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.

Atari Cosmos: Holographic portable gaming

Atari Cosmos
Handheld LED games were all the rage in the early 1980s. Technology-hungry youngsters lapped up portable units that featured rudimentary grids of blinking LEDs and a handful of annoying sound effects. Atari was anxious to enter the market, but they didn't want to introduce a 'me too' product.

Atari's solution was the Cosmos, an intriguing tabletop LED game that used dual-image holographic backdrops to give the illusion of a 3 dimensional playing field. The unit was pre-programmed with 8 games that were enabled by special cartridges containing nothing more than a holographic backdrop and a series of openings to select the corresponding game in the unit. It was a brilliant approach that would have allowed Atari to offer add-on games for as little as $10 each.

The game play itself wasn't revolutionary: the device contained a simple 7 x  6 grid of red LEDs that could be programmed to play games such as Space Invaders, Superman, and Asteroids. Atari produced a short pre-production run of units and even printed advertising brochures and product boxes before pulling the plug because of a shortage of funds.

We'll never know whether this machine would have been a success, but the Cosmos is definitely one of the most collectible games in history -- only a couple of working units are known to exist. [Image from an Atari ad scanned by atarimuseum.com]

RetroMo: The Atari Cosmos [mojodomo.com]
Atari Cosmos Holoptic Tabletop Game System [atarimuseum.com]


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