Tag Archives: 80’s Technology

Eighties toy Bigtrak is making a comeback

The 80’s hit toy Bigtrak is back, enabling parents of today to buy one of the most memorable toys from their past and bring it back to life for their own children to enjoy – and of course for those who simply wish to have the toy they were never lucky enough to own as a child. It was the subject of a massive craze in the 1980s and the toy you simply had to have! A simply brand new retro experience! Bigtrack is available at play.com for £34.99 or approximately $54 USD.

In addition to the original Bigtrak toy making a comeback, there’s also the iPhone Bigtrak iCalc app to download. It’s based on the Bigtrak control pad and makes the Bigtrack sounds when the keys are pressed. The Bigtrak iPhone app is free to download at iTunes at the time of publishing this article.

History

Bigtrak was a programmable electric vehicle created by Milton Bradley in 1979. It was a six-wheeled tank with a front-mounted blue photon beam headlamp, and a keypad on top. The toy could remember up to 16 commands which it then executed in sequence such as “go forward 5 lengths”, “pause”, “turn 15 minutes right (90 Degrees)”, “fire phaser” and so on. There was a “repeat” instruction allowing simple loops, but the language was not Turing complete, lacking branching instructions; the Big Trak also lacked any sort of sensor input other than the wheel sensors.

The US and GB/European versions were noticeably different. The US version was moulded in gray plastic and labelled BIG TRAK whereas the GB version was white and labelled bigtrak with a different keypad.

Bigtrak also included an optional trailer accessory. Once hooked to Bigtrak, this trailer could be programmed to dump its payload.

Bigtrak Jr.

Dubreq is releasing a desktop version of the Bigtrak toy along with new updated accessories to include a rocket launcher and a digital camera.

Who knew dot-com started back in the 1980’s?

Yes, it was 25 years ago — March 15, 1985 that the first dot-com domain name Symbolics.com appeared on the Internet, bringing in the commercial age of the World Wide Web. Dot-com (or .com) is derived from commercial, indicating its original intended purpose for networks of general commercial character.

The dot-com domain was one of the original top-level domains (TLDs) in the Internet when the Domain Name System was implemented in January 1985, the others being edu, gov, mil, net, and org. It has grown into the largest top-level domain. Today the Internet has grown to more than 80 million dot-com domain names, according to the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF).

Who would have known that something created back in the 80’s would be so popular today and used by millions everyday?!