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.

International Rectifier Necktie

Hope no one asks me to fulfill their diode needs when I wear this... Over the years, many workplaces have eased dress restrictions. Novelty neckties are less of a "novelty" these days, as every store (I really wanted to say "haberdasher") has ties emblazoned with The 3 Stooges, Batman, and other designs that are pretty far from what used to hang in my father's closet.

When I found this International Rectifier tie at a thrift store, I thought I'd found a sort of hybrid of novelty and more straight-laced neckwear. I liked the simplicity of the font choice, and of course the repeated motif of the symbol of a diode from an electronic schematic. I felt a bit of a poseur since my electronics experience barely reaches beyond Radio Shack 150 in 1 kits. Nevertheless I think it's a pretty solid look; fun without being silly. I even took a fashion risk and wore it on a recent job interview.

Something about the style and material made me think that the tie was possibly quite old, but I couldn't have been more wrong. I learned that a few of these special ties had been made in 2000 for a trade show. The nice PR person at International Rectifier told me that they don't even make diodes anymore, but it's been their symbol for a long time, and they still like the look of it. She also found it amusing that someone outside the company would like to wear their tie. I'm sure I'll wear it again, though with all of those arrows pointing down, I'd better get a more interesting belt buckle.

related links:

Novelty necktie hides a saucy secret
Ancient tie-tack microphone

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