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.

Surprisingly Modern 8-Track Tapes

Phillsy_8trk Mention an appreciation of 8 track tapes, and you'll get a lot of bewildered looks.  At one time 8-track was the only portable music format, and now it's been unfairly reduced to a punchline - a thick plastic icon of the 60's and 70's.

There are a number of reasons to be genuinely sore at 8-tracks.  You couldn't rewind the carts, the internal mechanisms could fritz out, and worst of all - the songs were often put on the tape in a different order than the album.  Re-sequencing songs could sometimes make the songs fit on the 8 track cartridge better.  Even so, sometimes songs were actually split in the middle across multiple tracks.  I'm sure that some of you might remember the big "ka-thunk" that could sometimes barge into the middle of your favorite tune.

8_track_player2One more surprise up 8-track's sleeve is just how long it stuck around on the sly.  Around 1984 8-tracks disappeared from most retailers' shelves, but determined fans could still pick up some limited new releases until about 1988 via mail-away record clubs.  That's the story behind the Phil Collins 8-track of his massively successful solo effort, "No Jacket Required".  That makes "No Jacket Required" one of the few albums that would have been concurrently released on LP, 8-track, cassette, CD, VHS, CED, and who knows what else since.

List of 8 tracks that came out surprisingly late in the game
Amazon link to 8-Track documentary made by a friend
In case you don't already have "No Jacket Required" in five formats...
Our look at 2X-L; an educational toy powered by 8-track


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