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Things our kids won't understand

David O'Meara
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Joined: Mar 06, 2001
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There are 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.

References to the old rotary-dial phones with metal bells is a big one. The popular 'ringing' sound that is often imitated by today's digital versions will one day cause confusion about the original source - Why do we use that sound by default, dad?

Record players and the associated sound quality (and lack of sound quality) is currently kept alive and used in some forms of music and by some purists, but as needles become harder to find our children will ask what purpose the scratching noise in that old track meant.

One of the bosses at work was described as 'so old he still gets up to change channels'.
marc weber
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Joined: Aug 31, 2004
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Originally posted by David O'Meara:
...our children will ask what purpose the scratching noise in that old track meant...

I bet it won't even occur to them to ask. They will just assume it's a background sound that was intended to be there.


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marc weber
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Yesterday I was talking to another programmer, and I said, "Remember those old teletype modems where you dialed a rotary phone, and then stuffed the handset into foam receptacles on a huge box, hoping to make a connection?"

Totally blank look.

(I remember a BASIC class where we spent most of our time hand writing code on graph paper. We only had limited access to a single teletype to try what we had written, and we didn't want to "waste" computer time.)
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
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  34

Cassette tapes (let alone 8-tracks, or even VHS) will be hard to explain. The whole notion of "rewinding", perhaps.

For that matter, I wonder if someday DRM will become air-tight, and the notion of non-DRMed media will be hard to explain.

A dot-matrix printer.

Of course, what a "newspaper" was.


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marc weber
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Originally posted by marc weber:
...I remember a BASIC class where we spent most of our time hand writing code on graph paper. We only had limited access to a single teletype to try what we had written, and we didn't want to "waste" computer time...

Coincidentally, I was back at that same high school yesterday for a senate district convention. Afterwards, I wandered about being nostalgic, and found rooms filled with rows of iMacs. Nice!
Bert Bates
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    5
I hope stick shifts won't go away


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Joe Ess
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Joined: Oct 29, 2001
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    9

Originally posted by Bert Bates:
I hope stick shifts won't go away


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fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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  16

GeekDad had a recent story about watching an old TV show, where the heroes used a CB radio. His kids had no idea what that was, or why they didn't just use their cell phones.


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Alan Wanwierd
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Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
I suspect that in 1 generations time the concept of "broadcast TV" will be alien to our kids.

My 3 yr old daughter is unable to comprehand that grandma doesnt have playschool available for immediate viewing and can only watch whatever the networks happen to be currently broadcasting! She also finds herself sat in front of Grandmas TV saying "I'll just watch until this finishes" - not realising that the stream of broadcast TV will continue endlessly and wont ever reach the end of the file and return to a nice menu!!

Long live PVRs! (Although to be honest PVRs are surely just an interim solution in the transition to inevitable 'view on demand' technology)



...and if telephone technology will be sufficiently changed to be alien to our kids, then so will associated behaviours: Do you remember phoning round all your mates the night before going somewhere carefully coordinating excatly where and when you'd meet? No need to do that any more! - Just all head out roughly the same time and call around to see where everyone's got to. Planning no longer required... Will this result in a generation with terrible organisational skills?
[ March 03, 2008: Message edited by: Alan Wanwierd ]
Gail Mikels
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My daughter asked my why some people's garage doors have those "things that look like handles" on them...


Gail Mikels
Frank Silbermann
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Posts: 1389
Originally posted by David O'Meara:
There are 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.

References to the old rotary-dial phones with metal bells is a big one. The popular 'ringing' sound that is often imitated by today's digital versions will one day cause confusion about the original source - Why do we use that sound by default, dad?
Tell him, "Just be glad the name of the man who received the patent for the telephone wasn't named Alexander Graham Air-raid-siren."
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
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158

Originally posted by David O'Meara:
There are 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.

Card catalogs at the library. For that matter the need to go to the library/phone book/etc to look up things.

What it's like not to have a cell phone.

Oh did you say common in today's society...


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David O'Meara
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Shelves of Encyclopedias. For that matter, when was the last time you heard the term "Encyclopedia salesman"?
Ulf Dittmer
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  65
when was the last time you heard the term "Encyclopedia salesman"?


Recently, while watching Monty Python.



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David O'Meara
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That's what I was thinking too

"Burgler!"
Ulf Dittmer
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  65
Burgler!

Those will definitely be around for our kids to understand...
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
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  16

My sister still has a rotary phone. In fact, it is the exact same rotary phone that was in my parent's kitchen while we were growing up. One day, her youngest son cracked his head open. She was holding him, and trying to explain to her older son (probably 6 or 7 at the time) how to dial a phone (and isn't the term 'dial' out of date for a phone?).

Now, every friend who comes over is taught how to dial on that kind of phone.

My daughter was watching 'live' tv the other day, instead of one on the PVR. I was in my office, and she called to me, saying the TV was broken. I know we have a loose connection somewhere, and sometimes the picture goes out. I was going back in to fix it, when i saw the problem. a COMMERCIAL had come on.
Arvind Mahendra
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Posts: 1162
What about InkJet printers huh? They probably wont even know what those were. God they probably wont even know what printers are with everything becoming electronic these day and all the trees being cut down anyway by our generation. By 'our' of course I mean your generation here. I'm still quite young. Infact, I dont know most of the things you guys are talking about.


I want to be like marc
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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  16

Originally posted by Arvind Birla:
What about InkJet printers huh?


I'm curious... do YOU know what a dot-matrix printer is? or a daisy-wheel printer? How about a line printer?
Bear Bibeault
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  67

Magnetic tape. "You stored stuff on flimsy tape? What were you thinking?"


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Arvind Mahendra
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Originally posted by Fred Rosenberger:


I'm curious... do YOU know what a dot-matrix printer is? or a daisy-wheel printer? How about a line printer?



Dot Matrix printer is the only one I can recognize there, these are the worst kind of printers to have ever been invented with the kind of screeching noise they make. Almost like someone scratching their nails of blackboards. I hope and pray that the last remaining ones are phased out soon.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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  16

My father, almost to his dying day, carried punch cards around in his breast pocket. the last few decades, he's been using the backs of them as scratch paper.
Gail Mikels
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Joined: May 07, 2001
Posts: 634
Originally posted by Arvind Birla:



Dot Matrix printer is the only one I can recognize there, these are the worst kind of printers to have ever been invented with the kind of screeching noise they make. Almost like someone scratching their nails of blackboards. I hope and pray that the last remaining ones are phased out soon.


Hey - I'm surprised young Arvind knows what a "Blackboard" is. Since my daughter's been in school, they've been "Whiteboards"!
Bridget Kennedy
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Joined: Nov 30, 2004
Posts: 84
Typewriters.

My daughter spent the day helping out in her grandma's law office several years ago. She came home all excited about this machine she got to use, and went on to describe an IBM Selectric. She was particularly attracted to the sound it made. It was pretty interesting to hear the description from someone who had no prior context. The word 'typewriter' was not in her vocabulary.
marc weber
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Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Bridget Kennedy:
...an IBM Selectric. She was particularly attracted to the sound it made...

They do have a very nice, distinctive sound. I was in a high school typing class when they switched from manual typewriters to Selectrics. Imagine 20 of those things going at once.

(I think their printing heads were called "golfballs," weren't they? Kind of like a spherical daisy wheel.)
Ben Souther
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Joined: Dec 11, 2004
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Carbon paper,
Negatives,
PhotoMat.


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  67

Polaroids!
Ben Souther
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Posts: 13410

Flashbulbs.
Remember the cube ones that spun around on the Kodak Instamatic cameras?
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  67

Originally posted by Ben Souther:
Remember the cube ones that spun around on the Kodak Instamatic cameras?

Indeed. I still have a boxful of old prints I took in the 70's with my instamatic.
David O'Meara
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Floppy disks.

They won't recognise a modem handshake, or how to diagnose problems by ear
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  67

Judging by the amount of our youth that I see who never seem to look up from texting on their mobiles, I'd say they've already forgotten what conversation is.
Frank Silbermann
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Posts: 1389
Originally posted by Ben Souther:
Flashbulbs.
Remember the cube ones that spun around on the Kodak Instamatic cameras?
A new-fangled way to waste money. Every bulb having its own disposable reflection shield? What a waste. I stuck with the cameras whose flashes used individuals bulbs. You got more for your money that way. Also, the instamatics didn't press the film flat, so there was an element of blurryness no matter how good your lense was (not that many people even bought the high-end instamatics with lenses that focused and adjustable shutters and apatures). Give me a Rolleflex TLR or a Leica rangefinder any day!

The only thing good about the Instamatic is that it looked sort of like the fake camera in the Man From U.N.C.L.E. spy kit that morphed into a cap gun when you clicked the shutter.
marc weber
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Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Ben Souther:
Flashbulbs.
Remember the cube ones that spun around on the Kodak Instamatic cameras?

They doubled as medical scanners when playing Star Trek.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  67

Originally posted by marc weber:
They doubled as medical scanners when playing Star Trek.
LOL! I always used the real thing -- a salt shaker!
Ben Souther
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Joined: Dec 11, 2004
Posts: 13410

Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:
Give me a Rolleflex TLR or a Leica rangefinder any day!


I guess there's a first for everything.
I never would have thought that the Kodak Instamatic would be compared to Leica and Rolleflex.
Ben Souther
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Posts: 13410

Kids will have no idea what an exploding Pinto is.
They probably won't ever see a Vega, or a Fiero.
Ben Souther
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Joined: Dec 11, 2004
Posts: 13410

What's amazing is that the fax machine hasn't gone away yet.
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Ben Souther:
What's amazing is that the fax machine hasn't gone away yet.

+1 !!!
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

++
I was thinking that yesterday too
Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Originally posted by Fred Rosenberger:

I'm curious... do YOU know what a dot-matrix printer is? or a daisy-wheel printer? How about a line printer?


I know, but I'm older than dirt. I started with ASR 33s, moved up to thermal printers with acoustic couplers. Programmed a daisey wheel to do graphics by moving the period character tiny amounts.

I've used, touched, loaded and cleaned line printers of several types. Most of them really didn't print a line at a time, they just had a chain that went really fast.

I expect that stick shift cars are going to become impossible to manufacture due to emissions concerns, and as mentioned up thread, Ferrari's and F1 cars in general don't have shift sticks.
 
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