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Obsolete Skills? Answered

A long list of skills someone thinks are obsolete.
"Building a Heathkit" is on there :-(


Driving a manual gearbox ("stickshift") is on there!

As far as I know, the US is the only country where proper gearboxes have been replaced by automatics.

[Generic followup to all of the "standard shift" comments under Kiteman...&#93]

They haven't all been replaced. The high-end sports cars still have manual transmissions, and you can even buy hybrids with manuals.

My first car (which I had for 17 years!) was a 1988 Ford Festiva with four-speed manual transmission. I learned to drive a stick on real Jeep (my reserve unit had several at the time along with the Chevy's they used before Humvees); that car also had the greatest "cruise control" I've ever seen -- a ratcheted pull-knob which pulled down the accelerator!

My second car is a 2005 Honda Civic hybrid. It is an "automatic" transmission, but one of the new continuously-variable ones. Where the goal is to maximize efficiency, this is a far better option than either a "regular" automatic or a manual transmission. The computer-controlled CVT can dial in (nearly) the exact gear ratio needed to keep the engine at optimal output. It isn't perfect, but pretty darn close.

My old ('62) Land Rover had one of the pull-and-lock throttle controls. I think it was for running the PTO off the back (sawmill, etc.), but I used it as cruise control.

Most likely. Laziness and all that. It's hard to shift and eat McDonald's while talking on your cellphone and having to maneuver around your gigantic body. :D I've always wanted to drive a manual, but I don't know that I'll really get the chance. I only know a couple of people that drive them.

Really? We must have better handeye co-ordination, we manage the manual, the burger, the juice, a feg and a phone...

Say no more... *wishes I was there, could do the perfect cheeky wink and noise...

Yay, cheeky! I'm getting a mental picture of Doctor Who right about now.

Yep. Officially obsessed.

Which one? I've met the most recent two...

Obsession isn't a good way to live but at least we get to have intervention parties

Hehe cool... You know it existed before now though... I did just see david tennant keel over... He was very good as well...

Ahhh but can you flip ignorant drivers the bird while doing all those things ??

I could, lol I once had a driving instructor come flying down between lessons while I had right of way, had to do an emergency stop, while shifting down and beeping the horn I had time to flip the bird...

Awww that poor bird. I hope he got himself righted again *chuckle*

Ah one thing that would stop me wanting to go to america... Ever tried the smart with the tiptronic, it's awful you're bouncing the revs off the limiter and frantically pulling the little lever and nothings happening, then it jerks, shakes a bit and you're into second... Also the old eldorado a friend had was pretty bad, took about a second for the auto to re-engage and get shifting so you rocked and seesawed for a half mile after...

I had a Yugo for a short period, standard (manual) shift, and it was so tight a shift it was very hard to get used to the 1/4 inch difference between going into first or third. It was the only standard I disliked.

Hehe, we used to a have a lovely old Volvo, the only bad thing was the shift lever stuck tight the odd time... surprisingly enough you could punch it in and out fine, but with the clutch all the way in you still had to use brute force to shift...

oooo, sounds like bad synchronizers :-) yeah, I got familiar with mechanics too a few years ago, but when they started with the computers, I kind of dropped interest :-)

Well the lack of oil kept the gears from slipping as much but meant the synchs were in worse state than usual, so the thing really went to bits, however I think that appeared and I gave a guy a tenner for it...

I learned on what at one time was referred to as a "standard" (manual shift), and prefer it to this day. However, my wife refuses to even attempt to learn one, so not being able to afford a second car; I had to go automatic. *sigh* I just saw a "How It's Made" episode with how they are put together, and now.....I am doubly sure that I would rather have a manual shift.

I tried to teach my young wife, with disastrous results. Then one day when I was sick she took the old MG out and taught herself. She prefers a standard now. My kids both taught themselves when they were about 8.

anything that takes practice can be daunting to some people.....me, I love to learn new things, while some others are afraid of "breaking them" all too often.

OK, I have to confess. My 78 year old grandmother, and my 7 year old son (a few years ago), both knew how to use a computer before I did. I'd bought a couple for the family, but was afraid I'd mess something up. I had some bad TI-99 experiences when I was a kid, and didn't touch a computer again for about 22 years.

:-) Yeah, I am kind of that way with Hardware. My 8088 ( because things that plugged in were not marked for polarity, and could be plugged in several ways ) died because of string of bad moves on my part trying to "fix" something.

Been there, done that. Ask my last "universal" anything.

It's funny because I don't have a problem fiddling about with non-computer electronics.....like this Digital Voice recorder I got many moons ago from RS for about $10.....and it is worth every cent of 10 cents to be honest....but I think I can improve on it quite a bit.

I've only ever used automatic, but I really wanna learn stick...

Yeah, it make me SICK too. I would MUCH rather drive a standard shift...it is more economical / gas mileage-wise, when they break (which is not often) you get forewarning (not with most automatics though; they just "go" and let you sit). If it were up to me, I would reverse this trend.....but the laziness of the populace dictates thing like this many times *sigh*

Me too! I want a manual. I hate it when you give it gas on the highway and it DOWNSHIFTS!!! grrrrr!

That's smart, ever hear the term 'drop a cog and go' on the motorway if you're cruising in fifth or sixth dropping a gear will allow you to accelerate harder and when you shift back up you'll accelerate harder from being in the power band... In a big diesel you can shift up a gear and let the torque drag you into the next fixed penalty notice just fine though...

Yeah, but I want to be able to control when it drops. I don't want it to drop just so I can go 3 mph faster. I want a diesel!

Yeah, the only two petrols I've driven where an N-spec impreza (the rally car) and the smart car, which is vile, I like the torque of diesels, that and I learned to drive a forklift at 14 and a van just before 15... I got annoyed at the merc, you had to have it on the boil constantly or you would get bogged down in the gears, handling was immense, like a go kart that leans and fifteen feet long...

The only ones I've driven: Ford focus (for driver's ed classes) Nissan sentra (same reason) Ford F-150 5.4L Dodge Ram 2500 van 5.9 Besides drivers ed, I haven't driven anything (except a moped, 49cc) under 5.4 L!

The 4.2 audi diesel V8 is nuts... Good fun, umm thing with the biggest displacement has to be either a crane truck or possibly one of the shunt trucks for container yards, think of a truck that comes ready to drag race, reinforced bumper parts and enough torque to move a mountain... Bobcat diggers are good the skid steer ones, you can pull wheelies in them... hehe, never driven a moped but have driven an old honda MTX 125 two stroke, it was mental, speedbumps 60mph no problem.

They're great, reverse reverse, forward, hit the rabbit button, up in to a wheelie...

I know! My dad bought it when I was 8(?) and said I could drive it when I was 14. When I was 14 he changed it to 15, then to 16. I'm 16, and now he still didn't let me. A few months ago he sold it. WTF! He sold it when he needs it most (we are building our house this summer) Son on a beach! (or something like that...you know what I meant)

Life sucks! - (stick your **** in and get a bl*wj*b! lol!)

Linux I know how ya feel, ti's been a long old week, the proper phrase should be, Life sucks, you might as well get wasted and do some nasty stuff while you can...

If your vehicle has auto-kickdown, I suggest experiment to find how slowly you have to push the pedal before it doesn't trigger the kickdown. If you can push it to the floor very slowly and it still kicks down, maybe get it looked at- IIRC it should only do that if you stamp on it.

It has to be very slowly. I'd rather have a manual

its not laziness. the dummy in front of you can barely get his brain in gear when the light turns green, much less his car and brain.

When I turn sixteen in another month and a half, the plan is for me to take the driver's test in my dad's truck-not only a stick shift, but also electric. We figure that the examiner will be too amazed at my manual-shifting awesomeness and the blinky gauges overhead to notice any errors I make.

I also plan to solo in a Cessna 150 before I get my license, just to say I did-but that's another story. No stick-shift there.

What, did they remove the control stick in small planes now ? LOL I know, not the same thing

Well, this one has a control stick...That's me in the cockpit, looking like a dork-I don't usually wear the hat.


How would one get a pilot's license? And where would one get a plane to fly?

. Ask at your local airport. If they don't offer classes, they should know who does.

How old do you have to be and, generally, would it cost a large sum of money?

. According to this page, 17yo in the US. But I think you can get a "learner's permit" at any age. Check the FAA website to get the info from the horse's mouth.
. Not sure about the cost, but it ain't cheap. Kiteman's $120/hr is probably close enough to tell if you can afford it. Call your local airport and ask. You can have a lot of fun in an hour or two.