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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 What hideously out of date stuff do you still use?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, 7, 6, ... 1

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Stone age tech
We have a Budlia (sp?) tree which grows out of the wall by our front door. There was a windy night recently and a big chunk half detached itself.
I used an axe to chop it down.

Rawrrrrr, I am Man. etc
(, Sun 7 Nov 2010, 9:20, 5 replies)
My Walkman
Was my best friend at times. It was bulky, it had solid clicky buttons, but it never broke down, never chewed a tape and always agreed with my choice of music. I listened to that Walkman in the desert, in the city, at home come sunshine or rain. My Walkman had cheesy band stickers on it, bits of tape to hold the battery cover on and patched up headphones, but I always acknowledged its shabbiness as a life shared.

Of course, like all technological best friends I lost interest in it when a better model came along. The slimline Sanyo double cassette deck with radio in white meant that no longer my superb choice of music would be mine alone, I now got to piss of my family with all manner of 80's dross played loudly and often.
(, Sun 7 Nov 2010, 5:37, 2 replies)
Case in point
Before I left a tech job, long long ago and far far away, I pulled a couple of ALDs-- Asynchronous Line Driver modems for old time's sake.

These were not the factory-made jobs, these were sleek black anodized channel aluminium cases, sharp as scalpels. With bright blue anodized machined sides with cutouts for cable or 25-pin connectors. I stripped them down, cleaned them, and bolted two sides together, and bolted the two outer sides down.

It sits on my desk and holds my pliers and screwdrivers and works a treat. Especially for slicing the unsuspecting hands of work mates who that have no business touching my tools and pens.
(, Sun 7 Nov 2010, 2:49, 1 reply)
I once owned a piece of electronics in the 80's

(, Sun 7 Nov 2010, 2:18, 15 replies)
Way back in the 90s...
I was working for a software developer who was doing some stuff on peer-to-peer downloads.

Now, back in the day, you could really only do the bog-standard server to client download: Server has the file, you connect to server, download file. Done.

What we were working on was a way to spread the load on the server - bandwidth was expensive those days. So we needed some way of making the client machines do some of the work for us. Bitorrent was yet to arrive, and the idea of having clients downloading separate bits of the file from each other wasn't around either.

Then, one day, I read an article about insect colonies, and how individual critters could spread chemical messages along to each other to reach the main colony quickly - kind of playing pass-the-parcel with pheromones. INSPIRATION!

We knocked out a protocol which essentially re-directed download requests from the server to the clients - one or two clients would download from the server whilst the other clients would be downloading off them - pass-the-parcel! Huzzah!

I named the protocol "ParcelPass". Not particularly flashy, but it worked. Our little protocol netted us a nice little sum and off it went into the interwebs to help corporations get files to people who needed them. All was good.

Then, 6 years later, Bitorrent came onto the scene and had a much better protocol, forcing ParcelPass onto the scrap heap. I was quite upset at first, but then I realised that all my work on ParcelPass was simply Re-done Ant Technology.

(, Sun 7 Nov 2010, 1:58, 7 replies)
Oh shite - she aint going to be happy!
Ok so whilst I was blatthering on about the love of Casio VL-tones and old 386 pc's, my B&O 3400 www.beoworld.org/prod_details.asp?pid=291 quadraphonic deck it looking at me with daggers! And fuck me does she have a point, there is nothing like the audio resolution of a well cut vinyl record... iTunes has nothing
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 23:13, Reply)
Old tech = new tech
On my desk I currently have a Casio VL-Tone1 quite the finest non pocketable calculator in the world ever. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casio_VL-1. Back in 1980 I would spend hours and hours at boarding school recreating the hits on top of the pops (and for the less litterate typing in esso and BooBs). If there is one piece of technology that has influenced bedroom synth music (apart from the DX7 & Moog) it is this.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 21:59, 7 replies)
Old bikes never die, they are used as winter hacks by sports bike riders.
I bought a sports bike in 2007, it is my pride and joy and I love riding her. I have dropped her a couple of times, but never anything more serious than a tiny scratch or a damaged indicator. She holds onto the road like she is on rails and the computer controlled ignition means that she never fails to start on the first go. She is everything that I could want from a bike, except cheap to repair. The air box has four electronic sensors on it and it has to be plugged into a computer to tell me if there is anything wrong. Recently the engine management computer told me that it needed to talk to a dealer an then it turned off the lights. I still love her though.

So I face a winter of riding bikes to work, in all weathers and with last winter still a nasty memory in my head I began to falter. The sports bike is a 650cc Suzuki V-Twin, with aluminium frame and shiny bits. Winter salt will do untold damage to this lot unless she is carefully maintained and cleaned, which after a 50 hour week, I really can't be arsed with.

So with the other half doing the donkey work (scouring E-Bay) I prepare to buy some thing cheap, reliable and less delicate for the winter. I have dreams of an old rat bike of about 250cc, something that I can drop, crash and leave uncleaned. The wife had other plans and presented me with a grey import factory custom low rider 400CC Yamaha XJ in good condition, the joy of E-bay.

The bastard thing is won, picked up and brought home only to find that the people who sold it to us lied about it being in good order. It is amazing what a respray can hide... So with the undeclared crash damaged repaired and a new exhaust fitted properly, I go for a test ride. The sun was glorious, the roads were perfectly dry and even those little damp dark corners had finally gone away. I was hooked, my little chopper was a great bike. Back in the garage, I cleaned her up and she was locked to the ground anchor waiting for me to start my new job.

That was July, I started my new job last month. The roads are not dry anymore, there are leaves all over the road, diesel on every junction and those lovely cruiser tyres have as much grip as a newly soaped inmate in the nonce wing! My first day at work started with rain so heavy I could not see more than ten metres ahead. The car following behind me far too close had a huge fright when my tyres let go of the road and slid sideways across a drain cover and then a corner, making my thirty year old bike wobble like a fat bird shagging a concrete vibrator!

Thirty year old bikes have old style tyres that just cannot compete with modern super sticky sports bike tyres, they have engines that rely on choke levers to start and most of all they have to have a rider who has not been spoiled by the modern age to make the most of them. The XJ hates wet weather, it hates cold starts, it hates being in a hurry to get going and most of all it hates me. There have been days when I just have to admit defeat and leave it sulking in the garage and take my pride and joy to work because the old iron horse wont fecking start, again...

We have checked and rewired and sealed and changed and still I feel that my thirty year old bike is awesome, if only she started first time like the sports bike, went around corners like the sports bike, had brakes like the sports bike and was reliable like the sports bike. To be honest, the chop is perfect for those warm summer evening cruises, when the open road calls and time is something that has no meaning, those very evenings when I am actually riding my sports bike. I think that the Sports bike is going to get used a lot this cold dark winter!

Thirty year old bikes never die, they just sulk at the back of the garage refusing to move and occasionally popping just to show that they could fire up if they really wanted to. It sure does piss me off and I will admit that I have given it the odd kick in frustration and disgust.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 21:53, 9 replies)
I have

a reel to reel tape deck
a mini disc player
a Sony Walkman
a first generation ipod nano
a 35mm Olympus camera
a 1983 Ibanez Destroyer (on permanent loan)
a pair of Rogers LS3/5a speakers from 1981 (offers in 4 figures invited)
a table & chairs we bought in 1976
Troika pottery
a suede jacket I bought in 1971
Viners cutlery bought in '75
a family sampler dated 1845

That is not all!
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 21:46, 4 replies)

My friend teaches at a primary school in rural NZ.

She asked the kids to draw a cup and saucer. Most didn't know what a saucer is.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 21:42, 7 replies)
My car
will soon be made redundant by the acquisition of a flamboyant Sinclair X-1 vehicle.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 21:13, 1 reply)
Shorter Oxford English Dictionary and Rogets Thesaurus
...on Paper!
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 19:55, 3 replies)
Much redundant tech lives in my hovel, including...
A C.R.T. television (colour - it isn't that old!)

A chemistry text-book from 1911. Interestingly, almost all of the measurements are in metric, although it is written somewhere in it that a sovereign coin made of (pure) gold can be hammered into a 50 sq. foot sheet less than 1 - 250,000TH of an inch thick.

A steel foot rule made in Birmingham, accurate to 1 - 64TH (0·015625) of an inch - no metric measure on it at all.*

A 50-foot tape measure, again no metric measure any where on it. Both measuring devices are probably from the 1950s.

A copy of the "Mechanical World Year Book - 1954".

Two slide-rules, one about twice as big as the other. The bigger one is from 1952 and has trig. formulae printed on the reverse. The smaller one has only sine, cosine, tan. and cotan. values on it and I now believe it to be of similar age.

Several reels of film from the early 1960s, one of which is audio. The others, unsurprisingly have no sound.

A Zippo. These appear to have largely been replaced by cheap disposable lighters. I only bought it (brand new) in July, and it takes proper lighter-fluid, not butane. Nothing quite beats flicking it open and reciting that eternal Die Hard quote...

I still hand write a lot of things, and my hand writing is quite illegible at times.

I also occasionally use wax seals (I melt the wax with my out-dated Zippo) on some things.

Sadly my eight-year-old Compaq conked out (NMI Parity Check, whatever that is) not that long ago. I spent £79·99 on a new (A.T.I. Radeon 9,600) graphics card for the ungrateful bastard-machine too!

I have a hack saw (again, probably 1950s - a lot of my stuff is from that time) which goes through most things in half the time a modern saw would take.

And worst of all...

Some tungsten-filament light bulbs. Come and get me, Europhiles.

*I also discovered that the rule is bloody great for threatening first years with when they pass comment about your mother and you have no witty reply. If only I had the balls to actually hit one of them... :(

Also, will someone please re-introduce top hats and the word "thrice" into every day usage?

Length? Varies from item to item, but can be measured accurate to 0·015625 of an inch.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 19:54, 1 reply)
TrafficMaster YQ
Well actually the YQ2, though I had an original YQ before it. A traffic information system from the early 90s that still wipes the floor with TMC today.

Trouble is that they're axing the service as of March next year, because it still receives its signal over the old Cellnet analogue pager network, and they're finally shutting that down.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 19:41, Reply)
Metal? Pah!
My cat-gut Ukulele still sounds great.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 18:25, Reply)
Despite the fact I work on a windows box...
and there's a wealth of functioning graphical text editors to my disposal.

I still insist on using vim.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 17:49, 3 replies)
Someone else's post earlier about primary school children not knowing what a record player was reminded me
of when I was teaching some year 5s (9-10 year old) in the ICT room. I can't remember what we were doing but it was using word. I asked them to save their work.

One of them looked up and said 'why do we have to click on a picture of a TV to save?'
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 17:27, Reply)
I run a computer.
We have brown coal mining. There's fossils in that.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 16:38, Reply)
Mr Entity is rather fond of games consoles
the living room has the xbox 360 and PS3 in it.

Upstairs he has his own room which contains this:

and this:

That's not to mention the boxes full of another 10 consoles and computers included a modded xbox original flavour that lights up like an 18 year old's corsa.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 16:28, 7 replies)
Me no good
this 'language'.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 15:44, 1 reply)
I still use stones to kill my prey, start a fire, cut things and throw at enemies, and the sun for light, warmth and something to worship. I've recently started wearing skins and leaves instead of just the traditional thick-body-hair, genitals-swinging-free style I used to sport in my younger days, but I'm not having anything to do with any of this new-fangled "fire" business.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 15:35, 2 replies)
Does it count
If I used to have a piece of technology which got binned, and then I bought another much later in order to relive my wasted youth?

About 10 years ago, I bought one of these.

Apart from the processors, I think the only digital part of the system was the bank of switches on the top.

The controllers consisted of a dial that you turned. It wasn't a controller in the modern sense, all it did was directly control the electron gun in the TV, essentially turning it into an oscilloscope.
Because of this, the ball (actually a square) was the smoothest moving ball I have yet to see on any computer game since as it wasn't a sprite or a graphic.

The score went from 0 - 15 because that was the highest the 4-bit processor could count. Sadly, it is no longer in use because we don't have a TV old enough to display the output.

The picture on the box says a lot about the gaming market at the time:

I also bought an Atari 2600 with wood-trim and one of these which gets plenty of usage.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 15:23, 5 replies)
My dad Won't let me get a Spinning Jenny
What a Luddite
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 15:16, 1 reply)
I seem to have somehow aquired
a fair collection of analogue mixing consoles.
I have the slightly smaller version of this little Tascam number:

And an ancient Yamaha powered mixer with a very odd gain section:
farm3.static.flickr.com/2603/3822742277_9850139779.jpg (this one may end up as a coffee table)

As well as a couple of old 1970's Jands boards, another slightly newer Yamaha and an old TEAC 1/4" open spool four track machine. I also have a few old pre-amps and other little bits left over from a refit of some of the ABC radio studios in Sydney, a pair of 1970's column speakers and old power amps. Fuck knows what I'm actually going to do with all this crap!
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 13:57, 3 replies)
I still listen to music
Produced using guitars, drums and vocals.

(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 12:13, 12 replies)
I like drawing. A lot.

Funny thing is, I never actually realised how much until April earlier this year.

The wife bought me a drawing board for my birthday, after seeing me straining for hours over an A3 pad on the dining room table, as I was trying to put together a picture to fill a large bare gap on the living room wall.

I used to be a trainee graphic designer many years ago, during my teens for my local ad agency, and, although learning the basics of my trade at art college, I had arrived at my new employers just as the whole desktop publishing age had literally burst into the studios.

Within weeks, the art of cutting, pasting, planning layouts with non-reproducable blue pencils and trying not to smudge your scribblings with the T-Square had gone right out of the window, only to be to be replaced by Mac II's, the early Quadras, Very basic versions of Photoshop, Freehand, Pagemaker (before Quark..) and Multi-Ad.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, fast-forward 18 years, and I am, as the saying goes 'back to the old drawing board' during my spare time.

The artistic process is a lot longer than it's digital counterpart, there's no undo button, I find it totally peaceful when I'm using it, and what's more, everytime I go back to it, and lift the protective sheet from my latest creation, there's a constant sense of pride because my work is 'hand-made' so to speak.

Even incomplete work looks kinda cool, cause the guidelines give the artwork that 'sketchy' look, something which no-longer exists in the clinical world of digital illustration.

I often use my laptop, just to view reference pictures for my work that I take with my camera, rather than resorting to Photoshop all the time:

What's even better, is that my 6-year old son loves watching me, and is now developing a keen interest in drawing too.

Length? - Ooh, roughly a couple of millimetres wider than an A2 sheet of paper..
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 12:10, 32 replies)
It's still good to have a VHS player
some things are never going to be released on DVD/Blu-ray and are a lot cheaper to source on VHS.

It's complete bunk that the video store told you to rewind tapes, real archival places tell you not to as it preserves tension on the tapes better and gives you a chance to warm up the playing heads.

Trash Video in Brisbane closed this year and still has a 10K+ tapes in its collection.

I recently purchased this fine piece of work

And also this

Trash Humpers used VHS footage to make itself look authentic if nothing else (it's mainly just Harmony Karmoine and his friends dicking around.)

Mark my words, its going to end up like Moog or C64s, people will want to go back to video footage just like film SLRs even if it is just to do re-enactments of supposedly "found" footage.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 11:45, 3 replies)
My brother got me a HD DVD player for my birthday.
Last month.
(, Sat 6 Nov 2010, 11:41, 1 reply)

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