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(Huffington Post)   Everything on this 1991 Radio Shack advertisement you can now do on your phone. Please enter your phone number before reading the article   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 180
    More: Interesting, Radio Shack, Western New York, word processing  
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20856 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Jan 2014 at 4:45 AM (40 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-17 06:27:06 AM  

log_jammin: if a guy born in 1 C.E time traveled to 1000 C.E. an walked inside the average home, he would be familiar with his surroundings. I can't imagine anything that would look out of place to him. for most of history this is true I think. some luxury items might become more common as time went on(like say, glass instead of wooden mugs),  and fashions changed over time, but the average house and the items in it would appear normal to the average person, for the most part anyway.

But imagine a guy from 1940 coming to 2014. cell phones, electric cars, flat screens, computers, solar panels, video games, microwave ovens, dishwashers, florescent lights, stereos, etc.. just imagine how jarring that would be.


Not  just them, but someone like me who was born in '58.  All the things that have developed in my lifetime from going to the moon to cell phones to the internet.  It would be overwhelming if I went from a child of the early 60's and got slammed in the face of what is there now.  You'll see young man, you'll see some day!
 
2014-01-17 06:30:38 AM  

Ishkur: Yes. Your iphone can do all those things.

But it can't do any of them well.


Really?

All weather personal stereo, $11.88. I now use my iPhone with an Otter Box.

Sure, I have to use external speakers or headphones, but my iPhone does music (and video) very well.

AM/FM clock radio, $13.88. iPhone.

No radio, but streaming works well. I don't use my phone as an alarm clock because I have a bad habit of breaking alarm clocks.

In-Ear Stereo Phones, $7.88. Came with iPhone.

I'll give you this one. Apple's ear buds are garbage.

Microthin calculator, $4.88. Swipe up on iPhone.

Yeah, there's no app for that, is there?

Tandy 1000 TL/3, $1599. I actually owned a Tandy 1000, and I used it for games and word processing. I now do most of both of those things on my phone.

I play a lot of games on my iPhone, games that old Tandy 1000 couldn't play if God Himself ordered it to. As for typibg, well I can't type fast on my iPhone, but my younger co-workers are faster than hell on their iPhones, Androids and Windows phones.

VHS Camcorder, $799. iPhone.

Yeah, too bad the iPhone's camera can't quite match the glory of 320x240 interlaced video. Damned 5MP camera. Complete waste of money.

Mobile Cellular Telephone, $199. Obvs.

Do I even need to say anything?

Mobile CB, $49.95. Ad says "You'll never drive 'alone' again!" iPhone.

Yeah, this one doesn't quite work. But who uses CBs anymore? Maybe after the Zombie Apocalypse takes out the internet and the cell phone system...

20-Memory Speed-Dial phone, $29.95.

Again, do I need to comment?

Deluxe Portable CD Player, $159.95. 80 minutes of music, or 80 hours of music? iPhone.

See first point.

10-Channel Desktop Scanner, $99.55. I still have a scanner, but I have a scanner app, too. iPhone.

See CB comment above.

Easiest-to-Use Phone Answerer, $49.95. iPhone voicemail.

No comment needed, again.

Handheld Cassette Tape Recorder, $29.95. I use the Voice Memo app almost daily.

And again...

So, you were saying?
 
2014-01-17 06:42:22 AM  

cameroncrazy1984: downstairs: downstairs: jaylectricity: 13 of 15 of the items. Which two are not in your pocket? My first guess is radar detector.

downstairs: Not to be picky, but I don't believe you can get AM radio directly on a smartphone.  No idea why, and I haven't tried in years... but when I did (on a PC) it was always FM only.

If you have a smartphone you can get AM radio, but it's over the internet.

1030 AM WBZ

Ok, I was being a bit pedantic.  You can't actually get a straight AM stream direct over a smartphone or PC.  Which I've always thought was weird.

Crap... bad wording.  By "stream" I mean an actual signal.

Why would you want to? The Internet signal is digital and thus clearer and better than an AM signal


But it doesn't have that "warm" sound like an actual AM broadcast therefore AM is much superior than digital :-P

I've had a couple of phones with FM radio receivers in, never really used the feature.
 
2014-01-17 06:42:26 AM  

log_jammin: if a guy born in 1 C.E time traveled to 1000 C.E. an walked inside the average home, he would be familiar with his surroundings. I can't imagine anything that would look out of place to him. for most of history this is true I think. some luxury items might become more common as time went on(like say, glass instead of wooden mugs),  and fashions changed over time, but the average house and the items in it would appear normal to the average person, for the most part anyway.

But imagine a guy from 1940 coming to 2014. cell phones, electric cars, flat screens, computers, solar panels, video games, microwave ovens, dishwashers, florescent lights, stereos, etc.. just imagine how jarring that would be.


from Bill Bryson's 'A Walk In The Woods':
'I remember reading once how some Stone Age Indians from the Brazilian rain forest with no knowledge or expectation of a world beyond the jungle were taken to S~ao Paulo or Rio, and when they saw what it contained-the buildings, the cars, the passing airplanes-and how thoroughly at variance it was with their own simple lives, they wet themselves, lavishly and in unison.  '
 
2014-01-17 06:44:57 AM  

Ed Grubermann: Ishkur: Yes. Your iphone can do all those things.

But it can't do any of them well.

Really?

All weather personal stereo, $11.88. I now use my iPhone with an Otter Box.

Sure, I have to use external speakers or headphones, but my iPhone does music (and video) very well.

AM/FM clock radio, $13.88. iPhone.

No radio, but streaming works well. I don't use my phone as an alarm clock because I have a bad habit of breaking alarm clocks.

In-Ear Stereo Phones, $7.88. Came with iPhone.

I'll give you this one. Apple's ear buds are garbage.

Microthin calculator, $4.88. Swipe up on iPhone.

Yeah, there's no app for that, is there?

Tandy 1000 TL/3, $1599. I actually owned a Tandy 1000, and I used it for games and word processing. I now do most of both of those things on my phone.

I play a lot of games on my iPhone, games that old Tandy 1000 couldn't play if God Himself ordered it to. As for typibg, well I can't type fast on my iPhone, but my younger co-workers are faster than hell on their iPhones, Androids and Windows phones.

VHS Camcorder, $799. iPhone.

Yeah, too bad the iPhone's camera can't quite match the glory of 320x240 interlaced video. Damned 5MP camera. Complete waste of money.

Mobile Cellular Telephone, $199. Obvs.

Do I even need to say anything?

Mobile CB, $49.95. Ad says "You'll never drive 'alone' again!" iPhone.

Yeah, this one doesn't quite work. But who uses CBs anymore? Maybe after the Zombie Apocalypse takes out the internet and the cell phone system...

20-Memory Speed-Dial phone, $29.95.

Again, do I need to comment?

Deluxe Portable CD Player, $159.95. 80 minutes of music, or 80 hours of music? iPhone.

See first point.

10-Channel Desktop Scanner, $99.55. I still have a scanner, but I have a scanner app, too. iPhone.

See CB comment above.

Easiest-to-Use Phone Answerer, $49.95. iPhone voicemail.

No comment needed, again.

Handheld Cassette Tape Recorder, $29.95. I use the Voice Memo app almost daily.

And again...

So, you were saying?

 
2014-01-17 06:47:30 AM  

Ed Grubermann: Ishkur: Yes. Your iphone can do all those things.

But it can't do any of them well.

Really?

All weather personal stereo, $11.88. I now use my iPhone with an Otter Box.

Sure, I have to use external speakers or headphones, but my iPhone does music (and video) very well.

AM/FM clock radio, $13.88. iPhone.

No radio, but streaming works well. I don't use my phone as an alarm clock because I have a bad habit of breaking alarm clocks.

In-Ear Stereo Phones, $7.88. Came with iPhone.

I'll give you this one. Apple's ear buds are garbage.

Microthin calculator, $4.88. Swipe up on iPhone.

Yeah, there's no app for that, is there?

Tandy 1000 TL/3, $1599. I actually owned a Tandy 1000, and I used it for games and word processing. I now do most of both of those things on my phone.

I play a lot of games on my iPhone, games that old Tandy 1000 couldn't play if God Himself ordered it to. As for typibg, well I can't type fast on my iPhone, but my younger co-workers are faster than hell on their iPhones, Androids and Windows phones.

VHS Camcorder, $799. iPhone.

Yeah, too bad the iPhone's camera can't quite match the glory of 320x240 interlaced video. Damned 5MP camera. Complete waste of money.

Mobile Cellular Telephone, $199. Obvs.

Do I even need to say anything?

Mobile CB, $49.95. Ad says "You'll never drive 'alone' again!" iPhone.

Yeah, this one doesn't quite work. But who uses CBs anymore? Maybe after the Zombie Apocalypse takes out the internet and the cell phone system...

20-Memory Speed-Dial phone, $29.95.

Again, do I need to comment?

Deluxe Portable CD Player, $159.95. 80 minutes of music, or 80 hours of music? iPhone.

See first point.

10-Channel Desktop Scanner, $99.55. I still have a scanner, but I have a scanner app, too. iPhone.

See CB comment above.

Easiest-to-Use Phone Answerer, $49.95. iPhone voicemail.

No comment needed, again.

Handheld Cassette Tape Recorder, $29.95. I use the Voice Memo app almost daily.

And again...

So, you were saying?


Ooops. Borrowed computer.
Seriously, great post. If you weren't already TF, I would have bought you a month.
 
2014-01-17 06:48:44 AM  

downstairs: no I don't believe there is or can be a radar detector app.


Nope - but I use Waze, which (thanks to "the crowd") generally warns me when there is a police presence up ahead.  And construction, and accidents - better than a radar detector.
 
2014-01-17 06:48:52 AM  

markie_farkie: Radar detector is built into smartphones, too?

NSA SEEKRIT FEETURZ!!!!11


Use Waze, people report radar traps all the time.
 
2014-01-17 06:49:08 AM  

Ed Grubermann: But who uses CBs anymore?


Same people that did before.  Truckers and people who want to listen to regional relevant news about the roads / road conditions / accidents / traffic etc.

True, the 'internet" provides some vague reports, but nothing like the detail you can get from listening to an eye witness who just drove by or is currently stuck there.

Similar for scanners.  Sure, many of them are now streamed, but hardly all of them.  And at that, there's delay and bandwidth issues. (unless the phone actually performs as a scanner, I wouldn't know)

Also, an Iphone playing music is not the same as an actual CD player, some people still have CD's and it will not play them natively.

The claim was that the smart phone would actually do all of these things, not perform some vaguely similar substitute.
 
2014-01-17 06:50:17 AM  
"electronic gimzo type items" - apparently the spell-checker app was stretching the budget...

9 mentions of iPhone in place of smartphone says this is typical iTard filler...
 
2014-01-17 06:54:49 AM  
That's "everything" in the "most things" sense of the word since there are things in the ad that a phone clearly cannot do.
 
2014-01-17 07:01:35 AM  

markie_farkie: Radar detector is built into smartphones, too?

NSA SEEKRIT FEETURZ!!!!11


Look up escort live radar in the app store.  it works.
 
2014-01-17 07:01:48 AM  
Mobile Cellular Telephone, $199. Obvs.

Say Obvs, one more time.

/I won't be bargained with. I won't be reasoned with. I won't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And i absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.
 
2014-01-17 07:03:45 AM  
To me the real surprise is that they were still selling (new!) 10mhz 286 desktops 2 years after the introduction of the 50mhz 486.
 
2014-01-17 07:05:01 AM  
And there are apps for CB radio too, I have not tried them, but they are out there.

/ Obvs
 
2014-01-17 07:08:10 AM  

Deathlok: To me the real surprise is that they were still selling (new!) 10mhz 286 desktops 2 years after the introduction of the 50mhz 486.


(looks closer)  I think that was a couple months after I got my first DOS machine, a 9.54 Mhz 8088 with amber monochrome CRT for about $999.
 
2014-01-17 07:10:13 AM  
Yeah Im pretty sure the smart phone doesnt have a CB radio app, and well a phone doesnt really let you hear about traffic and wrecks and cops ahead from the oncoming traffic.

There are some apps that do gps traffic flow stuff like waze but using that and the cb in the truck at work the cb is quicker and more reliable about it there are only enough users of those apps to keep it on par with a cb at rush hour on the interstate, cb works on pretty much any highway big enough to have truck traffic at pretty much any time of the day or night.
 
2014-01-17 07:10:26 AM  

I sound fat: And there are apps for CB radio too, I have not tried them, but they are out there.

/ Obvs


I have a police scanner app, though I've not used it much.
 
2014-01-17 07:14:45 AM  
Found an old coffee table book for day in the life of a Californian from 1987. Other than fashion I really did not see much of a difference on daily life and now except that kids are not as outgoing and the electronic technology is different. One picture was of a business meeting and the table was clean. The attendees did not paper coffee cups, water bottles, laptops, only some prepared paperwork and Secretary taking notes on pad of paper.
 
2014-01-17 07:17:33 AM  

Ed Grubermann: Really?


Your fallacy is comparing those technologies with the way they were 20 years ago ie: in the article. I wasn't.

I re-iterate: Your iphone can do a lot of things but it does none of them well. But that's okay, because convenience takes precedence over quality.
 
2014-01-17 07:20:22 AM  
+1 for Waze
if more people used it it would be an ever better app.
 
2014-01-17 07:23:38 AM  

micah1701: +1 for Waze
if more people used it it would be an ever better app.


If it didn't crash constantly on my HTC One, I would use it more.
 
2014-01-17 07:33:51 AM  

Ed Grubermann: Mobile CB, $49.95. Ad says "You'll never drive 'alone' again!" iPhone.

Yeah, this one doesn't quite work. But who uses CBs anymore? Maybe after the Zombie Apocalypse takes out the internet and the cell phone system...


Actually, people in areas where you don't have any cell service (like much of the Adirondacks in New York, for example) use radio services like CB, FRS, GMRS, MURS, and Ham radio to keep in touch while mobile.  Best part is:  They work without any infrastructure, so no matter what happens, as long as the batteries hold out, you can communicate.

Also, if you go ahead and listen, CBs are used.  I used to keep one or two around as "just in case" radios, because not everyone has a ham radio license, but I've replaced them with FRS/GMRS radios, which are much more common anyway, and you don't have to listen to idiots with annoying reverb on their signal yelling obscenities.

/What is the point of an echobox anyway?
 
2014-01-17 07:36:12 AM  
There is one major advantage to having 16 different gadgets to perform 16 different functions, as opposed to a single gadget to perform them all:

If the one gadget breaks, you can't do anything.  You have 0% functionality.   If one of the 16 gadgets break, however, you still have 94% functionality.

/Eggs.  Basket.
 
2014-01-17 07:38:51 AM  

downstairs: Also to continue to be picky... no I don't believe there is or can be a radar detector app.


Plenty of apps warn you if a cop is ahead. Waze is one. Close enough.
 
2014-01-17 07:39:31 AM  

fusillade762: jaylectricity: My phone doesn't play CDs

/CDs are the best recording medium in the history of recording

Meh, 8-tracks are where it's at.

/you really want a beating from the vinylphiles, don't you?


People who like vinyl are idiots.
 
2014-01-17 07:41:50 AM  
619-239-KING
 
2014-01-17 07:45:50 AM  

ImpendingCynic: ransack.: Because AM radio still works from 100 miles away when all the cell towers around have been destroyed by a nuclear weapon?

AM can go a lot farther than that. Last time I was in Seattle, I was able to pick up KFI and KFWB from Los Angeles over the air. My dad once told me that when he was a kid in L.A. in the 50s, he used to be able to pick up AM radio from Chicago.


WLS, I'm guessing.
 
2014-01-17 07:51:36 AM  

cameroncrazy1984: downstairs: downstairs: jaylectricity: 13 of 15 of the items. Which two are not in your pocket? My first guess is radar detector.

downstairs: Not to be picky, but I don't believe you can get AM radio directly on a smartphone.  No idea why, and I haven't tried in years... but when I did (on a PC) it was always FM only.

If you have a smartphone you can get AM radio, but it's over the internet.

1030 AM WBZ

Ok, I was being a bit pedantic.  You can't actually get a straight AM stream direct over a smartphone or PC.  Which I've always thought was weird.

Crap... bad wording.  By "stream" I mean an actual signal.

Why would you want to? The Internet signal is digital and thus clearer and better than an AM signal


Sometimes, I don't have a cell signal or internet service. You can almost always pick up an AM station
 
2014-01-17 07:56:22 AM  

SlothB77: downstairs: Also to continue to be picky... no I don't believe there is or can be a radar detector app.

Plenty of apps warn you if a cop is ahead. Waze is one. Close enough.


Not really.

Those aren't updated in real time.  In other words, we don't have 100% instant tracking information on police cars, so we can't tell where they are, so any reported information is likely old by the time you get it, and you might be the first to get nailed anyway.

There is a way to get that information in pretty much real time, however.  Almost all police cars are now equipped with mobile data terminals that also report their position back to HQ on a regular basis.  This allows for better dispatching.  You could either break the encryption they use and report their positions on the web.

Failing that ability (because hey, you're not the NSA), you could set up a number of relatively simple automated radio direction finding stations that listen on that one frequency, or set of frequencies, and have them report back to a server with their own GPS position, a time-stamp, and bearing for each signal.  Server would take all the reports and combine them into position reports, and report those on the web.  You'd get a pretty good indication of where all the police are in pretty much real time.  The automated DF stations would be pretty cheap to make, maybe $300-$500 a piece, and the server could be some crappy old computer, because the math for calculating positions isn't particularly hard.
 
2014-01-17 08:01:00 AM  

downstairs: Not to be picky, but I don't believe you can get AM radio directly on a smartphone.  No idea why, and I haven't tried in years... but when I did (on a PC) it was always FM only.


Indirectly, however. I listen to WPPA AM 1360 from Pottsville, PA every day on my smart phone - in New Hampshire...bluetoothed into my car radio.
 
2014-01-17 08:01:44 AM  

SansNeural: ImpendingCynic: ransack.: Because AM radio still works from 100 miles away when all the cell towers around have been destroyed by a nuclear weapon?

AM can go a lot farther than that. Last time I was in Seattle, I was able to pick up KFI and KFWB from Los Angeles over the air. My dad once told me that when he was a kid in L.A. in the 50s, he used to be able to pick up AM radio from Chicago.

WLS, I'm guessing.


Medium wave AM radio signals (500 kHz - 1800 kHz) can travel long distances at night when the D-layer dissipates and no longer absorbs the skywave signal.  During the day, you just get the groundwave signal, which means less than 100 mile range from even a very powerful AM station.

At night, those signals can reflect off of the F-layer of the ionosphere and travel very long distances.  Theoretically, with a clear frequency, a good receiver and antenna, and the right conditions, you could hear an AM radio station on the other side of the World.
 
2014-01-17 08:01:50 AM  
My phone can be a cb?
 
2014-01-17 08:02:05 AM  

log_jammin: if a guy born in 1 C.E time traveled to 1000 C.E. an walked inside the average home, he would be familiar with his surroundings. I can't imagine anything that would look out of place to him. for most of history this is true I think. some luxury items might become more common as time went on(like say, glass instead of wooden mugs),  and fashions changed over time, but the average house and the items in it would appear normal to the average person, for the most part anyway.

But imagine a guy from 1940 coming to 2014. cell phones, electric cars, flat screens, computers, solar panels, video games, microwave ovens, dishwashers, florescent lights, stereos, etc.. just imagine how jarring that would be.


Maybe a guy from 1840. 1940 might not have had much of that in a commercial form, but it was at least believable.
 
2014-01-17 08:10:57 AM  
meh, I like old tech
someone around me will always have the latest and greatest NEW AND IMPROVED phone/computer thingie
I see them all the time
waiting in line for a fix at the apple or att&t store
 
2014-01-17 08:15:12 AM  

natas6.0: meh, I like old tech
someone around me will always have the latest and greatest NEW AND IMPROVED phone/computer thingie
I see them all the time
waiting in line for a fix at the apple or att&t store


Reminds me of:

I'm drunk. 
And right now I'm so in love with you. 
And I don't want to think too much about what we should or shouldn't do. 
Lay my hands on Heaven and the sun and the moon and the stars. 
While the devil wants to fark me in the back of his car.
[Chorus:]
Nothing quite like the feel of something new. 
Maybe I'm all messed up. 
Maybe I'm all messed up. 
Maybe I'm all messed up in you. 
Maybe I'm all messed up. 
Maybe I'm all messed up. 
Maybe I'm all messed up. 
Maybe I'm all messed up in you. 
Maybe I'm all messed up. 
This is the only time I really feel alive. 
This is the only time I really feel alive. 
I swear.
I just found everything I need. 
The sweat in your eyes the blood in your veins are listening to me. 
Well I want to wrap it up and swim in it until I drown. 
My moral standing is lying down.
 
2014-01-17 08:17:59 AM  
I worked at a radio shack in '95 or '96 and one day the store manager had me clean the back room. There were some boxes in a storage area/wall above the bathroom and in the bottom of the boxes there were a bunch of catalogs from the 70's and 80's... It was amazing to see how the technology changed from year to year and how expensive some things were when they first came out... They have all the catalogs online now... It's fun to page through a random year from time to time...

http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/
 
2014-01-17 08:22:48 AM  
Close, but no cigar. At best, 10/15.

Smart phone can NOT function as an AM radio. Streaming over the internet is NOT AM radio.

Smart phone can NOT function as a police/fire scanner.

Smart phone can NOT function as a CB radio.

Smart phone can NOT function as a radar detector.

Smart phone can NOT function as a regular pair of decent speakers.
 
2014-01-17 08:29:58 AM  

kim jong-un: log_jammin: if a guy born in 1 C.E time traveled to 1000 C.E. an walked inside the average home, he would be familiar with his surroundings. I can't imagine anything that would look out of place to him. for most of history this is true I think. some luxury items might become more common as time went on(like say, glass instead of wooden mugs),  and fashions changed over time, but the average house and the items in it would appear normal to the average person, for the most part anyway.

But imagine a guy from 1940 coming to 2014. cell phones, electric cars, flat screens, computers, solar panels, video games, microwave ovens, dishwashers, florescent lights, stereos, etc.. just imagine how jarring that would be.

Maybe a guy from 1840. 1940 might not have had much of that in a commercial form, but it was at least believable.


I'm not saying it would be inbelievable. I'm just saying before pretty recently the pace at which life changed was much slower than it is today. Kids didn't have to explain new tech to grandparents and parents. They didn't have to because for the most part, it was still the same.
 
2014-01-17 08:32:54 AM  

havana_joe: I worked at a radio shack in '95 or '96 and one day the store manager had me clean the back room. There were some boxes in a storage area/wall above the bathroom and in the bottom of the boxes there were a bunch of catalogs from the 70's and 80's... It was amazing to see how the technology changed from year to year and how expensive some things were when they first came out... They have all the catalogs online now... It's fun to page through a random year from time to time...

http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/


This was my first ham radio, bought it brand new back in late 1989 or early 1990 after I had passed my novice test, but before I actually got my license in the mail:

i40.tinypic.com

I still use it, it's in my car and I use it for communicating with people in Morse code while I'm driving:

i41.tinypic.com

It's the radio farthest to the right in this picture, standing up on its side.

Last 3 contacts with that were with Ton, PA1CC in the Netherlands, Jack G8DX in the UK, and Wayne AB5ZA in Montana, all from upstate NY.

/Will your iPhone still work 24 years from now?
 
2014-01-17 08:34:55 AM  

guytoronto: Close, but no cigar. At best, 10/15.

Smart phone can NOT function as an AM radio. Streaming over the internet is NOT AM radio.

Smart phone can NOT function as a police/fire scanner.

Smart phone can NOT function as a CB radio.

Smart phone can NOT function as a radar detector.

Smart phone can NOT function as a regular pair of decent speakers.


I listen to my local police/fire chatter all the time.  Hell, i can choose to listen to Chicago's too, and I live in the DC area.  Your smartphone can function as a police/fire scanner.
 
2014-01-17 08:40:11 AM  

log_jammin: I'm not saying it would be inbelievable. I'm just saying before pretty recently the pace at which life changed was much slower than it is today. Kids didn't have to explain new tech to grandparents and parents. They didn't have to because for the most part, it was still the same.


The big change happened not between 1940 and today, but between 1840 and 1940.

Prior to 1840, information could only travel as fast as it could be physically carried.  It would literally take days for information to go from, say, Philadelphia to Boston.   It would take months for information to go from North America to Europe, and vice-versa.

With the advent of the electric telegraph, all that changed.  You could get news from the other side of the globe in less than an hour.  You could send a message from Boston to Philadelphia and know it would be at its destination in just a few minutes.

Instead of taking an hour to send a message on a fast horse to 20 miles away, you could have the message there in seconds.

The real breakthrough in global communications didn't happen in the 20th Century, it happened in the 19th.  Everything since then has merely been an incremental improvement.
 
2014-01-17 08:41:11 AM  

jaylectricity: My phone doesn't play CDs

/CDs are the best recording medium in the history of recording


If I wasn't so goddamned easy for me to scratch them just by looking at them funny, I'd agree....
 
2014-01-17 08:51:32 AM  

Dimming: I listen to my local police/fire chatter all the time.  Hell, i can choose to listen to Chicago's too, and I live in the DC area.  Your smartphone can function as a police/fire scanner


No, it can't, because you aren't directly receiving those frequencies.  And if the cell infrastructure goes down or is jammed up because of a widespread emergency, which is perhaps the need to listen to police/fire chatter is most acute, then you're shiat out of luck.   You can do it when things are working properly, but things don't always work properly in an emergency.
 
2014-01-17 08:53:34 AM  

cameroncrazy1984: downstairs: downstairs: jaylectricity: 13 of 15 of the items. Which two are not in your pocket? My first guess is radar detector.

downstairs: Not to be picky, but I don't believe you can get AM radio directly on a smartphone.  No idea why, and I haven't tried in years... but when I did (on a PC) it was always FM only.

If you have a smartphone you can get AM radio, but it's over the internet.

1030 AM WBZ

Ok, I was being a bit pedantic.  You can't actually get a straight AM stream direct over a smartphone or PC.  Which I've always thought was weird.

Crap... bad wording.  By "stream" I mean an actual signal.

Why would you want to? The Internet signal is digital and thus clearer and better than an AM signal


Because there are areas of the country where you can get am signals (especially at night) but might not have cell phone reception?
 
2014-01-17 08:53:55 AM  

dittybopper: The big change happened not between 1940 and today, but between 1840 and 1940.


i didn't say it happened between 1940 and today. i just used that date to make a point.
 
2014-01-17 08:55:32 AM  

ski9600: 867-5309


Jenny?
 
2014-01-17 08:56:34 AM  

log_jammin: dittybopper: The big change happened not between 1940 and today, but between 1840 and 1940.

i didn't say it happened between 1940 and today. i just used that date to make a point.


My point was the the big change in communications happened in the 19th Century, not the 20th or 21st Century.  So the actual year is ear-elephant.
 
2014-01-17 08:57:15 AM  

dittybopper: havana_joe: I worked at a radio shack in '95 or '96 and one day the store manager had me clean the back room. There were some boxes in a storage area/wall above the bathroom and in the bottom of the boxes there were a bunch of catalogs from the 70's and 80's... It was amazing to see how the technology changed from year to year and how expensive some things were when they first came out... They have all the catalogs online now... It's fun to page through a random year from time to time...

http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/

This was my first ham radio, bought it brand new back in late 1989 or early 1990 after I had passed my novice test, but before I actually got my license in the mail:

[i40.tinypic.com image 600x775]

I still use it, it's in my car and I use it for communicating with people in Morse code while I'm driving:

[i41.tinypic.com image 640x480]

It's the radio farthest to the right in this picture, standing up on its side.

Last 3 contacts with that were with Ton, PA1CC in the Netherlands, Jack G8DX in the UK, and Wayne AB5ZA in Montana, all from upstate NY.

/Will your iPhone still work 24 years from now?


I call fake.

No amateur's car is that clean.
 
2014-01-17 09:05:07 AM  

dittybopper: Dimming: I listen to my local police/fire chatter all the time.  Hell, i can choose to listen to Chicago's too, and I live in the DC area.  Your smartphone can function as a police/fire scanner

No, it can't, because you aren't directly receiving those frequencies.  And if the cell infrastructure goes down or is jammed up because of a widespread emergency, which is perhaps the need to listen to police/fire chatter is most acute, then you're shiat out of luck.   You can do it when things are working properly, but things don't always work properly in an emergency.


I made a point to write the OPs original statement:  "your smartphone can NOT function as a police/fire scanner." before replying.  I'm saying it can.  My lighter functions as a bottle opener, my computer functions as a nightlight for my son, and my girlfriend functions as my therapist.  They aren't exactly those things, but they get the job done.
 
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