14 Machines That Were Brilliant in 1985

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14 Machines That Were Brilliant in 1985

By General Electric 2013-09-16 17:38:34 UTC

The thing about science and technology is that what’s cutting edge today is quickly replaced tomorrow. And that’s a good thing — constantly pushing the envelope to build better, more brilliant machines will power us into the future. To celebrate the next chapter in General Electric’s Brilliant Machines story, head back in time and see just how far we’ve come since 1985.

Below, we’ve rounded up 14 brilliant machines from 1985.

1. Polaroid 600

This instant-print camera was a classic in the ’80s — the distinctive square prints with white borders fueled instant gratification. The photos took approximately three minutes to develop, and some of the cameras had sonar autofocus and featured glass lenses, though most came equipped with plastic lenses and a fixed focus of four feet. The camera was bulky enough to require a two-hand snap, but despite its size, the Polaroid 600 etched itself into our collective nostalgia.

2. The Original Macintosh

Image courtesy of Flickr, MattsMacintosh

3. Commodore 128

Three years junior to the best-selling Commodore 64, Commodore 128 was the last 8-bit machine released by CBM. While the 80 column screen and large disk drive were essential for business use, the C128 didn’t offer many upgrades for gamers, the primary buyers of the C64. Despite the computer being 100% compatible with its predecessor, the C128 only saw sales of 4 million (compared to 17 million for the C64). But the C128 did introduce the keyboard still present on many IBM PCs today, such as four arrow keys (C64 only had down and right buttons).

By 1989, the C128 was nearly obsolete as 16/31-bit systems dominated the market.

4. Sony Discman D-50 MK2

Sony’s 1984 Discman D-50 MK2 introduced a new era of music enjoyment and improved upon the tape-based Walkman. The Discman played compact discs, which had emerged commercially in 1982 and reached critical mass to merit their own player. But don’t try running or even walking fast while holding a Discman — while it was a handheld device that could play music from a plastic disc (that you could see spinning), it was prone to skipping.

5. The Casio SK-1 Keyboard

6. The Fuji ES-1

7. Amiga 1000

8. Nintendo NES

9. Nokia’s Mobira Talkman

The world’s first mobile phone weighed in at nearly 11 pounds and required a large bag for the haul and a car for any and all recharging opportunities. To critics’ surprise, Talkman sales boomed and the phone experienced a heyday of sorts lasting from 1984, when it first launched, through 1987, when a handheld model was released to replace it.

10. Apple LaserWriter

Laser printing began as early as 1969 but was not available to home offices until 1985 with the launch of Apple’s LaserWriter. The printer solidified Apple as the choice for designers — not only could its programs allow graphic designers to make great things, now they could turn their designs into print. It was also the first networked laser printer, so although it was more expensive than products from competitors, it could be used by an entire lab of computers, so the price per user was much lower.

While early Macs made computing personal, the LaserWriter brought publishing to the personal office — much in the same way companies like Makerbot now bring manufacturing into the home with 3D printers.

11. Panasonic NV-F65 HQ VCR

Panasonic first began manufacturing VCRs to play VHS tapes in 1977, one of the first Japanese companies to do so. Before the days of On-Demand, Netflix and TiVo, television shows and movies had to be manually copied to VHS tapes.

12. Windows 1.0

If you’ve dabbled in programming, you might have used the command line (called Terminal on Macs), which requires you to type in a specific code to get your computer to do something. If you used a computer prior to the release of Windows 1.0, you know that this was how everyone used computers. Windows 1.0 was the first graphical interface — think clicking on icons rather than typing in code — and was also the first program that allowed you to multitask, such as using a text document and a calendar at the same time.

It was revolutionary the same way the first iPhone and its default apps were — but of course it was also just the beginning. It was replaced by Windows 2.0 and yet Windows still offered support for the program, for 16 years. All good things must eventually come to an end, eh? Check out this video of a man upgrading from Windows 1.0 to Windows 7 .

13. Texas Instruments TI 4100

The Texas Instruments TI 4100 was the first commercial GPS receiver, manufactured in 1981. Running on large scale integrated (LSI) components, it was the highest speed low-power digital technology of the era. The device was a breakthrough technology utilized by the military, and it provided consumers navigation within an accuracy of 10 meters.

14. Tissot F1 Electronic LCD Watch

brilliant electric car
brilliant electric car
brilliant electric car

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