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BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

I had an electronic personal organizer at school back in 1998, really basic and used for noting homework, phone numbers and exam schedules. It had a very low character limit so it sucked for crib notes. There was a bit of a fad for the device at the time, I think mine cost $15.
I know it exists somewhere so it'd be amusing to pop in some new batteries and remind myself what my 15 year old self was doing - if the memory hasn't died.

My first MP3 player in 2002 was this.


It was called the DAP-CD0001 - it didn't have any brand name like NOMAD (which I'd coveted with envy at the time).
Being the cousin of the Nomad it didn't come with built in storage, you had to burn your MP3s onto a CD. Other than that weird quirk it served pretty well and preloaded your tracks into a buffer to prevent skipping. I remember almost exclusively wearing slightly larger vests or overcoats just to have somewhere to carry the thing.

Plus I always loved this for an early tech attempt that didn't go as planned.

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BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

JediTalentAgent posted:

I know they're generally mocked these days, but RealAudio used to be pretty popular back in the 90s.
Funnily enough Apple's trailer site was created from the fact the early version of the trailer for The Phantom Menace was in blocky RealPlayer format, so they used the publicity to promote Quicktime's better quality and streaming and to launch apple.com/trailers in the process.

I remember it taking something like an hour to download the 14mb trailer. The internet plan we were on had unlimited data, but was time limited - something like 18 hours.

So my sick day resulted in stumbling across the sheet of paper with the password for the internet account and download the Phantom Menace trailer, twice, because I thought it had corrupted when I only got white video.

I got the modem confiscated for the rest of the month as result.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

God old phones are weirdly nostalgic. My first was a Nokia 5110 during the time when mobile phones were just beginning to catch on. At the start there were even advertisements from phone companies teaching you how to send a text.

Mobiles became the perfect prank device as we discovered the phone number for the pay phone in the school and set it to ring during assemblies.

My major leap was to a Sony Ericsson P910 in 2004 when I was intending to get a PDA but realized you could get a phone and a PDA together and not have to carry around more bits of tech. It was a bit shocking going from a near week between charges to about 3 days worth. The concept of a 3G internet thing was really alien then - people assumed only a blackberry could do such a thing.

Amusingly enough I was able to connect my P1i to my google account after I'd cracked the screen on my Galaxy S. It was kind of interesting using the phone as it had all of the functionality of today's tech, but everything was sort of clunky and poorly arranged.

It'd be tempting to go back to the 5110 for a laugh just for people to start wondering why the hell "IM TXTNG U LK ITS 99"

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Analogous interface design was fantastically terrible, I recall reading a study by IBM that cinched the deal over how confusing they were.

The biggest problem was attempting to replicate tried and true methods from life, such as in the case of an IBM phone software that would be used to dial people.

The phone was on a desk which also had a drawer built in for settings, so IBM had to figure out the right angle to highlight the fact the drawer existed.

The design was expecting people to mimic real life actions in the program - in this case pick up the headset to dial. You were expected to click on the headset and then dial, where people were simply dialing in numbers and getting confused to why it wasn't dialing as the assumption was the graphics were simply there to carry over the concept of a phone at a desk.

The same with other let's make an office in 3D interfaces, you burnt through tons of white space having to strategically arrange objects at the right angle as so not to confuse a box speaker with a filing cabinet.

I also recall DVD software having interfaces that mimicked the exact front of a Sony DVD player which became the ultimate button hunt.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

The fact that Tim Berners-Lee used one to tweet during the opening ceremony was a nice touch.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

How I wish for the return to remotes that are this simple and not have your parents ring you every week to be reminded which button displays the program guide or requesting that I come over to reprogram the set top as it's been accidentally reset.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Someone has made a sentry gun program for the Amiga...in 2011.

Just need to combine it with this setup and it'd be sweet.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

The Gizmondo



It was an attempt to muscle in to the market the N-Gage was supposedly creating, at the time (2005) it was seen as pretty feature rich supporting a sim card, GPS, 3mp camera and bluetooth.

What made this device even more interesting was the murky background with the company's founder, Stefan Eriksson, when it was revealed he had connections with the Uppsala Mafia ten years earlier.
He was thrown into the spotlight after spectacularly crashing an Enzo Ferrari in California whilst drunk. It didn't help the car wasn't registered and neither was the Mercedes his finance was driving - found to have been illegally imported from Britain and stolen.

Erkisson spent two years in jail while Tiger Telematics eventually plunged into bankruptcy with the unit only selling around 30,000.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Terrible Robot posted:

Was this the crash where he told police that a German man named Dieter had been driving and had run away after the crash?
Yes. More info here The whole thing reads like something out of a bad mafia comedy.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Manky posted:


They decided to release it a year after the Nintendo DS came out.
I recall recently a story of some kid stumbling across this and going on about it being the next DS. Kind of gives an idea how quickly the DS buried this.

It did however come in this styling.


I heard the Nintendo Club in Japan also had a limited DS in that style as well.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

SimplyCosmic posted:

Speaking of CPUs, how common is overclocking these days?
Remind me of the old Athalon 1800's which were a popular choice to crank up to 2.33ghz.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

It reminds me of a souped up stylophone - which appears to have a makeover in 2007 and a mysterious "S2" coming out...next year.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

A mate came back from China once with a 50-in-1 Gameboy cartridge that was slightly thicker than the standard making it a pain to slide out of the slot.

Edit: Just did a google and someone's noted something similar "105 in one" where it was really 50 games and the other 50 being variants with extra lives and power-ups.

BogDew has a new favorite as of 08:37 on Sep 17, 2012

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Finally found my first mobiles.

Nokia 3110 "The Brick" - lugging this around in my blazer pocket at school wasn't subtle. It had utterly no features beyond sending texts and having everyone convinced your brain was going to be roasted from the antennae.

Radiation Shield Stickers were always being offered for sale on community boards.


5110 "son of brick" with my addiction to Snake.


3350 - "The phone that won't die" and at the worst you could replace the covers. Oh the fun of manually programming in ringtones and watching it vibrate and flash in tune.


Instead of lugging "son of brick" along with a palm pilot I chanced across this. Bye bye battery life of around a week - hello blinking message light paranoia.
A smartphone in 2004 allowed novelties as internet browsing during quiz nights and installing simbian apps like Gameboy Emulators and Doom (played with a stylus!)

The keyboard was convertible so you could go full tappity stylus. This thing was rugged, It survived a fall from waist height onto the pavement and only got a scratch.


In 2008 I was rocking this when everyone had iPhones.
Recently when my Samsung Galaxy's screen broke I pressed this back into service discovering it was possible to synch my google account - everything worked, just not as elegant.

Surprisingly my sim card lasted (and still works) for thirteen years across all of the phones till I replaced it on account of needing a microsim.

BogDew has a new favorite as of 11:37 on Sep 17, 2012

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Pilsner posted:

You mean 3110. That's nothing, remember stuff like the 2110?
I recall around 1999 there were miniature mobiles that had to be controlled with a dailing wand. They were utterly impractical as they could barely hold any numbers - something like 12.
There was a commercial highlighting it's size where a man's trying to find his phone in his jacket and resorts to calling it up from a pay phone.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

b0nes posted:

You could have cut your SIM into a microSIM.
If it wasn't utterly ancient and didn't support 3G. Plus nostalgia.

DrBouvenstein posted:

Wait...an ad for the product basically said,
"Yeah, it's way too small an impracticable to use."?
Yup - it was a direct punt at mobiles of the time being massive blocky objects - back then mobiles were more or less marketed towards high income businessmen who used them as on-the-go phones so the idea of having a small one that fitted in a pocket and did the bare minimum was actually a selling point. Features didn't start to creep in until 1999 with Nokia doing the customisable covers that turned the phone into fashion accessory.

BogDew has a new favorite as of 23:00 on Sep 17, 2012

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Samsung SPH-N270


It was released as a limited edition collectable during Matrix Reloaded, sold for around $500, and despite a run of 10,000 appears to have sold roughly 2000.

Only kind of cool for the spring loaded screen cover. The phone was bare bones in features - at the most it had voice dialling and GPS, no bluetooth or camera or anything fancy software wise aside from Matrix decor. You only really got this just to look cool for all of a week.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Johnwohl posted:

Motorola Vader?
Or the StarTAC - with such innovative features such as silent vibration!

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Orb Drive!



I honestly had no idea these existed until I came across a book that mentioned using them as backup.
These were one of the few competitors to Iomega's zip drive. Castlewood's Orb drive at it's peak featured 5.7gb and appeared somewhat popular for DV video production where you could plop around 6 hours of footage.

Castlewood's main competitor was SyQuest (of which several employees had left to form). Syquest had been in the game for quite some time developing the Ez 135 SCSI hard drives where you would load up 135mb platters for storage. (in 1995)


Not having backwards compatibility with other devices in it's range and never upgrading beyond 135mb they quickly lost to Zip.

Later on they gained notoriety with the SparQ drive. Featuring a larger storage for cheaper than a Zipdrive (1gb for $39 over 100mb for $22) it really died in the foot with a severe design flaw that would damage a drive and then cause that to damage any disk placed in there.

Both filed for bankruptcy around the early 2000's.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

AntiPseudonym posted:

I'm like this, but it's mostly because I live in Australia and we have painful bandwidth caps.
And bad speeds, in my area I'm stuck at 300kbs at best - on a plan that supports 24mbit. Buying a boxed copy is faster.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Kwyndig posted:

Encoding issues and fact that some early DVDs did not use multiple layers.
Early DVDs were single layer, one on each side, and the upgraded ones were dual layer. In fact on the packaging you'll read in the fine print something like "this is a dual layer DVD and it might momentarily flash between reading layers."

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Zenostein posted:

Also, those business card DVD/CDs existed, right? Those were the cutting edge of awful.

While I'm sure they were fine back when 2x or 4x speeds were the norm but spinning at 48x would cause anything that wasn't evenly shaped to spin off into the drive and shatter.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

muscles like this? posted:

Kids today probably have no concept of having to physically rewind something before you could listen/watch it again.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Manfrompoot posted:

I can't even picture 400 CDs in my head. I can just imagine the fun of spending an entire afternoon loading every CD you own into that thing and then keeping a mental inventory of which disc is which.
My folks still have one - complete with a printed out list of what CD goes where. The irony is nowadays it's generally got an ipod plugged into it's aux port. One downside I've noticed is since the rise of compact ipod players your music player really lacks presence. A friend of mine has got an old 50's long counter style radio where she's wired up a jack for her ipod.

quote:

Have the retro remake!

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Soviet Bootleg records are interesting. Until the Union fell, all Western music was considered illegal, however a bootleg market importing singles from the states existed, known as roentgenizdat. The officials knew and often sent "music patrols" to attempt to bust people who might be sneakily listening or distributing.

The method of recording was to basically dub from one record player to another.



However making new records was where the fun came in. One readily available material was X-ray negatives which were just durable enough to be used - and lasted around a month. These cost 1 to 1 1/2 roubles compared to the five roubles for a vinyl.


Listen to St Louis Blues - in xray


More info and songs here - in Russian
Some background information of the effect of underground music in Russia in the 70's and other illegal devices like electric guitars

Another obsolete record device was the Voice-O-Gram. You got an envelope with your recording so that you may post it away.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Magic Hate Ball posted:

Man, the cashiers must've loved that.
Oh I guess you might have forgotten this one.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sAQDko-R1s

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Wasn't Nero Burning ROM's popularity created in part for it being able to make copies of Playstation discs back in the day?

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Another fun record fact - how did your voice operated toys work back in the 70's?


Via a small battery operated record player (made from plastic).

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Totally Reasonable posted:

Memory tone dialers!
Apple's Newton could make phone calls in the same manner, you basically held a receiver to it as it booped off the phone number. I do kind of admire the fact the Newton has had user made modifications to it that allow wireless and bluetooth support to creak it through the millennium. I have a fondness for something that was sort of pushing the envelope yet aiming too high for it's time.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

You can't mention radium without mentioning this.

Yes. It's chocolate.
The notion at the was that because radium produced energy, consuming it would therefore vitalise you which is why you found it inside water coolers.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

I remember hating the windows key as a kid, it was where control or alt usually was. Pressing it in DOOM,expecting to fire, then having windows dump you to the desktop with the chance of crashing the game wasn't fun.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

b0nes posted:

HitClips!! CD's are now obsolete!

I always thought this was the bastard grandchild of these.


Before VHS came about there was a market for Super 8 clips of scenes out of Star Wars.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

They're still around but are generally used internally for calibrating colour and gamma levels. My grandmother's diaries have a bit where she writes about getting a TV really early on and her sons being enthralled by test patterns.

In Australia, during the 90's you were more than likely to have landed on SBS (or channel 8 as we informally assigned it) where due to barely any content you were greeted with this test card and some music playing along with a bit of text scrolling across that either informed you of what was playing or other information.

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BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

No love for the Microsoft Easyball?

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

mrkillboy posted:

By the way, what ever happened to those crappy Flash-based games and screensavers movie websites let people download?
Well screensavers generally count as becoming obsolete. Mostly over the fact phosphor burn-in has generally reduced with LCD's and simply blanking out the screen is better for power consumption over firing up some application with sounds and lights.

However when I did manage to force After Dark to splutter to life on Windows 7 (32 bit only because the app is 16 bit) I was surprised they were clever enough to have coded everything to work in a tiled grid setup so even in 1920x1200 just about everything worked short of attempting to display certain graphical effects that were locked to a set resolution and didn't scale well.

Most flash games have been superseded by HTML5 creations that allow for far more flexibility, cross compatibility and generally less resource overload.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

There was a feature in Perfect Dark called "Perfect Head" which allowed you to use photos taken on the GameBoy camera and use on multiplayer models. This was cut out of fears that school kids would paste on faces of other kids they wanted to kill.



This has the transfer pack and the camera pack stuffed in so that would have made for a frustratingly hefty controller at the best of times.

More info on how it worked

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

univbee posted:

This was necessary for a decent number of DOS games.
I always did find it amusing how certain games that carried over on system upgrades would gradually become impossibly fast. I had some old pinball game that just turned in to a hyper-fast-blur when we got a 386 .

Leisure Suit Larry 3 was infamous for having an unintended bug where part of the game had you have to use exercise equipment and the amount of reps you did was tied into the computer's clock speed. Back in 1989 at 16mhz it amounted to around 21 reps on each of the four machines.
Leap ahead to the Pentium years and that number started to get very insane. A 233 had you have to press up and down 510 times per machine.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Mine was trying to get Jedi Knight running on an 486. LOWEST resolution AND minimised screen estate. I was basically fighting blurry blobby pixels at something like 8 frames a second.

I remember once cranking the resolution up to something high and marvelling at the slideshow it produced.

BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

Konjuro posted:

Sony Ericsson P1

For some reason I preferred it to the blackberry's qwerty keyboards. Looking back I have absolutely no idea why.
I had one of these. When I destroyed my Galaxy S's screen I had to quickly revert back to this for a few days and I managed to get it to synch with my google account.

It was an interesting experiment in comparing functionality with ease of use. Both phones generally did everything the same, email, calendars and browsing - but the P1i was just fantastically inelegant in the way it stashed things away in odd menus.

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BogDew
Jun 14, 2006

E:\FILES>quickfli clown.fli

b0nes posted:

Anybody remember back in the day before Sound Blaster and dedicated cards came out a company perfected the way to get speech and cd quality audio out of a PC speaker previously which was only capable of beeps?
Access Software's RealSound? Which basically used highly compressed 6-bit audio squeezed through a PCM speaker.
Some examples here.
http://www.oldskool.org/sound/pc/#digitized

Under a Killing Moon blew me away in 1994 due to it's (then) photo realistic looking graphics and 360 degree movement around a game world.
Doom's 3D was raycasted where UAKM used texture mapped polygons.

Access Software were pretty sharp with pulling off all sorts of technical achievements such as video playback thanks to some pretty insane decompression. They also were one of the first to use DVD-Roms in 1998 when barely anyone owned one.

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