It's fun getting caught up in the hype of cutting-edge gadgets and the excitement of new releases, but don't you sometimes feel like demanding that the good old days of analog and Lo-fi come back around? Sure, there is always some killjoy reminding you of what a hassle LPs and rotary phones actually were, but sometimes nostalgia breeds quirky and unexpected improvements, a la what Hipstamatic did for everyone's Facebook photos.
Fortunately, despite countless modern updates and upgrades, certain elements of old school technology refuse to go away. Welcome to Back by Popular DEWmand, a new series in which we take a look at some nifty modern innovations that bring back the best features of outmoded gadgets—inspired by Mountain Dew.
USB Typewriters are perfect for those who want to give off a whole Kerouacian "I wrote this on one single roll of Teletype paper" vibe, without the whole Kaczynskian "I wrote this in a shack in the woods" deal. Plug one into your monitor or iPad, engage your disaffected pout, and then pen a tome about how you were writing on a USB typewriter long before anyone else at the coffee shop. [The USB Typewriter is available in various models at USBTypewriter.com—starting from $699.]
No matter how smart your phone is, it's hard to look like you mean business on a cell. An old-school handset with modern Bluetooth capabilities is perfect for all you skinny tie-wearing Don Draper admirers out there. It'll still be hard to emphatically slam down your phone to end a conversation with a client or one of your copy writing minions, but it'll just feel more authoritative. (Just ask your sexy secretary to avert her eyes for a moment as you hit "end call." She'll still get your coffee just the way you like it.) [The Bluetooth Retro Handset is available from ThinkGeek—$24.99.]
As much as vinyl has become a trite symbol of fauxhemianism, there is something to be said for setting your favorite album down on the turntable, applying the needle, and laying back to listen to some sweet, sweet tunes. That being said, there is also something sucky about standing up ten minutes later to flip the record over. With an iPod Dock Record Player, you can have it all—your MP3s and albums in one convenient place. Your music collection will be so much more robust than that one "super rare Grace Jones 45 you basically had to sell your kidney for," and you'll still get all the scene points you have coming. [The Ion iProfile—USB Turntable with Direct-to-iPod Transfer is available at now at B&H—$137.]
Check back soon when we look at some more old tech turned new, and head here for more info on Pitch Black and Supernova, the legendary flavors that Mountain Dew has finally brought back due to popular DEWmand!