Artefacts of the real

One person's kipple is... another person's kipple. is a comprehensive on-line museum devoted to antediluvian thinking machines, largely from that long-gone era, known as the 1980s.

Alongside images and descriptions of the machines, visitors will find that many include photographs of the manuals other assorted documents packaged with them - a graphics time capsule from the 70s and 80s.

As with the products themselves, the design of these self-consciously futuristic documents is bizarre and jarring to the modern eye. They attain a status of being artefacts from a future that never arrived.

Graphic design aside, the museum is a treasure trove of weirdness.

Formerly the owner of two Silicon Graphics workstations, I still own a bevy of ancient Macs, a PC Engine and have great difficulty stopping myself from buying a NeXT Cube.

Similarly, I have purchased Lubitel and Woca cameras and all manner of other junk. This accretion of pointless, ageing technology in my modest home is some kind of searching for a world pre-internet when media technologies were all unique, incompatible with one another and, as a result, romantic and somehow more real.

As designed objects, many of these things are truly fascinating. Old computers, cameras and watches in particular are a source of unending joy to me.

The single item that I covet more than anything else is a pre-computer digital office clock - the kind that flicked pieces of paper or plastic, on which numbers were written in large sans-serif fonts. One day, it will be mine - as soon as I've paid off my credit card bill.

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