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tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006






Yeah, in case you didn't make it through the guy's endless rambling on the video: On all but one of the flexidiscs, the people singing the song wouldn't manage to finish it, because they'd gently caress up the lyrics somewhere along the way. For the million-dollar prize you'd need to luck out and get the flexidisc where the singers actually managed to finish the whole song. (The flexidiscs came with a bunch of McDonald's coupons in the Sunday newspaper.) I remember going to my grandparents' on that Sunday in hopes of getting the winning flexidisc, but when we put it on their giant wooden console stereo, those assholes on the record hosed up the song as usual.

Which reminds me: The Magnavox Astro-Sonic console stereo controls! (Click for more detail.)



I remember being perplexed by the "Loudness" dial that was there in addition to the volume knob on 1970s stereos. What that thing does is apply an EQ curve that compensates for the human ear's natural frequency response (the Fletcher-Munson curve) so that music played at a low volume sounds more natural. To oversimplify, human hearing picks up midrange better than low and high sounds, meaning that at low volume it can be hard to pick out the lows and highs at all, so the loudness knob lets you boost the lows and highs to even out the sound when playing the stereo at a low volume.

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tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





I keep hoping urban hipsters will bring back those pulley-style clotheslines that were once such a symbol of city life that they made it onto this NYC postcard from 1904 (and countless Warner Bros. cartoons). I'm sure they had tons of these in Williamsburg then.

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





Mr. Beefhead posted:

I was a big supporter of the minidisc back when. I think it had a bit to do with a combination of the drop in price of recordable media, the increasing reliability of burners, and the increasing ability of car cd players to play burned cds, at least in the US. By the time solid state digital media players became cost effective you really didn't see minidisc hardware or media in stores anymore.

I've noticed that a few people in this thread seemed a little mystified as to the appeal of minidiscs at the time. The thing was, at that time car cd decks tended to skip like crazy at every little bump and couldn't play burned cds (not that it really mattered, seeing as how at the time blank cds cost upwards of $10 a pop and you had about a 33% chance of making a coaster when you burned one). A good tape deck was seen by many to be a superior option for in the car. You kind of have to think of Minidiscs as more of an upgrade to cassette tapes than as an alternative to CDs.

At the time, Minidiscs were amazing - they were way cheaper than cd-rs (about $2.50 each when purchased in a 10 pack, IIRC), you could record to them over and over again, you could delete just the tracks you didn't want and add new ones, the sound quality was vastly superior to cassette tapes, you could just toss them on your dash or in your glovebox and never have to worry about scratching them, they never really skipped, the deck would display title information for each track, the portable player was way smaller and got much better battery life than anything else at the time, man, the list goes on and on.

Unfortunately the main thing I ever remember about Minidisc is the houndstooth jacket on the dude in all the magazine ads for them back in the mid-1990s

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





Datasmurf posted:

Damnit! I used it only some months ago, just for the kicks of it. I liked AltaVista back in the days, before Google. Oh, and Lycos. Is whoever running Lycos shutting that down too?

I'm a little concerned about them because their Twitter account was pretty active until mysteriously stopping in December https://twitter.com/lycos

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





two forty posted:

I'm glad you asked since I figured this was some sort of typo. Pennsylvania Anthracite had a certain cachet attached to it until, I guess, the Eisenhower era. I have an old house maintenance book from the 1950s somewhere that shows, with diagrams, how to load and light a furnace with anthracite, and then later it explains how to do the same but with crappy bituminous coal.

Yeah, one of the railroads in Pennsylvania (and NY and NJ) even created an advertising character called Phoebe Snow to emphasize how clean-burning their anthracite coal supposedly was:

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





Snark posted:

There was also a huge overlap between tokens and MetroCards. The first MetroCards came out in 1993, the last token was accepted in 2003. So there was some flexibility while the kinks were worked out.

I kind of miss how good the token booth guys were. They would just have a big pile of change and tokens in front of them, and you could slide any amount of cash through the little slot under the bulletproof glass and say (or hold up fingers to show) how many tokens you wanted and they would, in one swift motion of one hand, slide back the exact right amount of tokens and change to you without even looking up from the Knicks game on their tiny portable TV

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





Axeman Jim posted:

You guys might find this interesting:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-23330157

Inverkip power station was an oil-fired power station that was completed in the late 70's, just in time for the oil crisis and subsequently very rarely generated any power - all the original systems are still in place from the 1970s. It's being demolished today.



Any ID on that computer? (Nice monitor burn btw)

That's a Computek 300 smart terminal, one of the terminals that could produce what passed for pretty good graphics in the early 1970s.

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





More nice Inverkip Power Station photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/flickr...with/475417422/

PDP-11 with tape drives



Paper-tape punch




Telex machine




and much more at the link

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





Zenostein posted:

If that's as tactile as the number pads on gas pumps, that must be loving miserable. Although it also reminds me of some sort of toy I had as a kid with keys like that. Hell if I can remember what, though.

Was it by any chance a Merlin?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY8K9s8tRpE

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





ravenkult posted:

What's the most cyberpunk obsolete tech you got?

Billy Idol's 1993 album Cyberpunk actually came with a floppy disk multimedia presentation that won it a fair bit of hype at the time:




Screenshot:

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





Also, check the right side of the ADM-3A keyboard's home row to see where vi's keybindings got their start:

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





Axeman Jim posted:

I can't help but notice from those two links that a site devoted to criticising bad or unreadable interfaces has a hideous colour scheme (orange text on a white background, argh!), ugly, hard-to-navigate frames and no capital letters like a lovely 1999 "E-commerce" site.

That's because it's a restyled mirror of someone else's website from 1997 that originally looked like this.

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





eh, n/m

tacodaemon has a new favorite as of 01:29 on Apr 5, 2014

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





What kind of quiche was it? Do you think the kids got any?

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





PatrickBateman posted:

ok, so who remembers their old prodigy number? i think mine was thkm51b

Oh yeah I remember the accounts were intended for families, with the "a" account going to the parents, so like thkm51a was supposed to be your parents and then the accounts ending in "b" or "c" or whatever were for the kids. Except my mom didn't know poo poo about computers so I ended up setting up the "a" account and then when I tried to check out some teenager chat area it wouldn't let me in because it assumed that I was some creepy old fart rather than the bored 14-year-old I was.

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





Shugojin posted:

The problem is that no one can resist hotdog stand. It's the loving Sirens of Windows 3.1.

According to some website I found somewhere, these are the color values for the hotdog stand theme, for those of you who want to recreate the magic:

code:
Screen Element           H.S.L       R.G.B

Desktop                  40.240.120  255.255.0
Application Workspace    40.240.120  255.255.0
Window Background        0.240.120   255.0.0
Window Text              160.0.240   255.255.255
Menu Bar                 160.0.240   255.255.255
Menu Text                160.0.0     0.0.0
Active Title Bar         160.0.0     0.0.0
Inactive Title Bar       0.240.120   255.0.0
Active Title Bar Text    160.0.240   255.255.255
Inactive Title Bar Text  160.0.240   255.255.255
Active Border            0.240.120   255.0.0
Inactive Border          0.240.120   255.0.0
Window Frame             160.0.0     0.0.0
Scroll Bars              160.0.181   192.192.192
Button Face              160.0.181   192.192.192
Button Shadow            160.0.120   128.128.128
Button Text              160.0.0     0.0.0
Button Highlight         160.0.240   255.255.255
Disabled Text            160.0.120   128.128.128
Highlight                160.0.0     0.0.0
Highlighted Text         160.0.240   255.255.255

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





I have [lastname]@gmail.com and I swear to christ half the people in the European country that my last name comes from seem to use my gmail address to sign up for poo poo and then I get a bunch of account confirmation emails in the language of that country, which I can only kind of understand a little bit of.

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





I have a friend whose parents in rural Massachusetts are still on a party line that nobody else is on anymore, but they save money by still paying the party-line rate for what is now effectively an individual line. (At least, they were still on it as of a few years ago, when I hear they were fighting with the phone company about it. Maybe I'll ask my buddy about his folks' current phone situation next time I see him.)

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





cheerfullydrab posted:

Isn't having everything in the cloud a return to the days of terminals?

This cycle of pushing things out to servers and pulling things back to clients and pushing things out to servers and so forth has been going on for so long that people have been calling it the Wheel Of Reincarnation since 1968.

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





Another great thing many public libraries provide is access to huge research databases like ProQuest and Hoover's and EBSCO MasterFILE that you would otherwise have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a year for an individual account for. Get an account with your local library's website, tied to your library card, and you can pass from there directly into those databases. There's nothing like being able to search through completely word-indexed PDF scans of 100+ years of the Washington Post and NY Times in their entirety via ProQuest, for example; even just looking at the old ads on the pages can be interesting, and I get that for free via the public library's institutional account and can access it from home by going through the library's web portal. This is an amazing service that I always try to let people know about.

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





ALL-PRO SEXMAN posted:

I'm a historian. The last time I moved there was pretty much nothing but books.

Star Trek had a historian. She ended up banging Khan



It was her death that made him wrathful toward Captain Kirk, which led to that radiation room scene in the Christmas ornament that people are making fun of in another thread

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





Antifreeze Head posted:

We had them in Canada too, only they looked a bit more modern. By modern I mean to 1980s standards. Some of the top of the line ones would auto-advance as well.



I didn't really get the appeal of these things as they were just a dozen static images and a recording but some kids would practically flip their poo poo. Different learning styles I guess, but I would have rather just read it out of a book.

I experienced slide projectors with the built-in cassette player like that in my childhood, but once I saw a before-my-time slide projector that played vinyl

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





Dick Trauma posted:

Now they use wands and swipe bar codes at each station, then put the wand in a base station to download the info to security software.

Seems like you could take a phone pic of each of the bar codes and then scan one of the pics from your phone screen every few minutes while sitting at your desk with your feet up all night

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





well why not posted:

I really love looking up old versions of software I see all the time. Check out Ableton :





That reminds me of this old MS-DOS-based version of the Cakewalk MIDI sequencer that I remember being used with a Yamaha keyboard (one of the PSR models, I think) a million years ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWGUrQsJ7_U

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





WebDog posted:

Didn't that image come off here? It's nearly a decade old. From what I recall he didn't even work for NASA, he just wore that shirt.

Yeah myrtar is (or was) a goon who used to post in TFR back in the 00s. I think that daily inventory thing was one of his first posts, it's been bouncing around the forums since 06 or so. I think he said he got the polo shirt from an internship with the Florida Space Agency or something like that

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





Buttcoin purse posted:

I would like to port an RPG to the AS/400

But seriously, I Googled it and wow, that's pretty old.

There's a nuclear power plant in Canada that is on the hook to keep its PDP-11 machines running until 2050, and they have taken to posting in vintage computing forums to find programmers for them. (The PDP-11 was introduced into the market in 1970.) This guy put together a Raspberry Pi PDP-11 simulator to help out.

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





A glimpse of office life in the days before ubiquitous Internet:

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





Humerus posted:

A similar thing happened with TNG and the recent update to Blu Ray. The big issue there is that it was edited on video tape, but another issue is that the sets were designed with the limitations of TVs of 1987, and they used tricks like taping construction paper over glass panels so they wouldn't reflect the lights. I mean, the computer consoles are supposed to be black anyway and nobody will be able to tell on a lovely transmission on a lovely TV right?

In the HD telecasts of "Seinfeld" (which was originally shot on film), you can easily read the in-jokey titles scrawled in black Sharpie on the labels of Jerry's home-recorded videotapes that were obviously never expected to be legible onscreen when the sets were first put together. Here's an example; click for bigger:



Easy Love! Lips + You! Rug Burn!

I remember one episode where the most prominent videotape in the foreground simply had "THE TITLE" written on its label.

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





Golly it's not like the software makers of the world have been releasing everything with "as-is, no warranty, not even the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for purpose" license agreements for decades

tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





Mondian posted:

*Every sci-fi production since at least the 70's. They riff on it in Airplane II with Shatner, so it was already a joke by 1982.

http://i.imgur.com/OjpWTnc.gifv

"All I've found is that these red lights keep moving back and forth, aside from that this thing seems to have no other function, sir."

You can actually rent this prop from its maker for a week for $775. I've been tempted, let me tell you. Of course, you have to provide your own truck, crew, padding, etc. to pick the stuff up from their warehouse in Hollywood or they won't let you have it. (The Modern Props website in general is full of things you've seen a million times in one flick after another. Check under the "fabricated electronics" section in particular for sci-fi stuff.)

tacodaemon has a new favorite as of 04:23 on Dec 8, 2016

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tacodaemon
Nov 27, 2006





I managed to acquire a taste for San Pellegrino Sanbitter soda once but I'm not sure it was worth it

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