Emailed photos become instant postcards with Postcardly

postcardsIf you’re anything like me, perhaps you’re a bit too…lazy to send postcards when you’re on vacation trip. Like most of us, I got sucked into the convenience of email, and it was a good excuse to not deal with looking for a post office in a foreign country. On the other hand, I love sharing vacation photos. Which, understandably, tests the patience of those who failed to receive a postcard from me while I was on said trip.

If you possess similar habits, I suggest you check out Postcardly. This recently-launched company allows you to email photo attachments from your laptop, an Internet cafe, or your Smartphone. Postcardly will then turn that photo into a real postcard (you provide the text, and they print it up on the back of the card), and mail it to as many people as you want (delivery takes between one day and a week). Postcardly isn’t the first company to come up with this concept, but it differs in that their postcards are the real deal; they’re not a phone app (i.e. no need for roaming capability or a global phone), pop-out cards, or printed on flimsy stock. They’re keepsakes, if you will.

Pretty nifty, especially for kids or people like my dad, who can’t fathom computers (or really, anyone; who doesn’t love receiving a postcard?). Postcardly costs $4.99 a month for five postcards, $9.99 a month for 15 postcards, or a one-time charge of $19.99 for 20 prepaid postcards. Currently, they only mail cards mailed domestically; international service coming soon. Go here for a free trial of three postcards. And don’t forget to write!

Berlin’s latest attraction: The Computer Game Museum

Berlin, berlin, computer game, computer games, Pong, pongIf you’re under thirty, computer games have always been a part of your life, but for us old farts wise elders, we remember the first time we took hold of a joystick and moved a spaceship through an asteroid field, or ran a ravenous little yellow circle around a maze while being chased by ghosts. If you’re under twenty, you probably don’t even know what games I’m talking about.

Here’s your chance to learn. The Computer Game Museum has just opened in Berlin. The Computerspiele Museum, as it’s called in German, presents the history of gaming from its early days on room-sized computers in the 50s and 60s, through the arcade craze of the 80s and on up to today. There are even experimental installation pieces examining possibilities for the next generation of gaming, such as RaveSnake, an eight-player game controlled by cell phones via Bluetooth. The developers call this a new genre of “party games for the sidewalk.”

The museum has an archive of about 14,000 games, and some are set up so visitors can play them. According to a detailed article by Deutsche Welle, this is the second incarnation of the museum. It was previously open for a few years in the 90s before shutting down. In following years it created temporary exhibitions for other museums until it got a space of its own and opened on Friday.

In case you’re wondering, the screenshot is of Pong, a table tennis simulator that was one of the earliest games available to the general public, being released in 1972. That’s before even my time!

[Photo courtesy user Bumm13 via Wikimedia Commons]