Five Ways Geeks Remember the ‘70s

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We always enjoy taking a nostalgic look back at the wonders of yesteryear, but if you're in the mood for something a little shinier than what we've uncovered from the 1970s,  eBay has plenty of 21st century deals on electronics and technology right here
Contrary to most of the photographic evidence you'll find, the '70s had a lot more going for it than platform shoes, the pervasive stench of Brut (by Faberge), and ridiculous moustaches. Apollo 13 missed its mark on the moon, but made it home. 18-year-olds were given the right to vote in federal elections. The microprocessor and the first home computer -- the Altair -- were introduced. Disney World opened in Florida. Video games like Atari's Pong launched many coin-operated arcade empires, while consoles like the Magnavox Odyssey and the Atari 2600 meant that homebodies could join in on the fun from the comfort of their couches, too. 
Microsoft and Apple were founded. Great big convoys, summoned by the power of CB radio slang, roamed the desolate Interstates long before Max went mad. Betamax and VHS duked it out for home video supremacy. We sent a Viking to Mars. The US celebrated its 200th birthday. The Concorde airliner could make a transatlantic trip in about three and a half hours. Test tube babies became a reality. The Sony Walkman hit the market, making it easier to avoid conversations with perverts and panhandlers while riding public transportation. Robert Blake hadn't yet been accused of any crimes that might entail his doing of time. 
Bar codes made buying and selling stuff a heck of a lot easier. The computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan started saving lives. Schoolhouse Rock! rolled out, teaching kids everywhere how a bill becomes a law, from whence one might acquire adverbs, how one might unpack one's adjectives and the precise location of Conjunction Junction to name but a few. 
Oh, and the '70s were when we first heard about brightly lit conflicts in the heavens that happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away; a creative young director by the name of George Lucas took to calling them Star Wars. 
Though they ended more than 36 years ago, the 1970s paved the way for many of the things that we take for granted today. Pull up a chair that's swaddled in rich, Corinthian leather and let's reminisce together, shall we? Here's our list of five ways geeks remember the '70s!
Magnavox Odyssey 2 Console
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Magnavox Odyssey 2 Console

Magnavox Odyssey and Odyssey 2 Consoles

The first Magnavox Odyssey was released in the early '70s and is considered to be the first home video game console (even predating Atari's Pong). It was an odd mixture of overlay templates, physical board game components like dice and score sheets and electric jumpers. 
The Magnavox Odyssey 2 came out a few years later and more closely resembles what comes to mind when we think of "traditional" game consoles like the Atari 2600: mainly, with games contained on simple cartridges and not much in the way of external fuss. 
Merlin, the Electronic Wizard
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Merlin, the Electronic Wizard

Merlin, the Electronic Wizard

Merlin (aka Merlin, the Electronic Wizard) was one of the earliest handheld electronic games on the market. Parker Brothers brought us the first version of this curious little orange gadget back in 1978, though a 1995 re-release by Milton Bradley looks (in our humble opinion) even more retro than the original. 
Sporting no screen, the surface of Merlin was decked out with buttons that lit up with the power of LEDs (light-emitting diodes). It could play five different games and double up as a musical instrument, complete with digital sequencing and it was still less confusing than a modern universal remote. (Maybe someone should take that idea and run with it...)
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Electronic Detective
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Electronic Detective

Electronic Detective

In 1979, Ideal came out with  Electronic Detective, billed as "the computerised who-done-it game [with] over 130,000 murder mysteries". Its advertising featured Don Adams, the actor who most famously played funny man secret agent Maxwell Smart in the '60s Get Smart series as well as voicing the title character in Inspector Gadget during the '80s. 
Like Clue, its forerunner in the detective board game market, players are charged to find out which punnily named suspect is responsible for doing in some poor sucker, but this time  they're assisted by technology!
Steve Wozniak and some other dude in the early days of Apple.
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Steve Wozniak and some other dude in the early days of Apple.

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak's Autograph

[Text Box: Steve Wozniak and some other dude in the early days of Apple.] Now valued at over $700 billion, Apple is a much different company than it was when it was founded by  Steve Wozniak and a couple of other guys in 1976. It's been through some ups and downs between then and now, but most who keep tabs on such matters seem to agree that the company's going to be around for a while. 
Anyone who's ever seen Steve Wozniak in action would probably bet good money on him being around for a while, too. Rather than resting on his laurels as being one of Apple's founding fathers, he's kept busy with plenty of other projects over the years -- including  signing lots of autographs that people sell on eBay for prices that range from reasonable to astronomical. Choose wisely!
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Touch Me

Atari's  Touch Me dispels the myth of robotic coldness with a name that pleads for the comforting warmth of human contact. 
Why so desperate, Touch Me? 
It began as an arcade game and graduated to a more personal, handheld model a few years later when Odyssey (see above) inventor Ralph Baer copied its concept for the Milton Bradley-branded  Simon. We may remember Simon as a more familiar sight from the '70s, but Atari should really get credit for bringing us the basics of this memory game staple.

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Written by: geekfamilyfun
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