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Author Topic: Things your kids will never know - old school tech!  (Read 46070 times)
wreckedcarzz
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« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2008, 02:18:52 AM »

(see attachment in previous post)  (see attachment in previous post)
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.

I know everything on that list except the last one - never even heard of the machine. ohmy

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

I know of all these too, but am I mistaken that original phone numbers were 6 digits long?

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?

There is still some AM/FM (non-sattelite) radio music, and I have often asked why the heck it is still called "UNLEADED Gasoline" (hasn't it been long enough? Like those "ONE DAY ONLY" sales that go on for like 5 months?), but what is the BBS? huh

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

The spinning takes-an-hour-to-dial phones! And black and white TV (I Love Lucy and other older shows I watch are in Black and White, before "Technicolor")! Organic food (non-man/machine/pollutant/mutant made) is available, if you know where to look...

I got no idea what a 45 is, a dot-matrix printer, or a LP is, though. I have seen a tube based TV, 5" floppy (litterally) disks, an 8 track player and the old tape backup drives, but not much else I can think of.

In-car phones spring to mind, though. Those were fun to play with while your parents are barking at you to stop playing with them going down the road at 60 MPH... tongue
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CleverCat
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« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2008, 02:49:26 AM »

Still got Drive In Theatres here!
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 01:24:55 AM by CleverCat » Logged

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Darwin
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« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2008, 08:22:25 AM »

Heh, heh - Brandon, I think 40hz was commenting on the quality of the music played on the radio...  Wink
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tomos
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« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2008, 08:37:40 AM »

I have seen a tube based TV
Grin definitely a very different generation Grin

45[rpm] = single - they are played at 45 revolutions per minute as opposed to LP's which play at 33(&1/3)rpm
LP = Long playing [record], .. need I say music undecided maybe!

You can have great fun playing 45's at 33 and vice-versa cheesy
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« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2008, 08:45:44 AM »

Wow! I missed the query about 45's and LP's... You might know LP's as "vinyl", Brandon. They're making a big comeback and are ofen used by DJ's (the remixer/sampling sort).
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40hz
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« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2008, 09:17:53 AM »

1. Mechanical clock mechanisms and wind-up wristwatches.

2. Basement Fallout Shelters (Unless they make a come back. Let's hope they don't.)

3. Analog "anything"

4. Dacron fabrics

5. APL -  "The Last Computer Language" (yeah right! Sorry IBM Grin)

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40hz
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« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2008, 09:21:26 AM »

Heh, heh - Brandon, I think 40hz was commenting on the quality of the music played on the radio...  Wink

T'wasn't me that said that!

But while we're on the subject, how about when MTV actually was about music? Grin
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CWuestefeld
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« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2008, 10:12:52 AM »

5. APL -  "The Last Computer Language" (yeah right! Sorry IBM Grin)

OK - since this is DonationCoder, how about ridiculously obsolete computer languages that you spent time learning but will never use again? For me:

  • Assemblers: Z80, 6502, IBM 370, PDP-11
  • APL (here and here)
  • SNOBOL
  • TIF (not graphics but a DB platform for IBM mainframes, kinda analogous to Access. I can't even find a web page for it)
  • FORTRAN
  • Rexx - scripting language for IBM mainframes and OS/2. Pretty cool, actually, anticipating some of the features of today's dynamic languages. Here, here, and here. Internally, IBM had a visual tool for building client-server apps in Rexx, internally called "Red October" iirc, that could have been a VB-killer, but they never released it -- letting it die just like OS/2
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Darwin
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« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2008, 12:04:51 PM »

Heh, heh - Brandon, I think 40hz was commenting on the quality of the music played on the radio...  Wink

T'wasn't me that said that!

But while we're on the subject, how about when MTV actually was about music? Grin


OK - sorry, shouldn't have put words in your mouth (or is that wrested them from your fingertips  ohmyembarassed
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PaladinMJ
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« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2008, 03:00:41 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...

my "ring tone" is a voice saying: FOLLOW THE SOUND OF MY VOICE AND KILL WHOEVER HAS THIS CELL PHONE". i  hate having one and i truly mean it. but it is a neccisity as i have medical conditions and have family with same, I had a cell phoe when they where big ol' bricks litterally and had to be installed in the car.
and a pager that was almost as large.
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<TABLE BORDER=0><TR><TD>
<IMG BORDER=0 ALIGN="LEFT" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=80 SRC="[url]http://quiz.ravenblack.net/videogame/8.png" ALT="What Video Game Character Are You? I am a Scorched Earth Tank." />[/url]I am <B>a Scorched Earth Tank</B>.<BR /><BR />
When I have a mission, it consumes me; I will not be satisfied until the job is done. I have a strong sense of duty, and a strong sense of direction. Changes in the tide don't phase me - I always know which way the wind blows, and I know how to compensate for it. I get on poorly with people like myself. What Video Game Character Are You?
</TD></TR></TABLE>
PaladinMJ
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« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2008, 03:12:50 PM »

lets see what else:
  • pay phones that were a dime and could get incoming calls
  • silly putty
  • slinky
  • lawn darts!! oh here kids go throw these spears at targets set right infront of your feet... have fun now
  • marble ka-bangers!! (think a string with a large glass marble on each end that you held in the middle and the object was to get them to bang together really fast)

theres soo much more and yet hehe I'm going blank!!
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<TABLE BORDER=0><TR><TD>
<IMG BORDER=0 ALIGN="LEFT" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=80 SRC="[url]http://quiz.ravenblack.net/videogame/8.png" ALT="What Video Game Character Are You? I am a Scorched Earth Tank." />[/url]I am <B>a Scorched Earth Tank</B>.<BR /><BR />
When I have a mission, it consumes me; I will not be satisfied until the job is done. I have a strong sense of duty, and a strong sense of direction. Changes in the tide don't phase me - I always know which way the wind blows, and I know how to compensate for it. I get on poorly with people like myself. What Video Game Character Are You?
</TD></TR></TABLE>
cranioscopical
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« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2008, 05:51:29 PM »

OK - since this is DonationCoder, how about ridiculously obsolete computer languages that you spent time learning but will never use again? For me:
Rexx - scripting language for IBM mainframes and OS/2

Hey!  I resemble that remark!  I use Rexx daily on XP, currently this variant (ooRexx).

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Chris
zridling
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« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2008, 06:20:33 PM »

BBS (bulletin board service) predated the internet and back in the 80s, it's how we downloaded porn. At least some of us.

(Not me, of course.*)
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Edvard
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« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2008, 06:33:33 PM »

And it was ascii pr0n, IIRC.
 Grin
Quote from: PaladinMJ
lawn darts!! oh here kids go throw these spears at targets set right infront of your feet... have fun now
LAWN DARTS!!11!!
Oh MAN do I miss lawn darts!!
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 06:38:38 PM by Edvard » Logged

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CleverCat
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« Reply #39 on: October 23, 2008, 01:27:42 AM »

Still Analogue TV here - but change is looming!
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zridling
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« Reply #40 on: October 23, 2008, 07:46:23 AM »

CRT monitors? My last one was a 110-lb. NEC 21" that lasted for 15 years. I gave it away to some poor sap who didn't want it either.
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40hz
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« Reply #41 on: October 23, 2008, 10:06:10 AM »

BBS (bulletin board service) predated the internet and back in the 80s, it's how we downloaded porn. At least some of us.

(Not me, of course.*)

OMG! Forgot about those little buggers - and I used to run a Mustang Software Wildcat! BBS that was linked into FidoNet!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fidonet

Wikipedia Wildcat BBS

What an amazing hack! All those little 128K DOS machines (with their state-of-the-art 9600 baud modems!!!) passing e-mail messages back and forth every day during "fidonet hour" so that members could have free e-mail outside their long-distance area. Then when the radio amateurs got their solder-burned hands on it - and started wedding it to their ARRL network to provide teletype services and slow-scan video... ahh, those were fun times! Nobody had a clue about what they were doing. They just went out and did it. But somehow it created a lot of neat stuff we're still using today, along with the public demand to create what has now become known as the Internet.

I remember when a screen like this was once as exciting as webbing out to Donation Coder or Eve Online...



First there was antique radio . Now there is antique software! Thmbsup

BTW - there are still some BBSs out here if you want to play with them.
To fire up the time machine and see a living fossil in action, try telenetting out to:

shadow.skeleton.org

Use ASCI terminal or VT100 emulation on default port-23.
 Login as bbs with no password.
 Enter a ? to get help using the system.

(Set your terminal to display green or orange text on black for that true "DOS vibe".
)

« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 10:12:10 AM by 40hz » Logged

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CWuestefeld
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« Reply #42 on: October 23, 2008, 10:17:32 AM »

Fidonet was a remarkable achievement for the day.

I first had a 300-baud direct-connect modem for my Atari 800 (a MPP-1000C). When connecting to an identical modem, it had the unique capability of negotiating a connection up to 450 baud. We were flying!

Once, in college, my modem died and I had to borrow an acoustic modem. Living in a fraternity house, it was frequently noisy enough to interfere with this modem. I used to make the connection, and then wrap up the modem-and-phone-receiver in a towel to block out the noise.

Remember waiting ages for a 100KB download? And when you finally got it, it was corrupt because the checksum in the XModem protocol wasn't very good? Finally they came out with ZModem, and you got better error checking plus batching files.
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40hz
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« Reply #43 on: October 23, 2008, 11:24:47 AM »

Finally they came out with ZModem

And all was right with the world. Grin

BTW: I just downloaded a copy of RBBS-PC.EXE from a web archive. I'm going to have to see if I can get it running in DOSBox. Should be fun, if I can get a minute free any time soon... smiley
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Deozaan
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« Reply #44 on: October 23, 2008, 03:19:40 PM »

3. Analog "anything"

What I find very interesting about Analog vs. Digital is that for many years the controllers for videogame consoles had only digital buttons (on or off) but when the analog joystick(s) came along (and eventually even analog (pressure-sensitive) buttons), it was one of the greater innovations brought to videogaming.

It's the only case I can think of where digital came first and analog is actually considered superior technology.
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« Reply #45 on: October 24, 2008, 12:04:04 PM »

Maybe for most game consoles that holds true, but remember the pong games? The paddles were analog,
and I have a pair of (very) old joysticks I bought at a thrift shop because I was going to wire up a 4-way fader for a DJ friend. One is a Tandy, the other an IBM and they both have potentiometers in them... That's analog, baby!
I remember drawing with similar joystick units back in the Apple II days.
Oh hey! Speaking of drawing, remember Koala pads? Analog.

I think it's a case of old technology being re-worked into more useful and accurate 'new' technology.
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« Reply #46 on: October 24, 2008, 12:12:01 PM »

Someone else beat me to B&W TV, but can I add cable television (which in itself is almost obsolete now too).

Also I was born before there was space flight (only by 4 months tho...).  Try that one on your kids!

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PaladinMJ
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« Reply #47 on: October 25, 2008, 05:08:45 AM »

And it was ascii pr0n, IIRC.
 Grin
Quote from: PaladinMJ
lawn darts!! oh here kids go throw these spears at targets set right infront of your feet... have fun now
LAWN DARTS!!11!!
Oh MAN do I miss lawn darts!! (see attachment in previous post)

i was good at those too. wait.... mmm. I MAY STILL HAVE A SET IN MY DAD'S ATTIC!!. Best look before das haus sales.
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<TABLE BORDER=0><TR><TD>
<IMG BORDER=0 ALIGN="LEFT" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=80 SRC="[url]http://quiz.ravenblack.net/videogame/8.png" ALT="What Video Game Character Are You? I am a Scorched Earth Tank." />[/url]I am <B>a Scorched Earth Tank</B>.<BR /><BR />
When I have a mission, it consumes me; I will not be satisfied until the job is done. I have a strong sense of duty, and a strong sense of direction. Changes in the tide don't phase me - I always know which way the wind blows, and I know how to compensate for it. I get on poorly with people like myself. What Video Game Character Are You?
</TD></TR></TABLE>
zridling
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« Reply #48 on: October 25, 2008, 07:33:23 PM »

How about:
What life was like without surveillance cameras everywhere you go?
(and pre-cellphone/GPS days.)
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Darwin
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« Reply #49 on: October 25, 2008, 09:19:30 PM »

Good one! I remember life before the cell phone. It was a gentler, simpler time...
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