December 19, 2013 1:00 PM | By Lucas Mearian, MSN Tech & Gadgets
Best holiday presents of all time

Bytes for bites: The Kitchen Computer



Bytes for bites: The Kitchen Computer (© Courtesy of Mark Richards, of the Computer History Museum)
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  • Bytes for bites: The Kitchen Computer (© Courtesy of Mark Richards, of the Computer History Museum)
  • Pong, the home electronic tennis game (© Courtesy of Mark Richards, of the Computer History Museum)
  • Pong, the video arcade game came first (© Courtesy of Mark Richards, of the Computer History Museum)
  • Odyssey video game system, Magnavox, U.S., 1972 (© Courtesy of Mark Richards, of the Computer History Museum)
  • Atari 2600 with 'Combat' game cartridge, Atari, U.S., 1978 (© Courtesy of Mark Richards, of the Computer History Museum)
  • Speak & Spell children's toy, Texas Instruments, U.S., 1978 (© Courtesy of Mark Richards, of the Computer History Museum)
  • Electronic GrandMaster chess game, Milton Bradley, U.S., 1982 (© Courtesy of Mark Richards, of the Computer History Museum)
  • DG-10 Digital Guitar, Casio, Japan, 1983 (© Courtesy of Mark Richards, of the Computer History Museum)
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Courtesy of Mark Richards, of the Computer History MuseumShow Thumbnails
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Why would anyone want a computer at home? Before the personal computer era and its avalanche of possible uses, the perennial answer was: "to store recipes." Neiman-Marcus took that literally. The cover of its 1969 Christmas catalogue featured the Kitchen Computer. For $10,600 you got the computer, a cookbook, an apron, and a two-week programming course. Inside the futuristic packaging with a built-in cutting board was a standard Honeywell 316 minicomputer. But the console interface featured binary switches and lights. (Does 0011101000111001 mean broccoli? Or carrots?)

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