Before Neon Lights: What Tokyo's Akihabara Geek District Looked Like 50…

Before Tokyo's Akihabara geek district was laced with neon, it looked like this photo taken circa 1950 which I saw on my recent trip. Despite the cow in the photo, even around this time, gadgets were a part of the trade. (Although as the ads below show, phonographs and vacuum tube radios made up some of the choices.)… » 11/05/08 7:20am 11/05/08 7:20am

Tour Tokyo's Tech Paradise, Now On Google Street View

Google's dutiful camera vans have finished canvassing Tokyo, which means today you can now tour some of the world's most geek-friendly real estate in "electric town" Akihabara without the 14 hour plane flight. The folks at Mars Mag have put together a tour of some of their favorite Linux Maid Cafes, Dream PC builders,… » 8/06/08 9:00am 8/06/08 9:00am

Touching Dozens of Beautiful Japanese Cellphones


I'm in Tokyo, and I've been avoiding gadgets. After all, I'm supposed to be on vacation. But today Lisa took me to Akiba, and I ended up running through a dozen stores, groping over 50 handsets. I've written about some, like the incredibly simple Wilcom R9, glowing Sony Ericsson w43s and walkman-like w42s. But… » 12/28/06 11:39am 12/28/06 11:39am