A Ride on Sunshine – The Dream Called EPCOT (1981)

If you were at the Magic Kingdom on a hot summer day in 1981, you might have ducked into a little theater to catch some A/C and seen this video.  “The Dream Called EPCOT”, a promotional film for the upcoming EPCOT park, a “we’re working on it” update to anyone wondering what was up with…

I’m Not Exaggerating – The Sierra Newsletter (Spring 1988)

Sierra On-Line spent the ’80s and early ’90s building an impressive catalog of adventure games, titles that were pointed to as examples of the best the technology of the moment could offer.  They built franchises that stood the test of time: King’s Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, and Quest For Glory all…

Good Spookin’ Terms – Halloween Ads (Various)

It’s funny; when I look back at my personal Halloween memories there aren’t many that reflect the actual act of trick-or-treating. There are a couple, sure – one year some big kids stole my haul, an actual pillowcase full  of candy, so technically a trick-or-treat memory but one I’d rather skip – but by and…

That’s Why Tony Gets The Big Money – Pick Axe Pete (1982)

There are clear winners and clear losers when you look across the history of video game franchises.  Some winners undoubtedly deserve their accolades, the perfect combination of charm and gameplay (looking at you, Mario!) Sometimes the winners becomes losers in the long run as their reputation becomes tainted by lackluster followup titles (looking at you,…

Put A Label On It! – Casio Devices (1980-90s)

When it came to ways to get technology  into your day-to-day life, Casio had some pretty big ideas.  Looking in hindsight from the vantage point of a world that has all-in-one smartphones in it, the number of big ideas they had really stands out. And that’s sort of the problem for Casio: they were all…

This Fantastic Collection – Chipmunk Punk (1980)

Here’s another quick dose of Chipmunks – something that came out in the ‘80s but is more in line with the pre-TV-show Chipmunks.  It’s “Chipmunk Punk”, a “fantastic collection” of top 40 hits that really couldn’t be less punk at all.  The only thing remotely punk about this collection is the artwork, and that doesn’t…

A House That Has Not Been Built – 1991 Virtual Reality Report

I’ve been on a tight schedule lately but I wanted to take a minute to share this Primetime Live report from 1991 featuring virtual reality. There’s nothing really laughable or off-base about the report, which in itself is impressive; most of these ‘official’ reports of emerging technologies are the clunky equivalents of the chaperones dancing…

Terrified of Buttons – Kim Komando Infomercial (1990s)

Can you believe that there was a time when computers weren’t just not in our pockets, they weren’t even in our houses? Around the late 1980s these CRT behemoths, previously relegated to those eggheads on their college campuses, started making their way into homes across America – a transition which delighted children and befuddled adults…

You Didn’t Predict This – Psychic Friends Network (1990s)

Grammy-winning singer Dionne Warwick is probably as famous for her involvement with the Psychic Friends Network as she is for her singing and her philanthropy.  The Psychic Friends Network was a 1-900 number service that, for $3.99 a minute, connected a person with their personal psychic consultant in an ongoing ‘future-therapy’ session that helped that…

Squash Game Tonight – AT&T True Experience (1995)

The ’90s are full of ahead-of-its-time ideas, particularly when the internet is involved.  We could not wait to make the internet our slave, and were simultaneously just as eager to create a critical umbilical between our lives and the internet that could barely tolerate any disruption.  Windows 95 was full of ways to plug into…