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.

My "New" Retro TV

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I've got a number of old TV's around (probably too many!) that I've shared with you in the past. The oldest ones either don't work, or I'm too fearful to plug them in so I'll never know. However my newest acquisition not only works, but is the most intact of all of my retro TV sets. Why? Because it had been built into a wall for the last 50 years.

Getting a television to blend into home decor has always been tough, especially as viewers desired larger displays. My mother isn't a technological prognosticator, or even a fan of electronic anything, but for decades she has wished for a thin television. Her friends scoffed, but now jokingly admit that she "invented" flat panel TVs. I love the new breed of slim televisions (my 32" CRT was a cow) that offer a large picture without necessarily dominating a room. In the past if you wanted your TV to blend in, you had to take elaborate measures.

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I was at an estate sale not long ago inside one of the finest retro houses I've ever seen. This family clearly took care of their home, and the decor and furnishings looked almost untouched since the 50's. Their basement was in the top 5 best 1950's rec rooms I've ever seen, one of the best features being the television built into the wall. I'd only ever seen that pulled off in fancy home improvement magazines, but the handyman patriarch of the family figured he could build his own.

The TV made its home in the wall for decades, which not only gave the room a sophisticated look, but also preserved the television set itself from decades of sunlight & scratches. The family was hesitant to sell me the TV as they thought I was proposing to tear the wall down! Fortunately the trim was only press fitted into place, so it was an easy job to take the still-functioning Philco 22C4011X home with me. Now to just hook up a DTV tuner, and this old TV will live on for decades more.

links:
Video sharing some old TV's left behind in the DTV transition
Break The TV Habit By Watching A TV/Waterfall/Clock
Westinghouse Portable TV Mystery

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