In "Retro-Electro: Collecting Technology from Atari to Walkman," U.K. technophile Pepe Tozzo pays homage to more than 200 pioneering gadgets that we've treasured then tossed. It reads like a yearbook (minus the bad hairdos): here, the geeks (JVC's Videosphere television, class of 1970), the hipsters (Bang & Olufsen's Beogram 4000 turntable, class of '72) and the overachievers (Sony's Walkman, class of '70) stand shoulder to shoulder in tribute to the way we were. "As we get older," says Tozzo, "we pine after the items that remind us of our younger years." In 2005, that means Ataris--not antiques. BBC TV now devotes much of its "20th Century Roadshow" to retro-tech gems, and Christie's recently auctioned a cache of rare computer artifacts--for $700,000. Stocked with price info and eBay tips, "Retro-Electro" will help budding collectors rebuild their old rec-room rigs. For the rest of us, it's a welcome blast from the past. Batteries not included.
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