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Things our kids won't understand

Doug Slattery
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Joined: Sep 15, 2007
Posts: 294
I must be older than dirt too then . I thought I was the sole survivor of that era. Printronix and Citoh were a couple of dragons I had to keep tamed . I actually saw a Printronix used as a prop on a movie once. After seeing that, the rest of the movie was just plain fake . Epson & Okidata were the big contenders of the dot matrix front. I once managed to stumble and drop a big Panasonic dot matrix down a flight of stairs in front of the customer. It wasn't big anymore once it got to the bottom, and it didn't need disassembly either .

I was going to mention soldering irons would be a forgotten thing, but I think it's safe here since we're all geeks anyways . That's why I got out of hardware. You didn't need a soldering iron anymore. Not to mention the impact of the RoHS act.

Aloha,
Doug

-- Nothing is impossible if I'mPossible
Arvind Mahendra
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Joined: Jul 14, 2007
Posts: 1162
But If you all use good communication skills to effectively express what you are trying to teach why do you assume they wont understand? I hope the implication here is not that the younger generation would somehow lack the cerebral abilities to understand this stuff. If that is the case then I feel insulted. I'm outta here.


I want to be like marc
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  65

Originally posted by Arvind Birla:
If that is the case then I feel insulted. I'm outta here.



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Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
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    5

Originally posted by Arvind Birla:
why do you assume they wont understand?


As others have said, chill.

Why would anyone want to know what was important in ancient times? Historians and anthropologists aside.

I paid nearly $100 for a slide rule as a freshmen in Engineering. Two years later, calculators were available, altho they were way expensive. (In this time, tuition at a serious University was ~$400 a year). Three years after that, the College stopped teaching slide rule usage to all incoming freshmen.

I remember talking to a researcher from Stanford University ~'82 about what was a state of the art graphic workstation. He said it was a 3M machine. It had 1 million addressable pixels, one MIP of CPU and one megabyte of RAM memory.

My cellphone has more power, color, pixels and CPU power. While there might be some methods that were useful then that might be applicable now, in the world of dual and quad multi-gHz cpus with Gigs of ram, the optimizations have to be different.
Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4637
    
    5

Originally posted by Doug Slattery:
I was going to mention soldering irons


I've got a soldering iron, but I haven't attempted to solder anything smaller than 20 gauge wire in a long time.

Most modern components are too small to see, let alone hand solder.

I have a friend, does prototype boards, he can hand solder 0402 parts, but he needs a stereo microscope to see the parts.

I tend to agree that it will soon be a lost art.
Ben Souther
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Joined: Dec 11, 2004
Posts: 13410

"Expect six to eight weeks for delivery".


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  65

Originally posted by Ben Souther:
"Expect six to eight weeks for delivery".




I still get plenty of paper catalogs in the mail, but when is the last time you filled out a paper order form and sent it in through snail mail? I honestly can't recall.
[ March 12, 2008: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
Bryce Martin
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Joined: Nov 19, 2007
Posts: 269
I'm only 24 years old just so you can gauge where I am compared to some of you guys as far as generations go...

I remember the rotary phone, my grandparents had one. I remember seeing the old flash bulb cameras.

I use a line printer at work to print out large programs and inventory tags still. I never used punch cards but I did get to see some that were laying around the lab at college.

One thing I hope that my kids won't ever have to know about is the Blue Screen of Death. Somehow I bet it will manage to sneak its way into their generation though...

Saddest of all though, they won't know what its like to go a single day without hearing the word terrorist.
Joe Ess
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Joined: Oct 29, 2001
Posts: 8708
    
    6

Originally posted by Bryce Martin:
Saddest of all though, they won't know what its like to go a single day without hearing the word terrorist.


Don't be so sure. The United States was awash with rum-runners, bootleggers, speakeasys and mobsters in the early 20th century. The 21st Amendment wiped them out almost overnight (yes, remnants remain, like the Chicago "machine" and NASCAR, but they aren't what they used to be).


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Bryce Martin
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Joined: Nov 19, 2007
Posts: 269
Oh, jeez, why didn't I think of that. We just need an anti-terrorist constitutional amendment. I'm gonna call my congressman right away...
Roger Chung-Wee
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Joined: Sep 29, 2002
Posts: 1683
It may surpise some people that some ancient technology is still widely used. For instance, teletype messages are exchanged between reservations sysyems in the travel industry, and there is a really large number of ROTTY printers used worldwide every day.


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David O'Meara
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Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Part of the reason for starting this conversation is to look at the changes that are happening under our noses.

We have so many light sources around the house, but incandescent globes are being phased out. One day I'll ask someone to change a light globe and they'll ask why I call an array of LEDs a 'globe'.
Joel McNary
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Joined: Aug 20, 2001
Posts: 1815
Already, they have no idea of the smell of freshly mimeographed handouts in school.
Or of getting your hands all blue because the ink hadn't dried yet.
Or the handouts being so smudged that you can't read the assignments.

Maybe that's not a bad thing....


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  65

Originally posted by Joel McNary:
Already, they have no idea of the smell of freshly mimeographed handouts in school.
Or getting hold of the mimeo negative of tomorrow's test in the trash can and selling it for great profit...
Frank Silbermann
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1379
Originally posted by Joe Ess:


Don't be so sure. The United States was awash with rum-runners, bootleggers, speakeasys and mobsters in the early 20th century. The 21st Amendment wiped them out almost overnight (yes, remnants remain, like the Chicago "machine" and NASCAR, but they aren't what they used to be).
You're right, but for the wrong reasons. The mob tried very hard to avoid killing non-mobsters (aside from people refusing to pay their taxes/extortion). The rules were that cops on the take would look the other way at the gambling, prostitution, etc. in their districts in exchange for their pay-offs; but when an innocent got caught in mob war crossfire, they'd shut the rackets down until the perpetrator was caught. Typically, the crime family employing the hitman would dump his body in front of the police station; the crime was solved, the public hysteria died down, and everyone could return to business.

Now, we did have real acts of terrorism a hundred years ago -- bombings and assassinations. These were mostly carried out by ideological anarchists. Anarchist terrorism ended after the Russian Revolution of 1917, after which most wild-eyed radicals became communists. The communist leadership believed that random acts of destruction and murder were, in most circumstances, counterproductive.

As for things our kids won't know about, it bothers me that kids going to synogogue on Purim to hear the Magilla being read won't think of Magilla Gorilla (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5f5YxTo_Vc), or that people listening to Rossini's opera William Tell won't realize that it uses the Lone Ranger music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2218Btx3wY) as its overture.
[ March 14, 2008: Message edited by: Frank Silbermann ]
George Harris
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Joined: May 05, 2003
Posts: 84
I surprised that nobody mentioned that kids won't understand the word "NO".
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  65

Originally posted by George Harris:
I surprised that nobody mentioned that kids won't understand the word "NO".

Have they ever?
marc weber
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Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by George Harris:
I surprised that nobody mentioned that kids won't understand the word "NO".

I understand that word to indicate some degree of resistance, but the extent remains ambiguous until tested. So it's a puzzle demanding exploration.


"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer
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Marc Peabody
pie sneak
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Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:
I still get plenty of paper catalogs in the mail, but when is the last time you filled out a paper order form and sent it in through snail mail? I honestly can't recall.

Mail-in rebates. Maybe a magazine subscription. I think that's about it.


A good workman is known by his tools.
David O'Meara
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Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

weber, marc: I understand that word to indicate some degree of resistance, but the extent remains ambiguous until tested. So it's a puzzle demanding exploration.

Sigh, it exhibits a distinct lack of regression testing.
Sripathi Krishnamurthy
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Joined: Mar 07, 2005
Posts: 232
Our kids wont understand what is a Tiger , Lion or a cheetah. They are shot and killed for their skin everyday in some part of the world. Just like we imagine and make movies on dinosaur, our kids will make movies on Lion, tiger and cheetah. Believe me this day is not far off..
As on February 12 2008, there are only 1411 tigers in India.

http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=35336&kwd=
[ March 16, 2008: Message edited by: Sripathi Krishnamurthy ]
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
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  12

Did anyone mention "floppy disks" yet? I think there was some other post I read about the 'save' icon in various windows applications looking like a 3.5" floppy, and wondering when we'll reach the point where nobody knows where the symbol came from...


There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Frank Silbermann
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1379
Originally posted by Sripathi Krishnamurthy:
Our kids wont understand what is a Tiger , Lion or a cheetah. They are shot and killed for their skin everyday in some part of the world. Just like we imagine and make movies on dinosaur, our kids will make movies on Lion, tiger and cheetah. Believe me this day is not far off..
As on February 12 2008, there are only 1411 tigers in India.

http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=35336&kwd=

[ March 16, 2008: Message edited by: Sripathi Krishnamurthy ]
What we need to do is to decide how many tigers, lions, and cheetahs we can afford to lose each year, and auction off hunting permits to ultra-rich sportsmen -- the money going to the people who live in the vicinity. Then those people will have a huge incentive to do whatever is necessary to stop poachers and protect the animals' habitat.
Jan Cumps
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Joined: Dec 20, 2006
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    7

Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:
What we need to do is to decide how many tigers, lions, and cheetahs we can afford to lose each year, and auction off hunting permits to ultra-rich sportsmen -- the money going to the people who live in the vicinity. Then those people will have a huge incentive to do whatever is necessary to stop poachers and protect the animals' habitat.
They might go for the short term vision, and cash in on those 1409 remaining tigers.


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Russell Bateman
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Joined: Feb 26, 2008
Posts: 69
You know, these days we like to grind on the old vinyls and cassette tapes. But, I grew up with 1/4" tape in addition to those other media and just want to say that if you think the sound reproduction of ear buds and the crapola speaker systems that come with boom boxes is any kind of technological advance over what we were using (admittedly at the higher end of things) in the 1950s and -60s, you'd be in for a surprise. We couldn't afford the "whole wall" speaker systems people were building, but we always had stacks of huge woofers, mid-range speakers and tweeters that easily out-did what most kids seems to be listening to today. I think we've accustomed ourselves to accepting far worse music reproduction than in those days. The only place things are consistently and predictably better is in the car.
Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4637
    
    5

Originally posted by Russell Bateman:
But, I grew up with 1/4" tape in addition to those other media and just want to say that if you think the sound reproduction of ear buds and the crapola speaker systems


I too had a 1/4 tape deck, and lusted for one with 10-1/2" reels.

When I was an undergraduate in the dorms (way back in the 60s) every guy had a stereo and most were fairly decent. Lots of AR-3 speakers, Jensens, etc.

Lots of folks had good turntables with good cartridges.

I don't know when it all died, but the average college kid in 1970 had stereos that were pretty damn good.
Frank Silbermann
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1379
Originally posted by Russell Bateman:
You know, these days we like to grind on the old vinyls and cassette tapes. But, I grew up with 1/4" tape in addition to those other media and just want to say that if you think the sound reproduction of ear buds and the crapola speaker systems that come with boom boxes is any kind of technological advance over what we were using (admittedly at the higher end of things) in the 1950s and -60s, you'd be in for a surprise. We couldn't afford the "whole wall" speaker systems people were building, but we always had stacks of huge woofers, mid-range speakers and tweeters that easily out-did what most kids seems to be listening to today. I think we've accustomed ourselves to accepting far worse music reproduction than in those days. The only place things are consistently and predictably better is in the car.
They miss out on the subtleties of the full rich timbre of the rapper's voice.
Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4637
    
    5

Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:
They miss out on the subtleties of the full rich timbre of the rapper's voice.


Probably the idea of a sound system with frequency response above 200 hz will one of those things the kids won't understand.

I, on the other hand, can't imagine being inside a car with 20 woofers and thousands of watts pumping out Thumpa Thumpa...
Nicholas Jordan
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Joined: Sep 17, 2006
Posts: 1282
Aw, c'mon Pat - it's 028 not 033 - those plastic 033's are for the college kids.

And what about the twisted pair, instead of a twisted sister? How about Tip and Ring instead of silly plastic pads that are too small for large fingers. And what about the day when area codes were special knowledge of long-distance operators ? What happend to pheonlic resin and do-it-yourself dialing with a well-timed finger on the hang-up hook? What about the day when eavesdropping meant cleaning avarian feces off of the front porch before company came over? And remember children were to be seen, not heard.

In our days, maybe you are younger than me or something, the idea of walking to school was something that our parents complained about. You would hear "I had to walk a mile to school." Something which I never figured out, even to this day because at the age of five or six I adamantly hammered the situation until I walked the mile to school. Later, I would walk three miles in high school on all but the bitterest of days or driving rain. This is something which make today's youth with dye hair and metal-echo clothing something akin to invasion of the Pod People.

I know when I came up we had a free-range of about half or so of a mile. We knew every inch of that and I would pretty much go anywhere in our town of ten thousand that I wanted. I delt with things that many adults cannot deal with and did so effectively, with dispatch and irrefutable definition that makes me grasp for words that would be acceptable here.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.


Today, the teenagers are increasingly believing of a U-Tube that is a root-kit ready for their brain. Harold Stoc*****l told me several times: "Nick, you're too smart for your own good." Harold was an illterate alchoholic from the hills of Tennessee, made fifty k a year and was popular because of his people skills. Harold knew of the arachnid risks as being from an upside-down life-form that would bite the testes in 28 degree weather. Harold looked forward to the day when their house would have electricity. Harold knew how to drive a buggy, back when buggy meant something besides buggy code. Those were days when children would play Army, instead of watching it on TV.
[ April 10, 2008: Message edited by: Nicholas Jordan ]

"The differential equations that describe dynamic interactions of power generators are similar to that of the gravitational interplay among celestial bodies, which is chaotic in nature."
Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4637
    
    5

Originally posted by Nicholas Jordan:
"I had to walk a mile to school."


Five miles for me. Through the snow. Uphill both ways.

Actually, when I was a kid of about 8, I could bicycle anywhere I wanted. By the time I was 12, I would bicycle 10 or 15 miles without thinking about it, which included going downtown in Washington DC.
Nicholas Jordan
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Joined: Sep 17, 2006
Posts: 1282
I thought we were more alike than what I expect some will comprehend, I softened the numbers somewhat ....
marc weber
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Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Pat Farrell:
... I don't know when it all died, but the average college kid in 1970 had stereos that were pretty damn good.

Yeah, that's an interesting one. The "quality" of today's stereo systems is astonishingly poor.

But one thing I've noticed in talking to "kids" at coffee shops is that music just doesn't play the role it did in the past. Music seemed far more important to us when there were no computers, no video games, no cable television, no DVDs (or VHS), no online shopping, no cell phones, no texting... Today, these things all compete for the time, attention, and money that used to go towards music.

Also, it used to be that if an artist didn't have a contract with one of the (few) big labels, you never heard of them. Now, independent labels are all over the place. Digital recording, editing, mastering, and reproduction are affordable. Distribution is a few clicks away. The good news is that anyone can do it. The bad news is that anyone can do it. This brings us opportunities to hear obscure music we never would have known about, but it also dilutes the entire field because there's just so much product out there. Maybe that has something to do with music "fading" out.

Meanwhile, I'm still using my EPI speakers from 1979.
Nicholas Jordan
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Posts: 1282
Originally posted by marc weber:
Music seemed far more important to us when there were no computers, no video games, no cable television, no DVDs (or VHS), no online shopping, no cell phones, no texting... Today, these things all compete for the time, attention, and money that used to go towards music.


That would be susequent to the electric guitar. I heard enough 78's and so on that I know the music of the day does not appeal to me. The picking up KOMA for the first time on one of those transistor radios was a profound moment. Soon heard a station that must have been in Wichita playing Sugar Shack and it just ran so deep for me. Later I would hear Wipeout by The Ventures. We actually had a Mosrite and a Kustom Amp at one point.

Being enterprising, I opened a Film Theater in the utility shed that was for us to play in. I saw on Google Maps recently that that shed is still there.
Frank Silbermann
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1379
Originally posted by marc weber:

Also, it used to be that if an artist didn't have a contract with one of the (few) big labels, you never heard of them. Now, independent labels are all over the place.
Yeah, but all those people recording on independent labels are still people I've never heard of.

I remember being in 2nd grade when Beatlemania struck New York (right after they were on Ed Sullivan), and I tried listening to the radio from time to time in the hope of hearing them. I wondered, "Why do the stations play so much music that isn't the Beatles?"

But radio stations were always perplexing. Now and then they'd tell us that the last singer was not (old) King Cole (the merry old soul), leaving us to wonder, "Who, then, was he?"
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:
Yeah, but all those people recording on independent labels are still people I've never heard of...

Well, it requires a lot of effort to seek out the good stuff, just because there's so much to sift through, and that's one reason I think the diluted offerings have diminished interest. If you passively take it all in, I don't think there's much that will stick.

Personally, I enjoy the quest. I spend a lot of time searching: Following links on allmusic.com, sampling recommendations on amazon.com, browsing label web sites, reading music magazines (like URB), listening to iTunes radio, talking with people who work at independent music stores... It sometimes takes hours of research to find one good CD, but that's worth it to me.

I remember a guitar teacher who said something like, "You know how some music is so good it gives you chills? That happens less and less as you get older, and you spend a lot of time trying to find music with that effect." For people hooked on music, I think it's like a narcotic. You keep trying to recreate those initial rushes, but you've acquired a "tolerance" because you need something different to get that same effect, as if you're hearing it for the first time. And the more you've heard, the less there is that's new.

I think this is one reason some people get stuck listening to music of "their own era." Today's music might not be any better or worse than what was around when they were 20-ish, but it's basically playing on the same emotions, so it doesn't have the same effect on an older listener because they're not in that place anymore, and they've already felt that rush. So the new music seems lacking, and they recycle their own memories by playing the "oldies."
Nicholas Jordan
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Joined: Sep 17, 2006
Posts: 1282
Originally posted by marc weber:
I remember a guitar teacher who said something like, "You know how some music is so good it gives you chills? That happens less and less as you get older, and you spend a lot of time trying to find music with that effect." For people hooked on music, I think it's like a narcotic. You keep trying to recreate those initial rushes, but you've acquired a "tolerance" because you need something different to get that same effect, as if you're hearing it for the first time. And the more you've heard, the less there is that's new.

I think this is one reason some people get stuck listening to music of "their own era." Today's music might not be any better or worse than what was around when they were 20-ish, but it's basically playing on the same emotions, so it doesn't have the same effect on an older listener because they're not in that place anymore, and they've already felt that rush. So the new music seems lacking, and they recycle their own memories by playing the "oldies."


How about a MOOG emulator programmed on a 7-bit CDC 7700?

I think musical preference is hardcoded genetics or a consequence of one's destiny. I still today can get a rush of adreno-neurotic oblivion at the thought of the Sugar Shack or Beetles or electric Rockabilly at the Skating Rink. Todays rock-crusher music doesn't do that for me, nor does anything I found on 78's. In fact I have learned that personal prefs are a forward seeking progenitor of what is in store on the timeline. In defense of hollow world dynamics, today's kids have to take cheap swipes at the extant regime. Kilowatt rumple-rattling pile-drivers are not good for the fragile electronic equipment used for texting, nor will they do auditory damage like a AA-Fuel on Nitro fifty feet away without hearing protection.

Thus the contorted motions of those who cannot concieve of work prepend the onset of an era in which narco-leptic seizures are prized as an indicator of social stature and "tolerance" sets in at 451� (f). True chills, bone deep electrification of the soul, occurs only by direct influx of raw undiluted energy. The sort of energy which has not been shaped by the form of thought or the constriants of consideration. So when the new destiny seems lacking, and the incoming recycle narcotics by (#############), then we are in a Dire Straits for real.

One should not be hooked on music, it should be used in moderation like everything else.
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Nicholas Jordan:
... How about a MOOG emulator programmed on a 7-bit CDC 7700? ...

Hmmm... I understand there now are software emulators of Roland's Juno-106. I have one of those collecting dust over my turntables.
Nicholas Jordan
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Joined: Sep 17, 2006
Posts: 1282
Originally posted by marc weber:
Hmmm... I understand there now are software emulators of Roland's Juno-106. I have one of those collecting dust over my turntables.


I will be happy to dust it off for you, I would do a full open-case dusting with brushes and canned air. Probably not worth the shipping and so on plus it is half as old as I am. I have an emulator, I bought Altec-Lansing speakers and an E-MU-1212, my dropdown start/Programs is now packed with all kinds of emulators / none of which run. The speakers were working before I bought and installed contemporary equipment. ( emulators ) Judging from your citation, I need to ask if turntables means Lazy Suzan or turning the tables on ( a person generally ) after building trust. We gotta hook these many things that, while common in today's society, are slowly disappearing and the context won't be understood by the next generation at all. Such as an Electric Light Orchestra of not being able to actually cook or grill.

Perhaps a stable triangulation supporting a black chamber to sear their soaring ideas. An unexpected � wave envelope Clapp oscillator, driving a reverb. Maybe a Banjo player in a Steel Guitar Shop during a drivng rainstorm. That is a long way from having refridgerators being cooled by ice imported from polar caps. During that day, if you wanted to ride your bicycle, it meant actually doing something. Today, the most action-packed prime time is just a bunch of talking heads. ( independent film terminology ) I have this clear and present realization that the driving force to change channels describes reality as 'so old that it is not used anymore'. They are changing our channel for sure. The Phone Board Exchange will soon use background line noise sound as elevator music. Pavlovian conditioning to stare glass eyed is a major theme which they now have adopted as the Prime Rate by which they rate us.

Mowing the grass is now Mo'ing the grass.
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Nicholas Jordan:
... Judging from your citation, I need to ask if turntables means Lazy Suzan or turning the tables on ( a person generally ) after building trust...

A pair of Technics 1200's.

Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4637
    
    5

Originally posted by marc weber:

A pair of Technics 1200's.


Look like "pro" turntables, for DJs, etc. rather than audiophile, right?

I remember working in the FM radio station in college, long ago, and learning that a "pro" turntable is not what you want in your house for listening. They are built to take abuse, back cues, etc.

Now on this topic, my kid just came down, packed up a turntable and took it to NYC. Turntables are in.

Its been at least 20 years since I listened to vinyl as a primary medium. All my music these days comes from an IDE disk.
 
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