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.

Scotch Color Capable Video Tape


Sometimes I feel proud of people.  I think that it's just great that despite all the marketing hype behind high definition DVD, people are waiting out the format war between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD.  Consumers have spoken and they don't want to take part in the contest between two formats that have few features to distinguish them from one another.  I think folks are still smarting from the VHS vs. Beta conflict 20 years ago.  VHS/Beta was one of the great debates in consumer media, but many people don't realize that there were other formats before those.

In the 60's and 70's there were a number of models of open reel video decks that would have used tape like this.  For the most part they were terribly expensive, finding use only in industrial and professional settings.  Some folks could swing the money necessary to take control of their TV habits (any form of proto-Tivo would have been pretty seductive), and eventually some models came down to a more consumer-friendly price.  I even remember a plotline in a "Bob Newhart Show" revolving around one of these miracle devices

The first decks recorded a relatively low quality black and white signal on reels like this one (though this particular reel is a later tape formulation and is color compatible).  Color was a significant improvement in later models, but nothing could compare to the ease of eventually encasing those reels in a much more compact cassette for consumer comfort.

This particular reel came out of a box full of training materials from the phone company, and I assume that this is something shot at the firm.  Unless I find one of these old warhorse machines, I suppose I'll never know what's on it.

Professionals would continue to use open reel formats throughout the 80's for best image quality, but eventually the cassette formats caught up and open reel tapes were relegated to the the history books and the junk heap.

Here is an article we wrote about a reel-to-reel video player

Check out LabGuy's fantastic collection of video recorders


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