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Old 03-10-2014, 01:55 PM   #26
49greg
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Originally Posted by JAMESBJOHNSON View Post
Sure. It was the draft lottery that came along in 1970, my brother in law sweated bullets but got a number that was like never gonna be called.
Everyone in my dorm put a dollar into a lottery for the lottery. I came late in to the TV room where the drawing was going on and saw that I got a "3" and figured I won the money. But someone else got a "1".

In practice both numbers were equally bad. He let the draft take him when we graduated, but the army was advertising that if you enlisted in the Infantry they would send you to Europe, so I signed up for that. It was for three years vs the two year draft, but it was worth it.

I still got orders for 'Nam when I finished my training, but when I told the first sergeant of the training company he sent me down to see a SP4 DeBarr who crossed out VietNam on his print-out and wrote in Europe. I was a hold over for a week and did KP in the Battalion Mess Hall every day, then I got assigned to West Berlin.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:08 PM   #27
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My earlier memories include playing on bombed sites and being well aware not to touch anything bomb or shell shaped. My older brother and his friends used to compare their collections of shrapnel fragments.
I grew up in the Philippines, at least until I was 8ish. There were a lot shell fragments, empty casings and spent bullets. There were always stories of kids that found grenades or bombs and blew themselves up so we were pretty careful.

Somewhere I've still got a few .50 cal slugs and casings.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:28 PM   #28
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Dad's grandparents settled between Los Angeles and San Bernardino just after 1900, but their then-sub-urban farmhouse I grew up next door to dates from around 1920. In and around that house:

* wall-mounted telephone with earpiece on a wire, mouthpiece on a stalk, and a hand crank (remember cranking to get an operator? and telephone party lines?)
* round- and open-top clothes washing machine with hand-crank wringer-roller on top
* treadle-pedal sewing machine; black-and-white television; huge console radio-turntable
* a 1x1x2-foot wire-screen cage with baited trapdoors for humanely capturing mice
* enamel pan and hanging mirror by the outdoor cold-water tap where Gramps shaved with a straight razor
*in the garage, an abandoned Model T Ford, and the 1-speed bike with large wire basket that Gramps rode to deliver eggs to customers
* in the chicken yard, a wooden outhouse that was never pumped since it was thrown together around 1925 -- ah, the odor!

Other old technologies:

* snapback shoes, especially saddle snapbacks
* analog computers, especially cheap ones from Heathkit
* electronics building kits, for teaching or just for economy
* kids' chemistry sets with dangerous compounds -- build bombs!
* tin-can telephones; crystal sets (radio); shortwave radios
* glowing tubes (valves) in devices, before semiconductors
* cheap imported automobiles, before safety regulations
* steam-powered automobiles and trucks (lorries)
* cameras using film, flashbulbs, and mechanical or pneumatic shutter cords
* 4-track and 8-track audio tapes -- remember Muntz Stereo-Paks?
* crappy little portable tape recorders using 2-inch reels of half-inch tape
* automobiles with windwings, stick shifts, rumble seats, hand-crank starters

et fucking cetera
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:41 PM   #29
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Yeah, remember way back when--your parents' TV was only black and white, and it could only receive three networks--NBC, ABC, and CBS? No one had imagined cable or satellite TV with hundreds of choices. You had to watch 'I Love Lucy' every week, because everyone talked about it the next day.
I grew up in Germany in the 70s and 80s. We had Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS), which provided us with one TV station and one Radio station. Whatever were the most popular shows in the States was what we got on TV, so that meant All In The Family, Taxi, Hill Street Blues, Cheers, Night Court and so on. Whatever was on the Billboard Top 40 was what was played on the radio.

My wife, who grew up in relatively poor conditions in the US, at least had the option of multiple channels and radio stations. She's constantly making references to shows she watched, which I never heard of. I never really saw MTV until I moved to the States in 1988. Not that, based on what I did see, I was overly distressed about it.

Anyway . . . .

Regarding my stories, I find that I make references now and then to technology, sayings and so forth which are beginning to become outdated. The use of a home telephone, for instance. No one I know uses anything but a cell phone. Every car in my stories have radios which are manually dialed. In at least one story, I believe I've referred to a TV remote control as a "clicker." These are just things from my personal frame of reference which I don't think about when I write. That's my world, I guess.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:49 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by 49greg View Post
I grew up in the Philippines, at least until I was 8ish. There were a lot shell fragments, empty casings and spent bullets. There were always stories of kids that found grenades or bombs and blew themselves up so we were pretty careful.

Somewhere I've still got a few .50 cal slugs and casings.
I remember that from the mid 50s in Germany too. Never will forget the blanched look on my dad's face when I told him that my friends and I had been playing in a field near our apartment house in Frankfurt. No, we hadn't read the signs about the field being an old minefield. What kid reads signs in a field or lets a fence stop them from playing in it?
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:16 PM   #31
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I find I'm more likely to leave out fairly common things in use these days than to reference something that's out of date.

For example, when I wrote a story about a 23yo musician, my first draft had her grabbing a notebook and writing things down. My beta reader, who is my age but probably more in tune with these things, said no, she'd more likely have a smart phone with some kind of music app, and he was right.

I just tend to forget about stuff like this because it's not something I use on a regular basis. I don't have a smart phone (though probably will have one later this year), although I do have a tablet. I do more "work" on my computer, though, including web browsing, so if I have a character net surfing, they're often doing it on a computer.

I do try to remember this stuff, though.
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:45 PM   #32
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The last dozen or so years we've moved several times and have been shown around numerous houses for sale. One thing on houses of a certain age is a little alcove set into a wall. I commented on it, guessing it was for a mini altar or something. The real estate agent said that it was for a telephone, and was quite common at one time.

On a larger house there was an actual little phone booth with a seat in it. (Had been converted into a closet but it was unmistakable with a mini alcove for the phone built into a wall.)

At a yard sale last summer there was an old typewriter. I tried the keys and was astounded at how far and how hard I had to push. I had completely forgotten how it felt. At the time I was using them I thought it was normal, even thinking that the electric ones that came out later were too squirrely, they fired off a letter when you just rested your fingers on the home keys.
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:02 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 49greg View Post
The last dozen or so years we've moved several times and have been shown around numerous houses for sale. One thing on houses of a certain age is a little alcove set into a wall. I commented on it, guessing it was for a mini altar or something. The real estate agent said that it was for a telephone, and was quite common at one time.

On a larger house there was an actual little phone booth with a seat in it. (Had been converted into a closet but it was unmistakable with a mini alcove for the phone built into a wall.)

At a yard sale last summer there was an old typewriter. I tried the keys and was astounded at how far and how hard I had to push. I had completely forgotten how it felt. At the time I was using them I thought it was normal, even thinking that the electric ones that came out later were too squirrely, they fired off a letter when you just rested your fingers on the home keys.
How about the little half door on the wall in the kitchen where an ironing board folded out?

Or an ironing board for that matter.
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:05 PM   #34
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How about the little half door on the wall in the kitchen where an ironing board folded out?

Or an ironing board for that matter.
I have an ironing board! Stand-alone, though.
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:06 PM   #35
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My novel covers 1966-72. These are things I mention (some already mentioned by others)

Draft and student deferment, then draft lottery
Vietnam War, MLK assassination
Nixon's troop reductions
Cars with column stick shift
Cheater knob
Muscle cars, four on the floor, ragtops, glass-pack mufflers
TVs that warmed up to come on
Turning the TV channel knob thru 6 channels (Chicago)
Transistor radios, listening to AM radio (WLS in Chicago)
Sock-hops
Record albums & reel to reel tape decks
Specific songs by Beatles, Herman's Hermits, Moody Blues
Sonny & Cher concert
Angora sweaters, sneakers
Colognes (Jade East, Hai Karate, Brut)
Perfumes (Ambush, Rapture)
Hot Pants ('71 fashion craze)
Memorial Day on May 30th (always)
Punching open beer cans with a church-key
As much trendy dialog as we could remember.
ETA: Phone on the kitchen wall
Blizzard of '67 (Chicago's worst ever)
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:10 PM   #36
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Phones on really long cords are a fun memory for me that might need to show up in a story somewhere.

I remember my first "word processing" electric typewriter that would store 64 characters in its memory before typing them on the page to give you a chance to fix mistakes. It felt very odd typing without the clacking sound being in sync with my fingers.

Later, I upgraded to a word processor that had a real screen (amber and black) and used 3 1/2" floppies in a proprietary format. I could write and write without printing. But when it came time to submit my masterpiece, I would have to feed each page of typing paper one-by-one. It would take so long to type a single page, that I would watch TV in the other room and listen for the clacking to end. Then I knew it was time to add another page.

I also remember the advent of dot matrix printers and editors who would specifically cite in their submission guidelines, "No dot matrix submissions." Ads that claimed their dot-matrix printer gave a "near type" quality.

I'm not going to mention the wide, typically green and white computer paper (oh wait, I just did). And I'm surely not going to mention punch cards with the warning: "Do not bend, fold, spindle or mutilate." (Oops again!)

But I once was damn proud of my very wide white belt and exceptionally wide bell bottom pants. And I once got my hair permed, once. Wide lapels, tuxedos with ruffly shirts and really big (sometimes velvety) bow ties.

Here's a question for people adding to this thread: who's still using a flip phone? That's soooo 2000.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:27 PM   #37
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Here's a question for people adding to this thread: who's still using a flip phone? That's soooo 2000.
My only cell phone is a flip phone. I don't use it, though. It gets flipped into the trunk of the car when I travel in case I need to contact AAA. Haven't needed to since I got it.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:27 PM   #38
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Don't forget the poodle skirts that were popular with teenage girls, and saddle oxfords. The girls 'permed' each other's hair.

The nerds carried slide rules--only because pocket calculators hadn't come out yet.

Schools had 'sock hops' in the gymnasiums, because epoxy/poly paint hadn't been invented. Everyone had to take off their shoes to dance in the gym.

Then there were the drive-in theaters where most of the time was spent with your girl NOT watching the movie. We fogged up the windows of my car more than once.

Guys installed 'glass-pack' mufflers on their cars, so you could hear them coming from several blocks away.

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Old 03-12-2014, 09:00 AM   #39
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I rarely use cell phones in my stories. if i use phone I just sayphone. But more often i keep the damn intrusive things out of my story. Remember when people didn't want the phone to ring?
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:02 AM   #40
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In 1969 I was in a room with the first Moog systhesizer, or rather I should say it was a room, about 12' by12'
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:12 AM   #41
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Way back when--I'm guessing about WWII and before--trains were pulled by steam engines weighing hundreds of thousands of pounds. Most people traveled by train because it was cheaper than planes, and many people were afraid to fly.

Before Interstate highways and expressways, most people worked near home because it took quite awhile to get anywhere quickly. Getting to the other side of a large town could take hours. Route 66 was the primary way to reach LA from Chicago.

Urban sprawl really took off after expressways opened. Before them, around large cities there were farms, orchards, and open areas. Those open spaces rapidly filled in and suburban towns grew together until it was all town.

Then there were a few UFO sightings which quickly spread into an epidemic in the fifties. The Air Force opened an investigation.

Girls wearing 'short shorts' was a craze I remember. Of course none of the guys ever opposed the idea.

Remember the Mouseketeers with Annette Funicello? She starred in several Beach Party movies when she was older. No real plots, but who the hell cared about plot when Annette was on the screen?
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:44 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PennLady View Post
I find I'm more likely to leave out fairly common things in use these days than to reference something that's out of date.

For example, when I wrote a story about a 23yo musician, my first draft had her grabbing a notebook and writing things down. My beta reader, who is my age but probably more in tune with these things, said no, she'd more likely have a smart phone with some kind of music app, and he was right.
I also have this problem in stories. Modern technology has taken over so many aspects of our life now that it's impossible to ignore its impact in your stories (I find many of my characters end up googling info and taking selfies that lead to trouble). If Hansel and Gretel were lost in the woods now they'd just whip out their cell phones.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:12 PM   #43
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I have been asked to give some talks to our local Historical Society.

Their usual speakers have covered our town's history in depth. Normally they would be alternated with speakers on more general historical subjects, but few of them live close enough. The travel expenses for speakers from London or the far side of the county, even without their fee, exceed the available funds.

But Og is cheap. Travel expenses nil; fee nil; and he's a member.

So far I have worked out eight talks I could give if I have at least a week's notice, with one I have given before that I can repeat with an hour's notice.

But it has started me thinking. If I can think of eight talks in half an hour, how many more could I do?

Samples:

Recorded sound from Musical box to stereo. I have musical boxes, gramophones, 78rpm records from the 1890s to the 1960s, and stereo demonstration records - Passing train, table tennis...

Photography from Daguerre to SLR. I have daguerrotypes, tintypes, cartes de visite, Kodak Autographic Cameras, box cameras, TLRs and SLRs.

History through Ordnance Survey Maps. I have the first Ordnance Survey maps for the whole of Southern England from Dover to Penzance and local maps from the 1930s to 1970s at scales of six inches to a mile, twenty-five inches to a mile, and fifty inches to a mile.

For those three I can produce exhibits without much effort.

Computers from Hollerith to Laptop
- where did I put my punched cards, my IBM training manuals from the 1960s, my 8, 5.25 and 3.5 floppies?
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:52 PM   #44
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Computers from Hollerith to Laptop - where did I put my punched cards, my IBM training manuals from the 1960s, my 8, 5.25 and 3.5 floppies?
I remember my father's "luggable" IBM in an aluminum case. Damn thing probably weighed twenty pounds.

I still have a Compaq laptop from 1997. It's a good three inches thick and weighs close to ten pounds. And I even have a box of 3.5" floppies for it. When I turn it on, I get a message saying my anti-virus is 192 months out of date

Funny thing is, the first ten or so stories I posted to Lit were written on that laptop . . . .
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:00 PM   #45
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...

Funny thing is, the first ten or so stories I posted to Lit were written on that laptop . . . .
My first erotic stories, long before I joined Literotica, were written on a PC running CP/M. I transferred them to an IBM XT running MS-DOS with a 5.25 floppy and a massive 10mb hard drive.

My first computer in 1963 was an IBM 1401 mainframe using punched cards.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:04 PM   #46
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My first computer in 1963 was an IBM 1401 mainframe using punched cards.
Now see, that just reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode with the scientist who builds a computer that falls in love with him.

My first computer was the classic Commodore 64. I could program that thing to do everything from stick-figure graphics to making fart noises.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:12 PM   #47
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Now see, that just reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode with the scientist who builds a computer that falls in love with him.

My first computer was the classic Commodore 64. I could program that thing to do everything from stick-figure graphics to making fart noises.
My story http://www.literotica.com/s/pleasure-dome-1 was based on an actual IBM XT text-based game.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:45 PM   #48
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I did something last night for my son and his friends that amazed them. I put words on paper without electricity. They thought the keyboard was invented with the computer. I dug out the old Royal typewriter and showed them the QWERTY board was started in the century before. They all tried typing and thought it was a blast, but it sucked there was no delete button for mistakes. I showed them white-out and explained how the Monkees guitar player, Mike Nesbith's mom invented it. That led to 60's pop and what we had as kids. I apparently lived in a deprived era that had no Xbox, cell phones, or internet.
I showed them pics of the wooden go karts we made from junk and pushed around with an old broomstick, racing down hills with wheels flying off everywhere. They asked if they could buy them anywhere now. Pffffft, lazy fuckers, lmao

I can't wait to get the Super 8 projector and screen out and go through all that for them. Old time video guys,
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:12 PM   #49
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There was a public call box at the end of the next street, but our phone was used by the whole street for emergencies such as a woman going into labour.

There was only one channel, the BBC. Later, when we had moved to a larger house she bought another television with a nine inch screen. We, and a large group of neighbours, watched the Coronation on that in 1953. Later, when commercial television started, we had to plug a black box into the aerial socket to get ITV, and take it out to get back to the BBC.

Oh, the set-top box. My Uncle had one on his ancient TV before he bought a set which included Band 3 (where ITV was to be found).
And we went next door to see the Coronation. We acquired a TV a few months later.
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