Review: The Nostalgia Nerd's Retro Tech (Hardware)

Reviewed by Derek Bortz, posted Nov 26, 2018, last updated Nov 26, 2018
Despite the majority of the tech on display in this book being around ~25 years old, most of it is brand new knowledge to me.
Nov 26, 2018
The Nostalgia Nerd has been educating me from his YouTube channel for about a year now. I have learned many things that I would have otherwise gone on oblivious to if not for his works. This book is a great little window into the much larger world of retro home consoles and home micros.
Derek Bortz

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So I can't imagine this is going to be a long review as this is a book after all, and I don't want to spoil much. Also, it’s a pretty straight-forward affair. The book begins with a table of contents detailing the many machines that can be browsed. Starting with the Magnavox Odyssey and ending with Microsoft's 2002 effort that resulted in the Original Xbox. You then get a few pages directly from the author Peter Leigh detailing his childhood and what started him on this techo-journey all those years ago.

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The metaphorical meat and potatoes comes next. Each system is laid out in an predictable fashion. The name and a gorgeous photo of the piece of hardware. with a very brief history and how it came to be. The next page will showcase 3 engineer's like images from all angles to give you a solid feel of what it would have been like to see one of these computers in real life. Lastly, but most interestingly (at least to me) is the page that lists 3 games designed specifically with that hardware in mind. Even more intriguing, is that they always come in 3 flavors: the first being a game that you "Must see," followed by a game you "Must Play," and finally a game you "Must Avoid". The end of the book shows some blurbs on some handhelds of the day, and a handy little index if you need to find anything. 

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In short, the book is perfect for any retro enthusiast, especially if you are or are becoming a post 1996 technology denier like I am. It's light reading, has great pictures, and is informative. One could easily sit down and read the whole thing in one sitting, or you could browse the book pages at a time. Simply a must have for anyone who even likes retro technology and wants a gateway into that realm. At such a low price point, it would be a perfect stocking stuffer this holiday. Something that could live on coffee tables all over the country. 

My only complaint, and this is really splitting hairs now, is that I personally would have loved this work to be more... I guess just more. More in depth, bigger pages, more pictures, bigger pictures, more games. Peter Leigh is no stranger to long, thought out documentaries. Just check out his "Stories" videos on YouTube if you don't believe me (no seriously, his YouTube channel is brilliant, and it got me over some of the hardest times in my life). Anyways, I am really nit-picking here. The book is great. 

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Verdict
Pros
+ Easy reading
+ Informative
+ Great pictures
+ Cheap (not in terms of production)
Cons
- Not as in depth as I would have liked
10
out of 10
Overall
10/10 is high praise for a book and maybe I am a bit biased. But I think this book delivers exactly what it set out to. This a breeze to read and hey, you learn about some cool stuff you probably never even heard of. At least I did. If you are looking for a book to round out someone's Christmas list, this book is cheap and well worth the price.


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