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Good Riddance to Bad Tech

By mcgrew in Technology
Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 11:04:38 PM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)

The K5 article Useful Dead Technologies highlighted some older, now gone (or nearly gone) technologies I sorely miss.

"McGrew," the Kurobots squealed, "You're a geezer! A crazy old, ranting coot! A Luddite! Aren't there any technologies you're glad are gone?"

Actually, there are. Here are a few of them, and like the useful dead technologies, some of these inventions (like the power pile and gravity furnace) were before my time, and I only knew this technology from being in the possession of an antique something or other like a house, or just reading about them.

Please feel free to add to the list in the comments section below.

The Guillotine
I'm sure that there are many of you out there who would like to bring this fine old technology back to life. Bloodier than a firing squad yet more humane than the Arabic methods of decapitation, those of you who are in support of the death penalty will call for its ressurection.

Not me. And if I write an article "Bad/useless live technologies," it will list all forms of capital punishment technology currently in use.

Dot matrix printers
NOISY MACHINES, NOISY NOISY NOISY! They were expensive things that had, like the typewriters before them, a single typeface. Unlike the typewriters before them, this typeface was extremely crude, primitive looking, and ugly. Like a typewriter, it had a ribbon that often got tangled, could not be re-inked, and usually could not be replaced without getting your hands filthy.

You kids who grew up with inkjets and laser printers are lucky.

The 8-track tape
This sorry piece of crap is proof positive of American stupidity. The cassette - the (now obsolete) four track, two-spindle, 1/8th inch, 1 /78 IPS shirt pocket sized tape cassette was produced before the 8-track. The four track cassette was originally made as a dictation device, but advances in tape manufacture and head design soon gave them a frequency response that came close to human hearing's limit, signal to noise ratio low enough that you had to turn it up very loud to hear the hiss, and inaudible harmonic distortion which made them ideal for music.

Nevertheless, the 8-track was born anyway. With its transport speed at twice the 4-track cassette's speed, it should have been audibly superior. However, the "powers that be" decided that 8-tracks were going to be for automobiles, which at the time were not as well insulated from outside sounds and wind as today's cars, and with the auto's horrible acoustics, it was OK for a car's music to sound like effluent.

But the deliberately bad sound wasn't bad enough. The eight track tape had a single spindle, a very clever design where the tape fed from the center of the spindle, around a capstain roller inside the housing and back to the outside of the roll of tape. This made for an expensive setup, and one that was prone to wow and flutter, as well as having the tape get "eaten" by the tape player. And unlike a cassette, if your 8-track got ate, you might as well throw it in the trash.

But wait, there's more! This thing was deemed to be for the car, while cassettes were going to be (by about 1970 or so) for the home.

This made no sense whatever, since the "portable" eight track took up as much space as four cassettes, without being able to play any longer than a cassette. In fact, you could buy a longer playing cassette than 8-track.

But the one thing more than anything else that made 8-tracks suck like a Hoover was the fact that it had to change tracks four times during an album. This usually necessitated at least one song and usually more being interrupted in the middle!

Folks finally, after about ten years, started figuring this stuff out for themselves and replaced their 8-track cartriges with 4 track cassettes. Me? I never had an 8-track, although all my friends did. I, the geek, used the far more logical cassettes since about 1966 or 7. Hah! The geek gets the last laugh again!

Hollerith Cards
Now, I never had to deal with these monstrosities, except that many bills came on them, and picking classes while at college. But I have read of the horrors meted out to programmers at the time, and am glad I never had to deal with them in a programming environment.

Actually, the punched cards are only bad in retrospect, since the tools we have now are so much handier.

The ten million dollar, building sized pocket calculator
...simply because I couldn't have one at the time! I had to use...

The Slide Rule
Actually, I loved my slide rule. This was because my teachers were incredibly stupid, and thought "gee, he can use a slide rule, he must be really smart!"

Er, no. I used it to cheat in math class. My slide rule made it unnecessary to learn my multiplication tables. Even today if I want to multiply seven times nine, I'll multiply seven times four, double it, and add seven. Which is why I'm firmly against letting kids use calculators before high school.

And speaking of which, as much as I loved my slide rule, I was more than glad to be rid of it when the far, far superior calculator came down in price where a human could actually afford one.

The automobile distributor and points
Unless you are a classic car collector, or a geezer, you have no idea how much of a pain in the butt these things were. About every oil change or two, your car's performance and gas mileage would go down, and you would need a tuneup.

To tune your car, you could simply hire someone. That is, if you were a sissy.

A real man changed his own oil and tuned his own car up. You could tell a real man by the scars and scabs on his knuckles from working on his car.

First you had to change all eight of your spark plugs. What? You only have six? Pussy! Make sure you don't get the wires on wrong, or if your car will start at all, it will lurch and backfire and run like crap.

Then you had to take off the distributor cap, usually held on by two clips that would cut your fingers and were harder than a rubic cube solution to get clipped back on.

Under the distributor cap was the contact points. These had to be replaced. Then you had to adjust the gap on the points. Oh shit, I forgot to adjust the gaps on the spark plugs... do that all over again...

Now that the plugs are gapped and the points are replaced and gapped, you put the new distributor cap on... Come on... SHIT... GOD DAMNED PIECE OF SHI... ok, there it goes. Good. Gimme a bandaid, would ya?

Now you have to set the points' dwell. What's "dwell?" Beats the hell out of me, maybe it's the amount of time the points are closed. But you have to set it with a dwell meter or your car will run like it's powered by gerbils and will suck gas like Bush sucks at being President.

Then you have to get out your strobe and set the timing. You loosen the distributor, point your strobe at the mark on the... wait a minute... I can't see the damned mark. Stop the engine, would you?

Damn, it's all rusty and... to hell with it, start it back up and I'll time the God damned thing by ear, piece of shit...

Thank God and modern electronics for electronic ignition!

Lye Soap
My grandma made soap out of lye and pig fat. 'Nuff said, I think.

Non-powered hand tools
Can you even buy them today?

For a few years I owned a house that was built in 1918. It was state of the art when it was built, with gas and electric.

I often thought of the men who built that big old house, and marvelled that they had no power tools whatever!

Stoves without pilot lights
No, I'm not speaking here of the new stoves that use an electric spark. I'm talking about technology that I'm not old enough to know first hand, but have only read of.

Early stoves had to be lit with a match, and there were no safety devices to shut an unlit gas source off. The knob on the oven was known as "the knob that will make the house explode," because if you turned on the knob and didn't light it, sooner or later when the house was full of fumes, boom.

I doubt many people miss exploding houses!

Vacuum tubes
All right, yes, we still have tubes. Your CRT is a tube, there is one (I think) in your microwave oven, and they're still using them in some guitar amplifiers.

But they used to be in everything electronic. Your TV set, your radio, your record player, your... er, um... Gee. We didn't have a lot of electronic things!

But the tubes sucked. In the first place, their filaments must heat the tube enough that electrons will go flying off of the cathode before the thing will even work. Anything electronic took as long to warm up as your computer monitor.

Um, computer... damn, it takes a long time for my new P4 to boot, do these things have tubes or something?

In the second place, they lasted about as long as a light bulb; a year or two. Fortunately they were easy to diagnose (Tube's not lit? There's your problem!) and replace. Unfortunately they were expensive, two to five bucks each when a McDonald's hamburger was fifteen cents and a candy bar or a bottle of soda was a nickle.

The Hydrogen Bomb
Oh wait, that one's still around. Damn!


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Good riddamce to...
o The Guillotine 3%
o The 8-track Tape 18%
o The Dot Matrix Printer 9%
o Hollerith Cards 3%
o The ten million dollar, building sized pocket calculator 3%
o The Slide Rule 3%
o The automobile distributor and points 3%
o Lye Soap 3%
o Non-powered hand tools 1%
o Stoves without pilot lights 1%
o Vacuum tubes 3%
o The Hydrogen Bomb 16%
o The WIPO 24%

Votes: 53
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Useful Dead Technologies
o Also by mcgrew

Display: Sort:
Good Riddance to Bad Tech | 103 comments (86 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
Dot Matrix Printers (none / 1) (#7)
by codejack on Sat Mar 19, 2005 at 04:37:17 PM EST

Still out there; I am installing new ones every day.

Please read before posting.

damn... (none / 0) (#21)
by mcgrew on Sun Mar 20, 2005 at 03:19:34 PM EST

...you spoiled my whole weekend

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

They live forever! (none / 0) (#33)
by wiredog on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 09:28:49 AM EST

I had an Epson LQ-510 that lasted 16 years and for which I could find drivers for any Linux distro I tried. The Samsung ML-1450 laser doesn't work with Debian, RedHat, or any Fedora later than Core 2.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Huh? My Samsung ML-1450 works fine! (none / 1) (#68)
by badtux on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 08:42:59 PM EST

With everything.

Select 'Generic PCL-5 Printer' if you do not have a specific driver for it. It works. I promise you. This is as generic a printer as you'll ever find.

- Badtux the Printin' Penguin
In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin
[ Parent ]

Generic PCL-5 Printer (none / 0) (#74)
by wiredog on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 08:39:43 AM EST

Thanks! I've been trying to get the Samsung supplied drivers for that damn thing working with cups properly.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
I grew up using an LQ-1050 (none / 0) (#69)
by HyperMediocrity on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 09:47:01 PM EST

My dad was an architect, of the pen and paper variety, but he decided he'd better "learn this CAD thing". So he bought a 286 clone with a whopping 1 MB of memory and a 40MB hard drive, and this massive dot matrix that would do 11x17 printouts.

I don't think he ever learned much beyond how to open an AutoCAD drawing and read the relevant dimensions from it, but that printer served me well for probably a decade.

[ Parent ]

dotmatrix (none / 0) (#52)
by richarj on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 09:27:25 PM EST

Has now mostly been replaced by inferior thermal printing technology. I say inferior because the printouts do not last long enough. If you go to buy a product that has say a three year warranty then the receipt fades within one year, you will have major trouble getting a replacement. There is a small computer store in my town, where they photocopy receipts after being printed.

You might ask why not print using a better technology than thermal. Well here is the problem the next cheapest printing technology up from dot-matrix was/is thermal. So to cut back on buying 10,000 laser printers for their stores, most businesses opted for the cheaper thermal printers.

So having thrown out what you call an inferior technology. We a left with a vastly more inferior one.

Oh BTW did you know that you can still buy valves and stereos that use valves(vacuum tubes)?

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]

Thermal Ink. (none / 0) (#90)
by Cubics Rube on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 04:31:24 PM EST

I love thermal ink. You can hold a lighter under it and make it all black and then it turns white again with more heat but will turn black again when it cools unless you have vaporized the ink off completely. The vaporized ink smells vaguely like fungus or mold.

[ Parent ]
Only way to print multi-part forms (none / 0) (#67)
by badtux on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 08:39:20 PM EST

But thankfully, multi-part forms are slowly going away. Hopefully at some point in the near future, the government and banks will quit producing those shitty multi-part forms and go electronic, so that instead of filling out a multi-part form, you can just enter some stuff into a computer, then have it spit everything out and you just sign the result.

At some point in the future, government and banks may even move into the 21st century! But I'm not holding my breath...

- Badtux the IT Penguin
In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin
[ Parent ]

Dot Matrix is great. (none / 0) (#101)
by strawser on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 11:30:25 AM EST

I just threw out my dot matrix a year ago because it wasnt reasonable to repair it any more, and I had taken up digitial photography, so I needed a modern printer.

Prior to photography, though, all I ever printed was plain black text, which that printer did just fine, and with that old Panisonic, I could load a whole box of tractor feed paper and a new ribbon and print without interruption for a year or two. God that was nice.

I miss that lack of maintainance.

"Traveler, there is no path. You make the path as you walk." -- Antonio Machado
[ Parent ]

Yup -- point of sale (none / 0) (#80)
by Deagol on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 01:52:39 PM EST

Hard to do triplicate w/ laser printers. Sure, you can have the poor bastards sign *three* separate times (like the lame auto shop that works on my cars), but in fast-paced retail circles, that would be totally unacceptable.

I know -- I used to install Okidata dot matrix printers for a former employer. ;-)

[ Parent ]

cheap laser printers maybe (none / 0) (#87)
by georgeha on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 11:42:29 AM EST

if you get 2-3-4 part carbonless paper, you can do it, but you need a 2-3-4 paper tray printer, or you need to buy it precollated and use a reliable printer.

[ Parent ]
Can't quite fully agree. (3.00 / 6) (#8)
by Kasreyn on Sat Mar 19, 2005 at 06:41:03 PM EST

While I'm certainly glad dot matrix printers went the way of the dodo (I grew up with one because my family couldn't afford anything nicer), I have to take exception at the inclusion of lye soap and vacuum tubes.

While I'm not too interested in pure lye soap, I get sick of the fruity, pussified hygeine supplies available today. I go to my supermarket and search as I might, try as I might, I cannot find a product for washing my hands, face, or hair that will not leave behind the scent of some fruit, flower, or vegetable. I'm a human being, not a fruiterer's stall. I hate smelling like apricots after shampooing my hair, and I hate deodorants that have only two varieties of scent: overpowering musk for men, and violet puke for women. The scent industry is entirely out of control. Some of us don't want to burn out dogs' noses when we walk past. Some of us don't want an announcement of our presence to waft noisomely into every room we enter ahead of us. Amazingly, some of us don't want to smell like anything at all.

As for vacuum tubes, they DO make the best amps. I have a friend who is both a guitarist and an electronics wizard, he builds and sells amps, as well as hacking and tweaking existing amps. Think a kooky guy in his 50's, who looks like he's in his 70's, with thick coke-bottle glasses and an ex-hippie paranoid conspiracy freak attitude. I've listened to music through his amps, and through non-tube amps, and I can definitely hear the difference.

"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Smell freedom (none / 1) (#17)
by QuickFox on Sun Mar 20, 2005 at 10:17:08 AM EST

I get sick of the fruity, pussified hygeine supplies available today.

Try supplies for babies and children. At least here in Sweden there's a soap for children that's quite reasonable in smell and excellent as soap. Or look for supplies for allergics, some of them can't stand perfumes so you should even find stuff without any added scent at all. Pharmacists and special stores will probably have a wider assortment than a supermarket.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fish.<
[ Parent ]

Have you ever actually tried lye soap? (none / 0) (#19)
by guyjin on Sun Mar 20, 2005 at 02:53:35 PM EST

It stings. a lot. especially when it's on your face. [I understand very well why people back then didn't want to bathe but once a week.]

My dad claims the only time it ever felt good was when he got 'skunked' directly in the face.

-- 散弾銃でおうがいして ください
[ Parent ]

Not when you mix it right [nt] (none / 0) (#72)
by theantix on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 11:54:32 PM EST

You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]
long lasting deodorant (3.00 / 2) (#26)
by krkrbt on Sun Mar 20, 2005 at 05:21:47 PM EST

I hate deodorants that have only two varieties of scent...

I found this neat stuff a while back at the local health food store called "Lavilin".  It's a deodorant that you use about once every two weeks.  

I've been using it about 6 months, and love it.  About once every other week, I'll wash my armpits w/ soap & water, dry, apply, then go to bed.  Take a shower the next morning, and I'm odor free for weeks.  :).  

A search for "Lavilin Deodorant" will find an online retailer, if your local hippy store doesn't carry it.

[ Parent ]

Probably what is happening: (none / 0) (#59)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 09:36:05 AM EST

I'm odor free for weeks.  :).  

You get used to your own stink, then after two weeks the teeming bacteria colonies grow to such prominence that you can't filter out the smell anymore.

Then you wash your armpits and start the cycle anew!

[ Parent ]

Same here. (none / 0) (#29)
by phaedruswolffe on Sun Mar 20, 2005 at 10:00:16 PM EST

In addition to the soap, vacuum tubes, I am partial to hand-powered "power" tools. Why use up electricity for small jobs when you can expend some energy AND make yourself more capable of doing it again? (training) The rant was kinda funny at first, but it got old.

[ Parent ]
On hand powered tools (none / 0) (#37)
by NoBeardPete on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 01:22:42 PM EST

You have a bit more control with them. With a hand-powered drill, for example, it's easier to not punch through into something that shouldn't be damaged. If you're doing some job that requires you to be very careful, the hand-powered guys may be better. If you're doing a job that just needs to be done fairly quickly, though, you're better off with something you plug in.

Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

Vacuum Tubes (none / 0) (#64)
by hatshepsut on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 12:27:56 PM EST

I have an old (1950's?) Blaupunkt radio, with tubes. It takes about 15 seconds to warm up, but it has the best sound ever and with the old tuning knob (memorialized by mcgrew in his "useful dead technologies") I can pull in radio stations much further out, and closer on the dial, than any of the new radios/amps I have.

I have no idea what I will do when the tubes eventually break...I suppose find some store in some scary part of Toronto that will charge me some exorbitant price for replacements. Sigh.

[ Parent ]

Vacuum Tubes (none / 0) (#65)
by dougmc on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 02:32:08 PM EST

I have no idea what I will do when the tubes eventually break...
Check with the local ham (radio operators.) If they don't have the tubes, they probably know somebody who does, or at least know who to ask.

It may not be cheap, but it's probably available. It's also possible that you'd find the tube at a swap meet -- probably cheap, but you'll need to know what you're looking for and pick through a lot of tubes, many of which may not work anymore.

And tubes are used in more than audiophile amplifiers, CRTs and antique radios. Some modern ham radios still use them, and the're still quite heavily used in radio and TV broadcasting and things like radar (which is just radio, after all.) They're typically used for the final amplifier stage, where you get up to thousands, perhaps millions of watts.

And then there's this perverse fusion of old and new technology. Tubes are not going away, no matter how much mcgrew might hope.

[ Parent ]

Ivory Soap (none / 0) (#79)
by bgalehouse on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 01:13:19 PM EST

Ivory is available at many stores and is still free of perfumes and such. I tihnk they still have the silly claim "so pure it floats" while it floats becuase it is full of air bubles. Let it sit long enough and the colapse and it stops floating.

I grew up on the stuff, but have had enough trouble with dry skin that a dermitologist recommeneded cetaphil bar cleanser. It is slightly harder to find and expensive, but is much milder. Their normal version has a very light masking fragrance, and they have a version with no such additive for people bothered by it.

[ Parent ]

The solution to this (none / 1) (#92)
by Andy P on Sun Mar 27, 2005 at 06:08:05 PM EST

Go to your local automotive store.  Get yourself a bar of lava soap.  No scent, cleans like you wouldn't believe.

Myself, I want a soap that's scented but not pussified, so I get a gallon bottle of GOJO or Fast Orange.  Nothing wakes you up in the morning like the heady stench of orange and the scraping sensation of pumice rubbing away your skin.


[ Parent ]

Dove and Sure (none / 0) (#100)
by black orchidness on Fri May 20, 2005 at 01:33:37 PM EST

The problem with not using anything that smells fruity is that most unscented products are harsh on your skin. The solution? Dove. All of Dove's products are unscented (well, they have a smell, but it's more of a clean/soap smell like Ivory), and they nourish your skin and hair extremely well (unlike Ivory or other products). If you think the dove deoderant still smells too uh, smelly, you could try Sure unscented. That sucker has absolutely no odor whatsoever. Good for camping/hiking trips and such.

[ Parent ]
WIPO (none / 0) (#10)
by MX5 on Sat Mar 19, 2005 at 07:00:04 PM EST

IBM Type 1 data cabling.

"Next week on the programme, bats. Are they really blind or are they just taking the piss?" -tfs

Still asinine. (2.60 / 15) (#11)
by kitten on Sat Mar 19, 2005 at 07:43:04 PM EST

What's your point? What's so special about these particular items as opposed to any other of the hundred bazillion "technologies" that we aren't using today?

Why don't you have things like

The musket.
They were wildly inaccurate, had short range, and just generally sucked all around. And you had to muzzle-load them each time! What the shit was that, huh? But at least it was better than

The spear.
Yeah, with those you had to be right on top of the guy to get him. As much as muskets sucked, at least you had a prayer of doing some damage from a distance.

Fire-heated rocks.
Remember when we had to drop fire-heated rocks in pots of water to boil it and make it safe? Then someone got the idea to hang the pot of water over the fire itself, so we didn't have to do that anymore! Yay!

Chucking decayed cows over the castle walls.
Can you believe there was a time when, to attack an enemy that was behind a fortified structure, you'd load dead animals in your catapult and hurl them over the walls, so that you'd infect everyone with whatever vile disease the rotting carcass was carrying. These days we have modern biologic weapons that can be safely stored in canisters and deployed in long range missiles. We don't have to mess about with that dead-animal rubbish anymore!

Having to hunt and gather or farm.
Back in the day you had to do one or the other just to eat. Now we have like, mechanized agriculture and modern society and shit, so you don't have to personally raise, find, or kill everything that you put on your plate. Technology is cool!

Yeah, this article is just plain idiotic. -1.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
I disagree on the dead cows. (none / 0) (#13)
by Danzig on Sat Mar 19, 2005 at 09:09:15 PM EST

Long-range biological warfare is not really an improvement in my view.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
Thanks! (none / 0) (#31)
by Anonymous Howards End on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 05:12:29 AM EST

I couldn't decide which way to vote on this, but you made it very clear that it's worthy of a +1.
CodeWright, you are one cowardly hypocritical motherfucker.
[ Parent ]
muskets were accurate. nt (none / 0) (#36)
by mpalczew on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 12:30:34 PM EST

-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]
Not really (none / 0) (#61)
by hoops on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 10:05:22 AM EST

when compared to a rifle. The difference between a musket and a rifle is, well, rifling. The bore of a musket is smooth, whereas, rifle has a series of spiral grooves cut into the inside of the barrel. These grooves impart spin to the bullet leaving the barrel. This spin helps to stabilize the bullet in flight.
Accuracy of Smoothbore Muskets vs. Rifle-muskets
(Shooting at a target 6 feet high and 20 feet wide. From U.S. Army experiments in 1856.)
Distance Smoothbore Rifle
100 yards 74.5% 94.5%
200 yards 42.5% 80%
300 yards 16% 55%
400 yards 4.5% 52.5%
from http://www.civilwar.org/historyclassroom/hc_smallarmshist.htm

Well Mr. Smartypants, if rifles were so good why didn't all troops use them? The answer is simply money. Rifles were MUCH more difficult to produce and therefore expensive.
If I were a koala bear, the first thing I would do is urinate all over you and bi
Parent ]

Not just more expensive (none / 0) (#84)
by IslandApe on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 06:12:04 PM EST

If you read contemporary accounts or even the gernerally well researched Bernard Cornwall "Sharpe" novels, they will point out speed of loading as a factor. It is a lot harder to muzzle load a rifle (pre Minie bullet) due to the force requireed to overcome the rifleing. Plus, before the Minie the rifleman would normally apply a leather patch to the bullet, further complicated and thus slowing the process.

O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us, An' foolish notion;
[ Parent ]
yes, my mistake (none / 0) (#96)
by mpalczew on Thu Mar 31, 2005 at 03:25:46 PM EST

I was thinking of a different(incorrect) definition of musket as any gun with a long barrel which had to be loaded with gun powder then a projectile, as opposed to cartridges.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]
Scylla and Charybidis (none / 0) (#39)
by T818 on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 04:01:21 PM EST

The point is to fill up the queque with the ho hum. The idea is that Randy will be tempted to post the deranged trolls of the S Troll Community so as to at least generate some controversy.

Randy is being given a choice. Randy can either post the ho hum or the deranged.

What Randy must realize is those of S Troll Community spend 80 hours a week trolling

Randy must wend a way between Scylla and Charybdis.

[ Parent ]

oh i get it (1.00 / 7) (#15)
by Peter Wyckoff on Sun Mar 20, 2005 at 12:56:33 AM EST

you're crapflooding the queue again. LOL or something like that.

oh i get it (none / 0) (#22)
by mcgrew on Sun Mar 20, 2005 at 03:22:03 PM EST

your previous account got banned for some sort of malfeasance?

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

If you wanted to multiply 7 by 9 (3.00 / 3) (#18)
by werner on Sun Mar 20, 2005 at 02:33:25 PM EST

wouldn't you just multiply 7 by 10, then take away 7? Seems a lot simpler to me. Never used a slide rule, though. What do they do, then?

Yes (none / 1) (#20)
by mcgrew on Sun Mar 20, 2005 at 03:16:31 PM EST

But only when I'm sober.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Ssh (2.25 / 4) (#24)
by trhurler on Sun Mar 20, 2005 at 03:46:15 PM EST

You'll give away the secrets to being able to think if you keep that shit up.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
my method (none / 1) (#30)
by cronian on Sun Mar 20, 2005 at 11:52:12 PM EST

For n such that 0<n<9, 9*n=(n-1)*10+(9-(n-1)). Thus, the first digit is one less than the number, and the numbers add up to 9. <br>
There are similar tricks for other numbers. For 2, you obviously just double it. For 3, it gets a little trickier, but tripling isn't all the hard. Also, the digits must add up to a number that is divisible, which is handy for checking your work.

Overall, there is a general scheme. Sometimes, it might help to think in different base systems, so long as you know the powers of various numbers.

Here is how I do it generally:
1*n=n, obviously

If you are good at rearanging things a bit, and such, you can find algorithms for doing multiplication quickly. Eventually, you will probably memorzie the multiplication tables if you multiply enough.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
Do you still have your slide rule? nt (none / 0) (#45)
by mcgrew on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 05:38:02 PM EST

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

How a slide rule works (3.00 / 5) (#62)
by DaChesserCat on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 10:26:18 AM EST

Slide rules were kind of like rulers, except they were marked in a logarithmic scale (the space between 1 and 2 is longer than the space between 2 and 3, and 5- 10 are about as wide as 1 - 3). Since multiplying numbers is equivalent to adding the logarithms, and dividing numbers is like subtracting logarithms, they allowed you to quickly multiply and divide numbers.

Yes, I still have one, bequeathed to me by my late high-school math teacher. He used it when he was studying for his Masters. It did the usual multiplication and division, plus logarithmic conversion (that was a simple, linear scale), square roots and cube roots, and the usual trig functions.

If you looked at it and played with it long enough, you started to visually SEE the relationships between the different functions, which is truly mind-boggling.

Baffled the hell out of my kids the first time they ran across it. One of them recognized it, though, when we were watching Apollo 13. There's a scene where a bunch of mission controllers are using them to check some of Jim Lovell's calculations.

Trains stop at train stations Busses stop at bus stations A windows workstation . . .
[ Parent ]
Vacuum tubes ? (2.50 / 2) (#32)
by CivisHumanus on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 06:30:06 AM EST

Vacuum tubes make far better sound amplifiers than any solid-state circuit ever will. Go to your local audiophile store, plug in your headphones to a decent tube amp, play your favorite CD and you will likely hear sounds (probably in the higher frequencies) you have never heard before.

IAWTP (none / 1) (#34)
by Mr.Surly on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 11:36:11 AM EST

Tubes are superior to solid state electronics with these exceptions:

Power consumption (and heat dissapation)
Length of life
Warmup time

The actual signal quality is better.

[ Parent ]

price and durability [nt] (none / 0) (#71)
by emmons on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 11:03:08 PM EST

In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams

[ Parent ]
More tube disadvantages (none / 1) (#85)
by Trepalium on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 08:21:22 PM EST

Vacuum tubes are also worse than solid state at harmonic distortion and frequency response. The signal quality is worse, but sounds better to human ears. There is a fair bit of research as to why vacuum tubes sound better despite the fact that solid state electronics has less overall distortion, and perhaps not surprisingly, much of it is conflicting.

However, despite all this, for most uses, a transistor amplifying circuit is more than adequate for most people who just want to listen to music or watch a movie. Vacuum tube amps are highly overrated by audiophiles.

[ Parent ]

Kinda like LP vs CD (none / 0) (#44)
by mcgrew on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 05:37:06 PM EST

Yes, they sound better, I agree. Especially in a guitar amp where you need the "warm" distortion.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Yes but (none / 1) (#47)
by D Jade on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 05:49:26 PM EST

Tube amps are expensive. The fact is that if you spent $1,000 on an AMP you would get a better sound out of a solid state circuit. It is like the CD vs LP debate. While you will get better sound quality out of the analogue formats, invariably, your quality will degrade with each playing.

So while Audiophiles may enjoy hearing high frequency sounds that you or I can't hear, it's not much good when you need to spend at least $5,000 to get the same quality of sound you'd get... Personally, I wouldn't bother with a tube amp unless I had at least $50,000 to throw away on it... Which I don't...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]

Harmonics (none / 0) (#86)
by John Miles on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 10:39:22 AM EST

...you will likely hear sounds (probably in the higher frequencies) you have never heard before.

Yeah, you've never heard them before, because the recording engineer didn't put them on the CD.

I'm always amused at the audiophile notion that an amp is supposed to color the sound of a recording. How can the same coloration be appropriate for Willie Nelson, Roger Norringon, Trent Reznor, and Portishead?

Adding "warmth" and "soundstage" is the job of the long-haired guy with a bunch of knobs (that probably aren't even hooked up) and a joint or two in front of him, not the power amp at the very end of the signal chain.

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]

Printers and amps (none / 1) (#35)
by bobpence on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 11:57:47 AM EST

We bought a dot matrix printer for our Atari 800XL when they came down to the $250 range - I think that was in the 65/130XE days, so it matched their gray more than the tan and brown of my old XL. Before that I had only 4" wide plotter. School reports? I tried some on the circa 1915 Underwood #4, and I seem to recall we had an another old (but less old) typewriter.

Meanwhile 3 years ago while my boss was on paternity leave and I filled in, I loved that simply turning on his vacuum tube amp, maybe playing some CD's at low volume, would warm up his freezing office. (He preferred higher volume. The guy next to him just suffered through.) As far as tubes in TV's, I remember accompanying my father to the hardware store, where they had a tester. How he got all the tubes back in the right slots back at home is a mystery.

This weekend I remembered that my non-cordless land line phone was in a bad way, so I was going to buy a cheap land line phone from Wal-Mart. I spent twice as much as I had planned, but rather than a basic unit I got a corded speakerphone (with free over-the-ear headset!) that is powered by the phone line (no need to plug in to AC, no loss when power goes out if phone line still works). For $9.96. And it matches my wireless Microsoft keyboard and mouse.

"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender

I'm a luddite (none / 0) (#40)
by Skywise on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 04:10:22 PM EST

With a vacuum tube P4 it's be the reverse of the speed step... You'd have to wait for your computer to get hot before it'd run at full speed...

And while printing is far less noisy, there's something concrete and tactile about my first printer, an Okimate 20.  Where each line of text was emphasized by a blurred staccato of pin hits on the thermal tape.  Not quite the same effect as my Cannon IP5000 which just goes [whirrr] [slide slide slide slide...][COUGH] (Course it puts out much nicer prints at a fraction of the time but that's such a small thing...)
And not at all close to the tactile sense I got from the time I got to run the heavy duty line printer for putting out reports at the local college.  Big, thick, clunky buttons that required serious pressure to close.  Priming that thing to print was like priming a nuclear furnace.  Press Power On [CHUNK] [sound of an engine powering up], Press network connect [CHUNK].  Wait for the network light... wait for the ready light.  Press On-Line and step back [CHUNK] and the paper starts flying...

WHAT? (none / 0) (#43)
by mcgrew on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 05:33:53 PM EST


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

pshaw (none / 0) (#75)
by Hillgiant on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 08:41:23 AM EST

Back in the day, I had to run sound surveys on employees to see if they needed have their hearing tested on an annual basis. To test the equipment, I placed a mic directly over the head of the office dot matrix printer. The time weighted average was ~40 decibles with a peak somewhere near 60. Not even close to the hearing-damaging threasholds. Compressed air equipment (real equipment, not your little pneumatic hammer drill), generators, arc-gouging. Now that is some real noise.

"It is impossible to say what I mean." -johnny
[ Parent ]

-1, anti-capital punishment tripe. (1.20 / 5) (#41)
by undermyne on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 05:01:14 PM EST

If some asshat ever rapes and kills your wife/mother/daughter allow me to stand over their newly lifeless body and tell you that the source of your grief will live out his full life in relative comfort on your dime.

A guillotine is too humane in most cases...

"I think you've confused a GMail invite with money and a huge cock." Th
Fucking bleeding heart conservatives... (none / 0) (#42)
by mcgrew on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 05:32:17 PM EST

I want him punished, not painlessly and humanely put to sleep like a dog one has loved but now has distemper. No, death is inevitable, we all will die. Having him end his life painlessly and humanely is NOT punishment.

Chances are when you and I go, it will be by auto wreck or cancer or something equally horible. Yet you would let your worst enemy have a painless, humane death?

Not me. I want the fuckwad to spend the rest of his fucking life in a 6x9 room, thinking about what he's done for the next 50, 70, 90 years or as long as he lives.

We're all going to die. Death is God's punishment. Let God have His vengeance AFTER the shitprick spends 80 years in a windowless room.

And if they HAVE to kill him, hang him. Slowly; don't break his neck, ease him up there and let him hang. And let everybody watch.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

humans are imperfect (none / 0) (#48)
by luke on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 07:12:45 PM EST

Humans are imperfect. We make mistakes. This (as far as I have observed) is true of all humans, including the ones sentencing our criminals.

If in 20 years we find out that the fuckwad really wasn't the person that "rape[d] and kill[ed] your wife/mother/daughter," but that it was in fact some other fuckwad, we can let fuckwad #1 out to try to get on with the rest of his life. That option doesn't exist if we have killed fuckwad #1.

[ Parent ]
Aww, come on... (none / 0) (#56)
by JussiK on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 05:35:38 AM EST

If killing fuckwad #1 made the guy happier, think how happy he must become when he gets to kill another fuckwad for the same crime (or, with luck, even more fuckwads)!

[ Parent ]
ROR (none / 0) (#51)
by undermyne on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 08:48:32 PM EST

that was way too easy...

"I think you've confused a GMail invite with money and a huge cock." Th
Parent ]
-1, boring (none / 1) (#49)
by opusman on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 07:29:53 PM EST

Put it in a diary.

Soap. (none / 0) (#50)
by Back Spaced on Mon Mar 21, 2005 at 07:33:59 PM EST

Don't knock the home-made soap. Not only is it fun to render fat (and the appeal of working with lye is self-explanatory), but the stuff cuts grease like... well, it's actually quite a bit like bathing with dishwashing detergent. So maybe you do have a point there. But still, you can make a decades worth of soap in an afternoon out of your old bacon drippings.
Mmmm... bacon... what was I talking about?

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.

Lye soap (none / 0) (#54)
by sakusha on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 02:48:42 AM EST

You obviously never actually bathed in lye soap. My dad was a cheap SOB and his parents were Amish, they made their own soap so he loved lye soap. He bought store-made lye soap and wouldn't buy anything else even when he was loaded with money. Bathing in lye soap is like washing in steel wool. My brothers and sisters bitched and bitched and finally he gave in and bought Ivory soap for us, but he never gave up lye soap for himself.

[ Parent ]
Lye soap. (none / 0) (#66)
by Back Spaced on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 04:58:19 PM EST

Actually, I have. Quite a bit. My father grew up on it, and he continued to make it while we were growing up. I learned how from him. The last batch that we made was about five years ago, and its still going. I use it every time I visit home.

With my skin type, it doesn't really bother me.

Bluto: My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder. He's pre-med.
[ Parent ]

Mac OS 9 Rocks! (none / 1) (#53)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 01:09:02 AM EST

You know, what didn't used to be called Classic back before Mac OS X was released.

I have quite joyfully spent the last few days testing and debugging my client's arcane color management application under Mac OS 9 because that's what the Spotlight memory debugger runs on.

Maybe Spotlight itself could be got to run on OS X but it's pretty damn hardwired for Code Fragment Manager executables because the way it works is that it massively edits the executable binary of the program under test to do such things as validate all the memory accesses, test for leaks and validate the parameters and results of system calls.

It was in beta testing for at least four years, but the version 1.0 I have, bought in 2000, is rock-solid. It is by far the best investment I have ever made in a development tool.

Spotlight: it's why you should still support Mac OS 9 in your development.

To my knowledge, there is nothing like it for Mac OS X to be had for any price.

Oh, yeah, and I'm getting to play with MacsBug again. I'm a wizard with MacsBug. It's just like old times. Apple sez you should use gdb to debug machine code on OS X, but gdb is Teh Sux0r when it comes to assembly code debugging. MacsBug is far superior.


Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy

Agree with you MacsBug... (none / 0) (#58)
by Tau Neutrino on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 09:00:28 AM EST

But TMON was even better. MacsBug on steroids. A little unwieldy at first, once you got the hang of it, it would practically debug your code by itself.

Ah, those were the days.
Theater is life, cinema is art, television is furniture.
[ Parent ]
I used TMON early on... (none / 0) (#60)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 09:51:28 AM EST

... and really liked it, because the early MacsBug was really primitive. I'm using, let's see... MacsBug 6.6.3, which is considerably advanced from those early days.

I was very privileged, when I worked at Apple, to have the MacsBug source code, so I could occassionally hack in my own new features. Nothing I ever did lived to see the light of day, but that's basically how MacsBug evolved over the years.

It's a shame to see it die. Mac OS X has NOT yet gotten a suitable replacement.

It is possible to put alternative user interfaces on GDB. What I would like to see is a UI that looked like either TMON or MacsBug, but with the Dirty GNU Hippily Goodness of GDB.


Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy

[ Parent ]

Many dot matrix (none / 1) (#55)
by kuro5hinatportkardotnet on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 04:51:39 AM EST

printers had multiple fonts. The 24 pin models actually had quite nice output. They were noisy as hell though. Typewriters? Were you perhaps talking about Daisy Wheel Printers?


Libertarian is the label used by embarrassed Republicans that long to be open about their greed, drug use and porn collections.
In fact, (none / 0) (#77)
by davidduncanscott on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 10:11:59 AM EST

that was kind of the point of DMP's. Daisy wheels were simpler, being little more than a Selectric sans keyboard (some Silver-Reed typewriters had a parallel interface for the purpose, and somebody came up with a mechanical approach to the problem, with pistons poised over the keys), but also being restricted to whatever font was on the wheel. Only the itty-bittiest of dot-matrix machines had only one font, and most allowed for some degree of graphics.

What I want is a laser with continous forms, so that I could use fan-fold greenbar, preferably at 132 columns -- manly printing, the sort of printing that COBOL programmers do.

[ Parent ]

Dot matrix ain't dead.. I don't think... (none / 0) (#89)
by Cubics Rube on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 04:26:21 PM EST

Aren't they still used for printing labels and such

[ Parent ]
How about... (none / 0) (#103)
by RainyRat on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 05:36:21 PM EST

...Golfball printers? Now, there's a technology that really shouldn't have been.

And yes, dot matrix printers are still in use today. I had to buy a new one for our accounts department a couple of years ago, so that they could print our payslips.

Eagles may soar, but rats seldom get sucked into jet engines.
[ Parent ]
I have a slide rule on my watch.... (none / 0) (#57)
by claes on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 08:21:36 AM EST

so there. Am I retro-cool or what?

-- claes

You don't do Real Math with a Calculator (2.83 / 6) (#63)
by hardburn on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 11:05:38 AM EST

The "math" you do on a calculator has little do with what mathematicians actually do all day. That sort of math cannot be done on a calculator (or slide rule, for that matter). It might be done at some basic level by advanced AI deep in the bowles of MIT. High School Geometry is the first time most people are exposed to anything like real math (i.e., formulating proofs).

Personally, I support teaching proofs far earlier in a child's education. That makes the calculator issue irrelevent.

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

Not artificial (none / 1) (#78)
by OmniCognate on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 10:38:13 AM EST

No doubt some fairly hardcore maths went on deep inside The Bowles of MIT, but I'm pretty sure he was a real person, not an AI. Or did you mean bowels?

[ Parent ]
Terminology (3.00 / 2) (#82)
by Deagol on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 02:14:53 PM EST

To paraphrase what a high school math teacher once said: "Arithmetic is what you do in grade school. Math is what you do in high scool."

[ Parent ]
What's wrong with lye soap? (none / 1) (#73)
by theantix on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 11:59:43 PM EST

Don't knock it until you tried it, dude.  a photodocumentary of sorts about the process of making soap from lye and bacon.  It was not only fun to make but made awesome soap too... I think the trick is to get the proportions right which I failed to do when I tried to make soap out of olive oil.  For the bacon soap, I used these directions and like I said it's a very fun project.

You sir, are worse than Hitler!
Stoves without pilot lights (none / 1) (#76)
by lorentey on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 09:06:32 AM EST

Well, in Europe we still have these beasts everywhere, but we don't actually explode our houses that frequently. Mind you, most of them do have a simple bimetal safety switch that switches off the gas after a while when the flame goes off. That is usually the first thing that breaks, and then you have to prop up something against the gas knob to cook your breakfast.

Lye soap is bad?!? You're shittin' me! (none / 1) (#81)
by Deagol on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 02:02:32 PM EST

I'm biased, of course, as my wife makes soaps from animal/vegetable oils and good ol' lye.

In fact, I haven't used commercially-made soap in 8 years, since marrying my wife. And it's *so* much easier on the skin than that crap you get from the store, full of synthetic everything.

Our default dish and laundry soap is made from recycled bacon greese. We keep a plastic tub of said greese in the feezer, 'til it's time for a new batch. She then washes the oil on the stove: simmer oil and water, let settle, cool in fridge until oil solidifies, repeat w/ clean water until the fat is pure white and doesn't smell of bacon.

There are tons of recipes for fat-and-lye soap on te 'net, so I won't waste space here.

A touch of veggie oils from the pantry make the soap slightly nicer, plus an essiential oil of choice for scent (tea tree and patcholi (sp?!?) are favorites). Lye is pretty cheap, and available at most grocery stores in the cleaning section.

Sure, synthetic detergents cut greese a little better, but they're *so* harsh on the skin.

Guillotine (none / 1) (#83)
by ethereal on Wed Mar 23, 2005 at 03:59:41 PM EST

I don't support the death penalty, but I think I'd prefer the Guillotine to a firing squad.  Seems like a guillotine would have a better chance of getting the job done cleanly and quickly on the first try.

Lethal injection probably beats both, unless those stories about people actually not being knocked out at the point when their muscles are stopped is true.


Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Things I would prefer the Guillotine to: (none / 1) (#88)
by Cubics Rube on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 04:23:41 PM EST

  • Tuna fish from a can or pouch. It's frikken cat food! Can't even bear the smell!
  • Firing squad
  • Hanging, Electric chair, Gaz Chamber
  • Life in prison
  • More than 30 years in prison
  • More than 20 years in prison
  • More than 10 years in prison with Bubba the butt buddy
  • More than 5 years in prison with Bubba the butt buddy
  • More than one year in prison with Bubba the butt buddy
  • More than a week in prison with Bubba the butt buddy
  • A romantic night alone in a cell with Bubba the butt buddy

[ Parent ]
Quick and Clean (none / 0) (#99)
by black orchidness on Fri May 20, 2005 at 01:14:56 PM EST

Although the guillotine seems like it would offer a quick and clean death (what could be better than a swiftly plummeting sharp razor blade the size of a battle axe?), in one of my history classes the professor noted that not all deaths were quick or clean. Apparently they didn't keep that puppy sharpened all the time, or small things would go wrong and the blade would get stuck halfway through the neck. Then they'd have to drag it out and try again. Mmm.. pleasant thought, isn't it?

[ Parent ]
Automotive Tech (3.00 / 2) (#91)
by The Real Lord Kano on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 01:41:01 AM EST

A distributor and points were a GOOD THING. When your car wasn't running properly, you could replace your distributor cap/points, rotor, spark plugs and spark plug wires for under $30 and it would take 20 minutes of your time. It'll cost you double that just to get a reputable mechanic to look at your car now. LK

stay on topic, my friend (none / 1) (#93)
by admdrew on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 03:15:58 AM EST

Given the quality (in terms of maintenance-free usage, anyway) of engines and cars at that time, you are entirely correct. Now, however, the make of our cars is such that things like the plugs and wires are supposed to work without fault and little upkeep.

What, then, does the cost of a mechanic working on a modern car have anything to do with said topic?

[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#94)
by The Real Lord Kano on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 02:52:20 PM EST

Now, however, the make of our cars is such that things like the plugs and wires are supposed to work without fault and little upkeep.

Spark plugs are exposed to high pressure and heat because of the explosions in the cylinders. It's only a matter of time until they require replacement.

Even in a perfectly tuned engine, carbon deposits will eventually make necessary their replacement.


[ Parent ]

read, s'il vous plait (none / 0) (#95)
by admdrew on Mon Mar 28, 2005 at 03:28:34 PM EST

As I said, modern engines require little upkeep. Even if plugs need replacing, it isn't something that happens often. Besides, have you ever replaced spark plugs in a late model engine? It's amazingly easy; I'd certainly categorize their infrequent replacement as 'little upkeep.'

[ Parent ]
Manual toothbrushes (none / 0) (#97)
by morewhine on Sun May 01, 2005 at 01:37:50 AM EST

Sonicare now - I could never go back.

printers (none / 1) (#98)
by tronics on Sat May 14, 2005 at 11:18:35 PM EST

They are not called dot matrix any more people like to call them "impact" printers. It sounds a lot cooler and does not have the negative connotations of something so antiquated
pickpickpickpick (none / 0) (#102)
by astatine on Sat Jun 18, 2005 at 02:05:01 AM EST

Impact printers also include the ever-popular daisy wheel and its variations, while ink jet and thermal printers often use a form of dot matrix. Impact is generally the source of the awful racket though; while dot matrix units wail like banshees, daisy wheel printers sound as though a mad engineer from Remington crossed an automatic weapon with a typewriter.

Society, they say, exists to safeguard the rights of the individual. If this is so, the primary right of a human being is evidently to live unrealistically.Celia Green
[ Parent ]
Good Riddance to Bad Tech | 103 comments (86 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
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