Behold that mighty marvel of miniaturization: two speakers, cassette tape recorder, AM FM radios, equalizer – the Boom Box. Continue reading When Boxes Boomed
Western Auto stores were celebrating three quarters of a century in 1984 and feeling expansive. Barely half the pages in this catalog featured car parts…. Continue reading More Western, Less Auto
Another snapshot from a moment in history – 1984 – the end of a “Cambrian explosion” of computers and software. It was a moment when Stewart Brand and his Whole Earth crew out in California could feel an urgent calling to categorize and review what was going on with the Personal Computer revolution… Continue reading Personal Computers, After the Flood
Ingvar Kamprad, 1926-2018 The founder of Ikea has died. Sweden’s Ingvar Kamprad was 91. His plain appearance and message of comfortably-lived simplicity belied a seriously complicated person, which is probably to be expected from someone who could create, grow, and manage a company the size of Ikea. He invented it, while the rest of us … Continue reading Ingvar Kamprad, 1926-2018
For forty years there’s been a Star Wars movie that’s either just been released or about to be released. So it is this year, and so it was at Christmas 1983 when “Return of the Jedi” was still in theaters…. Continue reading A long time ago in a catalog far far away…
Sears Wishbook 1983: See Barbie. See Ken. See Barbie’s Western Star Traveller RV. Drive, Barbie Drive. Drive to your Barbie McDonalds. Welcome to Barbie’s world. Continue reading Barbie’s World
Sears Wishbook 1983: Who knew – Santa comes in different versions! Leave it to Sears to include a thoughtful comparison chart which lets you determine which jolly old Elf you can afford… Continue reading Here come Santa Clauses…from Sears
Is there an irony in using a printed catalog to promote computer games? From the 21st-century viewpoint, certainly yes. In 1984 Human Engineeered Software climbed to a peak from which there was nowhere to go but down…. Continue reading Into the Pit!
A new iPhone is being announced in a few weeks. It may cost close to $1000. A lot of money? Consider how much your iPhone does. Then consider just the function of video recording as it existed in 1984… Continue reading How to Shoot Video, 1984-style
It’s hard to appreciate how many modern conveniences, particularly of the electronic variety, began their lives so awkwardly. This Sears-Exclusive device brought closed-captioning to your existing TV for the not-insignificant price of $249… Continue reading At least 20 hours a week of captioned programs!