5. ZX Spectrum: a visual compendium (from £10)
Sam Dyer’s Bitmap Books imprint has already made Commodore fans happy with luscious volumes covering the C64 and Amiga. Now, it’s the turn of Sir Clive’s rubber-keyed wonder, with the ZX Spectrum getting a chunky tome full of imagery and interviews.
It might seem curious to devote an entire book to a system famed for eye-searing hues and colour clash, but the Spectrum had some of the finest and most delicate pixel art of any classic system, and this title will add game artwork and reproductions of CRASH covers by Oliver Frey.
Give it a week and you’ll be scouring eBay for a copy of Manic Miner, and wishing you could still buy a tape of some dodgy Codemasters ‘classic’ in a petrol station for £1.99.
6. Hub+ for USB-C (from US$79)
Ah, the new MacBook: the thinnest MacBook that’s ever thinned, and distinctly lacking in ports.
We loved it, but not being able to plug things in is frustrating. We imagine it won’t be long before you can rectify this problem by purchasing some kind of hub on eBay for 99p, with only a 50/50 chance of it burning down your house or blowing up your computer.
Right now, though, we’ve got our eyes on the Hub+. It looks properly solid and smart, and it supports USB (three USB-A 3.0 charging ports), SDXC, and mini DisplayPort. The pocketable unit can also be used on the move, to recharge an iPhone.
If you’re feeling particularly flush/crazy, there’s even a US$3,999 24k gold-plated option, although only one ‘bling’ Hub+ was left at the time of writing.
7. MIITO (from €90)
We love gadgets, but there’s the tiny snag that within a few decades the entire planet will be sucked dry of resources and the most advanced kit around will be a hammer and chisel. (Stuff would still be published, note, primarily through yelling about exciting new hammers and chisels from somewhere in a dystopian west London.)
MIITO is designed to help stave off such a future by cutting down on energy use from kettles; this is achieved through having you place a rod in the liquid you’re heating, thereby minimising wastage. The video somehow looks like an impossibly sci-fi means of making tea combined with an oddly awkward way of heating liquids, but we’re quite intrigued and really fancy a cuppa right now.
But first: this month’s exciting bonus item is next up…
USA-only bonus: Atomic Robo Reprint Regalia! (from US$10)
Atomic Robo is a gloriously geeky and bonkers comic strip, centred around thinktank Tesladyne Industries and the titular Atomic Robo, a sentient robot created by Nikola Tesla in 1923.
The core team’s main aim is ostensibly to further science, but largely involves saving the world from crazed geniuses who want to destroy everything, one of which is the unhinged Dr. Dinosaur, who claims to have invented a time machine comprising sticks and rocks.
Atomic Robo was originally a paper comic, and it’s now online in its entirety; the Kickstarter’s aim is to get the series back in print, in lovely hardback editions. It’s sadly only one for the Americans (and Canadians), though, because on discovering the overseas postage charges, you’ll think you’ve just been punched in the face by a robot.