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The Future Already Looks Retro

Topics: Technology | 2 CommentsBy admin | June 30, 2009

When you’re from the 23rd century like me, the 20th and 21st centuries look a lot alike. And we’re sorry to say that Mama’s taking your Kodachrome away.

The 1974 JVC Video Capsule and the 2002 iMac

This little review of the Sony Walkman by a 13-year-old iPod owner reminded me that for most of my life, I’ve felt like I’m living in some sort of time warp, or am genuinely displaced in time. As a kid in the sixties, I would watch Star Trek, and the technology and philosophy of the show seemed perfectly natural to me: no war, money was obsolete, computers had flawless voice recognition, and if you were captain of a starship, you could be white and kiss hot black (or even green) chicks and no-one would bat a lash. Then I’d go out to play, and my reality would be crushed; the first thing I’d see in the driveway was my brother’s rusted out ’62 Ford Galaxie, which, in spite of the space-age name, certainly didn’t have warp drive, and definitely ran on filthy petrol-matter, not anti-matter. Ironically, in spite of the fact that I lived through the era of 8-Track tapes, then cassettes, then the still-cumbersome CD, I am at this point genuinely disappointed, for instance, at the crappy sound quality of mp3 files and the utter lack of compact, single-source holographic audio and video. As a result of feeling like the present is antiquated, I have a perverse fascination with the even more antiquated technology of decades past, which is why I just lost about two hours of my life over at RetroThing.com, where I not only spent hours reminiscing about once-incredible technologies like the Magnavox Astro-Sonic Stereo Console and this incredible pocket-sized computer, but I also learned about tragedies like the impending demise of Kodachrome. Damn. And I was just shopping for a Pentax Spotmatic the other day. Know of any other cool retro sites?

Read Comments

  1. Posted by jeannie beanie on 06.30.09 7:39 am

    If I go look for ‘Retro’ sites. I’ll be lost in time. dare I?

  2. Posted by Scott Jewell on 07.05.09 8:05 pm

    whats old is new is old again