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Retro jank, trash, failed designs, and other oddities.

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Quiet Traveller
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HEY

So, we have a bunch of threads about all the cool stuff from days gone by, so why not one for the stuff that's barely worth remembering if only due to how terrible/stange it was?
I present to you, a pair of oddities that I've happened across at one point or another.


The Palmtext Super Micro Video Game System
palmtex-super-micro-video-game-system-new-old-stock-lot_02.jpg


An incredibly jank cartridge-based LCD handheld game console from the mid 80's that has a whopping 3 games total (pictured above, do note the early appearance of the vaporwave aesthetic on Outflank)
Wanna know how they play?, well...

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eP7wtw4rk4g


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIPK4S2gt24


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYJrodPdlr0


Your guess is as good as mine honestly, they don't record very well, and the carts tend to have screen rot.

How does it work? That my friend is simple.
palmtex-super-micro-video-game-system-new-old-stock-lot_08.jpg


The console is actually 3 separate pieces consisting of a base, the cartridge, and a backlight that have to be assembled and disassembled anytime you want to swap games, when put together it resembles a sort of pyramid that has a fold open screen like a laptop as seen below.
palmtex-super-micro-video-game-system-new-old-stock-lot_06.jpg


To top all of this off, the thing is INCREDIBLY fragile, in addition to the screen rot on the cartridges, it is very easy to break when swapping games, the light bulbs used for the backlighting are hard soldered into the thing have a tendency to burn out very quickly, and this is assuming the switch to turn them on doesn't break first, a very common problem. To top it all off, closing the battery housing after loading batteries makes it impossible to open after closing, forcing you to to damage the thing in order to replace them.

Hyperball
Hyperball3.jpg


Released in 1981, this is one of the stranger pinball machines(?) to have ever been released, rather than use a pair of flipper to keep balls on a play-field to rack up score, this one has a pair of launchers with the goal being to shoot the various letters on the play-field to prevent the background lightning bolts from reaching you and ending the game.


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIBiTADzQKU


In addition to being rather difficult, the thing flopped hard for two reasons.
The machine is deafeningly loud, it's actually recommended to play with ear protection during extended use.
It is very prone to mechanical failure and part breaking, due to the large number of balls the thing uses, the launchers in particular are prone to dying, as such, this is actually one of the cheaper 80's pinball games, going for only 1000$~1300$ in spite of it's rarity. Due to the large cost of upkeep and lack of interest from pinball enthusiast.





 
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brentw

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I love this thread concept, but I just can't recall anything to post in it.
I know a ton of applicable content for this thread has passed through my life.
But I seem to have blocked it out, it's buried somewhere deep in my mind.
Perhaps a defense against the shame of wasting money on garbage?
 
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Sketch Relics

Quiet Traveller
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I love this thread concept, but I just can't recall anything to post in it.
I know a ton of applicable content for this thread has passed through my life.
But I seem to have blocked it out, it's buried somewhere deep in my mind.
Perhaps a defense against the shame of wasting money on garbage?

Might be more the nature of trash, unsuccessful things tend to effect few people before being forgotten, even stuff that attracts attention due to being bad rarely has staying power as an influence once the bile fascination with it has run it's course.
 
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Sketch Relics

Quiet Traveller
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While I'm here might as well add a few more.

The Apple lll computer
Apple-III-scaled.jpg


Reportedly the direct inspiration for the XBOX 360's "red ring of death" feature, this computer had a serious overheating issue that would cause chips to de-solder themselves from the board, resulting in a 100% failure rate. The problem stems from the lack of a fan, as Steve Jobs didn't want it to have one and he figured it's aluminum case would be a strong enough heat sink to prevent issues. Amusingly the initial fix for this was to tell people to pick the computer up and drop it from about a foot up to re-seat the chips. Eventually they were all recalled and replaced with an upgraded model.

The Paris Gun

0a72a6330125332e3437eaad4545b0ff.jpg


Fielded by the Germans during WWII, this was the largest artillery device used during the war. The thing was capable of firing 234lb shells at a distance of 80 miles, unfortunately that's all it was really capable of doing, the thing was wildly inaccurate, limiting it to a bombardment tool for the city that it derived it's name. In addition, the force required to fire it's shells massively wore at it's barrel, requiring each shell to be slightly larger than the last up until about 65 shells had been fired, at which point the barrel needed to be replaced. Overall the thing had very little impact on the war, with about 250 ish casualties and only seeing use during the bombard Paris.

I swear I had another one, but I've already forgotten what it was >.> damn you @brentw
 
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