Steve Wozniak is the guy who co-founded computer company/cult Apple with Steve Jobs. Apparently he also the one who’s been stealing Jobs’ lunch out of the break-room fridge for the last 30 years. Anyway, Wired recently did a pretty cool article about Wozniak’s 9 favorite gadgets. This being the billionaire co-founder of Apple, I was expecting to see some absurdly expensive stuff that is about 10 years from being commercially available. Surprisingly, it turns out to be several nifty artifacts from the early days of those fancy computation devices.
“We’ve gone through more change in a single lifetime than probably any other time in history,” the Woz said.
He should know. As a kid, Wozniak fiddled with minicomputer circuit boards at home, when the idea of having a computer in your own house was little more than a wild-eyed fantasy.
Everything from punch-card machines to old-school supercomputers, and from disk stacks to transistor radios, inspired an ambitious geek who would eventually create the Apple I computer that launched a PC revolution.
Even non-nerds have to admit, some of this stuff is pretty cool. My favorites? A calculator from 1936 that could add binary digits. The thing looks like a handheld doomsday device made by Nikola Tesla. I also liked the hard disk drive from 1956.
Two tonally opposite games lead the 2D Revolution
Looking at the lineup of major release for games this Christmas season – or even the whole last year – I see a disturbing trend. Just about every big game is either another sequel, a spin-off, or DLC masquerading as a full release:
- Another Call of Duty (7)
- Another Guitar Hero (6)
- Another Assassins Creed (3)
- DJ Hero 2
- Gran Turismo 5
- Another Need for Speed (god knows)
- Fable 3
- Fallout New Vegas
Okay, I’m actually excited about that last one, but come on. Sixty bucks for a spin-off? It seems like the gaming industry is becoming as creatively bankrupt as Hollywood. Not that most of those games aren’t going to be well-polished and entertaining experiences; they are just starting to feel like products, not innovations. In this harsh production-line world, I find myself getting more drawn to bite-size Arcade affairs.
This guy (who is smarter than you) over at Villain School built what he calls The Prometheus Device. This example of homemade badassery is a palm mounted flamethrower that is controlled entirely by sensors connected to his fingers. Uh, so yeah. I guess he calls it The Prometheus Device after the Greek god who stole fire from Zeus to give to the mortals. Whew. There, now I don’t feel like such an idiot next to this guy. That being said, the schematics for building it are on his site, and, uh…Jesus. They look like something Tony Stark would look at and say, “Hey, buddy, could you dumb it down for the rest of us?”
Video after the Jump…