OT: 1971 Satnav


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KliWHCzE16c
Quite clever ... but a familiar problem!

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On 15/01/2020 00:49, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Just take one wrong turn and you're fucked!
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wrote:

Interesting that you have to program the size of wheel with a plug-in module (different values in a PROM?) rather than with DIP switches which would allow any size of wheel rather than one of a set of pre-configured sizes. I bet there was a significant cumulative error if the wheel size was slightly wrong. I wonder why the spoken instructions didn't include road numbers/names, given that they are all read sequentially from the tape.
I suppose an enhancement would use instructions from a PROM, which would allow any instructions for any route by playing generic phrases such as "turn left", "turn right", "third exit", "at crossroads", "at T junction", "at roundabout" etc in the correct sequence, from a route that was stored in the PROM as distances between phrases and the phrases to be used.
That would make it more like a modern satnav, except using the car's mileometer rather than GPS. It would still have the "one wrong turn and you're fucked" restriction, but it would allow any route to be defined. I suppose the limitation would be the cost of PROMs and digital-analogue-converters in the early 70s.
Allowing a route to be defined on-the-fly would have to wait until the advent of mesh-maps of the country and a postcode-to-grid-reference list, and processing power to calculate the best route. I wonder if that technology was available before GPS? Could they conceivably have had something that was a satnav like a modern one in all respects apart from not using GPS - so it could do the route-planning for any address, as long as it knew where you were starting from and as long as you obeyed every single instruction and didn't go wrong anywhere.
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On Wednesday, 15 January 2020 13:05:51 UTC, NY wrote:

Don't wheels come in pre-configured sizes ? DIP switched would have been a bit fidderley, they could have used a pot or two of a multipole rotary wafer switch.

I'm beting any diversion or accident would have totally screwed the system.

How would the PROM have spoken other than access an 8 track tape perhaps.

Did they say how much the system costs.
Yes and how many journeys you could store on a PROM, and most would know where they were going anyway. Ordering a PROM in the 70s would probaly have been a wait 28 days for delivery too, even I remmber those days of long delivery times compared to todays.

I'd say the chances of that not going wrong would be slim at best. Miss a turn at the round about go around again would screw things up, stopping off for petrol or going to a service station.
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On 15/01/2020 13:05, NY wrote:

We are talking 1971 here where a 256 bit prom cost over £20. Are you aware of just how many 'bits' are required to store the sentance "turn left" even when highly compressed? Not much change out of 8000 bits.

Slow audio quality DAC's where very cheap using just a resistive network even in the 60's. ADC's were another story ....

Yes - microsoft had crude best route MSDOS application in the early 80's

Yes - microsoft had crude best route MSDOS application in the early 80's, its name escapes me now though.
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On 15/01/2020 14:41, Andy Bennet wrote:

AutoRoute?
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On 15/01/2020 15:14, Andrew May wrote:

Thats the one!
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I'd forgotten about Autoroute. I used to have a copy, for planning routes. You could draw a rectangle on the map to avoid all routes that passed through that rectangle - to avoid the centre of a town, for example. I think once GPS became available a laptop running it could be plugged into a standalone GPS unit via RS-232 (pre-USB) to show your position on the map. This was in the days when display resolutions were very poor - 320x240, or 640x480 if you were very rich.
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On Wed, 15 Jan 2020 16:08:30 -0000, NY wrote:

early

I may still have a copy of Autroute Plus (before Microsoft broke it), wether I have anything to read the media it's on or a machine to run it is another matter. B-)
Not just route planning, I used it to plot the locations of foot & mouth cases in 2001. (4 years before google maps appeared).
https://www.howhill.com/footmouth/index.html
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Dave.
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Andy Bennet wrote:

It was certainly a giant step in planning a journey, and was originally an independent product. What really got to me was that, despite the improvements, each version took a step backwards.
Each new release, whilst it may well have great new features, seemed to throw out or screw up something from the previous version.
The comments below were written at a time when I was still running 2000, but had seen 2005:
*************** In earlier days you could run several alternative routes, and have them displayed simultaneously. Not any more.
It used to be possible to store, and use at will, a set of quite detailed profiles for different vehicles or driving styles. Not any more,
Once upon a time the characteristics of a road could be edited. Not any more.
You could avoid a particular road, not just an area. Not any more.
You could show or hide sets of pushpins as desired. Not any more.
I remain unconvinced that the developers had any real understanding of what users actually wanted. ***************
Chris
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Chris J Dixon Nottingham UK
snipped-for-privacy@cdixon.me.uk @ChrisJDixon1
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On 15/01/2020 15:14, Andrew May wrote:

Was a British company, Microsoft bought it up.
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djc

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On Wed, 15 Jan 2020 14:41:36 +0000, Andy Bennet wrote:

I was thinking that PROMs weren't available in 1971. The device shown was a hand built prototype, I guess the plug in card just had hard wired jumpers installed to code the wheel size.
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On 15/01/2020 21:16, Dave Liquorice wrote:

The Intel 1602 Bipolar PROM (256 * 8 bits) was released in 1970. The Intel 1702 2k bit EPROM was introduced in September1971, shortly followed in November 1971 by the first microprocessor, the 4 bit Intel 4004.
Interestingly both AMD and Intel were heavily into memory devices in the early 70's, both to experiment with the process improvements required in order to produce future complex microprocessors.
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On 15/01/2020 00:49, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Some even earlier solutions:
https://www.gislounge.com/gps-navigation-1920s-1930s/
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Colin Bignell

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nightjar wrote:

Who remembers AA personalised routes, supplied on demand between any two locations? They comprised a number of standard sheets, combined as necessary, containing turn-by-turn instructions with adjacent strip maps.
IIRC, each page had an overall summary, such as, "Rural route through pleasant countryside, falling to level terrain."
<https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-AA-Personalised-Route-Planner-Warminster-To-Lancaster-1963-/303272392557
Chris
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snipped-for-privacy@cdixon.me.uk @ChrisJDixon1
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On 15/01/2020 11:50, Chris J Dixon wrote:

I remember them from when I travelled with my parents.

They were free to AA members.
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Max Demian

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Max Demian wrote:

Indeed they were., which is what I meant by "...supplied on demand..."
My task on family trips was to provide the instructions from the route, and I also used to log the trip, computing mileages and averages as we went.
Chris
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Chris J Dixon Nottingham UK
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On 15/01/2020 14:48, Chris J Dixon wrote:

I have worked out how I managed to get through Eastern Europe in the 90's.
It was called a map book.
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Adam

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On 15/01/2020 11:50, Chris J Dixon wrote:

I remember them but IIRC they were best if read out by a passenger, rather than being for a driver trying to navigate by them when alone. For the latter, I used to write my own, in large print that could be read at a glance while it was lying on the passenger seat. I also kept the information to an absolute minimum, such as a road number and a direction to turn.
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Colin Bignell

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Me too. As pointed out upthread, once you go wrong, you are lost!

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Tim Lamb

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