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.

Shopping For A New Printer... Retro Thing Style

Dot matrix heaven

There was a moment in the 1980s when the idea of spending $500 on a dot matrix printer seemed perfectly rational. Even Apple sold one. Back then, computers were all about word processing, programming, grainy girly pics and games - not necessarily in that order. There were no digital photos to print, nor did the idea of printing a CD cross anyone's mind.

Fast-forward a quarter century and dot matrix printers are as common as steam-powered cars. I own a laser printer (the cheapest way to print large documents) and an ink jet (for pretty pictures). But the idea of whacking little pins into a ribbon at 80 characters per second seems absolutely barbaric. 

Oddly enough, I'm considering buying one - a tank-like Epson MX-80, perhaps. They were so common that you can still buy new ribbons. More to the point, they work with the prehistoric multi-part tractor feed forms that the (Canadian) post office insists I use to send packages overseas.

There are numerous online stores that will sell me a shiny new dot matrix for a couple of hundred bucks, but that seems silly. I'll wait until I spot a nice one for $5 at a thrift store or garage sale. I shouldn't have much trouble connecting a 25-year-old printer to my almost new PC so my neighbors can enjoy its melodious mechanical grind from across the street. Heck, maybe I'll even make some music with the thing.

Epson Dot Matrix Printers


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