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Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014


DrBouvenstein posted:

This long and no one has posted Laserdiscs?



Let's see where it went wrong...
  • GIANT MEDIA - Though I guess you could re-purpose an old vinyl record holder. But they were still awkward to use, and a lot heavier than they look.
  • EXPENSIVE - Since they didn't get adopted at a very fast rate like VHS or DVD, players and movies stayed up there in price.
  • FRAGILE - A VHS tape could be tossed around, dropped even, and probably not suffer damage. Also, being pure analog, it had no error correction, so small scratches and dust that wouldn't be a problem on a DVD will cause errors on a Laserdisc.
  • POOR SELECTION - Relatively few movies were released on Laserdisc.
  • QUALITY - The disc is an analog video. It was better than VHS, but not by a lot, and DVD surpassed it.
  • LOW AMOUNT OF SPACE - Each side had, at best, 60 minutes. So you'd have to flip the thing over halfway through a movie. Is the movie more than two hours? It would need a second disc.

It did have a few advantages going for it, but they were far outweighed by the negatives. I only ever knew one person who had one, a cousin of my mother's who had a "sweet entertainment set up" in his basement. The only movie I watched on Laserdisc there was Twister, and having to get up to flip the disc made me realize Laserdisc was dumb.

There was a similar format called the CED that didn't suffer quite so much from these problems. The disc case was actually a giant sleeve, and you'd push it into the player to lock the disc in place. The disc therefore was never exposed to the outside world, reducing damage. On the down side, the CED was read with a stylus like a vinyl record, so the discs are still prone to wearing out.

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Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014


ChlamydiaJones posted:

The best disk that I had though was "Urgh! a music war" which didn't even make it to youtube until like 5 years ago. ALL of the VHS copies were pirated from the CED due to problems with licensing and copyright since the movie was exclusively released to CED (which then failed). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urgh!_A_Music_War . Also neither the LPs nor the DVD release in 2006 include Invisible Sex "Valium" so the ONLY place you can find that one is pirated from CED.

Warner Archive burn it to order with Valium on the disc. The only missing track is the cover of Two Little Boys by Splodgenessabounds.

I also now find myself really wanting this disc, but Warner only make it to order and only ship to the US. Obsolete and failed? Try their business model.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014


b0nes posted:

What were those "mini records" called?

Singles?

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014


m2pt5 posted:

Alternately, 45's, because they were played at 45RPM (as opposed to 33RPM for full-sized albums.)

Some were played at 78RPM, though.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Geoj posted:

Don't ask me how we've made it four pages without these mentioned...



PDAs

Kind of like a smartphone, only without the phone and a whole lot less capable. Kind of a crude handheld computer that could do rudimentary internet browsing, some multimedia and mostly e-mail and scheduling/calendar functions.

You underestimate them. When I was working in IT procurement in 2009 I was asked to find a quicker way for swimming instructors to create class attendance logs in their Excel database. It was taking hours to enter the data by hand; the pool had several instructors each taking four or five classes a day, but they only had one PC and they were forced to hotseat. I sourced them a few old PDAs from stock that could run Excel, and suddenly the job took seconds - they could create the log file at poolside and cut and sync it all at the end of the day.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Kaboom Dragoon posted:

Wasn't the MD stupidly popular in Japan? I remember hearing it was the fact that it never really took off in the West that killed it as a format.

They were pretty popular in Russia as well. There used to be shops where you could purchase music files and have them burned onto MD while you waited.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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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.

I still use a Zen player, though mine is one of the miniature models. I replaced one of the 30GB hard drive based ones after I dropped it.

There are still SACD-capable players on the go - many Sony models retain compatibility - but the format has basically been killed by Blu-ray Audio.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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torjus posted:

Here is an image depicting a Creative Zen Touch with french language settings playing some Joe Cocker:


It's called "Touch" because there's a small strip under the OK-button which is kind of touch sensitive.
The thing is that the Zen Touch can withstand anything short of a direct bomb blast. I've had it hit the floor on many occasions, but it still keeps on truckin'. Pair that with 24h battery life and you have a pretty good MP3-player!

Ah ... that's the exact same model of Zen that I dropped once and killed. It was a pretty good MP3 player, though.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Bonzo posted:

My cell phone from 1998 to early 2000



Motorolla StarTec. I think the only reason I liked it was because I felt like I was on Stark Trek or something.

"What is the Prime Directive, Bran?"
"Winter is coming."

Somewhere we have a Nokia phone that is even older than the 3310, I think. I shall try and dig it out and take a photo, because it was in use until last year.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Landerig posted:

Oh man my first CDRW drive ran at 4X maximum, came with Adaptec Easy CD creator, and when you started burning a CD, you couldn't do anything else with the computer.

I remember those days well. We were told CD drives couldn't go faster than quad speed because heat distortion would affect the tracks.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Blue Square posted:

gently caress me, teletext still exists?

It still exists in the UK, mate - for another 12 weeks, anyway. After 38 years and 1 month of uninterrupted service, Ceefax updates will finally be discontinued when the last analogue transmitter is turned off on October 24th.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Rosoboronexport posted:

Reason for slot processors was their L2 cache -- manufacturing technology wasn't capable of adding that much memory on the CPU chip (and the memory couldn't reach the speeds CPUs ran) so the slot had the cpu and L2 cache memory chips (that in case of Pentium 2 ran clockspeed of the CPU). On slot A athlons the cache speed went from to 1/3 based on clock speed.

When P3 rolled out the manufacturing had matured so that the L2 cache could be inserted on CPU die and it ran as fast as the cpu. Due to compatibility, same processor was available as the socket and slot version, the slot version just had an adapter for the processor.

I'm not sure if this technology was presented, but Intel 440BX chipset and compability with slotket adapters powered me from 1999 (P2-400, 128 mb RAM, Voodoo3) to 2004 (Celeron 1300, 384 mb RAM, Geforce 4 Ti).

Since it's processor nostalgia time, here's what I put in my first PC build:



loving amazing chips, those were. They were cheaper, cooler and faster than the equivalent Pentium, but with a weaker maths co-processor.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Landerig posted:

That takes me back. You could actually format any standard 1.44 MB diskette to DMF and get that slight bit of extra space. I did that for a version of Windows 3.1 that was stripped down to run off of one diskette.

That reminds me of the old 3" disks Amstrad used to make. The Amstrad CPC could format them to hold 180KB on each side, but the PCW could format them to hold I think it was 720KB per side. Thing is, I'm pretty sure the CPC could read PCW-formatted disks - it just couldn't make them, and possibly couldn't write to them (I never tried).

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Space Gopher posted:

Small pre-assembled water coolers designed to fit 120mm fans aren't any better than a similarly sized heat pipe cooler. Big custom water cooling loops that can fit a 360x120mm radiator (or something even bigger salvaged out of a junkyard) give you better performance, because they've got a bigger radiator. But, they're also expensive, a tremendous pain in the rear end to maintain, and the performance increase isn't really relevant unless you're trying for a let's-burn-this-motherfucker-up sort of thing (in which case, you're probably better off with phase change the old fashioned way: a copper pot and a dewar of liquid nitrogen).

Which is basically what they use at the World Overclocking Championships.

One common reason I hear for using watercooling is that watercooled systems don't produce fan noise, which is pretty useful in a number of circumstances.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Boiled Water posted:

Yes they do. When the heat has gone from the CPU into the water what do you think cools the water?

It's a fan.

Yeah, but there are fewer fans running at lower speeds. Pulling up a random thread from Google:

http://coolercasesuk.co.uk/showthre...m-Water-Cooling

quote:

On powering both systems up the first thing that is strikingly obvious is the noise level. The water cooled system has 2x 120mm fans running very slow and quiet and is almost inaudible compared to the high speed CPU and GPU fans of the air cooled system.

I've also seen enough to know that a good WC rig is quieter than operating noise, whereas I can definitely hear the fans on my own system better than I can the HDDs.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014


buttopticor posted:

I imagine it was something more like "unlike four-function calculators, our SR line reproduces all of the functionality of a slide rule!"

But not the speed. It's not an urban myth that a trained slide rule operator can perform operations faster than most people can with an electronic calculator.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Kalos posted:

Are you trying to imply that a corporate marketing team would do anything other than look out for my personal best interest as a customer? Because that's something we don't tolerate in a thread about botched tech.

Also, you're comparing the speeds of a trained operator and "most people." "Most people" are not trained and probably do things like comment on Youtube.

OK, then, a trained slide rule operator can work faster than anyone who would be using a calculator because they're not trained in using a slide rule, and is also not a freak of nature with 18 fingers on each hand. Happy now?

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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MindlessHavok posted:

This reminds me of this thing they had in the mall near me. It wasn't in the arcade but just out in the main area where the kiosks would sit. You stepped up onto this round platform thing and they gave you a helmet that looked like that thing plus a couple of handheld "guns". One controlled your movement and the other was your gun. The point was to play against other people or the computer in a gladiator style battle. There was also a dragon or pterodactyl that flew around that was impossible to hit but apparently if you did you got a load of points or free game or something.


Anyone know what the hell I'm talking about?

If it was one of the VR games I recall, it was called Dactyl Nightmare.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Goober Peas posted:

I figured this would be a good thread to post a nostalgic question (though I realize I'm probably in the older 1/3 of goons).

As a kid in the late 70s/early 80s my mom was big on not plugging in 'extra' phones. She would tell me that the phone company ran tests on people's lines occasionally to see how many phones were on the line. Evidently they would charge extra for additional equipment (even if you purchased rather than leased). Keep in mind this was before deregulation, and I think after the period where you had to lease all phone equipment.

Growing up we had 3 phone jacks in the house -- one in the kitchen, one in the master bedroom, and one in the hallway. The one in the hallway and kitchen had a 25ft cord that was constantly tangled from frequent trips to the pantry or the hall closet for those 'private' conversations.

So, what's your question?

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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lenitic posted:

Teletext was another ancient technology; its high point was beaming a picture of an ejaculating penis through the airwaves into every British household, excused by the caption "Turner the Worm being sick"

Here's the actual image - linked as it would qualify as

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8393398@N02/506622777/

That's one way to finish your job tenure, I guess.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Bonzo posted:

I have an old Sony BD player that I bought a few weeks after HD-DVD was officially declared dead.

Anyway, I rarely use it anymore but the last time I did it was to watch Dark Knight. I put the disk in and then went to microwave popcorn. By the time I sat down the movie had finally loaded and was ready to play.

I also could not update the firmware or use any Blu Ray live functions without shoving a USB stick in the back of it.

Older BD players didn't have onboard memory, which some discs need to cache data on to work. I had to fit a stick to my Sony player before I could watch Crank 2.

Anyway, access times are dropping. Early gen players would have a cited spin-up time of anywhere up to two minutes for a disc, but these days it's generally 45 seconds at most.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Avenging_Mikon posted:

There are a LOT of people who just will not buy software in a downloadable format. Just, they refuse. I do not understand it, but I will not hesitate to continue to take their money at work.

Guild Wars 2 costs 50 for a digital download and 30 for a physical copy. Do you understand it now?

Also, a lot of people still burn their own CDs and DVDs.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014


^^^ The main advantage of Blu-ray is the sound. I wouldn't have bothered with Blu-ray if I didn't have a receiver and 5.1 speaker rig.

Coffee And Pie posted:

CDs are really useful if you forgot to charge your iPod and don't feel like listening to the radio in your car.

Or if your car CD player doesn't have a way to connect an MP3 player, like 99% of all car CD players made before three years ago.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Avenging_Mikon posted:

Old people? Try lazy-rear end landlords. Previous landlord was a nice guy, but took ages to deposit the cheques, to the point of sometimes a couple weeks before it came out of my account. But it would take him time and effort to set up electronic payment methods like Internet bill payers or direct debit for every new tenant. So, cheques.

What effort? It's the payer who has to make the effort to set up a standing order. All a landlord would have to do is look at his bank statement once a month to make sure it went through, and if he's not doing that anyway then he's a goddamn imbecile.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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einTier posted:

110 cameras were often cheaply made and there was a perception that the 110 film couldn't be held flat enough in the cartridge to produce a high quality print. The disc camera was an attempt to make a consumer camera thin enough to carry around while maintaining the ease of use of the 110 cameras and cartridge format while getting away from the idea that such cameras were "just for kids".

And then there were the 126 cameras, which were basically a lot like 110 cameras but with a much taller cartridge. This combined the worst aspects of both 110 and disc cameras.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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DNova posted:

And RFID/NFC payment? Forget it.

Bonking for money is starting to come in in the UK, but it's still not common.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Dick Trauma posted:

While we're on the subject of records, in the 1980s when 45s were still popular they came out with the idea of one sided singles. These were 45s that were only pressed on one side and sold at a lower price. I used to buy lots of singles so I gave this a shot and they sounded terrible. The reverse side originally was just lightly grained plastic but then they switched to a horrendous raised cross-hatching that would instantly eat the needle of anyone dumb enough to try and play that side.

I'll see that and raise you flexidiscs. These were single-sided records printed on a thin vinyl sheet that would bend without damaging the groove. They were used in the pre-CD era as a way to include music or other audio content with books or magazines. CDs obsoleted them and they went out of production in 2000, but apparently there's recently been a resurgence of interest in them from the indie scene.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Melaneus posted:



The specifications for touch tone dialing actually has four extra keys (A,B,C,D) that never got widely implemented as buttons. However, the tones defined for them are still used in some situations. I learned of these buttons when researching Cisco voice-over-IP, as you can use them to make programmed numbers that can not be directly dialed.

Obsolete? This may just be the greatest technology known to man. You could keep your mobile number out of the hands of every telemarkunt in the world.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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DrBouvenstein posted:

Also out of the hands of every person who might want to call you.

Unless you send them your number as a contact, making it function as a whitelist for mobile calls.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Parallel Paraplegic posted:

We have one too in my grandpa's little summer cabin in the Adirondacks. The rings are not different. If we pick up the neighbor's phone (which admittedly almost never happens since nobody ever calls them there, they only call out) we have to run across and rap on their door. In exchange for this answering service, they never pick up the phone when someone is calling us, so we always get our calls.

By which you mean they're lazy as gently caress and don't want to have to peg it across to your grandpa's cabin, so they never pick it up because they know you'll come across if it's for them.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Dick Trauma posted:

EDIT: I looked up the name on the door and found Grover Brothers and Wood Company, founded in Detroit in 1915. If you can believe it the company still exists and still makes PTT, but now they're called TransLogic.

Of course I can believe it. I most recently saw a pneumatic transport system in a supermarket over here just a year or so ago.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Code Jockey posted:

Either that or it becomes The Hulk, in dong form.

Worth the gamble, if you ask me.

Not really. There's no point having a big dick if women don't like it when it's angry.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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redmercer posted:

Man, I bet things were really terrible until they figured out how to make a condom without any seams.

Lambskin condoms were used for centuries, so they must work.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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baw posted:

They're a lifesafer if the woman has a latex allergy though.

Also if she doesn't have any STDs.

And if she enjoys haggis.

I knew that lambskin condoms didn't stop STDs, but as that wasn't the original purpose of the item I didn't feel it worth mentioning.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Zack_Gochuck posted:

What advantage does a can have over a plastic bottle in that situation? Just curious.

In the case of Busch, they're already selling water in cans.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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WescottF1 posted:

Those Epyx joysticks were awesome. Much more comfortable than the Atari ones to use.

Epyx joystick? Where? That's the Konix Speed King. I always hated them.

Now here's a real joystick:



I don't know if it's really obsolete, though. It was used as the model for the C64 Direct-to-TV, and apparently a USB edition was released a couple of years ago.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Fo3 posted:

Ahh, the competition pro. Still making them?

So it seems. I still have my original, and it still works - they built them tough in those days.

The best controller I ever used in the 8-bit days is so obscure I can't even find an image of it now. It was a D-Pad controller called the WizPad which looked a lot like the Famicom controller, except it was held vertically with the D-Pad at the top. This meant it could be used with either thumb on the D-Pad while your other thumb was below on the buttons. It was comfy, responsive, and best of all you could cheat like a motherfucker at joystick-wagglers by pushing the D-Pad down in the middle.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Mr_Person posted:

I didn't realize there were people who didn't use their middle fingers for triggers. It's not like there's anything else it could be doing (except for in fighting games).

I've had some use out of it playing internet Scrabble. That's not a word, fucker!

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Geoj posted:

On this token...



While not exactly obsolete or failed, trackballs definitely deserve an honorable mention in this thread - having moved from a fairly common computer peripheral in the late 80s/early 90s (almost on parity with the common mouse) to a highly niche-market item only really sought after by CAD junkies or people who got hooked on them when they were more common.

Trackballs are apparently really good for people with arthritis, because you can use them without gripping or flexing. I believe they also used to be recommended for people with carpal damage until the vertical mouse was introduced.

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Dec 10, 2011

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Count Chocula posted:

You want obsolete? I watch TV using a rabbit ear antenna connected to a digital set top box. I constantly need to adjust them to get a clear signal, and a few channels don't come in some days. I live alone and don't want to pay for cable, but barely any Australians have cable anyway. Everyone still watches network TV, and if you have digital you get something like 14 channels. Some of them were added in the last year! I think the whole country is switching over to digital soon. Talk about culture shock! I thought stories about only having 4 channels were made up to scare kids.

Just over 30 years ago, the UK only had three channels. I personally remember Channel 4 launching and watching the first ever edition of Countdown. My mother, who is 60 in April, remembers when BBC2 launched in 1964, and my stepfather at 63 is just old enough to remember when the UK had only one TV station, ITV having launched in 1955.

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