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Monday, December 23, 2013

"Internet Radio"

And a little white "earbud" too!
 Don't expect to connect this to your wi-fi and hear your favourite podcast.

This radio was made in the late 1960s. And it's a standard AM transistor radio. That's all. Radios like this were the iPods of their day and your 20 song playlist came courtesy of your favourite local Top 40 radio station (almost all of them on AM radio in those days.)

And at the time, what we would later call the internet was then called "ARPANET" And strictly for military and government use only. Computers in the 1960s were extremely huge (often taking up an entire large room and hopelessly limited and underpowered - by 1981 standards!) and were rarely seen outside a laboratory. The very few civilian computers never connected to anything.

The Honeywell 316 was the world's first consumer marketed computer (1969). It was essentially a $10,600 recipe box and pencil. Exactly the thing you want to give someone who allegedly can't cook very well. It had no online connectivity.
 That's not to say people weren't dreaming. Note the "flat screen monitors".

While it's almost spooky to consider someone could use a word that would be so ubiquitous 30 years before it's general use, I think "Internet" just sounded like a fancy hi-tech name for a cheap UK electronics brand at the time this radio was made. (I'd have a hard time with the "time traveler" theory.)

More on the discovery of this radio with a very futuristic name here:


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