b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Redundant technology » Page 11 | Search
This is a question Redundant technology

Music on vinyl records, mobile phones the size of house bricks and pornography printed on paper. What hideously out of date stuff do you still use?

Thanks to boozehound for the suggestion

(, Thu 4 Nov 2010, 12:44)
Pages: Latest, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, ... 1

This question is now closed.

I still use
(, Tue 9 Nov 2010, 8:57, 3 replies)
To hell with 2,384,975 internet "radio" stations playing naught but trance and dubstep -- try listening to an actual radio station on the other side of the planet through thin air, whippersnappers.

Sometimes, if you write to them, they'll even send you a postcard.

Shortwave: the ultimate wireless connection.
(, Tue 9 Nov 2010, 8:27, 4 replies)
Redundancy and LHC
I took a moment to check all the various meanings of the words 'redundant' before thinking about how they applied to me and mine.

1 - "having some unusual or extra part or feature" would describe my membre virilis well, as it remains intact in the land of the habitual and religious foreskin cutters. Still, it serves me well.

2 - "characterized by superabundance or superfluity" would be another description of my membre virilis, as it can contort into the most inexplicable and excruciating positions with only the merest assistance (and coconut oil)

3 - "being in excess; exceeding what is usual or natural" (see item 2 above)

4 - "(of a structural member) not necessary for resisting statically determined stresses" isn't of concern to me; it's the dynamic stresses that make my heart flutter and forehead softly perspire.

But the best old technology I use on a very frequent basis is a 1929 Parker Duofold pen that writes beautifully, and makes me want to abandon the keyboard for a pastoral existence, sitting in a Roald Dahl-like shed, writing longhand on thick sheets of paper.

Then all we'd need is a scanner and some OCR to convert it into whatever people could actually use.
(, Tue 9 Nov 2010, 5:09, 5 replies)
Fanny Craddock would be proud
I have an electric whisk that is over 30yrs old, passed onto me by my mum.
Its as heavy as two housebricks with 2 huge clunky steel whisks you could probably mix cement with.
Last year I started to get a bit paranoid about the possibilities of it going up in flames or electrocuting me.
So in spite of it working perfectly fine and making the most incredible cakes I bought a brand new one.
Its tiny, barely bigger than my phone and while perfectly servicable just doesnt feel right.
Then I saw someone on a TV cooking show using the same one as my old one and extolling its virtues.
I'm glad I didnt throw it out
I use the new one for lightweight jobs like whipping cream or making batter, for serious cake making, possible electrocution be damned I'll stick to the old one.

And just before they outlawed the sale of good old fashioned lightbulbs last year, I stockpiled a few for use in my workshop, I need good strong light and these so called eco bulbs are just too dim.
But everywhere else in the house, when the old bulb popped I replaced them with the eco ones.
Apart from my entrance hall, the same bulb i put in there 8 yrs ago is still going strong.
Its a red bulb, and regardless of many and various comments over the years about my having a
'red light thing going on'
I'll keep using it until it finally pops, at this rate I may be throwing it a 10yr party
(, Tue 9 Nov 2010, 1:52, 8 replies)
I'd certainly say it was redundant
My boyfriend and I recently got some free fortune cookies with our local, traditional, msg filled take away. I'd certainly say fortune cookies are a redundant technology for basing life changing decisions on.
My paper said 'All your financial worries will soon be resolved'. My boyfriends cookie had no paper in it.

Does that mean he going to give me all his money?
(, Tue 9 Nov 2010, 0:46, Reply)
I use the command line, and can type faster than my Unix-trained colleagues
I'm a Windows administrator, by training and profession, so most idiots would expect me to be stymied by anything that doesn't involve clicking like a retarded monkey with the mouse.

However, I can type faster and more accurately than my colleagues who come from a Unix (i.e. command line-only) background.

Frankly, unless I can grow a third arm so I can keep two hands on the keyboard instead of moving one between keyboard and mouse, interrupting the flow of my work, I'd much rather spend my time on the command line. That might be a legacy of my age and experience (first touched a computer 30 years ago, before mice were commonplace), or it might be simply because I'd prefer to be efficient and productive at my job, instead of hunting and pecking like a Ritalin-powered chicken.
(, Tue 9 Nov 2010, 0:09, 7 replies)
I make stone tools.
Not very well, but I make 'em. Redundant, my arse.

(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 23:47, Reply)

Hideously out of date stuff that I still use?

Your ma!
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 23:40, 5 replies)
You haven't seen Jurrasic Park
Until you've seen it on LaserDisc.
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 22:56, 1 reply)
Friends of mine used to live near a fish n chip shop run by Mr Wong. His burgers were the business so we used to call the palce Wongburger. Best part? His till was one of those ancient jobs that have the typewriter-style mechanism. He was fucking quick on it too, never got a digit wrong.
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 22:10, Reply)
I had almost forgotten about this one.
Long ago when CAD was an archaic insult that you only heard in old British films, I was a draftsman. I had a Vemco drafting machine attached to a very large wooden surface covered by a rubber mat, and used Staedtler-Mars pens on sheets of mylar.

As my boss wanted any draftsman to be able to work on any drawing, we all had to use Leroy templates to do the lettering. Here is a description for those of you unfamiliar with them.) I got to be extremely proficient with them, to the point where I could letter with them almost as fast as I could letter freehand.

I found my set of templates in a box in the attic not long ago, along with my Lyman curve templates and pens and circle templates. Best of all, I found my old beam compass for drawing very large and precise curves.

Not that they'll ever be used again, of course, but it's nice to know that if a silicon-eating bacterium takes out all of the world's computers I'll still be able to draw.
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 21:39, Reply)
I Also Have
my grandad's fountain pen
a fan belonging to a great great grandparent
Two mirrors made by my grandad
a second world war socket set
a box of 78 rpm records
a marriage that has lasted 34 years and is still going strong

That is all!
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 21:39, 2 replies)
A book, this time
"Diesel Traction - A Manual for Enginemen", found in a workshop my dad was clearing out some time in the late 1970s. On the inside cover is a date stamp that reads "British Railways / Loco Shed Master / 16 APR 1963", and on the flyleaf is my name and where we lived, in my dad's handwriting. It too smells of Old Book, and old machinery. The target audience was engine drivers and crew of steam trains, making the transition to diesel-mechanical, diesel-hydraulic and diesel-electric locomotives. I remember reading it one rather wet weekend when I was a wee proto-geek aged about six or seven (so round about when he gave me it, I suppose), when one of the diagrams - as I recall, of an epicyclic gearbox - just kind of clicked into place. I could see *exactly* how the brake bands stopped the outer ring from turning, how the sun gear would drive the planet gears around the inside and push the planet carrier, and how releasing the brake band and pulling the next one on would change you up to second... and then up to third... and then pop that clutch in and it locks solid, that's you in straight through top - and I knew at that moment not just how a Wilson epicyclic gearbox worked, but how the *whole world* worked.

I just had to find the right book with the diagrams, and I could figure out how to do *anything*.

Almost nothing comes with proper diagrams any more. I've always known how to fix train gearboxes, though.
(edit - at Scrumper's suggestion, a scan of the Deltic engine diagrams. Click for big versions.)

(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 20:29, 6 replies)
I use IRC

(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 19:16, 5 replies)
Books, but not a rant about ipads
I have a book on my shelf at home. It's green, about a thousand pages long, and quite old. It's called "The Handy Boys Book", and was printed in 1912. It contains hundreds of articles on various things of interest to Edwardian boys, including constructing balsa wood submarines, carpentry, making electric motors, flying kites, looking after pets and collecting moths. It has delightfully anachronistic warnings in it (example: "Do not spill nitric acid on your skin, as it tends to leave a nasty burn.") It smells of Old Book and all the measurements in it are not just non-metric, they are proudly Imperial.

Everything it talks about is solidly old school: tangible, existant, hand-made, cast iron, analogue technology. With the knowledge contained in this book one could have a decent stab at reconstructing society after the zombie apocalypse. Grab a Mrs. Beeton and you'd be set for tasty food and well-pressed sheets too.

The best bit wasn't written by some mustachioed old ex-Army major a hundred years go, though, but by a series of authors in pen: the flysheet has my name, my father's name, his father's name, my great grandfather's name and my great-great grandfather's name, together with the dates (usually 25th December) when the book was handed over from one Senior Scrumper to the next Junior in line.

It is this book more than anything else* which has made me realize I want to acquiesce to my wife's desire for kids.

*well, that, and the fact that I really hate condoms...
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 19:12, 11 replies)
old school baby
mrs fluffyfangs is the proud driver of a 1989 xr3i cabriolet, it really makes her happy when owners of brand spanky new m3s and other modern cars drive past it drooling,
and i myself still regularly play my c64 through a crt tv i keep specificaly for the job, the spaceship levels of turrican 2 sound awesome through my amplifier :-)
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 18:03, 2 replies)
A rock!
I found a rock on the beach in Cornwall, nice big bugger, shaped like a right angle triangle and smoothed by the sea. I used it for loads, digging holes, breaking nutshells, threatening mates. I took it home where it served as a hammer, trowel, paper weight, all sorts of stuff. Eventualy it broke when I was hammering. I was gutted

I fucking loved that rock.
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 17:59, 4 replies)
I can't remember the correct way to pronounce vinyl.
I know it's either vin-l or vine-l, but because I know that one of them is wrong and the other right, I can't remember which is which.

Mind, I also can't pronounce lilac, getting muddled between lie-lack and lil-ack....

I just did a test there to see if I got them right. Several people yelled at me.
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 16:16, 19 replies)
TCR - Total Control Racing
This was so much more superior to Scalectrix.

Not stuck in a slot and being able to change lanes whenever you liked and a 3rd car called the 'Jam Car' which went around slightly slower and acted like a back marker (a bit like Virgin Racing or Lotus in F1).

Another version had the back marker randomly changing lanes to add to the unpredictability of the racing.

It was awesome and shouldn't have failed. Deffo the betamax to Scalectrix VHS.
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 16:05, 10 replies)
I like to bank with people, over a counter
I didn't think this was an obsolete way to do it until today, when I popped into town and discovered my bank had disappeared. I phoned up to ask how I'm supposed to pay a cheque in and they said to use the internet in future. When I refused, they said I have to use the Post Office, cos that's what people do nowadays.

I thought banks were rich enough to employ their own staff.
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 15:32, 14 replies)
Until recently I rode an ancient Yamaha XJ550.

Utterly bulletproof, willing to start and run in all weathers, held onto the road like it was glued there and had more power at the top end than I was willing to use. The low tech, non vented disk brakes meant stopping in the wet was was scary as hell, but hey you can't have everything.

It was a bike that looked like a bike, no poncy chrome or dayglo plastic with go faster stripes. Even just sat there it said "Hey, I'm an awesome fucking motorcycle, get your leathers and lets go for a burn!" People would stop beside me at traffic lights and say ask me what the hell I was riding. Some would shake their heads in disbelief, others would ask if I was willing to sell it.

It's made out of that old fashioned material "metal", even better it's almost entirely steel, heavy, black, and subject only to the ravages of rust. Something which can be remedied by keeping the thing filthy and oily like a proper motorbike.

Unfortunately, some little ben sherman clad, acne ridden, ear studded, addiddas trainer wearing, blood type O, chavscum fuckpig with no sense of morals or decency broke into my garage and stole my bike.

Stole it, rode it too fast, lost control and went face first into the windscreen of a Nissan micra coming in the other direction.
Worse, the fucker had also spent hours using a brick to bash his way through the laminated security glass in the back porch to steal my crash helmet otherwise this would be a tale of Honda Accord level justice.
As it is he managed to escape from the police. On foot, bleeding heavily, missing a shoe, probably concussed, even then the met's finest couldn't catch up with him.

So what I have in the garage now is the remains of my proud bike, front wheel destroyed, forks bent in under the engine, all indicators missing, petrol tank mashed and dented.

Bloody but unbowed, it still starts and runs.
I can rebuild it, and someday soon I will ride again.
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 15:24, 21 replies)
Already been mentioned by others...

Granted, they aren't a technology but if Amazon & Google have their way they would soon end up being redundant.

I love my books, I just love buying a new hardback by one of my favourite authors and getting comfy in my reclining chair with a bottle of Whisky by my side and looking forward to an evening of getting lost in a new adventure.

Paperbacks for older books that I can't get the hard cover for, being anally retentive about not bending the spine and having a crease appear. Putting it up on my bookshelf after reading it and seeing it sit there with the others novels in pristine condition.

Getting inspiration when I'm stuck with my own novels and the plot is dying a death, gazing up at my bookshelves and looking at each spine and remembering the story in each book which gives me ideas to get my own stories back on track.

A small part of me would die if I ever had to give them up for an ebook reader. I don't need a bit of tech that can hold 3,000 novels when all I ever need at any one time is just the one.
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 15:10, 6 replies)
I had this DJ console in Australia
Straight out of the 50s. I'm amazed it still powered up to be honest. Some friends of mine were organising a party at their convent (nuns have fun too you know) and wanted me to do the music. So I took this thing along, but it wasn't running right.

"That's alright", said the Mother Superior, "Why not hook it up to this thing?" She showed me their generator, which was powered by a colossal insect colony. Amazingly that did the trick, and the nuns danced all night to 2unlimited, while a camera crew filmed the whole thing for an ABC documentary on religious orders in contemporary society.

It won an award at the Logies that year. It was something of a Red Ant Nun Techno Logie.
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 15:03, 9 replies)
For years I was never satisfied with my shave. I hated the creams and gels that were readily available and my neck in particular would usually end up breaking out in horrible razor burn afterwards. I didn't really like electric razors and when I tried shaving oil it just left my skin feeling greasy. A few months ago I switched to glycerin soap and a badger brush, then even more recently I bought myself a safety razor. I couldn't find a vintage one so I bought a Chinese-made model I found online. The principle is the same, and the single blade shaves just as close as the three, four or five bladed razors I've used in the past.

Now I can get a close shave without irritation or looking like I've caught something horrible.
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 14:48, 6 replies)
Have I mentioned how much I love my shed?

I spend hours and hours in here converting pieces of wood into sawdust, and occasionally something useful, but mainly just sawdust. I get special satisfaction when I use the hand tools inherited from my old man. He’s not dead, I just took ownership when he fucked off when I was in my teens. I was using his mortise scribe the other week, lovely.

(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 14:39, 10 replies)
I have just acquired...

it is brilliant. Not reduntant at all!

That is all.
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 13:35, 4 replies)
Proper tools made by proper craftsmen.
My father's lightsabre*, an elegant weapon for a more civilised age.

Also his screwdrivers, reference plane, sliderule and electric drill.

All of which are vastly better quality than can be purchased these days, and will in all likelyhood be handed on my own kids in the fullness of time.

*May not contain actual lightsabre
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 13:07, 1 reply)
Ladybird radio
A couple of months back bought a copy of the Ladybird "Learnabout... Making A Transistor Radio" book from the local Oxfam shop and set about rebuilding the radio I'd built back in the 80s. This book, and the radio I built from it were probably the two things that really got me interested in electronics and technology in the first place.

Now I have a working radio using parts dating from early 1940s to mid 2000s, built on a wooden plank that's at least a hundred years old, all based on a design published in 1972. If they ever do turn off analog transmissions, then I'll build a little medium wave transmitter just so I can carry on using this radio.
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 13:07, 2 replies)
I still have and still use
a Parker fountain pen I got for passing my 11+ in 1970.
(, Mon 8 Nov 2010, 12:46, 1 reply)

This question is now closed.

Pages: Latest, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, ... 1