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.

Carrera drives slot car racing into the 21st century


I have a soft spot for electromechanical toys (especially German ones), which is why I'm sitting here daydreaming about a Carrera slot car set instead of doing real work. The German company has marketed a wickedly cool selection of speedy scale model slot cars for over 40 years.

Old-school analog sets were limited to a single car per electrified track (although many thousands of us tried running more than one at a time, just to see what would happen). The latest digitally controlled sets allow up to 4 cars to race at one time on a single track. Specially designed passing sections allow you to make daring last-moment dashes around your opponents.

But wait! There's more. My old early 1980s set was often a tangle of wires. The boffins at Carrera have this problem licked as well thanks to some nifty infrared wireless controllers. Each can be switched to one of four frequencies and has a minimum range of 3 m (almost 10 ft). To keep you honest, an infrared lap counter displays lap times with 1/100 second accuracy. If they'd had gadgets like this when I was a kid, I'd still be living in my parent's house.

The Carrera product lineup
Our classic post about Scalextric slot cars


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