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Old 05-07-2012, 02:21 AM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,576,054 times
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Share your favorite technology flops and oddities here!

One is the SACD (Super Audio CD). This was the next logical step after the CD audio format: recording higher-fidelity, uncompressed, multi-channel sound using the capacity of DVD discs. Whether anyone really thought that this was the future of music is doubtful, but it has enjoyed success with the audiophile crowd. Meanwhile, most people are perfectly content to listen to lossy, compressed MP3 and AAC tracks purchased from iTunes or eMusic, downloaded from a pirate media source, or ripped from YouTube. And it doesn't really make a difference, as iPod or iPhone earpods are the usual speakers.


being there by , on Flickr

Another were the so-called "network appliances". These were simply scaled-down, easy-to-use, very low-spec computer systems designed particularly for the internet. Their manufacturers thought that many people for whom the price of a full desktop computer (roughly $800-$1500 at the time) was a barrier would first experience the internet at home in this form. Some stores even offered them free of charge with an commitment to an ISP. Unfortunately, computers drastically lowered in price and users flocked to broadband.

One such computer, the New Internet Computer, sold for $199 (plus an additional $150 for the monitor), had a bizarre configuration: no hard drive, a CD-ROM drive running a customized distribution of Linux, 4 MB of Flash memory for system settings,

Linux and the New Internet Computer | Linux Journal

Finally, another flop was USDTV. A single analog off-the-air TV "space" can carry one channel; but in compressed digital, it can carry up to six or more "subchannels". In the early days of off-the-air DTV, commercial networks often used their subcarriers for weather radars, repeats of news broadcasts, and quirky, usually short-lived separate channels, often airing classic TV shows and movies or music videos. But on some channels' bandwidth was greatly underutilized. "Why not use it for cable over the air?" was the genius idea that sparked the creation of USDTV, which went on the air in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2004. Three other markets followed.

The service initially offered a $19.99 / month package consisting of Disney Channel, Toon Disney, ESPN, ESPN 2, Discovery Channel, TLC, Food Network, HGTV, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, and Fox News. The bandwidth occupied by MPEG-2 streams placed a limit on how many channels could be aired, so in 2006 they made a switch to another codec. Perhaps they did it too late, as they went bankrupt in 2007.

The receivers, manufactured by a Chinese firm known as "HISENSE" and marketed under US Digital TV, have found a second home with Linux hackers:

Hisense - eLinux.org
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,540 posts, read 55,453,855 times
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Four track tape recordings lost out to eight track cassettes - given a choice between quality and the convenience of the horrible, fast food will win out.

Showscan. Film technology way ahead of what was available. 60 frame per second, 70 mm, with separate top-notch audio. The images were simply gorgeous and almost 3D in character. The industry never got behind it. Politics and recidivism are rife in Hollywood.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:50 AM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 9,076,702 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Four track tape recordings lost out to eight track cassettes - given a choice between quality and the convenience of the horrible, fast food will win out.

Showscan. Film technology way ahead of what was available. 60 frame per second, 70 mm, with separate top-notch audio. The images were simply gorgeous and almost 3D in character. The industry never got behind it. Politics and recidivism are rife in Hollywood.
I didn't really like the 3D stuff. Maybe it's just me...
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:15 AM
 
28,617 posts, read 40,594,929 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian.Pearson View Post
I didn't really like the 3D stuff. Maybe it's just me...
I've actually seen 3D just once. It was at the Star Trek exhibit at the Hilton in Las Vegas. Every other time I've gone to a 3D movie I've seen 2D.

Something about my brain I guess...


Beta Max Wars the Movie should be in 3D. Thought I should stay on topic.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:21 AM
 
15,924 posts, read 17,649,799 times
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How 'bout:

~ Microsoft Bob

~ Apple Newton

~ Bubble memory
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,540 posts, read 55,453,855 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian.Pearson View Post
I didn't really like the 3D stuff. Maybe it's just me...
You misunderstand. This was NOT with glasses, this was not a two point of view system. It was simply higher definition than high definition. If you take the number of discrete information pixels in a frame of 70 mm film it is an insanely large number, run the film at 24 frames per second, and the pionts of information to the eye is very much larger, run it at 60 FPS and it is OMG. The minimal distractions from jitter, judder, and film grain in Showscan, along with that huge amount of data, allow the eyes quit seeing it as a moving picture, kicking in the 3D cues other than binocular vision.

HD may eventually get to that point, but currently it is stick drawings compared to the capability of the original Showscan concept. The cost of the media was a killer, as of course was the cost of the equipment. IMAX comes close, but IMAX and Omnimax were designed for much larger screens and more neck-craning off-axis viewing, which destroy the concept.

For the record, I'm not a big fan of the current style of 3D film-making, even though I have extensive 3D experience and have written an award winning article in the primary 3D magazine, StereoWorld. I HAVE done experiments of my own that show a type of 3D that is far superior to what I see in theatres.

It is very difficult to convey the sensation when viewing a bright, detailed moving image. The artistry of the cinematographer comes through in a stunning fashion. An example: Remember a little tease film called "Flashdance"? One night at the theatre I happened to notice that the full 35mm frame was filled with the image, even though it was cropped to the normal 1.85 to 1 ratio for projection on the screen. I took the back lens of a scope lens, used the scope aperture plate, and watched it in the format. It was far better. Then I happened to be looking at the image in the projector gate (at an angle because the arc light will zap your eyes out otherwise) of some of the bicycle through steeltown shots and it was just insanely good. The gamma, the range of color depth was mind-boggling.

Last edited by harry chickpea; 05-08-2012 at 11:25 AM..
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 9,076,702 times
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Thanks. Most of that technical stuff was over my head, but I get the gist of it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 75,373,227 times
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Here's an oddity.

If you punch in your microwave timer at 9-9, it will run 39 seconds longer than if you enter 1-0-0.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:36 PM
 
8,402 posts, read 20,663,341 times
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Philips CD-i, their CD based game system. Unfortunately they never fulfilled their promises to expand the game lineup.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:28 PM
 
40,212 posts, read 41,799,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vmaxnc View Post
Philips CD-i, their CD based game system. Unfortunately they never fulfilled their promises to expand the game lineup.
I had a TurboGraphyx gaming system in 1990, that was another one before it's time. 4 player, had an adapter that gave you stereo output and memory. There was even a hand held version that used the same game cards:



Ir was a superior system but Sega killed it with better games.
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