A Look Back


Apple-1 Manual 1976 Auction
The Apple-1 was released in 1976 and hand-built by Steve Wozniak. It was the Apple’s first product, and as many of you already know, Steve Jobs sold his VW microbus for a few hundred dollars to finance its creation while Steve Wozniak parted with his HP-65 calculator for $500. The computer was demonstrated in July 1976 at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California. If you’ve always wanted an original Apple-1 manual, now is your chance, as one of them has headed to auction. Featuring 12 pages (8.5 x 11) and Apple’s original logo on the front cover, designed by third Apple co-founder Ron Wayne and showing Isaac Newton thoughtfully seated beneath a tree, with a shining apple dangling overhead. Read more for a video, additional pages from the manual and a link to the auction.

First Sony Walkman

Sony’s original Walkman was released on July 1, 1979, and this portable cassette player changed the music listening habits of people around the world, due to its compact size, or at least for the time. The idea came about from Sony cofounder Masaru Ibuka, who felt the compay’s existing portable player was far too expensive, so a prototype was manufactured from a modified Pressman, a compact tape recorder designed for journalists. Read more for additional pictures and information.

Vintage Photos Cats
Photo credit: Peta Pixel
Memes and cat pictures have nearly been around as long as the internet, but back in 1898, an unknown photographer was already planning for this by capturing the photo above, or so we’d like to think. Then starting in 1914, American photographer Harry Whittier Frees continued by shooting an entire series of photos showing cats wearing clothes and in human-like poses. Frees photos of posed animals were published on postcards, in magazines, and even children’s books. Read more for additional pictures and information.

Motorola Worlds First Mobile Phone Call

Before 1973, mobile telephony was limited to phones that were equipped in cars and other vehicles. Motorola was the very first company to develop a handheld mobile phone. On April 3, 1973, Motorola engineer Martin Cooper made the first mobile telephone call from handheld subscriber equipment, placing a call to Dr. Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs, his rival. Thie prototype handheld phone he used weighed 2.4 lb and measured 9.1 by 5.1 by 1.8 in. It boasted a talk time of just 30 minutes and took 10 hours to re-charge. Read more for another video explaining why it was an epic troll, along with a bonus clip.

Apple-I Computer Steve Jobs Wozniak

The original Apple-I, designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak, is a desktop computer released by the Apple Computer Company in 1976. Wozniak’s friend Steve Jobs had the idea of selling the computer, thus Apple’s first product was born, and to finance its creation, 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. Today, one original example is headed to auction at Christie’s on May 16 at 9 am EST and expected to fetch anywhere between $384,000 – $640,000, a hefty premium over its original $666.66 price tag ($2,994.09 adjusted for inflation). Read more for another video, additional pictures and information.

1896-1900 Paris Color Sound
Videographer Guy Jones managed to get original Lumière Company footage of Paris, France during 1896-1900, and wanted to do some restoration work. So, instead of just cleaning up the artifacts, he added color, thanks to DeOldifty software, corrected the speed, and added a few authentic sound effects to really give people today a glimpse into the life of Parisians during those years. Read more for the clip and additional information.

YouTube Jawed Karim First Video
Many are familiar with YouTube’s Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, but there was a third co-founder, Jawed Karim. He was the very first person to upload a video to the site, titled “Me at the Zoo” and uploaded April 23, 2005, which has been viewed over 65 million times as of April 2019. How did Karim meet Hurley and Chen? During his time working at PayPal, where he designed many of the core components including its real-time anti-internet-fraud system. Read more to watch the video and for a few more interesting facts.

Game Boy Ad 1989
The first handheld in Nintendo’s Game Boy lineup was released in Japan on April 21, 1989, then North America, three months later, and lastly in Europe the following year. It portable game console was designed by the same team that developed the Game & Watch and several Nintendo Entertainment System games, thus it combined features from both the NES home system and Game & Watch hardware. Featuring a green dot-matrix screen with adjustable contrast dial, five control buttons, a 2-voice speaker with adjustable volume dial, and cartridges as physical media for games. Read more for five commercials you probably never seen or knew about.

Leonardo da Vinci Imola Italy
Google Maps is known for its “ichnographic,” or flattened out plan, where all buildings and their features appear perfectly perpendicular to a single, aerial viewpoint, thus enabling users to grasp a city’s entire layout, relative to its environs and the cardinal directions. Today, creating these maps aren’t too difficult, but Leonardo da Vinci managed to make one of Imola, Italy way back in 1502. Read more for a video showing how he did it.

Unreleased Apple Walt Phone
Photo credit: Sonny Dickson
The unreleased Apple W.A.L.T. (Wizzy Active Lifestyle Telephone) made its debut at MacWorld 1993, but unfortunately, it never went into production. However, there were a few prototypes that made it into the hands of a lucky few. Previously, it was thought that the remaining devices were either broken or lost, but a fully-functioning W.A.L.T. has surfaced in a newly released video by Sonny Dickson. There was one specimen that hit eBay back in 2020 and that one sold for a whopping $8,000. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.