Tag: history

The BART Video Game Arcade (Circa 1976)

While at Accolade/Infogrames/Atari (same company, different owners, multiple personality disorders), I had to trained fresh out of high school graduates on being video game testers. These youngsters didn’t believe I played video games in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. So I introduced them to a tester who tested video games for the original Atari in the 1980’s,…

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Recycling That Mainframe Computer

The leasing office occasionally sends out a missive that gets taped to the front door of each apartment in the complex. Sometimes this makes for interesting reading. One such missive a few years ago about what can or cannot be flushed down the toilets implied that recreational sex (condoms), having babies (diaper wipes) and being a…

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Century 21 Dome Theater Saved By City Council

Supporters of Save The Domes gathered at the Tuesday evening session of the San Jose City Council to plead for the protection of the 50-year-old building from demolition. On a seven-to-four vote, the council designated the Century 21 as a historical landmark. The developer can file a demolition plan to raze the other dome theaters, but must incorporate the Century…

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Pre-Internet Newspapers Go Online (Circa 1981)

A Channel 4 KRON TV news report from 1981 details how the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner newspapers were adopting news articles for online delivery. You have to stop and think about what that meant back then. The Apple II home computer ruled the classrooms. The IBM PC was still several years off. Hobbyist computer systems that connected electronic…

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The Blue Cube Disappearing From Silicon Valley

While crisscrossing Silicon Valley on the light rail to attend a job interview in Mountain View, I noticed the Blue Cube (a.k.a., Onizuka Air Force Station) for the first time in years. Or what was left of it. The large satellite dishes outside the building were long gone after the base closure in 2010. The blue…

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Unburying The Atari E.T. Video Game Scandal

The 1980’s home video game revolution crashed and burned in after Atari introduced “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” a movie-based video game that it overpaid to license, ordered millions of cartridges more than all the Atari 2600 video consoles in existence, rushed the game to the store shelves, and buried the whole thing in a New Mexico landfill. According to Snoops,…

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Bye-Bye At The Century Domes

After the Retro Dome had one last showing of “Raiders of The Lost Ark” at the Century 21 with 1,000 people in attendance, the iconic Century Domes has closed their doors after nearly 50 years. Without a historical landmark designation, the Domes are destined for the dustbin of history. My friend and I attended party,…

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Death Knell At The Century Domes

The first time I went to the Century Domes on Winchester Boulevard was see “Star Wars” when it first came out in 1977 and before it exploded as a cultural phenomena. My aunt took my cousin and I to see a weekday matinée showing. The massive parking lot was empty except for a few cars.…

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The Macintosh Came Out 30 Years Ago

Unlike the first-generation iPhone in 2007, I wasn’t there for the introduction of the first-generation Macintosh in 1984. I was in the eighth grade at John Steinbeck Middle School in San Jose. According to the girls at school, I came from a “poor” family because my parents couldn’t afford cable TV to get MTV. We…

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A Truly Tasteless French Ad About JFK Assassination

You can always trust the French to come up with something truly tasteless about American culture, say, a new TV ad for a gambling company with the JFK assassination as a backdrop. Two Dallas cops are standing along the parade route when one bets the other that he can spin his gun like a cowboy,…

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