Back in the 1980s, I was a serious Atari kid. I had an Atari 2600, an Atari 800, an Atari 7800, an Atari Lynx, and an Atari 520ST along the way. I was even president of an Atari Users Group. So the iconic Atari “Fuji” logo is permanently embedded in my brain.
One of the more memorable versions of the Atari logo was the rainbow-colored one that was used to show off the graphical chops of Atari’s 8-bit computers, which trounced Apple and Commodore’s capabilities at the time.
Now 80s kids like me can reminisce about our youths with a replica of this classic logo to put on our desks or bookshelves. The colorful, gradient rainbow logo looks just like the original, though this one has smoother edges than the pixelated original, so clearly, this Atari has had a resolution upgrade. It also comes with a matching acrylic stand.
Thunktronix makes this logo and kinds of nifty retro goodies using back-painted, laser-cut Plexiglas. I can totally hear the music from that Atari 400/800 in-store demo program that started out with an animated version of the logo. You’re welcome…
Microsoft, probably known for always being at the forefront of fashion, is releasing another small series of ugly holiday sweaters to commemorate some of its products of yesteryear. Obviously, these will be my go-to tops for Zoom meetings this winter. My go-to bottoms? Haha – bottoms. What is this, a physical workplace?
Available in MS Paint, Windows 95, and Windows XP varieties, the sweaters are pre-orderable in sizes small – XXXL for $70, with a portion of each sale being donated to Girls Who Code, a non-profit dedicated to closing the gender gap in tech. Unfortunately, the sweaters won’t ship until January 29th, 2021 – just in time to lose your family’s annual ugly holiday sweater contest by over a full month.
Obviously, if Microsoft wanted to make the ugliest holiday sweater they should have made a blue screen of death version. I get light-headed just thinking about a particular blue screen of death I experienced back in 2004. All that work I just did… gone. You know that may have actually been the first time I ever threw a computer tower down the stairs.
Do you have an old Macintosh lying around gathering dust? While you might want to turn it into an aquarium, you could also update it to run a much more modern operating system. Modder Travis DeRose of Curiosityness shows us how he cracked open a Macintosh Plus and converted it into a permanent home for an iPad Mini.
The computer is completely functional, though it uses the iPad Mini’s touchscreen instead of a mouse and keyboard. I think if I built one of these, I’d want to mod an original ADB keyboard and mouse to connect to the iPad Mini via Bluetooth. The system also has a button on the back which can turn on and off the Lightning charging cable, which is important since all of the buttons on the iPad Mini end up hidden behind the black acrylic frame that’s necessary to make the iPad Mini fit into the monitor cutout from the Macintosh. One downside of the home button being concealed is that you have to use gestures in its place.
Check out the full build video below, then head over to Instructables for the step-by-step instructions and parts list.
It takes a bit of work to strip the guts out of the old Macintosh, though you can also find some empty Mac cases up on eBay if you want to get a headstart on the build. You could also buy a right-angle Lightning cable and USB switch (affiliate links) on Amazon if you want to save time on that part of the project.
Because I write thousands and thousands of words every week, I got myself a fancy $200 mechanical keyboard with good clicky switches and schmancy RGB backlighting just for fun. I’ve thought about getting some custom keycaps too, but I don’t think I’d be able to type very fast if all of my keys were made to look like food.
Artist Tiny loves to create custom keys for mechanical keyboards and has been spending months creating a series of keys that look like miniature foods. She recently completed the collection, and now has an entire keyboard filled with food. And no, I’m not talking about the Cheetos and Doritos dust that some of us might find between our keys.
Among the food keys are a cheeseburger, a cinnamon roll, a pink donut with sprinkles, french fries, and more yummy treats. I especially love how she made the longer keys like the submarine sandwich space bar and the watermelon and hot dog shift keys. Tiny walks through all of the keys and how they relate to their letter position on the keyboard then performs a typing speed test in the video below:
[via Nag on the Lake]
Back in the 1980s, computers were largely shades of beige or grey plastic. While this look might seem dated by today’s standards of slim, glass and metal devices, there’s no question that these retro color schemes immediately bring back fond memories of the early days of personal computing. Well, now it turns out that you can paint whatever you want in the color of the classic Commodore 64.
Polish company Retrohax sells this spray paint that’s aptly named “Commodore 64C Beige.” It’s actually the color of the C64C, which came out in 1986, rather than the exact color of the original 1982 C64, but it’s close enough for me. The spray paint produces a nice satin beige finish, though priming is recommended to ensure good adhesion.
Retrohax also offers classic computer paints in Atari XE/ST Grey and Amiga 500 Beige. Unfortunately, due to flight restrictions, the paint is currently only available in Poland, but its makers hope to ship it to other countries at some point. For now, maybe we can find some off-the-shelf beige paint that’s similar in color.
I think this stuff would look great on all kinds of modern devices. I’m considering painting the aluminum parts of my iMac with this, or maybe the back of my iPhone. What would you paint with this stuff?
Back in the 1970s, the idea of “pyramid power” was about as popular among crackpots as today’s flat earth theories. While the Egyptian pyramids and other pyramid-shaped structures possess no magical qualities, they are cool to look at and architecturally significant. If you think pyramids are awesome, perhaps you’ll dig this pyramid-shaped computer case.
The AZZA Pyramid Mini 806 is a mini-mid-size case for building your own custom PC. It features an aluminum structure along with four tempered glass side panels which let you peep inside and check out your computer componentry. It holds any standard Mini-ITX motherboard, and an SFX power supply. It also includes a 120mm cooling fan with RGB lighting, which sits above the computer components and extracts heat out of openings at the top of the glass.
Measuring 17.1″ tall, with a 14.5″ x 14.5″ footprint, it’s not exactly a conventional small form-factor computer case, but it definitely is eyecatching, and its stacked design makes for easy access to components.
If you’re ready to build your own desktop pyramid, you can find the Pyramid Mini 806 case over on Amazon for $249.99. For those looking to make a larger ATX-based computer, they make a larger model called the Pyramid 804V, which sells for $297.87.
Something is appealing to me about the aesthetics of old personal computers from the ’80s and ’90s. I know they’re not streamlined or sleek like the stuff that Apple is churning out these days, but I liked that those old machines felt more purposeful in their design. Like, hey, this is a place to get work done. This is a piece of serious equipment.
The setup incorporates a primitive beige PC keyboard, along with a chunky CRT monitor, a boxy workstation tower, a pair of matching speakers, and of course, a desk for it all to sit on. There are lots of other neat details, like a LEGO mouse and joystick, along with tiny 3.5″ floppy disks, which are sadly not available as official LEGO parts at this time.
While I’d love to see this turned into an official LEGO kit at some point, the current design is actually a photorealistic CG rendering made with Mecabricks and Blender. Now I’m even more impressed because that seems like way more work than actually building this out of LEGO parts.