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Author Topic: Things your kids will never know - old school tech!  (Read 51562 times)
cranioscopical
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« Reply #50 on: October 26, 2008, 06:58:41 AM »

Have we had 'clockwork' yet?

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Chris
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« Reply #51 on: October 26, 2008, 07:15:22 AM »

stone tablets and a chisel?
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Darwin
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« Reply #52 on: October 26, 2008, 11:17:23 AM »

Well, not quite to the level of stone tablet and chisel but:

1. Fountain pens
2. (Soon) hand writing and paper
3. Reading an actual book
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40hz
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« Reply #53 on: October 26, 2008, 01:46:23 PM »

Well, not quite to the level of stone tablet and chisel but:
2. (Soon) hand writing and paper


I copy that, Darwin. Hope this doesn't happen to you:

I was in Barnes & Noble not too long ago. For some odd reason, I didn't have a credit card on me - but I did have my checkbook in my jacket pocket. I wrote out a check in standard schoolboy cursive script and handed it to the young cashier who seemed almost shocked to see something that anachronistic being handed to her.

She looked at my check blankly for a minute and then asked, "Is this written in some sort of foreign language?"

I told her no, it was English. She looked over her shoulder at another equally young cashier who came up behind and proceeded to ask her if she had ever seen writing like mine. The other young lady exclaimed "Oh, yeah. Wow! My mother writes like that sometimes. She had a name for it, but I don't remember what it was"

I told her it was usually called longhand. "Yeah, that was it," she agreed.

The first cashier had by now gotten an approval from her cash register and bagged my three O'Reilly titles.

As she handed the bag to me, she smiled and said, "Longhand huh? Is that anything like shorthand?"

I nodded and said "a little bit," before I smiled back, thanked her, and walked away.

Back out  in the car I just sat there for a minute.

For the very first time in my life I really did feel OLD.

« Last Edit: October 26, 2008, 01:49:36 PM by 40hz » Logged

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zridling
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« Reply #54 on: October 26, 2008, 04:54:57 PM »

Quote
[Darwin]: Good one! I remember life before the cell phone. It was a gentler, simpler time...
(And a more polite time, too. It's very weird to hear people talking on the phone in the public restroom while taking a dump.)

 

Also, rotary dial phones. My mom just got hers replaced after being in the house for 60 years. Don't laugh, it still worked. How many gadgets can you say that for?
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f0dder
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« Reply #55 on: October 26, 2008, 05:00:48 PM »

Ugh, I can't stand longhand writing style. Might be fast to write in, but it's darn hard to read sometimes... one would suppose I'm good at reading it since I work at post.dk, manually typing in the receiver for letters the OCR system can't handle. But it's more a matter of pattern recognition than actually reading the darn crud smiley
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Edvard
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« Reply #56 on: October 27, 2008, 11:07:26 AM »

Quote
manually typing in the receiver for letters the OCR system can't handle.
Hey, there's a solution for the CAPTCHA problem!

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f0dder
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« Reply #57 on: October 27, 2008, 01:44:49 PM »

Quote
manually typing in the receiver for letters the OCR system can't handle.
Hey, there's a solution for the CAPTCHA problem!
You'd probably have to outsource it to India or China, though - we're ~$26/hour, iirc.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #58 on: October 27, 2008, 02:45:39 PM »

(And a more polite time, too. It's very weird to hear people talking on the phone in the public restroom while taking a dump.)

I hate working in phone support and hearing the customer use & flush the toilet while talking to me...  Sick
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Darwin
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« Reply #59 on: October 27, 2008, 03:02:51 PM »

(And a more polite time, too. It's very weird to hear people talking on the phone in the public restroom while taking a dump.)

I hate working in phone support and hearing the customer use & flush the toilet while talking to me...  Sick

Please tell me that this is not true  ohmy
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Edvard
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« Reply #60 on: October 27, 2008, 03:33:57 PM »

Ugh, I can't stand longhand writing style. Might be fast to write in, but it's darn hard to read sometimes... one would suppose I'm good at reading it since I work at post.dk, manually typing in the receiver for letters the OCR system can't handle. But it's more a matter of pattern recognition than actually reading the darn crud smiley

No, I mean have the captcha text in cursive (er... "longhand"). Especially if one used different script styles for each captcha.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #61 on: October 27, 2008, 03:40:37 PM »

(And a more polite time, too. It's very weird to hear people talking on the phone in the public restroom while taking a dump.)
I hate working in phone support and hearing the customer use & flush the toilet while talking to me...  Sick
Please tell me that this is not true  ohmy

It doesn't happen that often, but it has happened to me personally multiple times.
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Darwin
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« Reply #62 on: October 27, 2008, 04:03:08 PM »

It doesn't happen that often, but it has happened to me personally multiple times.

I don't feel so good... I need to sit down (Darwin sits very still with his head in his hands).

Disturbing  ohmy
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CWuestefeld
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« Reply #63 on: October 27, 2008, 04:13:08 PM »

I need to sit down (Darwin sits very still with his head in his hands).

Ummmm... what are you sitting on?
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Darwin
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« Reply #64 on: October 27, 2008, 04:17:32 PM »

Ummmm... what are you sitting on?

Why the bog, of course! Was there any ever doubt?  Grin

Seriously, I had considered the possibility that someone might make that deductive leap from what I wrote but forgot to (smirk) 'clean it up' to remove the allusion...

FWIW, I'm actually sitting on my duff... It's comfortably positioned on an ergonomic leather covered office chair!
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40hz
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« Reply #65 on: October 27, 2008, 06:26:32 PM »

Ugh, I can't stand longhand writing style. Might be fast to write in, but it's darn hard to read sometimes... one would suppose I'm good at reading it since I work at post.dk, manually typing in the receiver for letters the OCR system can't handle. But it's more a matter of pattern recognition than actually reading the darn crud smiley

I think one of the reasons you can call it "darn crud" is because people now write so seldomly that their penmanship suffers from the lack of practice. There was a time not so very long ago when being able to write "in a fair hand" was considered a necessary accomplishment for anyone who professed to have an education.

My grandparents had beautifully legible and gracious handwriting right up until the day they died - and both were well into their 70s when that happened. I myself used to have a good 'pen hand' that earned me a lot of compliments. But after the last 15 years of virtually nothing but keyboards, I now find I can sometimes barely read a note I wrote a week earlier. And that is especially true if it was written in a hurry.

Sad really, when you think about it. Cry
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Darwin
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« Reply #66 on: October 27, 2008, 09:54:50 PM »

Try walking into a first or second university classroom to administer a test and realizing that there are a few students who don't know how to read the face of an analogue clock!
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f0dder
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« Reply #67 on: October 28, 2008, 12:38:42 AM »

Ugh, I can't stand longhand writing style. Might be fast to write in, but it's darn hard to read sometimes... one would suppose I'm good at reading it since I work at post.dk, manually typing in the receiver for letters the OCR system can't handle. But it's more a matter of pattern recognition than actually reading the darn crud smiley
I think one of the reasons you can call it "darn crud" is because people now write so seldomly that their penmanship suffers from the lack of practice. There was a time not so very long ago when being able to write "in a fair hand" was considered a necessary accomplishment for anyone who professed to have an education.
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.
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Darwin
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« Reply #68 on: October 28, 2008, 08:14:46 AM »

Heh, heh - f0dder, I grew up feeling (and still feeling) that cursive IS normal writing!
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Grorgy
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« Reply #69 on: October 28, 2008, 08:30:10 AM »

must be an age thing, if it isn't normal writing, what is??  huh
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CWuestefeld
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« Reply #70 on: October 28, 2008, 09:01:21 AM »

There was a time not so very long ago when being able to write "in a fair hand" was considered a necessary accomplishment for anyone who professed to have an education.

It wasn't all that great a time. My grandmother is left-handed, and they tied her left hand behind her back so that she'd learn to write "properly" with her right.

Anyway, there's a reason we move on. I can type much faster than the majority of people can write. And why don't we all still use quill pens, or animal blood on the walls, for that matter?
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Darwin
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« Reply #71 on: October 28, 2008, 09:06:59 AM »

My grandmother is left-handed, and they tied her left hand behind her back so that she'd learn to write "properly" with her right.

Heh, heh, my dad is ambidextrous and got in trouble for submitting "someone else's work" when he switched hands to write. That happened a couple of times and he switched to the right only - got yelled at and disciplined for using his left.

As for hand-writing - I love it! My penmanship is crap, for reasons well articulated by others, particularly 40hz, but there is something rewarding about the tactile sensation of writing by hand. Even if I, too, can write far my more quickly (if not accurately  embarassed) when I type. I also find handwriting to be less inhibiting - I can just write and edit later. When I type I am self-editing on the fly, which gets in the way of creativity at times.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 11:58:46 AM by Darwin » Logged

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cranioscopical
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« Reply #72 on: October 28, 2008, 10:32:07 AM »

And why don't we all still use quill pens, or animal blood on the walls, for that matter?
Speaking for myself, because I've plucked my goose bare and, no matter how hard I bang it against the wall, no more blood comes out.

We have no more writing fluid available, except for one tiny bottle that remains in that room where we do the cooking.
I can't find anything else suitable in the house, and I've tried everything but the kitchen's ink.
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Chris
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« Reply #73 on: October 28, 2008, 11:59:17 AM »

So... wrt writing, I guess you could say that your goose is cooked?
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40hz
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« Reply #74 on: October 28, 2008, 12:51:31 PM »

Anyway, there's a reason we move on. I can type much faster than the majority of people can write. And why don't we all still use quill pens, or animal blood on the walls, for that matter?

Agree. Unfortunately, the reason most people seem to move on is that they are either trying to forget about something - or they just plain forgot.

And with regards to the quill pen and animal blood on walls... Well yeah! Why not?

Actually, I think the first program I ever wrote was done that way. It was in Fortran and I wrote it either using buffalo gall on a piece of birch bark; or on an IBM 5801 80-column card with a keypunch machine. (Small difference in the relative degree of sophistication when you think about it... Wink)

Speaking of which:

The IBM Keypunch Machine and 80-column "5801" card


               

Good Riddance!!!

Developing code on one of these made EDLIN look like science-fiction.

<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.

« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 01:36:01 PM by 40hz » Logged

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