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Author Topic: Things your kids will never know - old school tech!  (Read 51673 times)
40hz
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« Reply #75 on: October 28, 2008, 01:18:53 PM »


Nah, it's longhand/cursive itself. Sure, some people write (a lot!) more incomprehensible than other, but in general I find it ugly and harder to read than normal writing.

Check out somebody who has mastered Chancery Cursive Italic handwriting before you wash your hands of all forms of handwriting. Sometimes referred to as the Italian Hand, Chancery Cursive was developed by Ludovico Vicentino degli Arrighi (1475 – 1527), a Vatican scribe who needed a form of writing that was beautiful, legible, non-fatiguing to use, and very fast to write with.

Looks like this (formal and informal versions shown)



I had a friend who was a wizard at it. She used it for everything -class notes, letters, personal checks (it used to be a riot when she would hand one of those to a bank teller!), grocery lists... and she could easily write two to three times faster than anybody else we knew. She won more than one beer bet at our campus watering hole with that boast. She could even give a few decent typists we knew a run for their money.

People must have liked it. It's now digitized as a font family for those of us who, though mildly arthritic, still appreciate fine letterforms.
 Cool
« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 01:23:24 PM by 40hz » Logged

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zridling
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« Reply #76 on: October 28, 2008, 01:46:41 PM »

I remember punchcards in school from the 70s. It did not make computer science "exciting" by any measure.
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Edvard
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« Reply #77 on: October 28, 2008, 01:48:50 PM »

<EDIT> Actually, something just occurred to me. The one thing these cards were really good for was their ability to be used as building blocks. Literally and metaphorically!

If you had a good routine coded on those cards, you could always just drop it into a new 'stack' (i.e. program) and reuse them. Everybody who did a lot of "card work" had a shoebox full of neatly rubber-banded routines and subprograms they could "compost" (as we used to say) into their latest project. There was even a feature on the keypunch machine that would allow you to make duplicates of a stack of cards with just the push of a button. Great for archiving and version control purposes. So I guess you could say that punch cards were one of the earliest examples of reusable code and software repositories.

That's it. If I ever get around to writing the Grand Unified Linux Package Management System, I'm going to call the repositories "Shoeboxes"
 Thmbsup Thmbsup
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Clive
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« Reply #78 on: October 28, 2008, 11:43:12 PM »

Who remembers valves in radios, etc? Lead in paint? Unsprung clothes pegs? Crystal sets?
When I was in high school we had an excursion to the local university to visit the computing centre. The building which housed it was built over a river which ran through the campus. Why? All the cabling was submerged in the water to help keep it cool!
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zridling
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« Reply #79 on: October 29, 2008, 02:39:59 AM »

Quote
Who remembers valves in radios, etc? Lead in paint? Unsprung clothes pegs? Crystal sets?

Everything but the valves. Do tubes in TVs count?
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Darwin
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« Reply #80 on: October 29, 2008, 08:15:37 AM »

I think the valves he refers to ARE tubes...er, WERE tubes. I had a Radio with tubes in it when I was a kid - my grandfather gave it to me and I restored the case and got it working. Size of a (big) microwave oven. Very warm sound, though. Anyway, transistors replaced tubes in radios, allowing for true portability - late '50s, early '60's (I think), thus, "transistor radio".
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zridling
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« Reply #81 on: October 29, 2008, 04:04:48 PM »

Yea, those were the days when you could repair a TV rather than have to throw it away.
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CWuestefeld
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« Reply #82 on: October 29, 2008, 04:12:05 PM »

Yea, those were the days when you could repair a TV rather than have to throw it away.
If you remember those days, you most remember the joys of adjusting the horizontal hold and vertical hold.

And I remember our channel selector knob was broken, so we kept a pair of pliers on top of the TV so that you could turn the turret switch inside it.
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Darwin
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« Reply #83 on: October 29, 2008, 04:17:15 PM »

I can't believe how quickly I've forgotten about horizontal and vertical hold! Of course, I guess it has been at least 20 years... but still. I actually remember life before cable TV... and on a b+w TV at that. I know, I know, I'm in good company here!
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40hz
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« Reply #84 on: October 29, 2008, 04:54:02 PM »

Don't forget outdoor TV aerials - some of which were motorized and could be rotated for better reception. The suburban skyline looked very different back then with all those weird antenna shapes up on every rooftop.

Also don't forget those Civil Defense air raid siren tests that serenaded us at noon every Saturday right up until the early 70s.

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Darwin
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« Reply #85 on: October 29, 2008, 04:56:49 PM »

Ah! I forgot about the air raid drills siren tests as well... not to mention weekly ICBM Raid drills in school.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2008, 05:15:17 PM by Darwin » Logged

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40hz
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« Reply #86 on: October 29, 2008, 05:04:21 PM »

Sometimes the mind makes merciful deletions in response to bad experiences. Wink
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Darwin
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« Reply #87 on: October 29, 2008, 05:16:53 PM »

Yes, you're right. I used to have nightmares about the Soviets nuking us (live within 5 km of an air force base that was targeted during the Cold War). The Matthew Broderick movie "War Games" really scared the snot out of me...
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4wd
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« Reply #88 on: October 29, 2008, 05:59:50 PM »

My first camera:


and it's film:


126 ceased production in 1998.
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Grorgy
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« Reply #89 on: October 29, 2008, 06:06:06 PM »

Quote
Don't forget outdoor TV aerials

I wish i could forget them, mine blew down a couple of years ago and was a little expensive and time consuming to get repaired
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mwb1100
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« Reply #90 on: October 29, 2008, 10:38:09 PM »

My first camera...

Oh yeah - that reminds me of flash bulbs and flash cubes.  Wow,  I'd completely forgotten about their existence.

Here's a groovy commercial for them:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eGZX_4EIEU
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #91 on: October 29, 2008, 10:44:38 PM »

Yes, you're right. I used to have nightmares about the Soviets nuking us
I glad to have forgotten (almost) growing up in a London full of bomb craters, where virtually every street had gaping holes that once had been houses, and where food rationing was severe. Everybody had lost somebody.
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Chris
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« Reply #92 on: October 29, 2008, 11:58:20 PM »

Yes, you're right. I used to have nightmares about the Soviets nuking us
I glad to have forgotten (almost) growing up in a London full of bomb craters, where virtually every street had gaping holes that once had been houses, and where food rationing was severe. Everybody had lost somebody.


Some things there can be no nostalgia for, no regret that the youth of today are unfamiliar with them... However, the danger is when society forgets the lessons learned in the past and succeeding generations are forced to learn them for themselves...
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« Reply #93 on: October 30, 2008, 01:09:14 AM »

Don't forget outdoor TV aerials - some of which were motorized and could be rotated for better reception. The suburban skyline looked very different back then with all those weird antenna shapes up on every rooftop.

Also don't forget those Civil Defense air raid siren tests that serenaded us at noon every Saturday right up until the early 70s.



We still have outdoor aerials here - no cable TV! But we do have Satellite Disks for xtra stations - at a cost...Which we are installing tomorrow!  Thmbsup


* Garden 33.jpg (154.27 KB, 688x524 - viewed 223 times.)
« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 01:14:06 AM by CleverCat » Logged

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J-Mac
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« Reply #94 on: November 02, 2008, 01:28:14 AM »

Oh man! I have a few that very few will remember, methinks! They'll also say much about my age!

  • The Bowmar Brain - The first handheld (IF you had fairly large hands!) calculator that I ever saw. Never could afford one, though - they ran about $300 in the early '70s.




  • The Wang 720c - I used to write programs for this machine. I know, I know: I always claim here that I am NOT a coder. Well, OK, I was at one time, but we're talking Multiple Regression Analyses, we're talking connecting to an IBM Selectrics as an output device, remotely over a tremendously speedy 1200 baud modem - the kind where we actually placed the old-fashioned telephone receiver into the modem with two holes in it? Yikes! I also did a good bit using COBOL and FORTRAN, hand-punched onto cards and then fed to large, oversized magnetic tape drives.

    Yet toss me into a VB edit dialog and I'll be lost for days - you might never see me again!




  • Lastly, my experimental attempt to increase the power of an original Atari Game Console by wiring it to a Commodore VIC 20 computer. I won't go into how that worked out other than to say it did produce a hell of a lot more smoke than I ever thought was possible!

Still smilin' yet....

Jim
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« Reply #95 on: November 02, 2008, 08:24:15 PM »

It is a shame I didn't made a picture from the 'update' I made in my Commodore 64 (many, many moons ago) although the lack of access to a photo-camera at that time could have contributed to that sad fact. Anyway, involved were three customized ROM's, a special designed circuit board, a lot(!!) of wires, 18 external switches to select the software inside the ROM's and a cooling fan...any combination you could make with these switches resulted in a new software goodie to play with.

That C64 really had everything you could wish for at that time...SPEEDDOS, DOLPHINDOS and even it's own graphical user interface (very similar in look and feel to the Commodore Amiga's Workbench) completely controllable with a mouse.

With the money I made selling that C64 I was able to by my first (3rd hand) Amiga 1000.  Kiss Man, happy days that were.  smiley

Later on, I repeated that feat somewhat by building an Amiga 1200 into a high tower PC case. Ah well, what can I say...the thrill was gone. Not for the Amiga (never!!!), but the custom building.

Now I just build my own PC's. 
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Davidtheo
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« Reply #96 on: November 03, 2008, 03:48:11 AM »

Does anyone remember the brick phone. I remember my first mobile phone / car phone it was bigger then a brick and just as heavy.
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SKesselman
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« Reply #97 on: November 03, 2008, 11:13:31 AM »

 Grin Yeah, my dad had one of those, in his days of women, wine and song. What was the actual year those things came out, I wonder?
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« Reply #98 on: November 03, 2008, 02:02:45 PM »

I remember being in university and coming home for the summer to find that three guys I had graduated from high school with had gone fishing the previous summer (1989 or 1990). When they came back they each bought an IROC (Chevy Camaro) and had cell phones installed. The extravagance was shocking to a kid living on about $7000 a year! Anyway, the cell phones were huge and cost an obscene amount of money to operate. Still can't get over the waste of it all. Of course, I am not by any stretch immune to wasting money... Witness my software addiction  ohmy
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zridling
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« Reply #99 on: November 03, 2008, 03:16:34 PM »

It's also pretty fascinating to watch movies from throughout the 1960s and see the gadgets they had then. Especially the first:

  • Copy machines
  • Answering machines
  • Breast implants; the Pill
  • LEDs
  • Satellites
  • Easy-Bake ovens!
  • Sindy! (Sindy was the British Barbie, only with better thighs and a better boyfriend Paul -- a Beatle!)
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