09. 09. 2004
Everything Old is New Again
I was already gathering these "analog chic" items when the New York Times wrote about another: the Facade Radius by Facade Computer, a modern computer built into the case of a 1937 Emerson tube radio. The Radius uses the VIA motherboard, CPU, and graphics card and can be pre-loaded with Linux instead of Windows for geek cred. You can send Facade your current computer and they can build it into the radio, or a briefcase or a vintage toaster. Facade's own model with a 120GB hard drive, 1GB of RAM and a DVD-RW drive is $835 and custom configurations are available.
Oops, Andrew from Facade Computer just told me that I actually have that backwards; you can send Facade an antique case and they'll build one of their new computers inside of it. Also, the Radius is just a prototype and not available for sale. The suitcase radio model you can buy is called the Sentinel.
The Stack-O-Matic Crosley is just like Grandpa's only it's from Restoration Hardware and it's updated with a diamond needle status and stereo speakers. You can stack up to six records (33, 45, or 78) for continuous playing. It's $199 and just one of many pretending-to-be-vintage audio products at Restoration.
If you don't mind wearing your retro gear a bit conspicuously, there's the Pokia Bluetooth Ealing, a headset that plugs into your bluetooth-equipped mobile phone. The bidding at Ebay UK is currently at about $275. This is so stupid it's bound to be a big hit.
The Wurlitzer Digital Jukebox is a hard drive (80GB) based system with built-in wireless capability for connecting to 100 channels of digital radio. The memory is expandable with additional USB hard drives. Klipsch speakers. $2000. You can also get much more affordable "replicas" of the old bubbler Wurlitzers at DCW.
Atari's new-old Flashback console will let you re-live the old days when you were the Millipede high-scorer at Shakey's.