tech e blog

Overland Train

In the 1950s the LeTourneau company developed several overland trains, essentially oversized semi-trailer trucks that could travel over almost any terrain. Their intention was to be able to handle logistics needs without being dependent on local road or rail systems, allowing them to operate in back-country areas. The US Army had three experimental units built, the largest reaching almost 600 feet (183 m) long, which holds the record for the longest offroad vehicle. Continue reading for more interesting facts about the train.

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Rolls Royce Phantom

This 1925 Rolls Royce Phantom I was originally fitted with a convertible by Hooper, but in 1934, that body was scrapped and was sent to Jonckheere in Belgium for a complete overhaul. From the huge front fenders on to the oval doors to the tall fin on the back, this vehicle is luxury at its finest. After being completed, it won the 1934 Prix de Cannes Concours d'Elegance, and was shortly after sold to an American auto enthusiast. Click here for more pictures. Continue reading for another video and more information.

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Old 70s Hard Drive

In 1973, IBM introduced the IBM 3340 "Winchester" disk drive, the first significant commercial use of low mass and low load heads with lubricated platters. This technology and its derivatives remained the standard through 2011. This particular model weighs around 80-pounds, can store 3.78GB of data, and costs $250,000. It was used primarily by banks to store account data. Continue reading for more pictures and information.

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Lighter Camera

Back in the 1950s, before digital cameras and smartphones, spies relied on inconspicuous objects, like the Echo 8 Lighter Camera, to conduct surveillance operations. As the name suggests, it's essentially a combination of camera and cigarette lighter, made by the Suzuki company from 1951. A few years later, in 1955, they released a simplified Camera Lite model, designed to simply snap and go. Continue reading for more fascinating historical pictures.

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Mercedes Benz C112

The Mercedes-Benz C112 is an experimental mid-engined sportscar unveiled in 1991 as a test bed, similar to the later versions of the Mercedes-Benz C111. It was basically a road-legal counterpart for the Sauber-built Mercedes-Benz C11 Group C prototype race car for the 1990 World Sports-Prototype Championship. In addition to gullwing doors, it sports a 6.0L V12 engine producing 408hp and peak torque of 428 lb-ft of torque. Even though Mercedes-Benz received 700 orders for the car it never went into production. Click here for more pictures of the C112. Continue reading for another video and additional information.

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B.Engineering Edonis

Before the Veyron and P1, there was B Engineering Edonis, based on an extensively re-engineered Bugatti EB110 Super Sport. The only major component retained from the original Bugatti is the carbon-fiber chassis. Both the exterior and interior of the car were completely redesigned. The 3.5L Bugatti engine had its displacement increased from 3500 cc to 3760 cc. The original four small IHI turbochargers were replaced by two larger units from the same manufacturer. Engine power was boosted from 610hp and 479 lb-ft of torque to 671hp @ 8000rpm and 542 lb-ft. The company planned to manufacture 21 vehicles from chassis sourced from Bugatti by Aerospatiale, and expected to sell for around €760,000 ($1.01-million USD today). Continue reading for two more videos and information. Click here to view more pictures of the Edonis.

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Afghanistan Before Taliban

Photo credit: Dr. Bill Podlich via Bored Panda

When you think of Afghanistan, peace and tranquility don't usually come to mind, but during the 1960s, things were very different. American university professor Dr. Bill Podlich took two-year leave of absence to work for UNESCO in Afghanistan during 1967, serving as the Expert of Principles of Education at the Higher Teachers College in Kabul, and captured these amazing images showing how life was back then. This was before the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, and before the Taliban rule. Continue reading for more images. Click here to view a few bonus pictures.

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Macintosh TV

Released in 1993 at the retail price of $2,907 ($3,444 today), the Macintosh TV was Apple Computer's first attempt at computer-television integration. It shared the external appearance of the Macintosh LC 500 series, but in black. The Macintosh TV was essentially a Performa 520 that could switch its built-in 14" Sony Trinitron CRT from being a computer display to a cable-ready television. It was incapable of showing television in a desktop window, although it could capture still frames to PICT files. It came with a small credit card-sized remote control that was also compatible with Sony televisions. It was the first Macintosh to be made in black and came with a custom black keyboard and mouse. Only 10,000 were made in the model's short time on the market. Continue reading for more.

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Sony PSX

Sony's PSX is essentially a digital video recorder with a fully integrated PlayStation 2 video game console, first released in Japan on December 13, 2003. Since the device was designed to be a general-purpose consumer video device, it was marketed by the main Sony Corporation instead of Sony Computer Entertainment and does not carry the usual PlayStation branding. Unfortunately, its high cost resulted in poor sales, and ultimately, its demise. The PSX fully supports both PlayStation and PlayStation 2 software by its slot-loading DVD drive, as the onboard EE+GS chip is a unification of the PS2's Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesizer chips. Online game compatibility is available using the broadband connection; Games that use the PS2 HDD (such as Final Fantasy XI) are supported as well. Continue reading for more.

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HP-110 Portable Laptop

Priced at $2995 ($6841.40 in today's dollars), the Hewlett-Packard HP 110, also known as the HP Portable, was basically an MS-DOS compatible laptop released in 1984. It featured a Harris 80C86 running at 5.33-MHz with 272 KB of RAM, and had an 80 character by 16 line monochrome (480 x 128 pixel) liquid crystal display. The device ran MS-DOS 2.11, and had the application programs MemoMaker, Terminal Emulator and Lotus 123 in ROM. Its LCD could be tilted for better viewing, or just folded down over the keyboard for easy transport. Continue reading for more fascinating historical pictures.

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