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Friday Fun: Without Saying Your Age...

Darryl Lee Community Leader Oct 07, 2021

So, this is an oldie, but I like the excuse to be a crotchety old man:

Without saying your age, what is something you remember from your childhood that a younger person would not understand?

When I wanted to dial a BBS, I had to check if the number was a local call or not, otherwise I'd get in trouble. (I never got into learning how to hack free long distance calls.)



that would be telling....

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Shouting at your sister to get off the 'phone because you wanted to use the internet 

"I was using the internet before the web existed"

Still remembering your login to JANET

"What's a search engine?"

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Oh my, same here.

First - fight with my brother who is going to use the internet first, then heartbreaking prayers to mom for "letting us use the phone for internet". 

Playing Super Mario 64. I loved the music. Reminds me transition to 3D gameplay.

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I don't like this game, lol =b

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I guess I'll play.

Kids today will never know the adrenaline rush of running to the bathroom  during a commercial break and then hurd… | Tv commercials, Sarcastic humor,  Funny pictures

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... and one of you became the remote control.  Usually with a pair of pliers because the knob broke off the front of the tv.


See the source image

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Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Oct 07, 2021

Thank you @Marjorie!  I was just going to mention that!

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John M Funk Community Leader Oct 07, 2021

Yeah, mine was going to be having to get up to go change the channel. 

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AND smacking the box, twiddling the antenna getting it to defuzz... well, I believe some people used to do that.....

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@Linda Milne_Togetha Group_  HAHAHAHA.... tinfoil on the antenna... always worked too!  ;) or so I am told...

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@Linda Milne_Togetha Group_  - the day you realised you could get a better picture by clipping off the original battered antenna (after years of abuse from the family trying to get a better signal, grandad bending it into other shapes to use as a christmas decoration, and the cat seeing it as a toy) and replacing it with a coat-hanger.

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Kathy Hart Community Leader Oct 07, 2021

Renting a Video Disk machine from the Video Store. 

Getting a stereo system that included an 8 track tape slot. 

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@Kathy Hart that was the life, wasn't it???  

Image result for Popular Toys From 1970s


Image result for 70s Stuff

and this

Image result for 70s Stuff

and this too

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Kathy Hart Community Leader Oct 11, 2021

Making chains out of those to make frames for my blacklight posters. LOL

LOL... Yes, my dad's friend had chains hanging from the ceiling in his man cave!  right next to the beer fridge.

Monique vdB Community Manager Oct 07, 2021


Here is something I remember: logging into a local BBS that only 4 people could be on at once, with my very first modem, which I believe was 300 baud.  

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Monique vdB Community Manager Oct 07, 2021

(You would think it would be a straight line from the BBS to a career as a community manager but it definitely was not.) 

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Monique vdB Community Manager Oct 07, 2021

And @Darryl Lee our BBS was local (phew, no long distance calls) but it did tie up our only phone line.  We had local meetups, too, with quite an assortment of characters.  One of them is my best friend to this day. One of them was a young kid who grew up to be a famous actor. One of them got rich buying up URLs before they were cool. Ah, memories....

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Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Oct 07, 2021

I'm going to go this route:

My Mom always wanted us to take more than one picture "just in case the first didn't turn out".

When would we find out? Not immediately, first we'd need to use the remaining pictures on one of these:


Then we'd need to take that or multiple of them into a specialize store to have the pictures "developed".

It could take weeks before you would see those pictures again.

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Or the kid that would always turn their head just as the picture was taken...

who me.jpg

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Ahhh, that one time when your film is not exactly loaded, and you find it out when you pass the 36 mark ...

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"knock the tab out to keep it"

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While visiting my parent's house my then-8'ish-yr-old daughter asked if she could call her new best friend. My mother said, "Sure but please keep the call to 5 mins. or less."

It was a long-distance call.

A couple of minutes later my daughter came to find me and whispered "I don't think grammy's phone is working." 

I went with her to the kitchen, picked up the handset, and heard a dial tone. I said, "I think it's working, honey." 


Then, she started to move her finger around the dial pushing on the digits of her friend's phone number!

It was then I realized, she had only ever been exposed to push-button phones.

Oldphoneworks :: Antique Phones :: All :: Styleline - Wall mount - Rotary -Green

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A very British one - when mum says "pop into Bejam for some frozen peas on your way back"?

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John M Funk Community Leader Oct 07, 2021

Registered for classes in college with these:

punch card.png

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@John M Funk been there, done that too!

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Waiting in line for the card punch machine...before waiting in line to submit your batch job to run your project...before waiting in line to get your printout to check the results...repeat.  :^)

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How about dropping the box and scattering your cards on the ground on the way to dropping off your final project to your CS professor? 

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John M Funk Community Leader Oct 08, 2021

Yes! And one day, I saw a dude drop his box - in the rain!!! Pretty sure it was tears I saw mixed with the rain drops.  :-(

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Esther Strom Community Leader Oct 07, 2021

I have quite a few, but this is one that younger people seem flummoxed by.


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fancy schmancy graphics tools



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I call them "the laptop for my PHB"

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My first laptop had 8 lines of text with 40 characters, a 300 baud acoustical modem, and 8K of RAM.

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Darryl Lee Community Leader Oct 07, 2021

Oooh, TRS-80 Model 100?

Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100.jpg

We had the nifty NEC version the PC-8201: 

No modem, but I much prefer the arrow-key layout. I actually think I have it in the house somewhere, but the battery pack got corroded out. I should really try to fix it. Loved that machine for hammering out plain text.

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When I was a kid, the snake 🐍 got stuck in bicycle back wheel. While taking out the snake my mother saw me and started beating me because she thought that I am playing with it😃😃

Fabian Lim Community Leader Oct 08, 2021

Commodore 128 was my game console.

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Ah, it's nice to hear from the youth ;-)

Mine was a Vic 20 (then a C64, which lasted long enough that we skipped the C128 and the next one was an Amiga)

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*modem Internet connection sounds* & waiting.

Oh, wait, it's down... I need to connect again. 

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Jack Brickey Community Leader Oct 08, 2021

Enough said….



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Remember the days when screens were for wimps...

dec writer.jpg

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.... of course Ive only HEARD about these...

Brant Schroeder Community Leader Oct 08, 2021

Party line.

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Mikael Sandberg Community Leader Oct 08, 2021

The payphone...


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Used the drive up version in Wisconsin in the snow storms to call home and let them know I was ok. See the source image

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The English still use these a lot.  

In the nicer areas of the country, we've got mini-libraries, local produce shops, type 40's, coffee/cake/sandwich/salad shops, art galleries, bars, and even emergency medical centres (essentially a defibrillator and a, well, telephone)

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On the early VCRs, manually setting the little dials for the start and end times to program recording.

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Darryl Lee Community Leader Oct 08, 2021

Whoa, like this?
Vintage Philips N1500 video recorder VCR. Museum of old video recorders.  Philips early video history.

I remember the blinking 12:00s you'd see everywhere...

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COBOL on punch cards, first modem was 150 Baud Anderson Jacobson audio coupled, I ran BBS's, I loved Omni and Games magazine, and on Sunday nights a radio show played that was just static to the uninitiated, but if you recorded it on cassette tape (and the stars were aligned), you could then load that recording into a PET/CBM and have some kind of useful game or utility.  Lunar Lander was great!  I hated when 10 digit phone numbers came out and we still had a rotary phone, 5 and 7 digit were working just fine!  Never even heard of a school lockdown, and Buck Rogers and Battlestar Galactica rocked.  Bugs, Scooby and Fred & Barney were the goto cartoons, and it was cool to smoke candy cigarettes.  I remember being, like everyone, riveted for days to Saturn V launches and trips to the moon.

I hated that everything was closed on Sunday's, now I miss it, a down day would be appreciated.

On the other hand, I don't miss being afraid of Russia and nuclear bombs, rectal thermometers, mucking about with the TV antenna, being my Dad's personal TV Remote, waiting a week to get film developed, and I could have lived without Salvage 1 and that Star Wars Christmas Special.

2021-10-08 09_16_52-550986-lunar-lander-commodore-pet-cbm-screenshot-oops.png (PNG Image, 384 × 282 .pnggames-magazine-lot-issues-1980_1_99cc4d0f8c1b2b7389b76d115003e183.jpge1ctWiJZNoT57q6QHv4CG18cEAF.jpg

2021-10-08 09_21_53-1312.jpg (WEBP Image, 890 × 534 pixels) — Mozilla Firefox.png

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Darryl Lee Community Leader Oct 08, 2021

Was Salvage I the prototype for the Blue Origin ship New Shepard?

jeff bezos inspects blue origin new shepard rocket booster

Darryl Lee Community Leader Oct 08, 2021

I just read your post more carefully. Wow, recording programs off of RADIO to load into a your PET? That's something!

I mean, we had cassette "drives" for our TRS-80 and Apple ][, (our PETs were at school) but I didn't even think about the possibility of broadcasting a program. That's crazy cool. What kind of station was this, and where?

Oh right, audio couplers on modems. I reckon the one we had hooked up to our TRS-80 probably was only 150baud as well.

It was the coolest dang thing dialing up to what was probably UC Berkeley's mainframe in the 70s and printing my own copies of ASCII Snoopy, Charlie Brown, etc. instead of having to use the teletypes at the Lawrence Hall of Science where they'd charge you like 5¢ for every printout!

Of course our "printouts" were on silver thermal paper that probably faded out within a year:

Screen Shot 2021-10-08 at 4.07.57 PM.png

I thi9nk it was a BBC program that got replayed by a local station here.  I had done some work with TRaSh 80s as we fondly referred to them, but the only OTA software broadcast I knew of was for the CBM/PET Basic programs (inline interpreter, no compiles, so just an ASCII stream converted to audio.

Alex Koxaras Community Leader Oct 08, 2021

I grew up using these:



The below was an everyday struggle:


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Fabian Lim Community Leader Oct 08, 2021


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I had one of these later on, luxury, with Lotus 1-2-3, Harvard Graphics and WordPerfect, it was practically office productivity!  I still prefer a CLI interface to this day

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I still catch myself typing the old Wordstar shortcut command patterns for block operations...every now and again...and wondering why the IDE isn't responding.

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HA, I remember Wordstar, so we're both old!

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Darryl Lee Community Leader Oct 08, 2021

Oh man, I was lucky enough to not have to use Wordstar, but my first email account was on a SunOS machine and I that's when I became a devotee of vi.

Did you know:

vi commands for up/down (j/k) work in Gmail (if you enable Keyboard Shortcuts)

j/k also work for photo features at The Atlantic

Sadly, it used to work at The Boston Globe but I guess the Unix geeks left the building. :-{

I have a Sun box with SunOS stamped all over it that I still use for Christmas decorations, was doing work with them for Sybase in the early 90s, it was a good architecture at a time when mainframes were still king.

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ahhhh vi, they were the days. Does anyone use emacs or latex anymore?

Darryl Lee Community Leader Oct 10, 2021


Members of our Data Science and Machine Learning teams recently requested LaTex add-ons for Confluence.

For a different group I had recently installed Stratus's PlantUML Diagrams for Confluence which not only has great ratings, but comes in at the low-low price of $10 for EVERY PRICING TIER(!?)

AND it has a @startlatex flag which hopefully will be good enough for everyone because I don't really want to buy another add-on.

So yeah, apparently people still use LaTex. And probably emacs. But ugh. ;-}

You will have to pry emacs from my cold, dead fingers! I use it daily. It is my Linux shell. I run it on my Windows 10 desktop via WSL and VcXsrv. I have been customizing it for decades. Here's just one daily use. I pull some numbers for a KPI and produce the string I post to Slack. (Yeah, I know, the KPI should be fully automated. On our list.)

(let ((kpi-numerator (+ 9 7 5 6))
(kpi-denominator (+ 58 33 27 41)))
(format "Sales: %d\nUpsells: %d\nAdoption: %s%%"
(string-remove-suffix "." (/ (* 100 kpi-numerator) kpi-denominator))))

Ahhhh, makes me go all weak at the knees and swoon!! ooooo, I just thought of an excuse to resurrect it! 😍👍

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Este libro es una leyenda ...



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Hi @Darryl Lee 

  This is from my father-in-law and when my daughter saw it she was in "shock", she didn't even know what it was



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Can't tell the make/model from this pic, but these can take some fabulous photos.  I have several that I've collected over the years, including a collapsible Zeiss Super Ikonta IV, it takes 120/220 film, so big negatives, pin sharp, portable, and scanned negatives yield 55 megapixel images.  I don't have a full darkroom anymore, so I keep it to simply black and white chemistry and digital after the negative is developed, but there are still old die-hards like me who collect and use these.  Proper large format cameras still operate with bellows systems like that to this day.

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Amazing thread :D . I still remember my ICQ number... 217638214. And we were working on our school projects without internet... we had only books and imagination :D

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