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Author Topic: Things your kids will never know - old school tech!  (Read 46141 times)
zridling
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« on: October 21, 2008, 01:13:05 AM »



I'm 47 next week and today it struck me the things the next generation -- and to a large extent, the current one -- doesn't know in reference to many technical things. For example, will kids know:

  • What a party line ever was? Or a 'land line'?
  • What a 'CD' was? Or an album? or a 45? or all the 'file sharing' we did with cassettes!
  • What 8.5x11 means or A4? (how many of us spit out paper for our non-letter writing?)
  • What 'batch processing' meant? (now that's old school, baby!)
  • DOS, damnit! It was simple, and could be fixed in a snap.
  • A slide rule?
  • What a 35mm camera was? What 'film' was?
  • The tank weight, power, and decibel output of an IBM Selectric!

I'm finally beginning to understand what Grandma was talking about way back when I was a kid. But I miss sure that Selectric.
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CleverCat
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2008, 02:05:09 AM »

Yikes, when I had my first typing class in 1965 - we had to practice on an old manual Royal typewriter!

I thought I was 'posh' when we got manual Remingtons.... Grin and...

When I was a teenager, we didn't even have a telephone!
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Deozaan
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2008, 03:21:10 AM »

Those doohickies sure look cool, but what are they for?  Wink
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4wd
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2008, 06:31:17 AM »

Those doohickies sure look cool, but what are they for?  Wink

They give you extra grip on the car's gear shift.
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2008, 06:38:29 AM »

They will know if you tell 'em Wink
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2008, 06:48:30 AM »

When I were a lad we had enough food, plenty of money, and could drive to and from school... and it was downhill, both ways.

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Chris
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2008, 07:26:48 AM »

Is the picture to the right a high tech password encrypted hand grenade? Damn, they sure don't make them like they used to...
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2008, 10:53:07 AM »

You would get something 'interesting' to read on the table when you use the IBM printhead in a ping-pong game...
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40hz
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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2008, 10:54:44 AM »

Yow! An IBM Selectric type font ball? Now I am feeling old... ohmy

Here's one. It was a common phrase in many catalogs (although you'd have to be from the U.S. to have encountered it)"

"Prices slightly higher west of the Mississippi."
« Last Edit: October 21, 2008, 10:57:12 AM by 40hz » Logged

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CWuestefeld
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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2008, 10:59:24 AM »

How about:
  • Arguing about who would get up to change the channel or turn up the volume
  • Being able to tell someone your phone number in only 7 digits (and sometimes even fewer!)
  • Wind in your hair as you ride your bike without a helmet
  • Why those little things in a form are called radio buttons

Yikes, when I had my first typing class in 1965 - we had to practice on an old manual Royal typewriter!
Same for me, in 1980. I remember having to exercise my pinky fingers -- they weren't strong enough to get a real "hit" on QAZ etc.
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Edvard
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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2008, 11:19:15 AM »

Yeah, remember when a phone RANG? Like with a real BELL and everything?



The next time I hear someone's phone go "Doop Dippity Doop Doop" or blast the latest pop hit as the startled owner frantically fumbles in their purse or pocket to quiet the vile wireless beastie will be WAAAY too soon...
« Last Edit: October 21, 2008, 11:22:32 AM by Edvard » Logged

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Deozaan
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2008, 12:55:40 PM »

Those doohickies sure look cool, but what are they for?  Wink
They give you extra grip on the car's gear shift.

What's a gear shift? tongue
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zridling
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2008, 01:25:33 PM »

CWuestefeld, good points. I'd forgotten about pre-remote days. How about:

  • The days when they played music on the radio?
  • Leaded gasoline!
  • The BBS days?
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CWuestefeld
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« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2008, 01:47:39 PM »

Funny how our perception of "normal" changes, so for many things (as with your "leaded gasoline"), the thing that was the default now needs a special label (it used to be just "gasoline", and what we're using today had the special label "unleaded").

What else is like this?
  • "Dial" telephone
  • "B&W" TV
  • "Organic" food
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Darwin
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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2008, 03:39:21 PM »

Pretty soon it's going to be letter-box format, analogue TV's (or at least their mention) that draw blank stares...

Here're a few:
Imperial weights and measures (Canada - I encounter this one already)
Audio cassettes (I had to show a 15 year old what a "Walkman" was! LP's are making a comeback, though)
Going to the movie theatre to watch a movie (as in, life before VCR's/DVD players)
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f0dder
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« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2008, 03:46:29 PM »

Yeah, remember when a phone RANG? Like with a real BELL and everything?
 (see attachment in previous post)
The next time I hear someone's phone go "Doop Dippity Doop Doop" or blast the latest pop hit as the startled owner frantically fumbles in their purse or pocket to quiet the vile wireless beastie will be WAAAY too soon...
I smiled when I read that XKCD strip - I'm not so much annoyed by various ringtones, though, as I'm annoyed by people who use their cellphone as a boombox in public. Use some darn earphones, kiddos!

My own cell plays Dimmu Borgir: Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia: Sympozium when somebody calls me - simply because I used to miss calls when I used the standard ringtone. I almost always hear the phone now, though Wink
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Darwin
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« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2008, 03:47:21 PM »

BTW I think that there may soon come a time when the whole concept of the internal combustion engine and the use of gasoline as a fuel for anything might be foreign to "yoots".
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CWuestefeld
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« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2008, 04:05:18 PM »

BTW I think that there may soon come a time when the whole concept of the internal combustion engine and the use of gasoline as a fuel for anything might be foreign to "yoots".

Quote from: Rush
My uncle has a country place, that no one knows about
He says it used to be a farm, before the motor law
...
Down in his barn
My uncle preserved for me, an old machine ---
For fifty-odd years
To keep it as new has been his dearest dream

I strip away the old debris, that hides a shining car
A brilliant red barchetta, from a better, vanished time
I fire up the willing engine, responding with a roar
Tires spitting gravel, I commit my weekly crime...
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Darwin
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« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2008, 04:32:59 PM »

Heh, heh - I'd forgotten about "Red Barchetta"  Thmbsup
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f0dder
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« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2008, 04:47:19 PM »

Jesus built my hot-rod.
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Edvard
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« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2008, 05:51:30 PM »

Quote from: Darwin
... LP's are making a comeback, though

For the truly faithful, they never went away...  Kiss

mmm... Tasty
Thmbsup
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2008, 06:21:01 PM »

Quote
LP's are making a comeback, though

I used to have a player for 45's in my car (best used when stationary).

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Chris
cranioscopical
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« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2008, 08:32:08 PM »

What else is like this?
  • "Dial" telephone
  • "B&W" TV
  • "Organic" food

"Dot-matrix" printer?
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Chris
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« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2008, 01:51:05 AM »

When I were a lad we had enough food, plenty of money, and could drive to and from school... and it was downhill, both ways.



 Grin
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zridling
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« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2008, 02:11:56 AM »

Drive-in theaters. Made for great dates, and you didn't have to listen to some jackass talking to the screen!
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