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A Joystick For The iPad

A Joystick For The iPad (photo)

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I saw this timely, little gadget on Joystiq yesterday. The Fling, by Ten One Design, is a translucent joystick that attaches discreetly to the surface of your iPad via suction cups and allows you to play games with considerably more ease. I can’t speak to the effectiveness or the sales prospects of this device, but, boy, does it take me back.

In the mid ’80s, when my notoriously stern father purchased a Commodore 128 for my brother and I, it was with the caveat that we could only use the shiny, new home computer for educational purposes. That meant learning BASIC programming and typing up book reports — no games!

010511C128.jpgNow, remember, in addition to more raw power (128 kb of RAM!) and super-awesome graphics (80 column RGBI!), the C128 had a fully-functional C64 mode which let you play the machine’s more popular predecessor’s famously vast array of games. By my dad’s decree, I was doomed to miss out on everything from “Arkanoid” to “Zak MacKracken.” As a teen dude, I was devastated.

Then one day, as if prescribed by god — whom I believed in strongly at the time — I found, in some store, a tiny joystick shaped like a key that roughly matched the bland beige of the C128, clipped perfectly to the side of the deck, and plugged neatly into the external port. It seriously looked like part of the keyboard. I used it to play “Parallax” and “Flimbo’s Quest” for some time after that and dad didn’t have a clue.

That’s probably not what the Fling is for. But if it helps some kid out there slip one past their parents, great.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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