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I have t-shirts older than you... Answered

It's the weekend.

I can wear t-shirts instead of the suit.

So, I was browsing my pile wardrobe, when my eye fell upon my tee from the first Discworld Convention. 1996, a few weeks before #1 son was born.

I dug deeper.

One I bought at the first gig I went to with Kitewife, which makes it 22 years old.

One I bought in Kenya, which makes it 24 years old.

Good grief, I really do have clothes older than the vast majority of members here.

They're all landmarks, though. Times and places that are important.

It's weird - my t-shirts seem to be the only things I own that date me, that mark the passing of the years.

I have books, lots of books, but most of them are still in print, in one form or another.

I hunted around, and the only other things that I own which specifically pin down dates, anchor me in time, are my engagement ring (April 23rd, 1988) and my wedding ring (May 24th, 1990).

What anchors you to certain dates? What anniversaries do you celebrate?

What about your friends and families? What do they commemorate?

What about the site? What anniversaries should we celebrate here? What is the exact start-date of the site? Are any of the Team approaching significant dates? I mean, look at them - there's not one of them over 21, surely?

>Cue general philosophising on the nature of time and commemoration of its transit<



9 years ago

I think about it in terms of "Person X has never known a world without Y". This continually freaks me out- the kids now coming into secondary school have never known a pre-Dubya and pre-9/11 world (well, I say "never known"- I don't remember the political climate from when I was two) so will have grown up in the current climate of Islamophobia. There are teenagers who have never known a world without Google (as I believe you've commented on before). In a few years there will be kids who have never known a world without YouTube, and frankly that scares me more than the idea of nuclear war. Anyone got any other choice ones?

Sometimes my students simply refuse to believe me when I tell them what my life was like at their age - one TV (B&W;), most families without cars, most families without phones, no mobiles, only three TV channels, and they weren't on all day, never mind all night. No mp3, no CD, no digital flat-screen, no computers, no game consoles, no Gameboys, not even calculators, and digital watches were an expensive luxury. Fruit and veg were seasonal, shops didn't start selling Christmas stuff until December, we didn't "do" Hallowe'en, nobody had asthma and you could play outside in the mud until it went dark and not be kidnapped by paedophile terrorists.

Don't remind me... I saw my first Christmas cake of the year when I went shopping yesterday. Although much of that is before my time I do remember an age of four TV channels and renting VHS tapes, no MP3s, personal CD players being expensive, the internet being for "techies", regarding peanut allergy and asthma as unusual and playing outside in the mud. I even (just about) remember sideways baseball caps being cool thanks to E17... I'm going to start Instructables Old Gits Anonymous where we can reminisce about life before the internet, on the internet. It's going to be an ironic sort of society.

b4 the internet ? How about before the desktop computer? Or better yet, before the Digital computers became popular? I wear a watch that has more computing power then some of the first. I remember having to do some "analog" programming of a computer (you didn't type anything into a console, you unplugged wires and plugged them in elsewhere to program them). Can anyone say: Assembly language, or machine language? The breed is dying off.....not to mention COBOL programmers....anyone remember SNOBAL? LOL

Phooey, real programmers use punch cards and pure binary. ;)

Hmm, have you ever programmed an ANALOG computer? hmmm? LOL Jumper wires were used.....that's programming *snicker*

Yeah, well, well, REAL programmers don't use these sissy wires and electricity, they use kernels of corn! That's REAL programming!

No, no, no! The kernels are what you do the programming in order to construct. You know those weird popping noises you hear inside your Linux machine? That's the kernel(s) running all your processes.

Hmm, so if the machine overheats do you get popped kernels?

You say that... Roger Cooper was in prison in Iran accused of being a spy he calculated the prime numbers up to 5,000 using fruit pips to represent numbers to keep himself amused. Admittedly it's maths, not computing, but hey...

Witness how I am not even making this up

Math IS computing, when you are in the process of using it :-)

The first integrated computer, we carry around with us all day (and night) long.

That is an interesting link there, thank you...

There you go, now you can say you are in a field apart when speaking of using corn kernels :-)

Ummm...that would be SNOBOL. And I'd like to mention that FORTRAN is actually still in active use in the High Energy Physics community. The latest incarnation even supports some object-oriented constructs!

Does anyone remember the crappy joke about OO COBOL being named "ADD ONE TO COBOL"?

And I still use Lisp every once in a while to update my Emacs configuration.

While we're on the subject of "when I was your age..." When I was 12, I saved my summertime paychecks for a couple of months in order to buy 16 kilobytes (yes, kids, that's "kilo" as in "thousand") of memory chips to plug into my TRS-80 expansion box.

The computer ran at 1.78 MHz, which was slow enough that you could code up no-op loops in machine code and play RF-interference songs on a nearby AM radio! Try doing that with your Intel quad-core!

Ha!, I see your 16kb and call* - I had a ZX81 with a memory expansion pack the size of a hot-dog roll fastened to the back with the official velcro fastenings.

It was a one kilobyte expansion pack!

Loading programmes via audiocassette was so slow that, for shorter programmes, it was quicker to type it in by hand on the membrane keyboard.

(Before you ask, I don't programme - my school made me do German at 15 instead of "Computers", and said I could pick it up at 17. By the time I got to 17, you weren't allowed to do the A level unless you'd done the O level and I never quite got back into it.)

*I think - I don't play poker.

The only "expanding" I ever did to my CO-CO and Co-CO II was to add a single sided floppy drive (back when floppies were actually floppy :-) to supliment the ever so slow cassette storage device.

I didn't learn to program much until I was about 22, I was saving for my first computer. And, unlike other machines, when the CoCo said it had 64 kb of memory, it actually DID. IBM, Commodore, etc. had it at the beginning, but then you booted the machine, it loaded BASIC in and poof, half your RAM was gone.

I learned to program in BASIC on the CoCo. But found out later it wasn't proper BASIC, but rather Radio Shack's version of the language. I did NOT like TRS-DOS at all (TRS-80 machines).

Ah I remember the first time I dialed out on a 300 baud modem (yes little ones, that is 300 bps, not like the present day 56Kbs dial up modems :-)

And Kiteman, your comment about a 1KB expansion slot reminds me of an Electronics Now (mag) April fools joke they published one year....schematics and building plans for a 1 get this a 1 bit tube memory card. They claimed it would work, but I don't know with what you could interface a single bit. :-)

yeah, I had and still have a Commodore 64 machine in the back room sitting beside my CoCo II

>!< That 1-bit expansion would probably go down really well these days! Did you see the chap (it was mentioned in Make) who built his own computer entirely electro-mechanically? It's a wall in his office, all relays.

Cool, that would give your room a distinct original Star Trek Series sound for sure :-)

I don't know how I missed that one though in Make do you know the issue ?

Thanks again, Kiteman, I can't find my Hardcopy of that issue, but I can still log on and see it online. The clicking of the relays is a bit slower then I had anticipated however, in the video. :-(

ACK ! I have a few, like 6-8 relays just like the one he pictures too....


I saw someone buil a replica of a WWII-era computer from what he could glean of schematics, entirely out of shift register chips and so on. I have long long long harboured an ambition to build some sort of computer out of actual relays- imagine the sound it would make! If only a ripple carry adder plugged into itself that would count up to 15 and overflow, it would be the coolest thing ever.

That, or build your own computer after you build your own vacuum tubes...


I used to attend a CoCo club, where they swapped neat games and other programs on floppies, and one guy was even going to burn a chip for my CoCo, so the one sided floppy drive I had would read both sides (it was actually a doubles sided drive, but the Chip in the CoCo would not allow it to use both sides. Not until I got a CoCo II did that drive work well.

We're already [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grumpy_Old_Men_(TV_series) on TV] (not forgetting the grumpier sex).

At my garden center we put the tinsel out 2 weeks ago !!

WHAT?! Two weeks ago was barely back to school time- it's only the start of back-to-school-hallowe'en-bonfire-night-mas, soon Christmas will engulf those and start at the end of barbecue season. When I was a lad, etc. Now we just have to listen for the first play of "Santa's Super Sleigh" :P

A local supermarket has Hallowe'en and Christmas stuff in the same aisle :-/ Garden centres seem to be the worst culprits, though. I think they have to get in early because people stop going to garden centres when the weather gets too bad to garden.

Yea thats what our managers said, we have loads of heaters though :P

Ewww, Christmas. It's been my least favorite holiday for many years. Perhaps moreso due to the early celebration of it... we seem to start earlier and earlier every year! At my store we started getting cards in July. But I do love January - I get to clearance everything for a quarter! And then there's none left because every elderly lady in the city flocks to our store to stock up for next year. :D

My favorite comment recently was when my daughter was watching youtube clips of the 72 and 76 olympics. "Lousy video quality!" (not!)



Is....there even such a thing?

Hello everyone, I am in England (Woodbridge) and it is my 42nd wedding anniversary today - October 1st! Only second time that my husband and I have been apart on our Wedding Anniversary!

I know that mathematically speaking, it isn't a square of a number, but it's...equal on all four sides. And that makes no sense, I guess, that's just how I envision some numbers. Eight is a square. Nine is definitely a triangle. Twelve is a diamond shape.

Most people think that's crazy. I think they're crazy for not seeing the beautiful shapes in numbers!

Not crazy at all. Synesthesia is the technical term for "cross-linking" of sensory responses. The classic example is associating numbers or letters with colors.

I think I have that, to a degree. I heard an aucoustic song on the radio the other day, and I swear, it was magenta with silver sparklies. Really and truly. Other songs are purple, blue, or green. And I have the thing with dates-I think of them as a sort of numberline arrangement.

I imagine numbers as logo bricks in multiples of ten. When one ten is filled up, say with a 4 being added to a 7, a new brick is created for the resultant one. I add really quickly like this.

Wow! That is very cool. I wish I could visualize like that.

Do you think of time and dates in decades on a numberline? Mine goes horizontal beginning in the mid 1800s, then goes straight up at a 90 0 angle from 1990-2000, then goes slanted again...

Times, dates, they're all a mush to me, as I think I've mentioned before.

Shapes, though...

I've done a couple of ibles involving paper models, like my catapult and today's gravestone. Each time, the final form has floated in my head while I've drawn the net, freehand, knowing that it will work first time.

For most of my ibles, in fact, the idea has sprung, fully formed, into my mind, and all I've needed to do is copy the mental form with real-world materials.