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.

Pinball Expo 2006: UltraPin digital pinball


I'm at the Pinball Expo in Chicago through Saturday evening. A couple of things struck me while checking out the dozens of machines on display: nothing beats a classic pinball machine, and those old machines sure seem to break down a lot under heavy use.

One interesting development at the show is UltraPin by Global VR. From a distance, this 250 lb machine resembles a machine from the past. When you get closer, you realize that the play field is actually a 32-inch 16:9 flat monitor, and the traditional dot matrix scoring screen on the back glass has been augmented by a second monitor. To keep the experience as real as possible, UltraPin features a force feedback system that allows you to bump (and tilt) the machine in a quest for a high-score.

The base machine comes with emulations of six classic games: Attack from Mars, Medieval Madness, F-14 Tomcat, Strikes & Spares, Sorcerer and Xenon. Additional 6-packs of games are available, too. It was interesting to watch players with the unit - they used the same body English as they would with a "real" table, although the perspective of the screen graphics wasn't quite perfect. Still, this is a cool way to cram an arcade full of different games into a single box. Available now for about $6500. Follow the jump for a photo of the playfield...

UltraPin digital pinball


Check out this bad boy!  It's an actual shot of the LCD display under the glass of the UltraPin game I was playing for a good chunk of the evening.  You can see that the perspective is a bit skewed as I mentioned before.  Bohus also thinks that for $6500, the graphical steel pinball should raytrace the surroundings to look more realistic.  Sounds like something he'd say.

UltraPin digital pinball


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