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Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



Geoj posted:

^
In a way they were the ancestor of QR codes, so it wasn't for nothing.

Speaking of antiquated optical scanning technology...



Timex Datalink.

Hailing from a time when payphones were still the preferred method of communication when away from landlines it allowed you to store contact information on your wristwatch and be the biggest nerd on the block. Software that only worked on Windows 95/98/NT and with a CRT monitor (if you had a LCD monitor you had to get a LED adapter) let you manage your contact list on your computer, rather than painstakingly entering contacts using the buttons on the watch (which you could do while away from your computer.) When done you held the watch up to your monitor and it would flash black lines on a white background that the optical sensor in the watch would read.

A dedicated user must have been able to get it to run on *nix because a computer science major friend of mine in college had that watch and I really really doubt he was running Windows.

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Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



Nasgate posted:

Screw Ipods and Zunes, my family used Zen players
Specifically we all had the Vision M model as seen below. Brother and I had 30 gigs while our mom had the 60 gig version. This was cool because Ipod video players at the time had less storage, worse screens, and were more expensive I believe. Apparently the company is still making mp3 players, but really I don't know anyone else who has owned one or heard of one.


Also i recently received a manual typewriter for my birthday(yes I asked for one) because the internet and solitaire/minesweeper distract me when I use a word processor. The thing is awesome, has both black and red ink strips, makes a cool sound, but weighs a ton and you have to type one letter at a time, which is harder than it sounds.

God I wish they were still making Visions. Now all they put out are crappy touchscreen devices with like 8 gigs of space. I just want mp3 player technology to not have progressed past 2007 I think. I hate every current one I see.

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



RabbitMage posted:

My parents bought me one back in 1999 when I started high school. The exact same calculator is now getting me through calculus and college chemistry. The only difference that I see between mine and the newer ones is that the newer ones have a USB port.

More of a question, how common are all-in-one printers? I have one that prints, copies and scans, the one my folks own does faxes, too. They are both close to ten years old. Do they still sell these things? Does anyone fax anymore?

The printer that we got about a year ago is an all-in-one model. It even has an assigned HP email address or something and you can email from it for some weird reason. We use the actual fax machine pretty regularly still.

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



Farbtoner posted:

On that note:



It didn't work nearly as well as advertised but with Home Alone 2 pretty much being a feature-length commercial for the TalkBoy who didn't want one?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hoz0vbm3Vss

H I K I D S W E R E H O M E E A R L Y

I generally used mine as a tiny boombox. I always felt like that was the epitome of products that were a whole lot less cool than advertised.

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



What did handheld calculators use as displays before LCD's? Like the kind of display Speak and Spells had?

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



"You can also shut off long, annoying commercials while picture remains on screen!"

Does that mean mute? Also I like how people were already trying to avoid commercials in 1956.

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



That and the computer were really the best parts of Season 2 of Lost.

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



Magic_Ceiling_Fan posted:

Our IT guy at work told me that all law firms have one as well for similar reasons. I have no idea if it's true.

I have also heard that the NYPD has so much carbon paper that they'll be using typewriters to draft reports for the foreseeable future.

No idea if these are urban legends or not.

I work at a law firm and we had one until about 5 years ago because they were still somewhat useful for filling out forms. Then the courts we worked with switched all their forms to PDF so it got tossed. We actually didn't have a manual typewriter, it was electric, and I can't see one being very useful in a prolonged power outage anyway since we'd need to photocopy everything.

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



Pilsner posted:

That reminds me of this thing my mother had lying around from when she was young. It was this brown, handheld "binocular" of sorts, about the size of a small virtual boy you could say. You put these white paper discs (very thin, about 10cm in diameter) in a slot on top, and they had a series of themed, tiny, transparent photos around the edge. For example, one would be themed Caribbean, and there were pictures of landmarks, local people, beaches, ports, etc. You pushed down on a lever to advance to the next picture. The slide pictures embedded in the disc were maybe 1x1cm, but when you viewed them through the two eye-holes (like a binocular), they of course appeared as big as your vision. Kinda neat in the old days. I think it was called something with "scope" or "vision" in the name, but I can't remember now.

Are you talking about Viewmasters?



You talking about them being a toy from your mother's childhood has made me feel depressingly old.

Elim Garak has a new favorite as of 11:48 on Sep 14, 2012

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



We had a tape rewinder at my house because my uncle convinced my dad rewinding in the vcr ruined the play heads.

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



Palpatine MD posted:

I loved the insane robotic sounds my 3-disc changer stereo made when switching between trays. I kept The Rock movie soundtrack in tray 3 for the better half of the 90's. Friend of mine still has a 5-disk changer which he still uses, and we give him poo poo for the thing all the time. No idea 51-changers existed, holy poo poo.

My wife had a 100 CD changer when she was in high school. Her uncle worked for Pioneer and she used to get all sorts of crazy crap from him. We still have the 5.1 DVD player she got from him in the early 2000's and never used to full potential because she was afraid she was going to wake her landlords. I'll have to swap it out for a Blu Ray eventually but it's pretty great for now.

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



Shugojin posted:

Years later, I still miss the boing sound degaussing my CRT monitor made.

At work we didn't switch to LCD's until like last year so I got degauss satisfaction for a good five years more than most people. It was great.

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



Libluini posted:

The funny thing is, most of my fellow students first reaction was more like "Durr. Glass is hard. Glass is like shiny stone." Luckily, no one of us was studying to become a glassmaker, or there would have been a problem.

I don't know, my friend majored in glassblowing in college and I am 75% sure he told me that glass was a liquid and used the old window thing as the example. The other 25% chance is that I actually brought it up and he corrected me and I'm misremembering it because college.

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



Benly posted:

Of course, a glassblower is known for working with the glass in the state where it is a liquid, so maybe this isn't too surprising.

True, but he had to know about its composition for cooling and coloring, which is why I'm surprised he got it wrong. I'm starting to think it's more like 50/50 that I'm remembering it wrong.

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



So I'm pretty sure we've talked about game watches before, but when I was in third grade I had this bad boy:



The Legend of Zelda game watch. The Zelda wiki says it came with eight dungeons but I'm pretty sure I only got through the first three. I never really liked LCD games, I always felt like the controls were sluggish, and they were tiny on the watch even for my little eight year old fingers. But check out this packaging:



Just imagine you're an eight year old boy in 1989. Holy poo poo was that so badass to unwrap on Christmas.

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



Those old school sticks may have great form and last forever but I am extremely happy that I haven't had to do a joystick calibration in ten or fifteen years. That was not fun.

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



Pilsner posted:

Old phone: Press down (button or joystick), press first letter of contact's name - or keep pressing down until reaching the contact. Press call button.
IPhone: Tap Contacts. Oops, it's showing some contact I don't want to call. Click Back button. Drag until I find the contact I want to cal, tap contact. Tap the number of his I want to actually call.

Old phone: Press 8 digits, press call button.
IPhone: Tap Phone. Ah nuts, it's on the "Recents" screen. Tap "Keypad". Enter number, tap Call button.

Touch interface has its benefits, but there's no way you can call it easier than a "dumbphone" (never heard that expression before) for straight phoning.

And what can I say, I think the sound quality is poor on the iPhone 4 compared to my old one.

I agree with you, I got my first smartphone this winter and while I love it I think the thing it does least well is act as a phone.

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



Datasmurf posted:

Episodes? As far as I remember, Napster was only for music.
Lots of other stuff for series and cp - if that is your thing - though.

I was the king of our school for having a 2x CD burner and a 128 kbps cable modem, I downloaded and burned out so many songs for people at my school, and earned a fat load of money on it too. Ah, those were the days

I'm pretty sure I had a pirated from the theater copy of the South Park Movie I got off napster, although it is possible I got it from the school's network. But I think it was napster.

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



Rambling Robot posted:

Perhaps you got it on Napster, and the used Wrapster?

Really old school "news":

http://news.cnet.com/2100-1023-238290.html

No, I don't remember ever installing wrapster, and March of 2000 seems a little late, I think I had the movie by the end of the fall '99 semester. It must have been the school's network after all. This is only so memorable because it was the first full movie I pirated and I was pretty stoked by it all.

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



MadScientistWorking posted:

Unless your in Boston where it happens every single time you take the bus. And no I'm not actually joking either for some bizarre reason certain trolley buses are actually dual mode meaning that they switch over to diesel or electric.

That's only the silver line though, right? Or do you mean like the green line west of Kenmore?

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



dissss posted:

Speaking of that I came across this wikipedia page the other day: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_quackery

Basically can be summed up as 'we're not quite sure what radiation does but its obviously a health benefit'

I particularly like this thing:

which is a pot specifically designed to irradiate your drinking water


Brilliant

My favorite crazy radioactive "therapy" story is of Eben Byers. The headline for the story of his death was "The Radium Water Worked Fine until His Jaw Came Off."

Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



Brother Jonathan posted:

Lots of animations have been saved.

Here is a demo of all of the graphics functions:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZeDudfzAs0

The Twilight Zone:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipikgmVCNW4

More Beer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D_eg-NM5Pw

You can still watch the first Star Wars movie in ascii animation via telnet at towel.blinkenlights.nl. I always thought that was one of the coolest pointless wastes of time on the internet.

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Elim Garak
Aug 5, 2010



Inspector 34 posted:

My first ever car was a hand-me-down from my dad to my older sister and then to me, it was an '84 Thunderbird and I honestly thought the digital speedo was kind of cool. Mine displayed in bright green (I think)and was the only part of the car that I didn't consider to be a huge piece of poo poo.

I think my older brother had a Thunderbird like this. Did they have an 8-track in them? I know my brothers did, it was the last functioning 8-track I played with.

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