What’s New IN ELECTRONICS (Jun, 1979)



Hook Intellivision to your color TV and its preprogrammed software lets you do everything from play games to learn a language. It has 60-by-92-line graphics in 16 colors. With keyboard, it’s $499. Maker: Mattel Electronics, 5150 Rosecrans Ave., Hawthorne, Calif. 90250.

The everything set
It’s a carry-along entertainment and information center—AM, FM, CB, public service, aircraft, and weather bands, three-inch TV, cassette tape—along with a built-in mike and sleep switch. Six D cells power it. It’s $249.95, from Sampo, 1050 Arthur Ave., Elk Grove Village, III. 60007.

Touch sensitive
Place this transparent screen over a CRT terminal and touch—it will produce an analog voltage that represents the position of your finger. Converted to digital, it eliminates light pens or joy sticks. Price is $1500, from Elo-graphics, 1976 Oak Ridge Tpk., Oak Ridge, Tenn. 37830.

Dense disc
The MD-4 computer mini-disc unit from IMSAI (14860 Wicks Blvd., San Leandro, Calif. 94577) uses conventional Mi-cropolis drives, but unconventional 1024-byte-per-sec-tor recording format. Result: an 18-percent—780K bytes-increase in storage capability. It’s $1995 with MDOS and controller.

Desk-top terminal
This 12x9x2-1/22-inch display takes the place of a full-size computer CRT terminal. It displays 12 lines of 40 characters and is touch sensitive—you give commands by just touching spots on the screen. Price: $3500. General Digital, 700 Burnside Ave., E. Hartford, Conn. 06108.

Remote control
You push a button here—a light turns on over there. No wires to run, Sears’ remote control uses house wiring to actuate up to 16 separate appliances. Command console ($40) sends code to remote boxes ($15), into which you plug the appliances to be controlled.

Goof corrector
Oops, made a typo? No problem, it’s not on paper yet. Instead, the Olivetti 221 retains the characters you’ve typed in a memory, which you can see and correct on the 15-character display. When you’re finished, the corrected copy is put on paper. Price:

  1. Stannous says: October 13, 200611:23 pm

    I always wonder if there’s any of these still out there-
    Intellivison still has fans:
    Elo-touch still sells touch screens:
    And General Digital:

  2. MAKE: Blog says: October 15, 20067:14 pm

    What’s new in electronics… 1979…

    Here’s a look back at some of the cutting edge electronics as seen in Popular Science 1979, I like the “Everything set” and the “Goof corrector” – “” – Link…….

  3. lazerdave says: October 27, 20062:22 pm

    Wow! The ORIGINAL Intellivision “keyboard component”. I don’t believe this ever went on sale to the general public, but we had one for about 6 months for testing.

    The Intellivision I console itself fit into a divot in the case, with a ribbon cable that plugged into the cartridge slot, and passthroughs for the RF out. I can’t remember how the power was handled.

    Basically this behemoth used the Intellivision I console for its graphics and controls (maybe) processing power. I’m pretty sure the console itself just thought it had a regular cartridge plugged into it.

    The “keyboard component” was a fullsize keyboard and it had a fully automatic cassette drive to the left. On the back was a monster port, into which fit the 8K BASIC cartridge.

    We only had two titles that used the cassette – Conversational French, and Jack Lalane’s Workout. The tape was only one-sided, so I’m guessing it was divided into a data track and a voice track, which blew our minds at the time… All of the sudden, our Intellivision was playing full-fidelity sound!

    It was a sad day when we had to give it back, but the second generation Intellivision computer system was pretty spiffy too. Nice to see a picture of the original, though. I was starting to think I’d imagined it.

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