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ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

Fooley posted:

Who made those weird tiny cell phones? The one's that were a bit bigger than a stick of gum, and only had a little joystick to dial? I still want one of those.

EDIT: I think This is what Im thinking of.

?

Barely 10 years later and that part of the movie doesn't make any sense; the trend in phones for a while has been to see who can put the biggest screen on them.

Content: Some really cool obsolete technology, mechanical computers! This is part of a Vickers Viscount training simulator from the 1950s.



Edit: was breaking tables

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ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

DrBouvenstein posted:

Bank transfers are horrible in the US. Last March I needed to get $800 to a friend several states away very fast. I thought I could just march on down to my bank and say,

"Hey, here's a routing and account number...please transfer $800 to that account, thanks."

Nope. Huge fee, probably take several days, horrible, horrible mess. Thought about Western Union, but they also had fees (though much less than the bank's, so I can see why they're still around.) She didn't have a "verified" Paypal account, so she could only send money, not accept it. She didn't have Serve, or anything else like that either. It sucked. Eventually had to bite the bullet and use Western Union.

Getting money from one person to another in this day and age should not be that hard. There's no reason I shouldn't be able to just type in routing and account numbers from my online banking page and have it be in their account the next business day.

I bet if you'd wanted to transfer $800,000 though, instead of just $800, they'd have been able to do it instantly and with no fuss.

ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

Here's something that's pretty obsolete, though I'm impressed that a computer can still work after that long.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20395212

I love the clickety clack sounds it makes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mT6FHLnCT28

ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

How about some failed technology that was never built, but could have been:

Project Orion! The nuclear battleship.

Ahem, the nuclear space battleship.



"Project Rho posted:

When the Orion nuclear pulse propulsion concept was being developed, the researchers at General Atomic were interested in an interplanetary research vessel. But the US Air Force was not. They thought the 4,000 ton version of the Orion would be rightsized for an interplanetary warship, armed to the teeth. And when they said armed, they meant ARMED. It had enough nuclear bombs to devastate an entire continent (500 twenty-megaton city-killer warheads), 5-inch Naval cannon turrets, six hypersonic landing boats, and the dreaded Casaba Howitzer, which is basically a ray gun that shoots nuclear flame (the technical term is "nuclear shaped charge").

Keep in mind that this is a realistic design. It could actually be built.

The developers made a scale model of this version, which in hindsight was a big mistake. It had so many weapons on it that it horrified President Kennedy, and helped lead to the cancellation of the entire Orion project.

ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

Groke posted:

This also requires us to mention one of the worst nuclear-age ideas ever, and here I'm talking about one of the very worst ideas from an age full of very bad ideas:

Project Pluto - the nuclear ramjet cruise missile.

Basically, with 1950s technology, you design a ramjet powered not by burning jet fuel but by passing air through an unshielded nuclear reactor core. It's a robotic craft so you don't have to worry about any crew (presumably they intended to launch the drat thing with strap-on solid-fuel boosters or something). Fucker can cruise along at low altitude and high speed for months, spewing radiation everywhere, and may have a payload of a bunch of thermonuclear bombs which it drops at pre-programmed points. Then eventually it fails/crashes/melts down (over enemy territory, presumably).

This was fortunately never built either, but they did get as far as building and testing a prototype of the engine before someone had the sense to cancel the drat thing.

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

Ahhh, the good ol' flying crowbar. Anywhere it flew over would be rendered uninhabitable - and this is by 1950s standards, none of this mincing "oh you should leave because you'll have a 0.01% higher chance of developing cancer at some point" that passes for "uninhabitable" these days.

ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

Sunshine89 posted:

Awesome B-36 stuff

Big planes are the coolest.

Here's a 1930s Soviet aircraft, the Kalinin K-7



Just look at it. What an ugly mofo.

It definitely counts as failed tech. It had crazy vibration problems starting from the first test flight, and the seventh flight crashed, killing 14 people. Then the project was canceled, and then just to add insult to injury (or vice versa?) the designer was executed for being an enemy of the state.

ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

Obviously someone was making a human centipede.

ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

It's weird seeing stuff about DC++ in the "obsolete technology" thread since I used it a lot (and was even an admin on my school's DC network) up until pretty recently. But everyone just torrents or streams their shows and movies now anyway.

To contribute to the thread: I took a trip to London recently and I'm a museum buff so I got to see plenty of old outdated (but freakin' sweet) technology.

Here's John Harrison's first longitude clock, H1. He had to design and build three more of these before they were accurate enough to use for navigation per the conditions of the prize he was competing for, and even then the prize board had to basically be bitched out by the king himself in order to grudgingly award him the money. He was so old by the time he finally got it that he died just a few years later.

I have pictures of H2, H3, and H4 as well, but IMO this one looks the coolest:

ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

U of T was always pretty strict about torrents and DDL sites and employed a lot of traffic shaping and outright blocked some stuff IIRC. Whereas they kind of tacitly approved of the hub so long as we weren't too obvious about it, because it kept internet traffic down.

But you're not wrong; it probably hit its peak number of users in 2005/2006 and peak sharesize in 2007/2008 and has been downhill ever since.

ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

Buckminster Fuller's "Dymaxion Car" wasn't so pretty to look at either.

Admittedly the shape did make it more aerodynamic, and it could seat 11 or 12 people and got great gas mileage, but on the downside the reversed tricycle design and rear-wheel steering made it unstable and nearly impossible to control.

ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

On the upside you could probably take corners reeeeeally fast without tipping over.

ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

Telemarchitect posted:

New TTC trains

Yeah, but can you get drunk and surf the articulated floor between cars on the old trains? I thought not.

Another fun thing is to sit at the end of the train and look all the way down to the other end while it's going through a curve, while playing the Inception soundtrack on your phone.

ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

Brother Jonathan posted:

Steam Car stuff

Steam engines are so cool

Here's a picture of an early locomotive that I saw last month:


And here's another Leno video about a car with a propulsion system that never caught on:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2A5ijU3Ivs

If I could have any classic car, it would probably be a turbine car, because holy hell they are neat.

ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

Speaking of old books, and household cleaning, I came across a book from 1970 about what life might be like in the distant future of the year 2000. I wish I'd scanned some of the pages because it speculated that, for example, everything in the home would be waterproof and the housewife would do all her cleaning by just spraying a garden hose around.

ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

joat mon posted:


Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years (Feb, 1950)

A fascinating article. Among other things, coal illegal, Atomic power too inefficent, so natural gas+solar for power plants, disposable houses, etc.


(note the family helicopter in the upper right)

Hah, that's it! Could have sworn it was 1970 for some reason, but I guess 1950 makes a lot more sense.

ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

I do love the tale of when they had Richard Feynman working for them: http://longnow.org/essays/richard-f...ection-machine/

ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

This showed up on Hackaday and I thought it was pretty neat. An antique completely-mechanical birdsong generator:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_aGnoJluRc

I guess the bellows pumps air through a whistle thing that gets modulated by some cams. It's all spring-driven. Nifty.

Mount it in a top hat, now you're a steampunk birdkeeper!

ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

Lithium batteries can be dangerous on airplanes, you say?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH6GpXAXmx8

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ol qwerty bastard
Dec 13, 2005

If you want something done, do it yourself!

The viola organista is sort of like a grand piano version of the hurdy-gurdy (and also it sounds way better imo). It was designed by da Vinci, a few of them were built in the 1600s, but then their popularity just completely died out.

Here's a modern reconstruction of one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sv3py3Ap8_Y

It's so weird watching this because it feels like someone's just taken audio of a string quartet and dubbed it over video of a piano being played.

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