middle of its first episode—gave viewers a very early look at motion capture technology.
Ernie Smith
3.20.17
Tedium

Microsoft Tightened Its Grip on 90s Internet With This Janky Editor

FrontPage tried to solve an important problem in the early-internet era—the idea of making web design accessible to mere mortals—but the code wasn’t so hot.
Ernie Smith
3.9.17
Re-Exposure

This Build-It-Yourself Watch from the 70s Was Impossible to Put Together

The story of the Sinclair Black Watch, a digital watch that, for some reason, was sold in kit form. It was not an easy watch to build.
Ernie Smith
3.3.17
Tedium

How Airlines Fell in Love with In-Flight Movies, and Why They're Breaking Up

The in-flight entertainment system was once a novel idea that kept passengers enthralled. Now, the systems are expensive, outdated, and hard to upgrade.
Ernie Smith
3.2.17
Re-Exposure

This Trippy Image Shows How Supercomputers Helped Build Better Jet Engines

It's not a psychedelic desktop wallpaper from the future; it’s a compressor blade simulation from the past, produced by a Cray supercomputer.
Ernie Smith
2.23.17
Tedium

The Great Failure of Wang Laboratories, the David to IBM’s Goliath

The minicomputer maker Wang Laboratories ran an ad during the Super Bowl long before Apple did. So why did the company and its minicomputers become a footnote?
Ernie Smith
2.21.17
Re-Exposure

This Tiny Terminal Was France’s Version of AOL

A French telecom scheme to replace the phone book with a dumb terminal soon became the world’s first mainstream online network. Problem is, Minitel never really evolved past that point.
Ernie Smith
2.10.17
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