Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Classic telephone’s digital comeback

The instantly recognisable rotary telephone has had a makeover for the 21st century

SagemCom's Sixty phone is a new take on a design classic
SagemCom's Sixty phone is a new take on a design classic 
The classic rotary dial telephone has been given a makeover for the digital age. Gone is the coiled cable that was attached to the design that the Post Office distributed to customers around the country, although SagemCom’s reinterpretation is an otherwise affectionate tribute.
The original rotary dial telephones went through a number of incarnations after their introduction in the Thirties, but the design that became most famous was introduced in 1959. It was in part a response to public desire for a telephone similar to those seen in American films.
SagemCom’s new version is called the Sixty, and the company has replaced the traditional central dial where users could fill in their phone number with a touchscreen. Produced in lurid orange, it offers 10 hours of talk time. The design replaces the solid structure of the original with a single piece of plastic that is apparently folded in half to replicate the recognisable shape. Despite being significantly smaller and lighter, it also however includes an answering machine capable of storing 20 minutes of messages.
When distributed by the Post Office, original British telephones often came included in the cost of connection. The Sixty, however, will cost £99.99 when it is available from June.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Commodore 64 returns for retro technology fans

The Commodore 64, an icon of 1980s computing, is returning to take advantage of the appetite for retro technology.

The original Commodore 64 

The original introduced a generation to the possibilities of home computing - including classic videogames such as Elite and International Karate.
Now it is being relaunched with an up-to-date WIndows PC under its original 1980s shell.
A new company, Commodore USA, is taking orders for the machine. Commodore International, responsible for the 8-bit original, went bankrupt in 1994.
The modern version features a dual-core Intel Atom D525 processor at 1.8GHz and 2GB of RAM. It will ship with emulator software to run original Commodore 64 programmes, which had to make to with MOS 6502 processor at 1MHz and 64K of RAM.
And while 1980s Commodore 64 programmes came on cassette tapes or floppy disks, its modern imitator has a USB ports, WiFi, a multiformat memory card reader and optional Blu-Ray drive.