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.

Too Many Buttons On Your Remote?


Okay, I'm a doofus. I've never been able to get a universal remote to work for me. I've tried a hundred dollar jobber with a reconfigurable LCD screen, I've tried one from the dollar store - no dice. I can maybe get one function to work, so a universal remote is just not going to fit into my universe. Therefore, like a lot of people I have a coffee table littered with remotes. 

As if multitudes of remotes weren't enough of a problem, almost all of them have nightmarish design. In some cases I've never seen anything designed to fit in a human hand that could be less accommodating to the human hand. Let's not even talk about those remotes you practically have to hold right up to the device you're controlling.

What a lot of remotes need to do is simplify. Since TV's don't come with adjustment knobs anymore, we have to do it all from the remote using tons of tiny and confusing buttons. Maybe RCA got it right with this corded remote. Not only will it work from anywhere in the room (within a ten foot radius), imagine how easy tech support must have been:

- befuddled customer: "I pressed the thing and all it does is change channels."

- warmly smug tech guy: "Hmm... have you tried the other button?"

Remote_cuI'm oversimplifying, though the VCR I had up until the early 90's was a top-loader with a corded remote. I was spoiled with forward and reverse scan on mine as well as a noise-filled pause... so there. Actually what I'd like to come back is something I remember seeing done in the 90's. As TV remotes got more sophisticated, the seldom used buttons were hidden away under a cover. Some companies went as far as to provide a pair of remotes (that's TWO remotes for you to lose in the couch!), a much simplified day-to-day unit, and a Sunday-go-to-meetings fancy pants one.

I hope that someone comes along someday to solve this multi-remote problem for me. Then again, walking the six feet to the television set every day just to control it may be the only exercise I get.

Radio Shack remote control extender of the ancients
Atari 2600 joystick remote
Calculator watch with built in remote
General Electric's ginormous television


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