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A Thing of Beauty

January 24, 2009

Want: this one-of-a-kind casemod (via BoingBoing, naturally) is exactly what a PC would have looked like, if only they’d been around in the 1950s. I am such a sucker for this kind of alternate-universe tech.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    January 30, 2009 11:17 am

    My boss just gave a presentation on the history of computing. He has a photo of his first calculator, a Litronix 2260 Slide Rule Calculator from 1974. Ugly as sin, but it has a red LED and still works!!

    Certainly not as aesthetically satisfying as the 50s-era design above. I guess by 1974, functional art and design had hit a bit of nadir, no?

  2. January 31, 2009 12:13 am

    I call the 1970s the “What Were We Thinking?” decade. Seriously – orange and magenta? Although there are some things I liked about 70s design (I really liked my yellow, nosecone-shaped Panasonic portable TV – can’t find an image online). There was a certain playfulness of style in the 70s, a willingness to experiment with odd forms that has fallen out of fashion.

  3. Anhidonia permalink
    February 2, 2009 9:00 pm

    I cannot get the image of a nosecone-shaped TV out of my mind. Where was the screen? Did it stand up on the flat end of the cone or lie on its side and roll around in a circle?

    • February 2, 2009 11:41 pm

      Agh – it’s killing me that I can’t find one single image of the thing I remember. Maybe it wasn’t a Panasonic after all, although the style fits with other Panasonic products whose images I did find from that general era, and I still didn’t see anything right when I searched without the brand name.

      And so anyway, to answer your question, the screen was flat (well, as flat as a CRT tended to be) and in the base of the cone shape, which rested on its side. It didn’t look that much different from other TVs, I guess, except that the back of the set was a smooth ellipsoid curve instead of being all boxy – if you imagine the nose cone of a fighter jet, you could see the screen from inside the cockpit. And it didn’t roll around because it had little feet on it, underneath where they didn’t spoil the line of the case much.

      I can’t promise that I won’t keep looking for a picture to attach to this post…

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