Category Archives: Gadgets

Self-Driving

LEGO Lawn Mower Man

Homemade Tank!

The 18-year-old high school student behind the YouTube channel MacroMachines spent 14 months building an incredible drivable 40% scale World War II era M26 Pershing tank that he took out for a spin around the yard. His entire build process is available to view on YouTube.

How Does a Glass Top Pool Table Work?

Smallest Working Train-Set

Advanced Useless Machine

A man was shopping at a thrift store in Oceanside, California last week when he came across a very strange Atari console. Some quick Googling told him it was a rare prototype for the Atari 2700, an un-produced wireless follow-up to the 2600. He bought it for $30. 

And then he sold it on eBay for $3,000.

Planned for release in 1981, the Atari 2700 was a new iteration of the popular early video game console. Compatible with all Atari 2600 games and accessories, the core difference between the 2700 and its predecessor was a pair of wireless controllers that combined a joystick with a paddle.

The Atari 2700 got as far as marketing planning, as evidenced by the 1981 magazine ad above. It was a sleek unit, with built-in storage for the controllers in the console housing.

We spoke to National Video Game Museum director John Hardie about why the system never made it to market.

“Those controllers were really the main reason the system was never released. They were radio controlled and the range of the controllers was said to be about 1,000 ft. which means you could easily affect your neighbors system with your joysticks,” said Hardie. “Imagine living in an apartment building where that 1,000 foot range could potentially affect 3 or 4 other systems. Since the controllers were only unique to left & right players and not to the system itself, it also meant that a large family that might want to purchase 2 units would have the same issues.”

The Atari 2700, apparently discovered at the Disabled Army Veterans thrift store in Oceanside, California, was missing the controllers, though it does have ports for standard Atari 2600 controllers. While he could not hook it to a modern television, it did power up when he plugged it in.

Controllers or no, it’s still a very rare console. It’s said that only around a dozen prototypes were created, though John Hardie suspects the number might be higher.

“Personally I think there are more. There have been several that have popped up over the years. In fact, in addition to the 3 that we have, we can probably account for another 5-6 out there. So, given the propensity of companies (especially Atari) to destroy/throw out products that were scrapped, it seems highly unlikely that 8-9 of the original 12 survived. In fact those would be amazing odds. But I suppose anything is possible.”

Like finding an incredibly rare Atari 2700 prototype at a thrift store, for instance.

Get Your Head Out of Your Apps!

Man vs. Refrigerator

Closely matched in intelligence, a man and a refrigerator filled with explosives face each other on the battleground in a fight to the death. Only one can survive.

Zippo

When visiting a new house…

Gyroscopic self-leveling pool table

Rebel Base

Adam can’t leave well enough alone…

Giant Octopus

Grassfiti

Happy Birthday, Atari 2600!

Atari 2600

October 14, 1977

Wikipedia Link

RIP Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011)

In the late 1970s, Jobs, with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Mike Markkula and others designed, developed, and marketed one of the first commercially successful lines of personal computers, the Apple II series.

From such humble beginings, a legend was born… Jobs was the driving force behind the Macintosh (seeing potential in the mouse-driven GUI); founded NeXT after leaving Apple; aquired a little Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division (which became Pixar), and returned to Apple and become CEO.  When Pixar was aquired by Disney, he became Disney’s largest individual shareholder ever.

What a story… Wikipedia Link

X-15 CB

x15

Wind turbine fire…