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.

Mattel Vertibird 3D Simulator


The Mattel Vertibird is one of my favorite toys from the 1970s. It's a little toy helicopter that flies in circles around a central hub. The tiny vehicle is attached by a thin metal support rod and a rotating drive cable; adding a battery or motor to the plastic heli shell would have made it too heavy to fly.

A simple control unit lets you adjust the rotor speed (altitude) and the flight direction using two levers. It also has a tiny plastic hook to pick up various and sundry small objects from its flight path. Mine was hours of fun until it ran into the dog at high speed. Vertibirds stayed on the market throughout most of the 1970s, but only cheap clones can be found in modern toy shops. As with many classic toys of the era, a boxed set in good condition now collects several hundred dollars on eBay.

Have no fear. Peter Hirshberg -- of LEDhead handheld fame -- has written VertiSim, a Vertibird simulator. It's definitely worth taking for a spin. The game even gives you the option of placing the pilot inside the cockpit -- something that every kid would love.

VertiSim Mattel Vertibird Simulator [Windows only]


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