Benj’s Oddities Series Returns with “PlayStation Oddities”

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

PlayStation Oddities

Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the Sony PlayStation’s release in Japan. To celebrate, my old friend Harry McCracken (who now works at FastCompany) asked me if I wanted to bring my long-running Oddities series out of retirement. In short, I said “heck yes,” and the result can be seen over on the FastCompany website.

This latest entry marks a change in format for the series: it is the first that is not a page-by-page slideshow. I made a bajillion slideshows between 2007 and 2012, and while they were fun to make, I am thankful that I have moved on.

So if you’re a fan of the PlayStation, click through and check out some weird variations, accessories, and tributes to one of the most successful game consoles of all time.

All Entries in Benj’s Oddities Series:

Atari Oddities (40th Anniversary)

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Atari Oddities Title Slide

Forty years ago this June, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney founded Atari, Inc. — what a name, what a company. Even 40 years on, Atari looms like a giant shadow over all corners of video game history, and for good reason: its two founders launched the industry in 1971.

I thought I’d celebrate this 40-year milestone a little early with some Atari Oddities over at Technologizer. You’ll see obscure Atari products like a 1976 arcade digital camera, a light synthesizer, a dog-themed Pong cabinet, and more. Anyone with even a casual interest in Atari should enjoy it.

I’m jumping the gun on the anniversary, month-wise, because this will likely be the last piece I write for Technologizer. Its founder, Harry McCracken, has joined TIME as an editor, and Technologizer will cease to be an independent blog at the end of the month (the archives will live on, however).

[ Continue reading Atari Oddities (40th Anniversary) » ]

IBM PC 30th Anniversary Extravaganza

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Can You Do Real Work With The 30-Year-Old IBM PC 5150? at PCWorld.com

If you haven’t heard by now, the IBM PC platforms turned 30 years old today. On August 12th, 1981, IBM announced its new PC, the 5150, at a press conference in New York. It was a big deal then, and it’s an even bigger deal now. For the last 30 years, most of us have been using computers descended from a standard set in motion 30 years ago.

To celebrate this momentous anniversary, I’ve put together a few articles for PC World and Technologizer. The first is titled, “Can You Do Real Work With the 30-Year-Old IBM 5150?” A few weeks ago, I locked myself in a room with a vintage IBM PC 5150 to see if I could use it for real, modern computing work. That article spells out the results.

The second is something more predictable: IBM PC Oddities over at Technologizer. It’s the latest in my Oddities series of interesting and bizarre trivia slideshows for that site. If you’ve ever used a PC, you should enjoy it.

Then there’s the stuff at VC&G. I just posted a few thoughts on the IBM PC’s anniversary and an essay on history’s treatment of the IBM PC, and on Monday I posted a new Retro Scan of the Week that features a 1982 IBM PC ad. In turn, that Retro Scan post lists previous Retro Scan entries that deal with the PC.

Happy Birthday, IBM PC!

Game Boy Oddities

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Game Boy Oddities on Technologizer

Just up is a new slide show I put together for Technologzier that showcases Game Boy oddities. It’s like a freak show for Nintendo’s venerable handheld, which turns twenty next week. Ever seen a Game Boy peripheral that dispenses laughing gas? How about one that demands tributes of child blood? If not, then mosey on over to Technologizer and take a look.