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.

Underground Nintendo: A Portable CD/VCD/NES Spaghetti Monster

NES VCD

[Allow me to introduce Bohus, the newest member of the Retro Thing team. His first post is about a machine so strange, I can't properly describe it in a single sentence...]

Since we've been talking about playing old 80's era NES games on the upcoming Revolution system, it seems irresistible to talk about how people played these classics in the past. There have been pirate NES systems for years now, usually housed in a brittle plastic replica of a non-Nintendo system (like X-box or Playstation), but here is a personal favorite of mine.

This device wraps up several weird ideas into one: First, it's a cheap portable CD player. Second, it's a VCD player. VCD is a video format (it's a flavor of mpeg1, and looks like crap) that was popular in China and among bootleggers. Third, and most mysterious, it plays NES games.

As you can see from the picture, once everything is connected for game play your tabletop becomes a Rube Goldberg mess of spaghetti. The games play from the "not for sale" CD rom included with the system and use the VCD's menuing ability to let you pick through several dozen NES games with the cheesy remote (accompanied by cartoon pictures from Tenchi Muyo and Samba De Amigo).

The most subversive part was the way it had been smuggled into the US. Nintendo now has their eye out on Famiclone imports and this unit was clearly shipped in separate packages, then assembled in the US and there's no reference to games on the box. Also, the instruction page for gaming is a looseleaf sheet added to the manual later.

Wicked cool in that it does in fact work, though the controllers are clearly not long for this world.  This many flakey connections between so many shoddily built components can't last long.

Learn oodles about the panoply of NES ripoff consoles (emucamp.com)

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