KW1401 – Favourite Retro TV Tunes

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ER

ER is an American medical drama television series created by novelist and medical doctor Michael Crichton that aired on NBC from September 19, 1994, to April 2, 2009, with a total of 331 episodes spanning over 15 seasons

Track: ER theme Sindrilla remix: ER Main Theme (Sindirilla Remix)

Battle of the Planets

Battle of the Planets is an American adaptation of the Japanese anime series Science Ninja Team Gatchaman

Track (original): Battle Of The Planets TV theme STEREO

Buck Rogers

In 1979, Buck Rogers was revived and updated for a prime-time television series for NBC Television. The pilot film was released to cinemas on March 30, 1979.

Track (with Lyrics) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BINijYepahA

Captain Future

Captain Future is a science fiction hero – a space-traveling scientist and adventurer – originally published in a namesake pulp magazine from 1940 to 1951.

Track: Full Soundtrack by Christian Bruhn: CAPTAIN FUTURE – 1980 – FULL SOUNDTRACK

Doctor Who

Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC since 1963

Track: Doctor who meets pink floyd by Taniloo Doctor Who meets Pink Floyd

Airwolf

Airwolf was an American television series that ran from 1984 until 1987. The program centers on a high-tech military helicopter, code named Airwolf, and its crew as they undertake various exotic missions, many involving espionage, with a Cold War theme

Track: Remix: Synthwave remix by mr Mcnoggin Mr. McNoggin – Airwolf Theme (Synthwave Remix)

Knight Rider

Tv show produced by Glenn Larson featuring David Hasselhoff and a talking car.

Track: Knight Rider Theme Rock Cover – Objectivist Guitarist Knight Rider Theme Rock Cover

M.A.S.K.

M.A.S.K. (an acronym for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) is an animated television series produced by DIC Audiovisuel and ICC TV Productions, Ltd.

Track: Mask Cover by Vocaliser: M.A.S.K. Opening Theme – Metal Cover (with Cyril)

Thundercats

ThunderCats is an American media franchise, featuring a fictional group of catlike humanoid aliens

Track: Cover Hamaca Musiclab  Thundercats Opening – MultiScreen Video cover

Ulysses31

Ulysses 31  is a French-Japanese animated television series (1981) that updates the Greek mythology of Odysseus (known as “Ulysses” in Latin) to the 31st century.

Track cover  by Video Micro :  Ulysses 31 Theme Song (cover)

Transformers

The Transformers is a half-hour American[3] animated robot superhero television series which originally aired from September 17, 1984 to November 11, 1987

Check out KW505 for the history of Transformers: Full history of transformers KW505 – Jaspio: Kw502 Recording. “The history of Transformers” with @Jaspio.

Track: Cover by Neko Machine : Transformers G1 – Lion – COVER (Neko Machine)

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KW901 : Star Wars Fanday.

Welcome back to season 9 of Knightwise.com where we kick off with another geeky video documentary. We head out to Belgiums best Retro Toystore as the Star Wars fanclub organises their annual fanday. We talk to the owner about retro toys and collectors, interview the people from Teekay-421 and talk to the troopers. (And did I mention we got shot ? )

If you got this video through our RSS feed, remember that you can pick up the high resolution version via our Youtube Channel or right here on the website.

Shownotes.

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Star Wars fanday in Gent : The pictures.

We are back from a couple of busy weeks off in real-world land and got straight back into the Knightwise.com grind by breaking out the camera and interview gear. Reason for that was our coverage of the annual “Fanday”, organised by Teekay421, the Belgian Star Wars fanclub. When we were done doing the interviews ( to be published later this week ), we took some pictures. Have a peek and get a nice preview of things to come later on this week. Enjoy.

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Click here to see the full set

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Column : I’m not a Gamer, I’m just retro.

I’m not a gamer. There, I said it. Contrary to the beliefs of many that geeks tend to spend hours and hours online playing all kinds of cool games .. I form the exception to that very rule. Whenever you watch episodes of the Big Bang Theory or some other big media production that tries to depict “What a geek is” to the average digital mouth breather, it always encompasses images of Computers, Terminal windows and hours of Console gaming. I am horribly bad at the latter.

1245149455_counter-strike-girl

I am just not a “Console” Gamer. My gaming career (can you call it that ?) did start on “Console Gaming”. That is, if you can call the Atari 2600, its 8bit graphics and its indestructible controllers a “console”. Compared to todays Xbox 360 consoles that try to do everything but wash your dishes, the Atari was horribly yet brilliantly simple. Plop in casette, play game. We never had to worry about remembering our “live-id”, logging in, an internet connection, checking if our TV screen was DRM compatible for HDMI output and so forth. The only thing you DID have to remember was to finish up in time for your dad to watch the news. (Because you played this baby on the family tv, remember ?) The controller was horribly simple : A stick to move, buttons to fire/jump… that was it. If I ever thought this console would have prepared me for gaming in the 21st century .. I was dead wrong. I never stood a chance.

So after spending my digital adolescence on PC gaming using the powers of a noisy Cherry keyboard and a Logitech mouse, I stopped gaming for a couple of years. Getting a Mac meant that I had lots of new things to keep me occupied like producing music, video’s and podcasts. There weren’t a lot of games on the Mac in the beginning, and I never realy cared about that. But as for filling as it was to create a podcast, there was still this nagging sense of urgency that somewhere, somehow, I felt the need to let off some steam by blowing up a random zombie with a big gun.
So instead of installing games on my computer (I despised the hassle) , I decided to “just get a console” for my gaming needs. I was going to get BACK into GAMING.

I tried valiantly to throw myself back into the land of the modern gamer and got me an Xbox 360. The cultural shock could not have been any harsher then when I dipped my very first toes into a level of Halo. But before we get into the horrible embarrassing story of me being fragged by a six year old, lets back up to my initial encounter with the Xbox. When I got the unit out of its box and hooked it up to our TV, I somehow KNEW it was going to be a little more complex then my Atari 2600. It needed an internet connection : I expected that. It needed to run its updates : I expected that too (It IS a Microsoft product) It required me to set up an account : Ok, lets do that. But when I started asking me questions like : What kind of hair do you want to choose for my Avatar and “would you like to buy more accessories online” I was starting to feel a little out of my depth. Was this the state of gaming today ? No ” slide in the cartridge, flip switch, kill space invaders ” but a tedious process of digital bureaucracy and pointless avatar-pimping ? Come on !
I waded through the process, only to be appalled by the fact that I needed to pay EXTRA to play my game online. A game that I had already purchased. Baffled by the paywall between me and what seems to be a very “basic” need to ‘play with others’, I chose to go for “single player mode” first.

Halo. I had seen kids play this and was amazed at how good the game looked, how versatile it was, how detailed and entertaining it looked.. This was going to be fun right ? Wrong ! It turned out that the modern day gaming industry had slid yet another insolvable Rubics cube between me and my game : The controller. Forget the simplicity of the Classic Atari controller. This thing had more buttons then I had fingers. It had knobs, dials, buttons, switches whose purpose was completely lost on me. What WAS this ?
Add a giant Tv, a high speed game with tons of bad guys, sounds, flashing lights and a 300 button controller … and I was lost. I spent most of my time in Halo as organic paste on the wall before I switched to call of duty. Here, I was even worse. In the heat of the fight I forgot what button was up or down (or fire) and ended up giving the bad guy my rations. (He did not appreciate the gesture). I thought a racing game would be better but ended up plowing fields with my very expensive Ferrari in Need for Speed. I just wasn’t any good at it.

The controller and all its buttons had me baffled. The fast pace and high details of the game overloading my sensory pallet. My lethal gaming skills were reduced to a puddle of goo in the land of modern console gaming : I sucked at it.. Big time.
So after spraining a muscle while playing ‘The Michael Jackson experience’ ( I thought the Kinect controller would be ‘a big help’ in all this) I decided to sell my Xbox. Its now on the Belgian version of Craigslist. Not because its not awesome (because it is) not because its too hard (its not) but because the generational gap between me and the modern day console gamers is too big for me to breach.
I’m a classic gamer. Meet me in the online world of Counter Strike, of Quake 3, of Wolfenstein or some other first person shooter .. and I am lethal. Armed with a clunky keyboard and a sensitive mouse, I will seek you out and I will be the soul progenitor of your continues respawns. I’m not old .. I’m just Retro.

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Play 1000 classic videogames in your browser (on ANY OS)

When I see people standing in line for the next big new console game, I always think back of the good old days when I still had my Atari game console and played classic 8 bit games on a run down TV in a backroom. Thanks to the awesomeness of the internet, I can now do exactly that inside a browser window. So forget standing in the rain for the next GTA game (and possibly being robbed in the cue by a 14 year old ‘gangsta’ who wants your iPhone) .. I’m heading out to the Internet Archive. Over there some brilliant programmers have come up with a way to play classic console games right in your 2014-style browser. The “Console living room” as it is called does not only have the coolest cover picture in existence (Check out the neck beard on dad’s picture there) it ALSO has a full listing a tons of games that you could play on your Atari 2600 and 7800 , but also from some more obscure systems like the Colecovision, the Odyssey, the Astrocade and the very very first Sega. 

Instead of having to install an emulator an jump through hoops .. all you need is to “click on the pick” and the game will launch in your browser.  We haven’t tried this on mobile devices yet (but its worth a go) and so far results are awesome. You can go full screen if you want to. There is nothing like playing ET on a 52 inch High Dev television and waist a ridiculous amount of pixels, resolution and technological progress on a little alien that looks like a turn on the screen. Its a little tricky to find the right buttons on your keyboard, so thank the matrix there is also support for game pads (YES ! game pads and not those 500 gazillion button contraptions they call “controlers” these days ).

So ground your offspring and plop them in front of the television to teach them “How mom and dad Fragged bad guys back in da 80’s”. Finish that never ending argument with your older brother about “who was best at Desert Falcon” and rekindle hours of time devouring goodness on Kung Fu Master.  Its GAME TIME !

playing_atari_2600

 

Links.

Head on over to the Console living room project HERE.

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Out of style or “Retro Chique” ?

“Annual neighborhood garage sale” the sign read on the side of the road. As we whizzed by at 50 miles per hour it was a little hard to read out the final lines of where exactly this event would take place, but I was quick enough to take down the date : Today.  My trusty Nexus smartphone provided me with the correct information and walking directions how to reach this event and I was pleased to know that, not only was it within walking distance, it would also be an ideal way to spend a couple of hours on a lazy Sunday afternoon. So my slumbering crave to become the next Indiana Jones collector of forgotten cult memorabilia (Read : Old Transformers, GI-Joes or the holy grail : Vintage Star Wars toys) once again proved hard to resist. A couple of hours later, armed with some music, geeky headphones and a camera, I was ready to go shopping.

Being able to hold an event like this on a sunny Sunday afternoon is a blessing for any neighborhood committee and it was nice to see that they got a nice turnout. The wonderful thing about garage sales is that you not only can rummage around old junk, you can also see the people who have owned it. As I spot two sweet young ladies sitting side by side on a comfy lawn chair, my camera snaps up a shot of two discarded Walkmans in their original packaging. In my mind I go back a couple of years and see the adolescent version of these charming lads sporting braces and pressing ‘rewind’ and ‘play’ over and over again, just to hear their favorite Take That song over and over again.

As my efforts to find a Chewbacca action figure in mint conditioning turn out to be a quest for another day, I mentally rummage around my own collection of stuff that sits discarded in my drawers. Old gadgets and forgotten pieces of tech that might just be something I could sell off. As I head home I make the promise to “clean out my closets” and see what I could sprawl out on a blanket along the side of the road.

A couple of hours later, a small line of ‘technological legacy’ sits on my desk. Old usb sticks, discarded 250 gigabyte ATA harddrives, a bunch of cables, an old Beige box, a ton of SD ram and more .. Most of these items have been sitting here for quite some time, the pace of progress to fast for them to keep up as they slide into disuse.  On the side of this little pile sit two more items that somehow stand out. An old Nokia 6310 phone and my very first 30 gigabyte iPod video.  

I roll them around in my hands and together with a sense of familiarity, memories come flooding back. Back to the times when I got this Nokia I had discarded, yet always kept close as a “backup phone” .. To times when I worked as a field engineer in a large industrial plant, and how I used to have this iPod on me for over 10 hours a day playing podcasts. I close my eyes and let my fingers slide over the tactile ring, still being able to operate both devices completely by touch. A privilege lost with modern day smartphones and iPhones.

Before I chuck them on the pile a strange thought crosses my mind :  “Why ? “  Why would I throw out these two gadgets, who, despite their age, have not lost a single shred of their functionality.  Would I still be able to use these devices today.  As for the Nokia 6310 it would be possible. I would be in the possession of a phone that would only be able to have a data communication through the primitive functionality of a infrared dial up modem at a speed that is considered slow even in third world countries. I would have to use the numeric keyboard and T9 text predictions to compose sms messages. I would be unable to access twitter, Facebook, email and the other countless social networks that comprise the main share of my interaction with the outside world. It would be a device where people could reach me when they REALLY URGENTLY needed me : By actually “calling” me. It would be a device that would give me digital solitude while still keeping open that one essential line of communication used in the most dire circumstances : A phone call.   I wonder if I would look “out of date” answering the standard Nokia (monotone) ringtone with a simple “hello”  and actually starting a conversation. Would, planting my phone on the table alongside sweet black squares of magic be considered “outdated’ or “tech-hipster-retro” .. it gives me food for thought and perhaps even the grounds for a little social experiment.

The second device, a white 30 gigabyte iPod video pours fuel on the fire and actually lets me come up with a nice re-implementation of the device. My beloved has just acquired her new set of wheels, A fiat 500, the NCC 1701a of the legendary Fiat 500 line. The car is a tribute to a beautiful design of another time : its ‘Retro Chique”  And somehow the old iPod would fit perfectly. Not only can it be directly accessed through the car’s entertainment system and far outclass my wife’s 8 gig iPhone 4 in storage, It also is safer than the average ‘touchscreen only” device should the need arise to manually operate it.

Instead of trying to angle out glare while trying to push minute icons on the touchscreen while driving, this iPod ‘video’ gives her the ability to be handled by touch only. Play, pause, forward and back.. her eyes can be on the road as the old but trusty jog dial helps her find the right tune.

I punch up an eBay auction and spend 5 dollars on a battery replacement kit for the iPod ( Its battery is utterly and completely dead ) and look forward to installing the ‘renovated’ iPod in her classy car. Here the question of “outdated’ vs “retro” is a non issue. It would fit perfectly and perform all the tasks that would be required in its second lease on life.

And thus I wonder. with the great waves of innovation crashing on the shores of struggling times, how many of our “old gadgets” are actually still functional. How many of them have we discarded because “something new” was on the horizon. How many of them could be considered “retro chique”. With the average norm reaching for “the latest and hottest thing” on the shelves (without having an inkling WHY), would we geeks be considered “hip” if we sported retro gear ?

My mind goes back to the two young ladies at the garage sale. How would they look today If the two walkmans would be strapped to their sides, their headphones (with orange earmuffs) contrasting with their dark hair. The tinny sound of a Rick Ashley bleeding out of the speakers as the volume is set to maximum. Would they be out of style .. or Retro Chique ?

 

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Classic : Old Commodore 64 add brings back memories for old guys.

Long time friend of the show Swift has taken up a very interesting hobby over the last few years collecting retro gaming consoles. What started out as a collection of fantastic 8 and 16 bit Nintendo and Sega consoles has gradually evolved into an ever expanding mini museum of old computer hardware. His recent addition , a Commodore 64 , in mint condition with original packaging, printer, data recorder and everything prompted me to go and google up this great commercial from back in the day. If you never had a Commodore 64 it will just be a quant little flick. If you HAVE had one, its pure sweet retro …

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