Memory

Katie, who is 11, was helping me in the workshop today. She told me how some of her class been in trouble for filming the teachers covertly. Of course I told her how, in 1965, I'd made a sound recording of our maths teacher, with the class deliberately winding him up just to make it more fun. I then found myself trying to explain about reel-to-reel tape recorders. I could see that Katie just couldn't grasp the concept. Finally she asked, "But how much memory did it have?"
Bill
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On Sun, 27 Apr 2014 20:31:27 +0100, Bill Wright wrote:

I don't know whether to laugh or cry...
It's slightly scary that there's people wandering around who regard the CD as pre-historic. I feel old.
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On Sun, 27 Apr 2014 21:37:57 +0000 (UTC), Adrian

I regard not only CD as pre-historic but DVD and Blu-Ray[1] too. It's not that that makes me feel old, just the effects of old age creeping up on me.
[1] or BD if you prefer.
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Regards, J B Good

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Granddaughter. My son has just turned 13, and I'll be 62 shortly. I do try to complete his education, explaining what life was like pre mobiles, computers, game machines, tablets etc. All sorts of stuff - our first black and white TV, with two channels and very little TV for children, our first phone tied to the wall with a cable, our 'wireless', first fridge all of which arrived in my lifetime. His Grandma (and mine) operating the mangle every Monday, deliveries of milk, bread, paraffin, no central heating, clockwork toys, my first wind up gramophone, 45s, 78s, LPs, reel to reel, my first CD, cassette tapes, Walkman, Commodore 64, Atari etc. Things that arrived during my lifetime, yet were gone by his. Pirate radio. Trying to explain that there was no Radio 1, no local stations, no TOTP, no YouTube. Just David Jacobs :-) Highlights of the week including Ready Steady Go, Thank Your Lucky Stars (Oi'll give it foive!), Juke Box Jury.
The impact of Elvis and The Beatles. Luckily, he hears me playing golden oldies, is used to us having an open fire, drives my Minor in the garden, eats with us at the table in the dining room and plays with my tinplate trains. He even enjoys traditional board games at Christmas. He doesn't like Meccano, though.
The other side of the coin, of course, is that he keeps me up to date with what his generation loves. Funny thing is, although he and his friends will spend hours in front of a screen, they also do so much that I did, 50 years ago. Out on their bikes, messing about by the river, building dens and dams. What really delighted me, when he first started school, and understood humour, was the jokes. He and his friends were laughing at *exactly* the same jokes as amused me at that age. He also adored the same cartoons, like Huck Hound and Yogi Bear. The difference was we saw them once a week on B&W TV - he watched them constantly, in colour, via DVD. Oh well ...
--
Graeme

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With the old devices we all had some inkling of how they worked and if we were to survive some sort of massive global disaster we would have known enough about the principles to get these devices back in use. Nowadays the ability to make or even understand common devices is in the hands of very few people. Who remembers using a pin and some rolled up card to listen to a 78rpm record?
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Well, terms for storage have changed over the years I suppose. I once worked out that on a ZX Spectrum, about 5 minutes of cassette tape equalled 32Kbits at 1200 baud, but of course the special loaders games used pushed the baude rate up so the loading was much faster, and of course less reliable.
Then of course reel to reel could have several speeds, and the difference was in frequency responce and noise performance as it was analogue. If you can explain the difference between analogue storage and digital storage it might make the penny drop.
Did you know that the Gallileo probe to Jupiter had a tape storage system on board for use to send the stored data to earth. It started to stick with age so they had to spool it back and forwards a bit each time theywanted to use it. More modern space vehicles use Flash ram of course, but these have issues that tweak their bits when they get hit by a cosmic ray.
More useless information from the web. Brian
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Yes indeed, and I still play them and Vinyl as well. I'm in the market for a good quality reel to reel deck as well. Brian
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I loved meccano. I used some the other month to make a door closer for my porch. Incidentally, Meccano made me a phonograph together with some bits of tin and a cardboard horn. The cylinder was made from baco foil and of course had a clunk every rotation, but did actually work surprisingly well to demonstrate the principals, though speed variability was a bit of an issue, as was recording time.. grin. Brian
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Brian Gaff wrote:

Wow! It's amazing that it could record time at all. Once you sort the issues out, you couldn't record a bit for me, could you? I'm sure it will come in useful in a few years time when I wish I had a bit more.
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On Mon, 28 Apr 2014 01:40:04 +0100, Johny B Good wrote:

Presumably old age is having its normal affect on hearing and sight so you don't notice how crap downloads and/or streaming are compared to CD or Blu-Ray (or even DVD come to that). B-)
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Dave.
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On 28/04/2014 09:59, Dave Liquorice wrote:

What worries *me* is that many teenagers are of the opinion that downloads are better quality than CDs.
Even at my age, I can tell the difference, even on earbuds and small screens.
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On 28/04/2014 13:14, John Williamson wrote:

There must be something wrong with me then because I can't really tell the difference ;)
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Dawood

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On 28/04/2014 19:09, gremlin_95 wrote:

That I can understand. Let's assume you have crap speakers! (I have a decent set of headphones - because I used to work on audio, and couldn't hear the defects. They let me keep them when I left)
What I can't understand is them thinking a download is better.
Andy
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On 28/04/2014 20:31, Vir Campestris wrote:

It's what teemagers are used to. They also seem to like listening on the squeaker built in to their phone, or share the audio on earbuds, getting a channel each.
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On 28/04/2014 20:50, John Williamson wrote:

I guess I'm easily pleased. I used to commute by bus which took up around 3 hours of my day. I was very content with my Sennheiser HD205s and my iPod, I also use Sennheiser headphones when I am working at home but I play the music from my laptop. I'm 19 ;)
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Dazza

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On 28/04/2014 21:42, gremlin_95 wrote:

Modern PC sound systems are pretty decent in general these days - give then decent material to play, and stick it through a decent amp and speakers and the results are on par with a good many CD players IME. (the noise floor can be a bit higher on some, depending on the quality of the sound card output stage)
My workshop audio is via a PC as a source and its more than adequate (although note its competing with dust extraction and machine tools some of the time!)
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John.
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Its memory is the tape. Struggling to remember, but ISTR a tape lasts 30 mins at 7.5"/sec. The frequency response at 7.5"/sec looks to have been up to 15kHz. In thinking of this digitally, that's a sampling rate of 30kHz as per Nyquist. I've no idea what the dynamic range is, but let's guess it's at least 8 bits worth (it's probably more). That works out at 30kbytes/sec, or 60kbytes/sec for two-channel (stereo). So for a 30 min tape, that's just over 100Mbytes.
Today, that would be mpeg compressed on a personal player, so perhaps just 50Mbytes (won't get as good compression as modern digital recordings, because original data is already at a reduced resolution).
So best answer is that the tape player has no memory, but each tape corresponds to perhaps a 50Mbyte SD card today (way smaller than anything you can buy today).
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Andrew Gabriel
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On Sun, 27 Apr 2014 20:31:27 +0100, Bill Wright wrote:

A work colleague was recently telling how her grandson (4) tries to "swipe" books like an iPad when they read ...
10 Years ago my son had to do a little project (IIRC it was on castles). Quite naturally, he laid his work out like a web page, with "back" and "home" buttons drawn around the edge.
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On 28/04/2014 10:24, Jethro_uk wrote:

Its one of the ways teachers can spot the less than skilful plagiariseation of web based stuff for homework - they still leave the hyper-links in ;-)
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wrote:

Not bad for a 25 year old. :-)
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Martin in Zuid Holland

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