History's Dumpster Mobile Link

History's Dumpster for Smartphones, Tablets and Old/Slow Computers http://historysdumpster.blogspot.com/?m=1

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Strange Ideas In Computing History: Software On Vinyl Albums


"In July 1977, Software Records launched the first issue of its BASIC software collection recorded on a 12" vinyl record. User could directly transfer programs from its record player to its computer or tape a copy. Sadly, as soon as the vinyl record had a tiny scratch, recorded programs were unreadable.

The first advert (left) was optimistic: "If everybody who read this ad would order one, we would be sold out!"

The second advert came out three months later, it was like a S.O.S.: "If we don't sell a bunch of our BASIC Software Volume 1 albums quick, we'll get fired!".

Were they fired? One thing for sure: Basic Software Volume 2 never came to life..."

- http://www.old-computers.com

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Classic Computer Ads

Was it really that long ago you had to shuck out $12,000 for an 80 MB hard drive? (from 1977):



E-Mail, when it was "electronic mail" (from 1981)



Nothing says "helluva man" today like a 4.8k dial-up modem the size of a toaster oven (from 1971):


Now THIS.....Is a LAPTOP!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I Don't Like Mondays


"I Don't Like Mondays" The Boomtown Rats is a seminal New Wave classic from 1979. What many pop music fans had forgotten (or never knew) that the song has it's origins in a tragedy that became a sort of precursor to the school shootings that occurred during the late '90s that led to the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999 to the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings of late last year.

On January 29, 1979 (34 years ago today), Brenda Ann Spencer, a troubled 16 year old girl opened fire from the window of her house in San Diego to the playground of Cleveland Elementary School, which was across the street, killing the principal and a custodian and injuring eight students and a police officer. When asked why she opened fire, she flippantly remarked, among other things, "I don't like Mondays", which in spite of the context in which it was used became a sort of catch-phrase in the early '80s, appearing on buttons and t-shirts.

Her cold blooded lack of remorse for her crime at the time was enough to have her tried as an adult and sentenced 25 years to life for the killings. She had been denied parole four times. Her last parole hearing was in August of 2009 and she will not be eligible for parole again until 2019.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brenda_Ann_Spencer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Don%27t_Like_Mondays

Sunday, January 27, 2013

"I've Never Been To Me" Charlene (1976/1982)


Charlene originally released this tune on Motown's Prodigal subsidiary in 1976, but even with anything goes '70s radio (even on the hardcore R&B stations, which were serviced heavily by Motown and where Millie Jackson was NEVER a problem), those radio programmers had a problem with THIS song.


It referenced everything from abortion to prostitution in a sort of girl talk over coffee manner, the kind you would overhear coming from a secluded corner booth in the back of a Denny's. The kind of things that would spell instant career death for not only the person who sang it, but the DJ playing it.

But if there's one thing I know about pop music (and I can point out many, many more examples), it's this: The more conservative the country gets socially, the more outlandishly sexually themed the pop songs become. It's a natural rebellion.

So when a Florida DJ found this song in 1982 (during the first years of the Reagan administration) and played it on the radio, the phone lines went berserk. So Motown re-released it.


Where in spite of radio station boycotts of the tune (especially in the South), the song shot up to #3 on the national radio pop charts in 1982. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Horizontal Shower


If you ever wanted to spend $35,000 to get the feeling of showering in a Category 5 hurricane, I have good news.

Bathroom fittings and accessories company Dornbracht have come up with the Horizontal Shower, a shower which, as its name suggests, allows you to do what you have to do while lying on your back, side, or front. Stand up and you’ll bang your head.

The Horizontal Shower incorporates six shower heads – or what the company calls “water bars” – with the user able to control water temperature, intensity and quantity using the eTOOL, a small control panel located beside the head of the reclined user.

Three presets are included in the shower’s design, which apparently provide balancing, energizing and destressing effects – exactly the kind of relaxing treatment you’ll need after realizing you’ve forked out $35,000 on a shower.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Remember The Days Of 56k Modems?










  •  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Ahhh...the 56k modem. Remember how we all thought that was the best and fastest way to get on the internet?

    When I first went online with my big bad Windows 98 (HA!) computer with 64 MB of RAM and only a 2 GB hard drive, I tried using those worthless "free" dial-up internet providers that were everywhere in the Roaring '90s when it seemed like you could pay ALL the bills AND provide free internet with banner ads. Unfortunately, they had a habit of cutting you off after an hour...then 30 minutes....then 15 minutes. Finally, I yelled uncle and signed up for actual internet service. (GOOD LUCK trying to call me then!)

    I think 56k still has it's place for non-computer junkie people who only use the internet to surf for something specific or use e-mail and nothing else. Or for the REALLY poor. It should always be there and really cheap if worse comes to worse.

    I learned how to tweak a 56k modem to run at it's peak. But it was still prone to cut-offs......

    I on the other hand am a power and speed FREAK, expecting nothing less than the FASTEST possible connection. I was a dedicated "netizen" and I wasn't changing for anyone.

    I used 56k until from 1998 to early 2001 when I moved up to broadband. I paid about $100 bucks a month for it then - a LOT less now (about $30 now), but when I first set it up and connected, I though I was in heaven.

    The only problem today is websites are a lot more complex and don't work too well with dial-up. An average home page in 1999 had only 50-200kb of data. Today, it's 1-3 MB or more. So load up times take a lot longer on 56k now. It took 15 minutes to download a 3 MB file in 2000 with dial-up. Today, it takes less than a nanosecond with broadband.

    Those were the daze......

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cup Noodles


There isn't a more perfect instant food in the world than Cup Noodles.

Formerly known in the USA as Cup O' Noodles, this tasty noodle soup has kept everyone from latch key kids to college students to bachelor guys from starving for nearly 40 years. As easy to make as tea and unlike it's pot made counterpart, Top Ramen. Cup Noodles requires only one utensil, a fork (and even that's solved by picking up plastic forks in the salad bar of the supermarket.) In Japan, plastic utensils are often provided

For me, somehow Cup Noodles even TASTE better than Top Ramen.

And speaking of taste, Cup Noodles around the world have some pretty exotic flavours with Singapore having the most variety, including Spicy Black Pepper, Chicken Satay. However, Germany has it's own flavours, such as Broccoli and even Mashed Potato. The Phillipines have Batchoy and Mexico has Tapatio (hot sauce) flavour. In Indonesia, they have a flavour called Tominapple. Not quite sure what that is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cup_Noodles

Bon Appetit!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Goldie Hawn's Lost Country Album



In 1972, Reprise Records released a country album from Goldie Hawn.

The album is country tinged folk pop (Buck Owen's band The Buckaroos play on a few tracks, rounded out by session musicians.)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dawn's New Ragtime Follies (1973)


Perhaps one of the most surprising hit albums of the '70s, this album of ragtime themed music with Tony Orlando & Dawn came right after the smash success of "Tie A Yellow Ribbon (Around The Old Oak Tree)"


It's been said at first Bell Records (which would become Arista Records a year later) thought they were out of their minds when they heard the demos for this album. And at the cusp of the disco era, they probably WERE.

But they released it with little promotion at first and not only did the album go to #1, it also yielded 3 Top 10 singles. a variety TV show (which replaced Sonny & Cher in 1974 and lasted until 1976) and it's considered Tony Orlando & Dawn's most successful album.




Saturday, January 19, 2013

Colonel Sanders' Tijuana Picnic


I didn't know where to categorize this. Under Food, Restaurants or Music. Well, it's a little of all of the above.

Could you think of two things that could be more further apart than Herb Alpert-like brass music and Kentucky Fried Chicken?

Before these unholy Taco Bell/KFC combo restaurants started popping up everywhere (do these corporations even know that when you're really in the mood for Original Recipe, the LAST thing you want to smell is greasy tacos and vice-versa?) and bizarre things like chipotle started showing up on KFC's menus, such a union meant automatic BANKRUPTCY to whoever was serving it. And rightly so. Leave the fried chicken and the faux Mexican food to the specialists. And keep them separate.

Of course some whiny corporate suck-up will say "But think about it; let's say mom and dad wanted KFC food and the kids wanted Taco Bell food. Wouldn't it be great if they could each have what they want under one roof?"

And then people wonder why kids are so spoiled today. Because when I was growing up, eating out was a TREAT. And a RARE treat at that. We NEVER argued or complained about where we were going to eat because ANYTHING was better than ANOTHER night of meatloaf.

I could sympathize with the Colonel when he said two years before his death in 1980 that he wished he never sold Kentucky Fried Chicken. I wish he hadn't either. You just don't know heartburn until you had just eaten strips of Extra Crispy and chipotle sauce in a gummy tortilla, no matter how much lettuce and cheddar cheese shreds they put in it.

But let's go back to the late '60s and this vinyl gem. I don't know how exactly it was distributed, but seeing as it was on Mark 56 Records (a company that specialized in producing custom albums for businesses to be sold cheaply or just given away as a loss leader for another product) it was probably given away with a bucket of chicken or sold for 98¢.

It's a generic album of trendy Tijuana Brass knockoffs (that sound was HUGE in the '60s) that corporate America was pushing on every supermarket sound system and FM radio station they could for middle class suburban moms of the late '60s who wanted to be hip, but didn't want anything to do with pot (and ended up alcoholic instead.)

I especially love the liner notes the Good Colonel wrote on the back of this album. Who would've known he was as much an expert on Latin-tinged pop jazz as he was pressure cooking chicken?

Actually, he wasn't. They were ghost-written. But he sure knew how to sell Kentucky Fried Chicken.....


Here's a sample:


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Moisturizing Jeans


http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2013/01/16/wrangler-launches-moisturising-jeans-modelled-by-lizzie-jagger

They're jeans that moisturize your legs. Wouldn't they feel....I don't know, wet, clammy, weird?........

Forgotten Cigarette Brands

(Update 2/18/14: See also my post on electronic cigarettes.)

(Update 3/30/15: See also Forgotten Cigarette Brands Part II)

Cigarettes today are not what they used to be.

Well, let me rephrase that. Cigarettes have always been gross and deadly. But these days, a cigarette smoker is pretty much considered as low as a crackhead in some circles. Though it's nice the smoking awareness campaigns have brought the graphic evils of tobacco to dinner hour TV screens, I have to admit, they're as pointless as the anti-marijuana PSAs of the '60s to the '90s.

Besides, NOTHING can convince an innocent kid not to take up smoking more effectively than a kiss from a chain smoking aunt.

In the old days, you used to have a dizzying variety of cigarette choices available at your local grocery/convenience store (more than 50!). Today, there's about 10 or even fewer brands in most places. Today, most brands are available exclusively over the internet. Retail stores get their stock from a state regulated middleman. Which is why in many states (namely Washington State), there is so little variety.

But for remaining smokers, fire up a menthol and enjoy this stroll down the tobacco aisle of yesteryear....


Tareyton - My dad used to smoke these. No longer available in many areas, but they are available on the internet through RJ Reynolds.


 Kent - My mom used to smoke these.


Virginia Slims - Another disappearing brand of women's cigarette.


More - An icky tasting super long and thin "120" cigarette. I snagged a pack of these from the rack at Fred Meyer when I was a kid. They looked weird, so I though they'd taste cool (with that funky brown paper.) They were flat out GROSS.


Satin - "With a LUXURIOUS satin tip", never mind the tobacco inside was garbage. Satin was an '80s upstart brand. I knew of these by the free pack coupons they used to stuff in every Sunday newspaper.


Yves St. Laurant - A fashion designer's death by design. Another '80s brand.


Merit - Another former brand of choice. Of all the low-tars, I actually LIKED Merits. They were tolerable. But Merit was one of those "old peoples" brands that seemed to disappear rapidly.



Doral - A '70s brand.


Multifilter - Known for having two different filters, but the same result.



Vantage - A filter cigarette with a giant hole in the middle of the filter.


Sterling - An 80's brand


Benson & Hedges - Another disappearing brand and the first marketed for the "upscale" crowd.


Eve - A long thin women's cigarette

Viceroy - Never smoked this brand, but it was big in the '60s.


Lucky Strike - Motto "It's toasted" Just like your lungs after smoking a pack.



Chesterfield - A non-filtered smoke, popular from the '20s - the '60s when even by then, it was an "old people's cigarette" Before Kool and their jazz festivals in the '70s and '80s, it was popular with radio DJs (and immortalized as such in Donald Fagan's song "The Nightfly".) I never thought they were that spectacular


Raleigh - This was the brand your old neighbour probably smoked.


Dave's - A '90s brand still being made, Known for it's folksy magazine ads that made you think it was made by some average person, just like you, who wanted a better smoke than what those big corporations offered. Fact: It was made by Phillip-Morris the whole time.


Scotch Buy - Now here was an unusual brand made by RJ Reynolds for a corporate supermarket chain (Safeway and subsidiaries.) Safeway discontinued Scotch Buy and distanced itself as far as possible from the brand in the '90s when cigarette manufacturers were being sued. Smart move. They tasted like crap anyway.


 Bel/Air - One of the better menthols. Now vanished.



Carlton - The lowest tar and nicotine of any cigarette (without the nicotine, there's no point in smoking cigarettes.) Memorable for it's plain magazine ads that read. "If you smoke, please try Carlton" The gist was that it was a "safer" cigarette. But they tasted HORRIBLE and the filters were so tight, you can barely draw off of one.


True - Another weird filtered low-tar cigarette.


Misty - Another '80s women's cigarette. Still being made, but instead of women, it's gay men that buy them now.


Lark - I remembered seeing these on the shelves, but I can't remember anyone who ever smoked this brand.

Cheers! (Cough!...hack!...wheeze!)

(Thanks to Cigarettespedia.com for some of the images here....)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Classic Telephone Exchanges

Back in the day, before mandatory 10 digit dialing, local phone numbers were easier to remember. They had something called "exchange names", which the first two digits of a seven digit local number were corresponded to a word, like those listed below. This is why phones today still have 3 (now 4 letters for 7 and 9) below each number. 

For example, if your number was (and this was one of my OLD phone numbers) 633-3703, with your exchange would be "Melrose" or some variation for 63 as listed below, then 3-3703 or "MElrose -3-3703". In fact, my business card back then actually listed my number as ME3-3703 (with the conventional 633-3703 in parentheses underneath.) Surprised a lot of the old timers!

This system was used widely from the '40s to the early '70s when it was phased over to 7 digit listings. It was immortalized in the Glenn Miller classic "Pennsylvania 6-5000" (which was the phone number to The Hotel Pennsylvania, which Miller frequented before his death in 1944.) Amazingly - it STILL IS.    

I still think it's a pretty classy way (if confusing way for those not in the know) to list a phone number......

(From The Bell System's "Notes on Nationwide Dialing, 1955")

22


23


24


25


26


27


28


29


ACademy


BAldwin


CApital


CAstle

ADams


BElmont


BEverly


CEdar


CEnter


CEntral

CHapel


CHerry


CHestnut


CHurchill


CIrcle

ALpine


BLackburn


CLearbrook


CLearwater


CLifford


CLinton

AMherst


ANdrew


COlfax


COlony


COngress

BRidge


BRoad(way)


BRown(ing)


CRestview


CRestwood

ATlantic


ATlas


ATwater


ATwood


AVenue


BUtler

AXminster


AXtel


CYpress

32


33


34


35


36


37


38


39


DAvenport


DAvis


EAst(gate)


FAculty


FAirfax


FAirview

DEerfield


DEwey


EDgewater


EDgewood


EDison


FEderal

DIamond


DIckens


FIeldbrook


FIeldstone


FIllmore


FIrestone

ELgin


ELliot


ELmwood


FLanders


FLeetwood

EMerson


EMpire


ENdicott


FOrest


FOxcroft

DRake


DRexel


ESsex


FRanklin


FRontier

DUdley


DUnkirk


DUpont


EVergreen


FUlton

EXbrook


EXeter


EXport


EXpress

42


43


44


45


46


47


48


49


GArden


GArfield


HAmilton


HArrison


HAzel

GEneral


GEneva


HEmlock


HEmpstead


IDlewood

GIbson


GIlbert


HIckman


HIckory


HIllcrest


HIlltop

GLadstone


GLencourt


GLendale


GLenview


GLobe

HObart


HOmestead


HOpkins


HOward


INgersoll

GRanite


GReenwood


GReenfield


GReenleaf


GRover


GRidley

HUbbard


HUdson


HUnter


HUntley


HUxley


IVanhoe

GYpsy


HYacinth


HYatt

52


53


54


55


56


57


58


59


JAckson


LAfayette


LAkeside


LAkeview


LAmbert


LAwrence

JEfferson


KEllogg


KEystone


LEhigh


LEnox

KImball


KIngsdale


KIngswood


LIberty


LIncoln


LInden

(In 1955, this



was reserved



for radio



telephone



numbers)



JOhn


JOrdan


LOcust


LOgan


LOwell

(In 1955, this



was reserved



for radio



telephone



numbers)



JUniper


JUno


JUstice


LUdlow


LUther

LYceum


LYndhurst


LYnwood


LYric

62


63


64


65


66


67


68


69


MAdison


MAin


MArket


MAyfair


NAtional

MEdford


MElrose


MErcury


NEptune


NEwton


NEwtown

MIdway


MIlton


MIssion


MItchell


NIagara

OLdfield


OLive


OLiver


OLympia


OLympic

MOhawk


MOntrose


MOrris


NOrmandy


NOrth(field)

ORange


ORchard


ORiole


ORleans


OSborne

MUrdock


MUrray


MUseum


MUtual


OVerbrook


OVerland

MYrtle


OWen


OXbow


OXford

72


73


74


75


76


77


78


79


PAlace


PArk(view)


PArk(way)


RAndolph


RAymond


SAratoga

PErshing


REd(field)


REd(wood)


REgent


REpublic

PIlgrim


PIoneer


RIver(side)


RIver(view)


SHadyside


SHerwood

PLateau


PLaza


PLeasant


PLymouth


SKyline

POplar


POrter


ROckwell


ROger(s)


SOuth(field)

PRescott


PResident


PRospect


SPring


SPruce

STate


STerling


STillwell


STory


SUnset

PYramid


SWathmore



SWift


SWinburne


SYcamore

82


83


84


85


86


87


88


89


TAlbot


TAlmadge


TAylor


VAlley


VAndyke

TEmple


TEnnyson


TErminal


TErrace


VErnon

THornwell


TIlden


VIctor(ia)


VIking


VInewood

ULrick


ULster


ULysses

TOwnsend


UNderhill


UNion


UNiversity


VOlunteer

TRemont


TRiangle


TRinity


TRojan


UPtown

TUcker


TUlip



TUrner


TUxedo

TWilight


TWinbrook


TWinoaks


TWining

92


93


94


95


96


97


98


99


WAbash


WAlker


WAlnut


WArwick


WAverly

WEbster


WElls


WEllington


WEst(more)


YEllowstone

WHitehall


WHitney


WIlliam(s)


WIlson


WIndsor

(In 1955, this



was reserved



for radio



telephone



numbers)



WOodland


WOodlawn


WOodward


WOrth


YOrktown

(In 1955, this



was reserved



for radio



telephone



numbers)



YUkon

WYandotte


WYndown


WYman

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Micronations

Ever wanted to just declare your independence and form your own banana republic?

Well, actually a LOT of people want to do that....

  
Much easier to do in the virtual world than in the real one. Not to say some haven't tried. History is filled with failed attempts at nation building:

Try this game out:

http://nationstates.net/

But that hasn't kept people from trying the real thing.

They're called "micronations". A micronation is basically a one-person government, dictatorship and subjects are usually members of one's own family (like in some areas of Utah or the South) or just themselves. A King/Queen in their own minds I guess. And the land mass is no bigger than one's own residence. 

It also pays to be absolutely insane (or have balls the size of watermelons.)

Sealand:


The most famous of these is Sealand. Sealand was created out of an abandoned man-made World War II Royal Navy base in the English Channel called Rough's Tower. 


When the Royal Navy abandoned it in 1956, a pirate radio operator named Paddy Roy Bates took it over. Since Rough's Tower was abandoned and in international waters, he declared Rough's Tower a sovereign nation and called it Sealand. Bates and his family moved there and the hobby grew, minting their own coins and stamps and issuing passports. All worthless of course, but one can dream, can't they?

http://www.sealandgov.org/

Molossia:


Located in Nevada, this guy is your basic Micronation hobbyist. This video explains everything. 


And he's STILL at war with East Germany.....

http://www.molossia.org/countryeng.html

More on micronations:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micronation