Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Before wireless networks, ....

Before wireless networks, tablet PC’s and laptops – there was the “mobile office”. I enjoy seeing “blasts from the past” and this new site I stumbled on is full of them. Necessity is the mother of invention they say and some of these articles from the past prove that out. If you needed to record an inventory in 1939 – maybe pushing an office around made total sense.

Some of the old ideas are just plain scary. Like this electric massage for “Milady”. That is just plain freaky scary. Take these electrified spoons (they are fully insulated with tape to protect your hands from shock) and touch them to your face. Interesting. I wonder how many things we do today will in 70 years just look frightening.

Before the internet and television – I guess one had to get their kicks somehow and blowing a glass bubble around cats is as good as anything I suppose. As one person commented “Um… how did he get the kittens OUT?” – good question.

I was watching the new rocketboom earlier and recognized part of it. They were commenting “using your car to grind meat”. They must have gotten the image and story from this site, was a bit disappointed that they didn’t attribute it (attribution is important I think – I always try to point back). On a side note, the new rocketboom personality “isn’t the same as Amanda – but good in her own right”. I’ll continue to watch it and see if it deems reentry into my “blog roll

Some of the blasts from the past go beyond scary into the realm of “absolutely a bad idea”. This motorized “Motorcyclette” absolutely fits that category. Can you imagine a) riding on such a thing b) the mind that thought it up? Quote “The rider’s feet, which are used as brakes, stick out in front, while the rider leans over and clutches the cross bars atop the front wheel to keep from falling over backwards.” Indeed.

Before spy satellites and unmanned drones – there were of course “carrier pigeons”. Imagine how much more successful they would be today with a couple gigabytes on an SD card and a miniature camera!

Ok, I am pretty sure that we’ll look funny in the future. I say that because of this “happy land” that just reminded me of the Atari ad from the 70’s. It is inevitable that we will look “quaint and funny” not too soon into the future.

But then again, every now and then – there is something you makes you go “cool – that is pretty cool”. That one looks like fun – if it actually works.

Two more before I go – pole vaulting peasants. I could not resist that one. Must be hard to carry a lunch to work that way. I liked the “Month Python” reference – because it seems only they would come up with this. And lastly – if you are not killing yourself fast enough – here is an easy way to speed things up. A double barreled cigarette holder! Neat, how to double sales immediately.

I just finished a day in a two day seminar. First time with new laptop. It would not simultaneously display on my notebook and the projector at 1024x768 ( the resolution every demo I have needs). Weird sizes like 1064x600 – sure, but not 1024x768. I needed the extra 168 pixels down the screen. Ended up just projecting – nothing on laptop display. That was a huge pain – but workable. Tomorrow should be better as I downloaded new drivers and it seems to be working now. As I was installing them – I did get that rush of panic, the “oh, what, have, I, done!!!” feeling. I was upgrading device drivers on the road. Stupid stupid stupid.

But, I got lucky ( Really really lucky. Tomorrow will be easier.
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7 Comments:

Blogger Joel Garry said....

You know how doctor's offices always have way out of date magazines? I ran into the hardcopy of this, I was hoping the web version would have the same graphics, oh well, check out the hybrid.

word: gxoned

Wed Jul 19, 12:32:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Glenn said....

The cat bubble seems to have 4 kittens and not 3 like the caption states. Amazing and scary. Wonder what deprived individual bet him on it.

I found a picture of the first "portable" computer I used. Actually wrote my first attempt of a program on it - kind of a bad Zork (text based) clone.

http://online.sfsu.edu/~hl/c.photochart.html

#19 - It was my friend's aunt's computer that she left at their house for a few weeks. Not sure why there is a gun in the picture.

Wed Jul 19, 08:31:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

hmmm I bet some creative Milady users must have had upgraded to something more uh..."practical" and pretty sure it ain't for the face ;)

Wed Jul 19, 10:19:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Um… how did he get the kittens OUT?

I suppose the simplest -- though admittedly not the most elegant -- solution would be to take a hammer to the globe as soon as the photo op was finished.

I sure hope that's what they did!

Thanks for cluing us in on that Modern Mechanix site. I needed a good laugh!

Bob Shepard

Wed Jul 19, 02:18:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Gary S said....

Nice site. What lovely old articles. Don't miss the one about the flat earth.

I think this is related to having to put out a magazine every month, there has to be something between the covers.

It reminded me of this article by Richard Feynman, one of my reality-heroes.

Wed Jul 19, 03:07:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Interesting site indeed (bookmarked it to research ModernMechanix later).
In the mean time I found a ridiculous one (appareantly released after WWII):
....
Gas Masks - Greatest toy sensation in years. Loads of fun.
...Be the first among your playmates to own one.

LOL, only in America...:-)

Regards,
ales

Wed Jul 19, 04:22:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

The one about the polevaulting peasants is actually true. Nowadays it is also a sport, called fierljeppen in Frisian.

For a pretty spectacular example see this movie http://www.pbholland.com/
moving/pieterverweij_1820.wmv

1820 stands for the distance, 18.20 meter

Thu Jul 20, 06:45:00 AM EDT  

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