Tag Archives: MTV

Virtual Speak & Spell

Speak And SpellIf you were a child of the 1980’s like I was, then you probably either had one or had a friend who owned a Speak & Spell toy from Texas Instruments. It was probably most popular after it’s role in the film, “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” as one of the components used in the communicator built for E.T. to “phone home.”

In probably the first time I’ve actually turned my television to see anything being broadcast in over a year, I passed by either MTV or VH1 and caught sight of a Speak & Spell unit in the video for “Fireflies” by Owl City. This sparked a Google search and I read about the history of the device on the Wikipedia page for the Speak & Spell units. And probably a highlight of my search was an online emulator.

According to the website for the emulator, the flash program was inspired by an eBay purchase of an old Speak & Spell unit, which unfortunately wasn’t in a working state when he obtained it. So his emulator is able to recreate the sounds and some basic functionality but not all the various modes of the device. The Speak & Spell was a revolutionary toy at the time as it was the first time an educational toy utilized speech that was not recorded on a tape or phonograph, it was built into the solid state electronics of the device.

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The 9 Most Incredible Things Of 2008 In Ryan’s Incredible World

Now that 2009 is now upon us, it seems that it would be good to take a few minutes to highlight what made high points for me in 2008. Taking a quick glance at the list of items that made the list this year, it seems that the very early 1980’s seem to be related to almost all of the items that make the list for this year. The influence of the 1980’s will be readily apparent as you check out the list. And I’ll point those out along the way for those who might not quite see the influence.

Without further ado, I now present My 9 Most Incredible Things of 2008, in no particular order… Continue reading The 9 Most Incredible Things Of 2008 In Ryan’s Incredible World