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.

Radio Shack Catalog, Soviet Style

TVs and teapots. The perfect combination

We've written about the alternate universe of Soviet electronics before, but Paul Colella recently sent in a link to a catalog of electronic goodies from the USSR that makes my teeth tingle. The Katalog Tovarov Narodnogo Potrebleniya 1981 paraded the latest and greatest technology. Being able to afford it was another matter.

Video games and tape decks

He says, "Our friends over at English-Russia have posted some 1980's Soviet goods p0rn. Most of the stuff looks like American goods from the 1970s but of particular coolness are the electronics. I'd love to get my hands on the portable organ/synth and what I think is some type of mixer."

1981 Soviet Goods Catalog [via NNM]

Cameras and stereos

The cameras look a bit too industrial (in fact, I have a Krasnogorsk 16mm movie camera with the same lens as the bottom device), but the stereo looks like it escaped from a Radio Shack catalog. Hmm. That might not be such a good thing...

Digital clocks. Ford Prefect would be proud.

Apparently, being on time was as big a deal behind the Iron Curtain as it was in the west.


Even the toys looked similar. Well, except for the fact that the designers had obviously never seen a Formula 1 car. The electronic kit on the right has a certain no-nonsense look to it as well -- I can easily imagine rows of them in schools, training future cell phone engineers.


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