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.

Stylish Ampex Micro 24 Cassette Recorder

Ampex_micro_24_02

I love the look of this briefcase-styled tape recorder. It's oozing with good looks (can't you totally see Napoleon Solo or Commander Straker using this?), and it has a lot of features that I wish were still common on the recorders of today. It's got several different input and output jacks, compartment for hiding away the AC cord, tone control, a level meter and manual control of the recording level (damn you, auto gain control!). Ampex_micro_24_01

There isn't a carry handle, rather there are lugs on the sides to attatch a strap - so this is clearly an on-the-go kind of recorder (especially if you're willing to flip for the 5 "D" cells to power the Micro 24).  Too bad that this particular unit is as dinged up as it is (though it still brings the jams in glorious mono!).  I guess that spy work takes its toll on secret and stylish gadgets.

I've said this before, but sometimes the most important time to inject style into a device is when it doesn't necessarily need it. Coming from a time that I remember all cassette recorders having the aesthetics of a shoebox, Ampex's Micro 24 is a breath of fresh air.

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