Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

I'd nominate the Chumby, although I don't think the company has gone bankrupt yet. Cool idea, good price point, but more or less immediately superseded by smartphones.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Nemesis Of Moles posted:

You can actually pick these up for pretty cheap on Ebay. I love the bastards but as far as I know, there isn't really much in the way of digital midi controller guitars anymore.

There are two popular recent ones now, the "You Rock" midi guitar and the Rock Band 3 Mustang Pro. I believe both are pretty cheap, < $100 and can be used as straight midi controllers.

(Wait, the Mustang Pro is $70 for the ps3 version? drat now I want to buy one.)

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

morothar posted:

In fact, I've been looking for an alternative recently to cut down on the amount weight I tend to carry around, but there still is nothing better out there.

If you pull the ROM off it with a computer I believe you can load it, legally, in an emulator on a smartphone.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Kaboom Dragoon posted:

I have my ipod (with about 3x the storage space of her phone) and Sony Ericsson W810. We're both happy the way we are.

I had a W810i, I loved that phone. Even now I think it's the best designed phone I've used. Surprisingly capable too, when I got the Opera mini browser on it, I could even read SA.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

brain739 posted:

had solid state tube amps in use

Huh? That must be another obsolete technology I missed out on.

I've been doing a campus radio show for a few years, I'm really glad they haven't done a lot to modernize it. Old equipment like that can be kept going basically forever with a little maintenance, and the big plus is that it's reliable as hell. Big rear end analog mixer isn't going to get a virus.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

SimplyCosmic posted:

9v batteries seem pretty uncommonly used these days as well, outside of garage door openers and clock radios.

A lot of music stuff uses them. Preamps, active pickups, stomp boxes, tuners, etc.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Poknok posted:

My grandad collects old newspapers and books, and in his giant stash of paper I found a collection of ostensibly "scientific" magazines from 1950s which were in reality just pictures of cartoonish robots and someone's idea how space travel will one day look alike. Ridiculous and amazing at the same time.

Popular Science is still around

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Coffee And Pie posted:

The original DS was pretty durable as well, and I remember a video that showed the Gamecube being abused to an almost comical degree and still working fine.

Nintendo can have some silly ideas now and then, but drat if they can't make solid hardware while their competitors make consoles that ship with 1 in 8 failure rates. My Gamecube once fell three feet while I was playing Smash Bros. and it was fine. A few months ago a drunk friend peed almost directly into my Wii. It's still fine!

But you want to talk obsolete and failed? The Gameboy Micro. I don't know many other people who've seen or played one in person, so check out this picture for a sense of scale:



Yeah, it's insanely small. It only plays GBA games, no backwards compatibility. Great battery life, easily the best screen of the GBA generation (backlit, instead of the frontlit SP screens), and you could change the faceplates to personalize it. Why was it such a dumb idea, and why did it sell so badly? They decided to release it a year after the Nintendo DS came out.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

I was actually looking on eBay to see how much a Micro would cost me, and was surprised that they're still going for around $60. Considering you can get a used 3DS for around $80, you can guess what I bought. (Sure hope the 3DS doesn't appear here in a few more years.)

Now, for another failed Nintendo product, this time one I actually owned: The abysmal Nintendo e-Reader.



It sounded like a cool idea. For a few bucks you could buy a pack of cards and magically end up playing a game on your GBA. In reality it sucked, it doubled the size of the device, it cost $40 iirc, which could have gotten you two good used games. I used mine to play old NES games, which I could already do in Animal Crossing. Or an emulator. Or on the NES Classic games that Nintendo was making for the GBA.

You could also get cards to unlock exclusive items and things in other games, but as anyone who ever did the Gamecube - GBA link cable thing can tell you, it is almost never worth it.

I found mine in a box of my old Nintendo stuff and got a little mad about it.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Fooley posted:

I like how this and the CueCat were sort of the precursors to QR codes being everywhere.

Yeah! I thought the same thing. Case in point: the 3DS has a QR code scanner built in.

Hey, did this thread already do QR codes?

kensei posted:

This was the only way for me to play the original NES Golf for a long time until I got a phone that could run an emulator. I think I paid $5 to a guy at Game Stop because they didn't want to buy it from him, and they had the Golf Game on cards for like $.98 at that same store. That was a good day.

Buying things from a dude in the video game store is the best. I was trying to sell a Game Boy GameShark, and the guy at the counter was offering me like $3. Then a dude offered to trade me his N64 GameShark for it, you can bet I made that trade in a heartbeat.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Jerry Cotton posted:

Bill Bryson should be obsolete and failed (I've only ever read the first ten pages of one of his books and every page had at least one "I can't be arsed to check facts" sort of glaring error).

It's almost like he's a travel journalist writing books for a mainstream audience with the priority of being engaging over being scientifically rigorous. I've reread Short History a number of times and he specifically apologizes in advance for any errors he makes, and says directly that it's his fault for misunderstanding or misrepresenting them rather than the fault of any of the experts he spoke to or otherwise cited.

If you think that any book that contains any factually wrong scientific information should be burned or banned, or is automatically drivel - that doesn't leave a whole lot of books left. Bryson isn't writing textbooks and he isn't pretending to.

In terms of obsolete and failed technology, has anyone had any experiences with Wireless USB? I remember hearing news about it in the tech blogs a few years back, but I've never in-person seen a product using it, or really heard anything about it since.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

I wonder how the joystick market is doing these days? Are flight sims still pretty popular? The space sim genre has gotten kind of away from the Freespace model and the 360 controller has become so ubiquitous as the kb+m alternative, especially as people forget what it was like to play in arcades.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

The iPod photo.


Click here to view the full image

It was the first iPod to feature a color screen, and its only real selling point was the ability to sync your photos with your computer. (Though the idea of having cover art for music was personally more appealing.) Oddly, it was actually a distinct iPod line, like the mini or the nano. But it only saw one minor revision in its brief nine month lifespan before the line was killed.

The next summer it was made completely obsolete when Apple released the fifth generation iPods, colloquially known as the iPod video, now referred to as iPod classic.

But you know what? I love that weird little machine. It's eight years old, and last week I synced mine with my computer and set it up in the kitchen as a jukebox. The battery is down to about 30 minutes, but both the battery and the HDD are original, and I'm impressed they're operational. I'd say that's Nintendium level build quality.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

My job is in the field of hazmat transportation and lithium metal cells and batteries are a BIG problem. As in, at the last meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization, the Secretary submitted a paper proposing to ban transport on passenger and cargo aircraft. Explosiveness is not the problem, raging fires are.

I can't think of any technology to post myself right now, but can anyone tell me about obsolete or failed musical instruments? F'r instance, I remember reading that the guy from Neutral Milk Hotel used an electronic sax that had the amazing design of slowly trapping saliva inside until it broke and they went through a few of them on Aeroplane.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

JediTalentAgent posted:

There's a musical instrument called 'the chapman stick' that sort of interested me for a while and I think is legitimately still cool:

Haha, the Stick was actually the first thing I thought of, but as far as I know it doesn't really qualify for either. It is a cool idea. It even makes a cameo in David Lynch's Dune!


Cool! I can't even tell what's going on but I like it.

I think a good candidate for this thread would be the Gibson Firebird X. Not only is it ugly as sin, expensive as hell ($4,000), it's definitely a solution in search of a problem. Cramming every hyped up piece of electronics into a guitar is sort of interesting on an engineering level but it makes no sense. For instance, "the audio engine has the power and resolution needed to create sounds with a true analog feel." You know what else has a true analog feel? A regular loving guitar!



Or "Optimized to create sounds like Gibsonís acclaimed J-45 acoustic guitar and others, the basic acoustic guitar sound is virtually indistinguishable from an acoustic guitarís electric output." I bold "virtually" to show that at least Gibson can't lie about that. Ignoring the fact that most would say you can only get good amplification of an acoustic with a microphone or soundhole pickup. Also ignoring the fact that you could get two J-45s instead.

Or "the internal battery lasts for well over two hours of heavy, continuous use ó and should the power run out, the battery can be swapped out in under 10 seconds with commonly available, inexpensive camcorder batteries." Commonly available camcorder batteries. Jesus.

Direct digital output is just about the only good thing here.

Kirk Douglas from the Roots is quoted as saying "With the Firebird X I can plug directly into my amp and have access to all my quality effects. All I need is a cable. Truly revolutionary!" and I have to imagine he said it tongue in cheek.

Manky has a new favorite as of 14:55 on Jan 4, 2014

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Computer viking posted:

Talking about more classical instruments, the harpsichord family is a small niche these days, after a long dominance, and the hurdy-gurdies have gone from a common instrument to a historical curiosity.
The former is best described as a piano that plucks the strings instead of hammering them, and the latter is, uhm. A keyed violin with a rotating wheel instead of a bow?

I do like the sound of harpsichords, but they have some fundamental issues compared to the pianoes; mostly that there's no way to control the volume or duration of each note (it's either plucked or not). Larger models had two keyboards with different amounts of force, but that's still a rather rough solution. Bonus modern (well, in this context) harpsichord use: Golden Brown, by the Stranglers.

As for the hurdy gurdy, it's more of an ... acquired taste, kind of like the bagpipes. There's an explanation of the thing here.

Harpsichords are 70% of the reason I dislike baroque music, but obviously that's a gross generalization and a personal opinion. Hurdy gurdies are neat.

Jedit posted:

Manky - it is explained in excessive detail what is happening with the shagbut, minikin and Flemish clacket. This is because none of the instruments actually exist - it's a BBC radio comedy sketch. You seriously thought there was a two-man trombone with a 25-foot slide operated using grappling hooks?

Er, I was browsing the forums while listening and wasn't giving it my full attention. Missed that it was meant to be a comedy sketch, man I don't know. Maybe I just WANTED it to be real (and shagbutte is a real term!)

Fake edit: I was also somehow conflating it with the Shaggy Butte series.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Axeman Jim posted:

People have been trying to jam synths into guitars for decades, and it still hasn't caught on. The first problem is that a guitar makes for a rubbish MIDI controller, just like any other string instrument, as its output varies in frequency constantly (through vibrato, string bending, imperfections in string quality and intonation and just plain ol' being out of tune), which maps really badly onto MIDI, which is designed for whole notes. So guitar synths have a horrible tendency to "hunt" between MIDI notes as the A/D converter keeps changing its mind about what note you're closest to, changing your sweet vibrato into something that sounds like it should be fixed to the roof of an ambulance.

The second problem is that their manufacturers make them look like this:


No.


No!


NO!


ARGH!!




Those last two are attempts by Casio and Aitken to get around the hunting problem by abandoning the use of piezo pickups to tell what frequency the string was vibrating and instead measure where your fingers were - not unlike a Guitar Hero controller. Thus you don't tune the "guitar", you simply place your fingers in the appropriate place and pluck the relevant string (which isn't connected to the strings on the fretboard) and the instrument outputs the midi note that corresponds to. Thus you end up with basically a keyboard that you play like a guitar, and that has all the disadvantages of both instruments and none of the advantages.

What a loving stupid instrument. And people keep making them.

Awesome, I had only seen a few of those before. (Though I have to disagree with you on the first Vox you posted, you just have to be dressed right for it look cool.)

These are still in production, but optical pickups. There's nothing wrong with the idea itself of using light to detect string vibrations. The idea was introduced by Ron Hoag in 1969, but right now the only way to get one is by buying a LightWave Systems guitar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_hls5mBHzc

It doesn't sound terrible, but it sounds metallic and cold compared to a decent acoustic guitar. The fact is that there isn't a guitarist out there who will say they feel limited by the technology or sound of magnetic pickups or fully acoustic guitars. Their imperfections and discrepancies give them tone, character, and personality. Okay, optical pickups are "completely resistant to magnetic or electric interference," but that's a problem for your amplifier.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Pham Nuwen posted:

If my phone had a radar detector that would be super useful, I'd just get one of those dash docks. "No officer it's just my phone in the charger"

I've had really good results with Waze letting me know of cops up ahead.

Everybody post their favorite GPS units (for cars).

e: We had a TomTom One. You know why this was great? The voices you could get. I paid for two: One was Gary Busey. Like, actually Gary Busey.

e2: Can't get video embedding to work for some reason. Click for YouTube.

Manky has a new favorite as of 23:02 on Jan 17, 2014

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

That would be awesome for kids who can't afford a cellphone + plan or their own computer. I would have loved an AIM device in 8th grade.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

TerryLennox posted:

A bit off topic but whats with consumer electronics manufacturers choosing the most idiotically powerful LEDs in all devices? Air conditioning, computer cases, TVs, everything has its own LED that unless taped over, will put enough light on your bedroom to prevent sleep.

Wish they included a dimmer or off switch for status LEDs.

The example of this that made me laugh out loud was when a friend unpacked his fancy audiophile-grade CD/stereo receiver. While helping him set it up, I found ring stickers included for the purpose of covering up the incredibly bright blue led behind the power button. Stickers!

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Zonekeeper posted:

My dream e-reader is a durable clamshell design that displays 2 pages at once in color and can display any e-book or PDF format you throw at it. If anyone sold that at an affordable price I'd buy it day one.

My million-dollar-idea is a two page ereader with screens on both sides of each page and a 360 hinge so you can "flip" infinitely. Preloads pages as you flip so you never see load times, maybe an option to keep an outward facing page displaying the book cover.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Let me reveal the shame in my living room:



OnLive Microconsole: Game streamer. Pros: nice controller once you adjust, works well with a good internet connection. I got this for free but I would have bought one with no regrets. You could record "brag clips" and spectate other players, it was ahead of its time. Cons: No wi-fi, extremely limited game selection, occasional fuckups if your internet hiccups. The hardware failed, but the tech is good. See: Steam's recent partnership with OnLive.

Boxee TV: Media streamer / tv thing. Pros: Best Netflix player I've used and I've used a lot. Cons: Was inoperable until later patches, sucks at everything else it does, probably will never see any further development. Failure.

Ouya: Y'all know what it is. I get some use out of it because it'll work with many different controllers and it's a p good emulator machine.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Winks posted:

You could avoid getting it by disabling autorun and just use the CDs like any other CD.

True, but there's something really special about DRM that installs even if you refuse the EULA.

Sony's first uninstaller, by the way, only un-hid the rootkit files, while collecting your email address for mass marketing, plus it installed additional insecure software. I'm pretty sure if you had an Aibo it would try to maim your vocal chords so you couldn't violate their copyright by singing.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Sir_Substance posted:

Things I have never heard anyone say:

"Thank god we have an attachment size limit, it would make my life so much harder if it weren't there".

People I guess you've never talked to: server administrators.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Whole songs are obsolete. Why sit through filler like instrumental breaks or, god forbid, rests? If only some company had a vision of the future where music could be reduced to soulless catchy singles not longer than a minute...




0dB posted:

The length of albums has been based on the physical item. For example, the compact disc is designed to be the same width as a cassette, so that it would fit into the same console area in a car dashboard. From the width you calculate backward to the least allowable data rate and end up with 44.1K sample rate and about 70 minutes.

This is a great, in-depth look at the creation of the CD.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Jerry Cotton posted:

I wish people would respond to posts, not arguments they make up in their own head. Do you want me to list a hundred or a thousand or ten thousand albums that absolutely exist just because it's the go-to format, not because there's an album's worth of good or even decent music on them? Because it would not be hard to come up with them and you know it as well as I do. (I won't do it of course.)

Do you want me to list a bunch of lovely singles

my list will be longer

and I guess that's what counts.

e: You can't argue against albums because that refers to either a) just a collection of songs or b) a collection of songs held together by a unifying or common concept. Collections of songs are not going to go anywhere because musicians aren't going to make one song and stop. And if you're a good, prolific persistent musician, at some point you're going to need to organize those songs.

e2: vvv Thank you so much.

Manky has a new favorite as of 12:55 on Jul 17, 2014

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

mystes posted:

It's not that crazy that people think this. In the case of Firewire, for example, you can actually network two computers with a normal cable.

FireWire and Mac OS's target disk mode was a great blessing when I was working on Macs a lot.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Not TV, but I think Batman and Bond have somewhat kept that alive in the movies. Ok, not so much the recent Craig ones. But I still want this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meY1R43fJIQ

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Sir Unimaginative posted:

They can't go to Bing because they don't want their square searches mixed with their porn searches.

They can't go to DuckDuckGo because some pundit told them it was unamerican.

They can't go to Yahoo because lol Yahoo.

The hell are they gonna go?

90% of people, whatever the hell was their browser's default

ninja edit: or the most recent thing a toolbar or extension set it to

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Fo3 posted:

Has firewire failed and become obsolete yet?
I heard it was going to be ever since USB2 came out. Every PC and laptop I own has had a firewire port yet I've never ever used it. E: and these were all non apple PCs which is the suprising thing.

Yeah, failed and fading. Jobs called it dead in 2008 in favor of USB2 and in 2013 the 1394 people basically gave up on it. The most use I ever got out of FW was using target disk mode on Macs.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Krispy Kareem posted:

On to more possibly obsolete or at least under utilized port-chat, the just announced Surface 4 will access a discrete GPU in it's keyboard base via ThunderBolt.

I had to google this a bunch before I discovered it's actually the Surface Book laptop that was announced alongside the SP4 that has the keyboard GPU. I wish I needed a real laptop, because I like the look of the SB.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

KozmoNaut posted:

I'm only speaking from a European perspective, to be fair. Nearly every FM station around here is just blatantly mainstream copycat dreck, all of the good jazz, classical, hard rock etc. is digital or streaming only.

FM will live on, at least in the US, until self-driving cars are ubiquitous and mandatory.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Astrobastard posted:



It's not a mini but those stickers were applied due to how appropriately this thing performed 3 years ago. I just upgraded it to Windows 10



I got an Acer netbook to mess around with and hackintosh while I was in college, had those occasional problems with things running beyond the screen but I did write a few good papers on that tiny keyboard. I also put W10 on it recently, it's surprisingly functional with its upgraded 1.5GB of RAM (it can browse the web, usually).

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Elliotw2 posted:

I'd suppose these things are replaced with stuff like the Surface Pro and the Atom powered Windows 10/8 Pro tablets you can get these days. I've got an Acer Atom powered one that's pretty ok for just simple poo poo, and with modern screen densities it's a far more spatious and comfortable 1366x768 at 10 inches.

The Surface Pros are the ones that have an i3-i7 and are frankly a lot better than the budget Atom-powered stuff, they're "real" laptop replacements.

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

dissss posted:

They also start at 4x the price. And that's before you add a keyboard (which is inexplicably sold separately)

Well, yeah, those are two more reasons I wouldn't say the Pros replaced netbooks.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Manky
Mar 20, 2007




Fun Shoe

Athenry posted:

Pretty sure that predates Bob, but yeah. There's a reason we've moved away from such things.

You know what they say, go long enough in one direction and you end up right where you were.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply