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Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


When I was a kid if you wanted to play games it was all about vacuum fluorescent table top arcade games. I guess the most popular were these bad boys:







VFD tech was very power hungry for a battery powered game so most of the time games would be plugged into the wall with a Grandstand transformer. They were rendered obsolete once LCD started to take over with it's huge battery life and compact designs and once the Gameboy made an appearence they were forgot for good. Still many happy memories remain about all the arcade conversions that were made.

Of course VFD is still used in all sorts of home entertainment equipment due to it's bright display but as far as games go it's dead.

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Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


leidend posted:

Seeing these two posts made me realize I don't even know what a modern calculator looks like. Found this in my desk drawer:



The weird thing is it's apparently an original 1976 model BA II Plus, and I'm not that old. :/ I think it's one that I "borrowed" from high school when I lost mine in the early 90s and never returned.

Of course, now you can just download a BA II Plus iphone app.

You mean 1986 ? There were no lcd calcs in 76

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Another favorite of mine is Nixie Tubes



These were used to display limited info like on scales and numerical readouts of scientific equipment. They could display whatever they were made to but mostly numbers. I think they are beautiful to look at and take me right back to my childhood watching science programs in the 70s.

You can now buy fantastic clocks like this in kit form or made up.


If you happen to come across any of these tubes be sure to look them up as some of them are worth a fortune.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Mousepractice posted:

You've reminded me of the bad boy of childhood portable video games : the TomyTronic 3D, a crap Game & Watch game displayed on a terrible lovely set of goggles





I had the enthusiastically named THUNDERING TURBO, a car racing thing based around pressing left or right to dodge other cars on a racetrack until you got bored or your 3 AA batteries ran out (10 minutes tops, given that if you were playing with this piece of poo poo you could only afford knock-off batteries from the market)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7u8luKgrevk

wow, what fun. Thanks, childhood friend who stole all my micro machines and then gave me this as an apology.

Don't forget to mention that you had to have a tonne of light shining through that white window on the top of the unit or it was pretty much unplayable too. No clandestine, midnight under the sheets gameplay.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Ok. Time to take back handheld games back to the mechanical age, baby.
Anyone remember Pocketeers?

All the cool kids in school had one or two of these. Mine was Stuntbike which was one of the best. You wound it up and the scenery would wheel past and you had to hit the jump switch in order to make the biker lift up and clear the obstacles. Very clever game for being all clockwork. I wanted to see how mine worked so I took the back case off and a million cogs suddenly flew out. Game over for good

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Are Split Flap Displays still used anywhere? I vaguely remember these on alarm clocks when I was younger but they were more impressive at airports.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


spog posted:

I am pretty sure I can remember an anecdote about some server software that had two versions available.

If you paid for the upgrade, their techs would flip a software switch that disabled a subroutine that ran for the pure reason of slowing down performance.

Of course, my memory might be wrong, but it does sound plausible, doesn't it?

This goes on all the time, I recall several articles on Hack a Day where people would bridge a solder connection on a circuit board and turn an average oscilloscope or voltage meter etc. into a top of the range model with more features worth hundreds more.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Setzer Gabbiani posted:

PLEASE PURCHASE THESE GAMES

So I'm guessing the only way those games were controlled was by speeding up and slowing down your heart rate ?

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


burtonos posted:

How about this bad boy?



I'm...not really sure what to make of them.

You could take the disc out of the camera mid way through usage due to a clever little window that prevented exposure. This enabled you to take a picture, take out the disc, wind it back one and then take another picture over the last one for some cool double exposure effects. Well I thought they cool, Boots thought I was a retard and put stickers on the pictures saying so.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


wipeout posted:

Do you guys think we can get another 10 pages out of bank chat? That would be so awesome.

I present the Sinclair C5:


Early electric vehicle, I saw one once - I think it had broken down.

I saw a C5 for sale in Woolworths when I was a kid for 400. Must have been when it was launched in 85. Needless to say I wanted one but then again I was only 13.
When you saw them on the road up against vans and lorries you realised what an immensely stupid idea they were.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


ZALGO! posted:

I remember the rewind button breaking on my cassette players a lot so to rewind I had to flip the cassette to the other side and fast forward, who else remembers doing this?

My first walkman only had ffwrd

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Fuzz1111 posted:

The reverse mechanism meant the heads had to be moved back and forth (as opposed to being fixed in place) this meant that it was more common to have the heads not quite line up properly with the tape, particularly as the mechanism wore-out, and it was pretty common to have one direction better aligned than the other (I had a sharp double cassette stereo where one cassette could record and the other was double direction, the latter was better aligned going backwards than forwards).

Depending on the design it would also be possible to have one side play faster than the other.

I didn't think the heads of auto reverse units moved at all? They were just two heads in one that covered both sides of the tape. No ?

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


b0nes posted:


Is this being used anymore? I always assumed it was an East coast thing, I cant remember seeing any of these in California.

Our Morrisons supermarket has one of these.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


JayKay posted:

I still use a Logitech trackball with my laptop if I'm on the couch or bed and don't have a decent mousing surface.

Edit: This one to be exact



I use this at work. I'm not a CAD person but nothing else will do. gently caress pushing a mouse around all day.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Ozz81 posted:

These were pretty decent but the worst part is having to flip it over, take out 3 or 4 screws and basically pull it all apart just to clean the contacts for the trackball. Some other ones actually had a ring that twisted and snapped in place (just like old ball mice) so you could take the trackball out from the top side and clean it more easily. I still remember playing Doom and Quake with my friends online and owning them hard with the trackball once I got used to it

Eh? You just pull the ball out and clean away. No screws or rings.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


All your puny joysticks are no match for this beast I had on my Atari ST. This thing was indestructible because it was made from steel. HooRah.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


El Estrago Bonito posted:

I'm talking high quality custom sticks not commercially made ones. Eightarc and Madcatz make good sticks (I own a TE-S and it works quite well, for instance) but there is a big gap between something like an Eightarc Fusion and stuff made by these guys:

B15DSM



Is there anything steampunk can't do ?

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


step aside posted:

What is steampunk sex anyway, do you use steam powered condoms?

Take your pick.



Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


TheSpiritFox posted:

Hahaha I had one of these. gently caress yeah, it was hilarious back in high school. My friend had one that beat me though, his watch was also a universal remote. He had alot of fun loving with teachers, he did it so much in our history class that they called in police to search our stuff for the remote and never found one.

Ha ha. I remember seeing some kids in our town centre outside a tv rental shop keep turning up the volume to max on about 10 tvs through the window. The manager eventually came out shouting at them and had a bit of a meltdown.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


leidend posted:

My family moved to New Zealand out of fear of nuclear war. It was considered inevitable by a lot of people at the time.

And to tie it all together, it was easy for my dad to transfer there because he worked for a large computer company most people under 30 probably have never heard of: Wang. It was destroyed by IBM and its wacky new invention called "personal computers."



"At its peak in the 1980s, Wang Laboratories had annual revenues of $3 billion and employed over 33,000 people." - wikipedia

Martin Prince was certainly a fan.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


torjus posted:

My dad worked with computers when I was a kid. I vividly remember the day he came home with a new computer, a 486 dx2/66mhz.
We booted the it, and during the RAM self test it seemed like it just wouldn't stop counting.
When it finally stopped, at a whooping 16 megabytes, we just started laughing spontaneously.
"I didn't even know that you could buy machines with that much RAM", my dad proclaimed. I agreed.

These days I don't even know how much RAM I have. I just know that we now measure it in gigabytes.

It was also so important to have that "66" displayed on a big chunky LED on the the front of the case

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


WebDog posted:



In Australia we had the same, but with credit cards.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlHsh2L8jKU

They were phased out recently when 7-11 brought out Mobil's outlets. There was a host of other issues like low sales at stores or the fact there wasn't any sign system on credit cards so people could rock up with stolen cards and go wild.

We have the same thing in the UK. Stolen cards are only good if you have the owners pin though.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Mr. Flunchy posted:

Someone made a joke in a D&D thread about wanting a government run by a benevolent AI. Then someone linked PROJECT CYBERSYN:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Cybersyn


Just check out how rad 70s sci-fi the control room was:



This sounds bonkers for the 70s, and the name Cybersyn sounds like you're just asking for it to go insane and evil, but apparently it worked quite well. Unfortunately when the military took over they destroyed the systems 'cerebral cortex'.

Oh come on, any fool can see Cybersyn is only 1 step away from Cyberdyne. The military did what they had to do.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


James May did a bit on the Ekranoplan too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch2zs-7je_s

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.



Speaking of these why has it taken so long for cordless charging to come about? Induction has been understood for a very long time so what is so hard about using a coil to induce a current in another coil in a phone to charge a battery?

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Ceefax wasn't an actual thing, it was just what the BBC called their teletext service. ITV called their teletext service Oracle.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Lancia Orca



Nice feature on digital dashboards of the 80s over on DRB

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Has no one mentioned the Mellotron yet? It's a keyboard that plays individual reels of pre recorded tape. I absolutely love this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrXtmKGkSa4

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Lowen SoDium posted:

Side Talkin'

Games on SD car that was inserted under the battery, requiring you to take the device apart to change the game (fixed in the second version)

Screen in the portrait orientation

The 2 controller buttons were just part of the dial pad


The idea for a cell phone that was also a handheld gaming system was a a really good one for the time, though it was obsoleted by smartphones. It is pretty obivous that Nokia had no loving clue what they were doing. It would have been a successful idea if Nintendo had put out a GBA or DS cell phone. I was actually expecting Sony-Ericsson to put out a PSP smart phone.

Sony finally came out with an Android based Xperia phone that had a slide out controller that was decent, but it felt like a miss opportunity since the PSP Vita came out not long afterwards and wasn't compatible. Sony could have made the PSP Vita be android based (and even port the Android Dalvik VM to the PS3/4) to allow the same games to be played on their handheld, Game Cellphone, and tv console.

In the end, I don't think handheld gaming cell phones are an obsolete technology as much as I think they are a miss opportunity.

I think the problem they were all worried about is that people want to change their phone more often than their gaming device.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


I now have my first Blackberry for my new job and I hate it. The lock button is actually the top part of the case above the screen. Horrible location and terrible feel. The keyboard is also awful.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


When electrons get stopped suddenly they lose that energy in photons of x-ray frequency, in other words your screen gives off x-rays. I've not heard of long exposure affecting anyone though.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Do all American cars have a big wing nut on the ignition barrel? Do you guys break a lot of keys or something?

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Talk about going over your heads.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Dick Trauma posted:

Ha! Why not go all the way?



I'm sure these pieces of poo poo have already been discussed in this thread. Tiny negative even smaller than 110 and the visual acuity of a bat with cataracts.

I used to take a picture then take the disc out and turn it back one for some double exposure shenanigans.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Admiral Bosch posted:

TIE Fighter had a similar system way back in the day; passcodes were on every page of the manual and you had to input one every time you started the game, or else the Imperial officer at the desk would stop you from picking a profile(IIRC). Eventually my brothers, or maybe my dad, somehow, in like 1995, tracked down a patch to bypass it.

I actually cracked Tie Fighter by using an editor on the exe and just deleting the password list. All I had to do was press enter and it would always acccept.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


mrkillboy posted:

Back in the early-1990s I used to read a lot of imported British console magazines like Super Play and CVG (I live in Australia) and one thing that really really stuck out for me in the letters sections was that they'd always harp about how you couldn't rent out games in the UK and that it was illegal or forbidden or something. Also Nintendo apparently had something to do with it as well?

Anyone who remembers care to shed some light on this? A quick Google search seems to indicate that renting games in Britain is all kosher now but I'm just curious about the different situation back then, since adolescent me going to the video store and renting out Street Fighter II for the umpteenth time was a pretty regular thing I did back in the day.

My dad used to own a general store and rented out SNES and Megadrive games all the time. Never had any problems.

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


I used to use Nochex

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Humphreys posted:



EDIT: Anyone remember Disc Format Film?



The good thing about the disc format is you could take the cartridge out after taking a shot and rewind it one, then you could re-expose another shot over the top for some mysterious ghost pictures WOOOOOOOO

Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Dick Trauma posted:

I'm pleasantly surprised that bringing up the Mold-A-Rama elicited such a widespread response. Maybe this one will do the same.

When I was a kid Radio Shack was the place to go for technology. They had an array of these electronic lab kits and I remember spending an awful lot of time working with mine. I believe this was my exact model, and goddamn if it wasn't an exciting introduction to space-age electronics. At least in 1975!





The board was covered in these little springs and came with an assortment of wires of different colors and lengths. The marked off areas on the board indicated the specific components you could work with and the guide told you which springs to attach with which wires. For example you could make a crystal radio with mine, but you'd have to hook up the antenna, speaker, etc. to get it to work.

In the picture you can see one of the components I found interesting: an LED! (To the right of the VU meter) It was just a single diode and at best it sort of glowed instead of blazing like a modern one, but I was fascinated anyway. My brother had the higher level kit that had an actual multi-segment LED and when wired up properly it could be used for logic experiments.

EDIT: Here it is. I see now they also had a solar cell! At that time it was pretty drat cool technology to be able to play around with.



I can't imagine this sort of thing would stand a chance in the modern world but there was something to be said for the combination of the physical and electronic for learning how things work. I can still remember looking at the one relay my board came with, being able to see it respond as I changed the way things were wired. Ah well.

Wow nostalgia trip, I had the 150 in 1 unit too. Talking about the relay I remember thinking I wonder what would happen if I trigger the relay and when the relay makes its connection it switches it off, and then when it springs back maybe I can get it to switch back on and repeat......BUUZZZZZZZZZ loving awesome, I just made a buzzer with a bit mental theorizing.

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Fozaldo
Apr 18, 2004

Serenity Now. Serenity Now.


Krispy Kareem posted:

I can't remember, was it possible to get shocked by those? I don't recall ever getting juiced by my electronics kit.

I just purchased the 750-in-1 Snap Circuits kit for my 9 year old's birthday. Here's hoping I didn't just blow 80 bucks.

There was a couple of transformers on there so if you knew what you were doing you could up the 9 volt battery a bit I guess, nothing unsafe though, probably not even noticeable without licking the wires.

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