Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Pong [beep!] Celebrates 40th Anniversary [boop!]

Pong made by a company called 'Car Safety'?

Ralph H. Baer and Bill Harrison played their first game of video ping pong in December 1967. The two engineers saw the television screen as a blank slate for electronic interactivity, and with millions of screens in homes all over the world they were right to take on such an ambitious project. Their "Brown Box" prototype was completed in 1969, ushering in the dawn of the Pong era.

Baer's patented technology was licensed to Magnavox in 1970 and released two years later as the Magnavox Odyssey console. It was best known for a 2-player game called Table Tennis, although a total of 12 game cartridges were available (six shipped with the console itself).

The system didn't use digital logic, relying instead on an intricate network of discrete electronic components to generate the paddles, tennis net and bouncing ball. The game cartridges had a series of jumpers that modified the game play by moving or removing the net and controlling how the ball and players interacted. Over 350,000 Odyssey systems were sold before Magnavox replaced it with the simplified Odyssey 100 system in 1975.

Atari founder Nolan Bushnell developed Pong after seeing an early version of the Magnavox electronic tennis game in action. His version took advantage of digital miniaturization and went on to dominate the industry in the mid-1970s. However, Atari was sued for patent infringement and eventually paid a substantial settlement.

Pongmuseum.com is a new site dedicated to telling the Pong story. Not only will you learn the many facets of the tale of the square bouncing ball that changed the world, you'll also see a collection of dozens of fine photographs of home Pong consoles. You may think that the Pong tale is a simple one, but I found myself quite absorbed by the embryonic origins of today's multi-kajillion dollar video game industry. Besides, I still like talking smack during a good game of Pong Ultra IV now and then.

Visit Pongmuseum.com
Video Games Turn 40 Years Old


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