tech e blog

Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2 is basically an Earth system science research facility located in Oracle, Arizona that serves as a center for research, outreach, teaching, and lifelong learning about the planet, its living systems, and its place in the universe. The 3.14-acre structure remains the largest closed system ever created. Unfortunately, it was only used twice for its original intended purposes as a closed-system experiment: once from 1991 to 1993, and the second time from March to September 1994. Continue reading for two more videos and additional information.

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A Real Time Traveler

Photo credit: The Daily Mail

Stuart Humphryes posted an interesting colorized historical photo, taken in September 1943 at Towan Beach in Newquay, Cornwall, that appears to show a man in a brown suit using a mobile phone. "British war workers escape to the seaside - this Cornish beach was photographed in September 1943," said Humphryes. Many on social media were quick to claim that this man had to be a time traveler. Continue reading for a full-sized cropped shot of just the man.

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SEGA Black Belt

Before the Dreamcast, there was supposed to be a SEGA Black Belt console, also known as "Saturn 2", being developed by 3Dfx, leaders in the PC video card market at the time, in the US. The company also hired Tatsuo Yamamoto, a former IBM engineer, to work on the Black Belt project, and his group opted to use 3Dfx's Voodoo 2 and Voodoo Banshee graphics technology, initially trying RISC processors from IBM and Motorola. Continue reading for more pictures and information.

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First McDonalds Moscow

Photo credit: Reddit

On January 31, 1990, the first Soviet McDonald's opened in Moscow. At the time, it was the world's largest McDonald's, but one things you may not know is that all the McDonald's restaurants in all of the former Soviet Union are wholly owned by McDonald's Canada with no input from the US parent company. To overcome Soviet supply problems, the company creates its own supply chain, including farms, within the USSR. Unlike other foreign investments, the restaurant accepts rubles, not dollars, and is extremely popular, with waiting lines of several hours common in its early days. Continue reading for more pictures from its opening day.

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Largest Camera 1900

Photo credit: Indiana Historical Society via Peta Pixel

This behemoth was the world's largest camera way back in 1900, and it was designed specifically for capturing the largest photo in the world of "The Alton Limited," which was nicknamed the "handsomest train in the world." Simply put, it would snap a single photo on a massive 8 x 4.5-foot plate. This gigantic camera took approximately 2.5-months to complete, sporting a natural cherry wood body, a small track with two focusing screens, and a curtain plate holder. Continue reading for more pictures and information.

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World's Last Blockbuster

Photo credit: Oregon Live / OPB

At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster employed 84,300 people worldwide, including about 58,500 in the United States and about 25,800 in other countries, and had 9,094 stores in total, with more than 4,500 of these in the US. However, by January 2018, the company's website listed nine remaining franchise-owned stores in the U.S., including six in Alaska, two in Oregon, and one in Texas. In August 2018, eight of those nine had closed, leaving only one store in Bend, Oregon. That one store still offers options that Netflix and other streaming services don't, as The Verge investigates. Continue reading for two more videos and additional information.

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Original Apple I Computer

The original Apple 1 computer retailed for $666.66 when it was released on April 11, 1976, but now you'll have to shell out at least $300,000 for one of the sixty surviving hand-built examples. For those who don't know, Steve Jobs sold his only motorized means of transportation, a VW Microbus, for a few hundred dollars, and Steve Wozniak sold his HP-65 calculator for $500 to finance this project. Continue reading for another video, more pictures and information.

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SGI Onynx RealityEngine Supercomputer

Back in 1993, you could have either bought a supercar for $250,000 or the SGI Onyx, a supercomputer that was used to produce software for the Nintendo 64. It was offered in two models, deskside and rackmount, with the former accepting one CPU board, and the latter variant up to six CPU boards. The Onyx initially used the RealityEngine2 or VTX graphics subsystems, and later, InfiniteReality, which was introduced in 1995. Continue reading for another video demonstration and more information.

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Apple Phone Prototype

In the early 1980s, Frog Design and Apple partnered on this innovative (at the time) phone prototype, which featured a touchscreen of sorts that could be used to take notes, send messages and more. Believe it or not, this device could also be used to send electronic check payments possibly over a CBBS (Computerized Bulletin Board System) system. Continue reading to see more unreleased Apple products that you might have not seen before.

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Colorized Monet

Photo credit: Marina Amaral via Bored Panda

For those who don't already know, Oscar-Claude Monet was a French painter, a founder of French Impressionist painting and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein air landscape painting. Unfortunately, color photography was not widely used during that time, but thanks to the power of modern software, at least one of his portraits has been given new life. Continue reading for more colorized historical photos.

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