It's interesting that with the very old stuff like that rectifier tube,
you can actually see it working. Think of the old reel to reel computer
tape drives and a solid state drive of today. You really can't call it a
hard drive because it has no moving parts and you can't see it working.
I remember being able to see the movement of the stepper motor moving
the heads on an old MFM hard drive I had in an IBM PC. I'm not going to
live long enough to see automobiles without wheels. The darn things will
probably fly or be magnetically levitated. The movement of technology is
making things faster and smaller but if there is some calamity that
knocks out the supporting infrastructure, it's the old clunky stuff that
will be the only things that will work. ^_^
You can adjust the flue on your wood stove with a
big hammer, while the wife cranks up another bucket
of water from the well. Meanwhile, rest of the
world sits in front of black screens and wonders
when it comes back on.
What I really like is looking at those old magazines from the 50's
and seeing drawings of all the atomic powered rocket cars we were going
to have by 1984.
Nothing like heating your room in the winter with the warm glow of
vacuum tubes. They were not so great in the summer though.
There was a story in a SciFi magazine I read many years ago written by
one of the old great science fiction writers, who's name escapes me,
about a time traveler from the past or a fellow who had been frozen in
the past then revived in then future. The guy was bewildered by the
people who had something akin to an iPhone and had to use it to answer
any question or perform any simple mathematics. The handheld computers
were connected to a huge central computer which provided them with all
the information they needed. The future man was dependent on the hand
held computer and couldn't function without it. Does it remind you of
Sounds like an Asimov story.
All I ever did was read sci-fi and believed it could all come true.
Then in 1964 a read a story and Asimov went waaay to far and I knew it
was all just a big fantasy...and I stopped reading sci-fi
sheesh, a desktop computer ? That will never happen!
Old magazines from that era like Popular Science, Mechanics Illustrated
and Popular Mechanics always had articles about what the future would be
like. Sadly, Mechanics Illustrated died in 2001 but the other two
soldier on. Back then, most science fiction writers couldn't imagine
what the world would be like in 2014 but I keep seeing things in old
SciFi movies and TV shows that have become reality today. Of course
there is the communicator from the original Star Trek TV series that
reminds me of the early cellphones then Star Trek The Next Generation,
had what looked like iPads everywhere and video communications
terminals. I read a number of SciFi books and magazines that had stories
about a world wide communications network much like today's internet and
that was years before anything like it was even experimental. ^_^
Some videos from the Science Channel series "Prophets Of Science Fiction"
can be seen here:
Lots of stuff that the Sci Fi authors of yesteryear dreamt up are things
that we all take for granted.
The "flip" phone was done purposely like that. It was modeled on the
"communicator" in Start Trek.
I also think that those clothing predictors of the 50's with all their
advanced predictions about clothing...would be pretty surprised to see
that in the 21st century people are walking around with their underwear
hanging out. What a let down they'd have.
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