[ Retro GIF of the Week ] Coca-Cola Classic

December 24th, 2012 by Benj Edwards

Coca-Cola Can Retro GIFClick to see other views of this image:
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In the BBS world of the late 1980s and early 1990s, one could easily find digital art that celebrated consumer brands, like the image of a Coke can seen here. In fact, I'd say brand art was a particularly distinctive genre of early computer art.

If I had to explain why brand art was so common, I'd first speculate that when people needed something to test out their imaging equipment with — say, a new scanner or a video digitizer card — an advertisement or product package was always at hand to be a guinea pig.

More importantly, consumer brands also inspire loyalty that consumers identify with personally. Think Doritos and Mountain Dew. Fans of those products like to spread their love of them as a cultural identifier, and the same was true in the 1980s and 1990s online space.

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Macintosh II 25th Anniversary

June 8th, 2012 by Benj Edwards

Macintosh II 25th Anniversary at Macworld

25 years ago this March (1987), Apple released the Macintosh II, the first open architecture Macintosh. Naturally, I've written a short feature about this pioneering machine over at Macworld.

While speaking with Michael Dhuey, the Apple engineer that conceived the Mac II, I learned that Apple patterned the Mac II after the 1977 Apple II, which sported the same sort of flexibility and expandability as the Mac II. That self-referential influence amazed me — especially coming from a company that recently institutionalized the practice of ignoring its own history.

But only two years after Steve Jobs resigned from Apple, the company had no problem making the un-Jobs move of both looking backward and opening up the Macintosh. The result changed the course of Macintosh history.

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