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  1. #1
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Old Tech vs New Tech

    I've increasingly tended to notice over the last several years, many instances in which old technologies are superior to new technologies.

    A few weeks ago, I posted Pandora vs. Spotify vs. Tidal, et al , which was really a thread about the reasons why I'd come to prefer radio over YouTube and various streaming/paid music services. Several others and myself also posted about our preferences for older vehicles in the Your Fantasy Car thread.

    One thing I had come to notice recently, is the convenience of how my microwave is dial operated. There's one dial for time, and another for heat settings (warm, defrost, low, medium, high).

    What's great about this design is that I can dynamically alter the cooking temperature just by turning a dial. As far as I know, with a digital microwave, once you punch in your settings, it's locked in. To change from high to low on a digital microwave, you'd have to cancel and punch in the cook time and heat options all over again.

    Anybody else have experiences in which they find older technologies to be better in fulfilling their needs than new technologies?
    Last edited by Ironduke; 05 Jun 18, at 17:03.
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    Wood burning stove, chainsaw, ax, 4x4 wheeler with trailer over solar panels.

    Not only the upfront costs and maintenance costs are a hell of a lot cheaper but the 4x4 wheeler is a lot more fun though I wished I still had my horses. They were better company.

  3. #3
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    Wood burning stove, chainsaw, ax, 4x4 wheeler with trailer over solar panels.

    Not only the upfront costs and maintenance costs are a hell of a lot cheaper but the 4x4 wheeler is a lot more fun though I wished I still had my horses. They were better company.
    It's good exercise too, gathering the wood and chopping it.

    My stepdad had a woodburning stove in his house. Made in Sweden, it was a really good one. Every fall he'd get several cords of wood to last through the winter. There was a basement window near the wood pile where he'd throw the wood through, and then bring it from there to the stove.

    He couldn't swing an ax after his stroke though. So he created a piston operated machine on a small two-wheeled trailer, that used a small gas motor that connected to a compressor that generated air pressure. The piston drove an axhead through the log to split it.

    The town (pop. 1500) he lived in had no natural gas connection, and electric heat, though installed in every home constructed in the town, was much more expensive, so I think at least half the town used wood burning stoves.

    The entire town still has a wood smoke smell when you drive through it in the winter, as do many other towns in the region.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 05 Jun 18, at 17:31.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    It's good exercise too, gathering the wood and chopping it.
    Only hassel is getting rid of the ash and cleaning the chimney isn't fun anymore. Plastic coverall is a godsend to keep the black sooth off of you but the burnt wood scent still gets into your body for at least a month.

    A former 2CER Major near me has just installed geothermo at his place. He has a log house and wants to keep the look and feel of it. So, forget insulation and you can't get enough wood to keep that place warm enough. Tried propane and it cost him $10K that year for winter. So $30K for geo thermo sounds like a good deal.

    Problem. He drilled 120 feet down. The water table at the time was 80 feet down. The year after, the water table dropped to 130 feet, so he paid another $10K to drill down to 200 feet plus the propane he used when the pumps were not working because of no water.

    Best laid plans and all.
    Last edited by WABs_OOE; 05 Jun 18, at 18:35.

  5. #5
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    Problem. He drilled 120 feet down. The water table at the time was 80 feet down. The year after, the water table dropped to 130 feet, so he paid another $10K to drill down to 200 feet plus the propane he used when the pumps were not working because of no water.
    If I were him, I'd do rain barrel collection, piped down from the gutters and downspouts on the house into the barrels. These barrels would be sealed to prevent evaporation, and would constitute a reserve of fresh water for a variety of needs.

    Obviously he didn't cause the water table to drop 50 ft. through his personal use, but at least he'd have ample water for watering the lawn, garden, and trees. If he's using flush toilets, he can always draw a bucket of water for this purpose.

    Outdoor watering represents 30% of typical American household water consumption, and toilet flushing another 20%. So rain barrel collection could potentially supply half of water consumed, at least during non-winter seasons.

    The rainwater could also be rendered potable with some expense involved. Might be cheaper than using propane to power the pump to draw it up from 130 ft deep though.

    Bottled water can be kept on stock for emergencies when rendering the rain barrel water potable proves to be too inconvenient, or during dry spells when the barrels are low or empty.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 16 Jun 18, at 19:19.
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    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    he wasn't using the water for consumption. he was using geothermal to heat his house
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

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    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    One thing I had come to notice recently, is the convenience of how my microwave is dial operated. There's one dial for time, and another for heat settings (warm, defrost, low, medium, high).

    Anybody else have experiences in which they find older technologies to be better in fulfilling their needs than new technologies?
    I think it's more of a UI issue than anything to do with technology per say. Some of the most high tech microwaves are actually circling back to simplified and simulated analog controls for ease of use, because most of the time people aren't going to bother with all 2000 options when they just want to warm up last night's lasagna.

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    Beware of survivorship bias when relishing things built in the good old days. There was just as much shoddy stuff being made then as there is now, but all the crap from decades ago has been disposed of and forgotten while the fewer unique, and well made things soldier on. Meanwhile, we are left with the continual battle of trying to distinguish well made products from the snake oil.

  8. #8
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    Anybody else have experiences in which they find older technologies to be better in fulfilling their needs than new technologies?
    A CRT tv & refrigerator that needs a regular defrost. The techs told me they can maintain these two indefinitely

    I was on incandescent bulbs until very recently and its only when i had to think of a home UPS did i get forced to switch over to LED for efficiency so longer backup in a brownout. Colour rendering index with an incandescent beats LED as colours are more accurate which in turn is better than fluoresecent. The cost an LED bulb is twenty times that of an incandescent, light direction tends to be mostly down and the ceiling is a little darker than earlier. I've got used to it since though

    I've gone back to laptps as there is a real keyboard, a bigger screen, more memory & oomph under the hood than mobile OS. I laugh at the mobile community when they produce gadgets with the form factor of a laptop but with a mobile cpu & os underneath. OK so its cheaper but you're missing it. And then there is this chrome book thing. Everything goes in the cloud, until some enterprising hacker figures a way to get in and compromise everything. Local storage over cloud though granted this is debatable depending on scale. I'm speaking only for the personal level

    Many times what's marketed as new is just churn to keep the industry going. Just look at phones, they seem to want to lock these things up as much as possible compared to earlier designs. So locked down that you may no longer be admin of your device unless you break into it and even this is getting harder with time. When the heck did this become acceptable in the computing device industry ?!?! It's for your own good, more secure bla bla

    Where is the expandable storage & user replaceable battery. Battery is almost gone and only storage is left and even that is being removed. The 3.5mm jack going away. Are you freaking kidding me. You think a hundred plus year old tried and tested interface that is still very much in use is no good just because you have a market cap of a few hundred billion !!!!!

    And finally, forums or web boards over attention deficit trash known as social fscking media. Everything needs too conclude within a day otherwise nobody wants to discuss anymore. Each new development is a new topic, there is no bumping possible. Over here we have topics, discussions and arguments that go for weeks months and even years in the same thread. It's called tracking. Adds perspective
    Last edited by Double Edge; 05 Jun 18, at 19:45.

  9. #9
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    The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900 by David Edgerton Interesting little book on that very subject.

    I have dealt with an autonomous flight firm that modifies a production aircraft. They were installing new servos rather than using the tried servo located within CG limits. Sometimes it's better not to reinvent the wheel.

    Since 10/1967 manned aircraft have only gotten slower.
    Last edited by Dazed; 06 Jun 18, at 01:56.

  10. #10
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    I was on incandescent bulbs until very recently and its only when i had to think of a home UPS did i get forced to switch over to LED for efficiency so longer backup in a brownout. Colour rendering index with an incandescent beats LED as colours are more accurate which in turn is better than fluoresecent. The cost an LED bulb is twenty times that of an incandescent, light direction tends to be mostly down and the ceiling is a little darker than earlier. I've got used to it since though
    I've converted about 20 residences so far to LED out of my own pocket.

    One of the major reasons I've done so is the risk of electrical fire. In Minneapolis, much of the housing stock dates back 100 years or more, and many of these have electrical wiring that's fairly old.

    Add in all the electrical devices burdening the circuits that didn't exist decades or a hundred or more years ago, there's also a tendency for people to use electric space heaters in the winter, and window-mounted air conditioners in the summer, which severely strains the electrical circuits.

    I was able to reduce the power consumption of one building with 17 residences by about 1 kilowatt-hour per hour. That's approximately 720 kWh per month.

    While incandescents may give off better quality light, and I'm not a fan of nanny state policies, I can see the sense in a northern American or European city with old housing stock with old wiring mandating the use of LED light bulbs, from a safety perspective, in preventing electrical fires. This is perhaps the biggest reason why I'm a fan of LED light bulbs.
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    I doubt a building with 17 residences is still on knob and tube wiring. If so, the city's building inspector should be fired.

    For single homes still with knob and tube, you're better off getting them GFCI to replace all the outlets than led lights if safety is your concern. Granted, it's a lot more expensive but saving 30 watts per light bulb is going to do squat all for safety.

  12. #12
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    I doubt a building with 17 residences is still on knob and tube wiring. If so, the city's building inspector should be fired.

    For single homes still with knob and tube, you're better off getting them GFCI to replace all the outlets than led lights if safety is your concern. Granted, it's a lot more expensive but saving 30 watts per light bulb is going to do squat all for safety.
    The changeover to energy-saving bulbs stopped the electrical breakers from flipping 10-15 times a day.

    I'm not an electrician, but there was an immediate effect.

    Not apartments, rooms on a campus house with common areas. Built 1915. No idea what decade the wiring was from.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    The changeover to energy-saving bulbs stopped the electrical breakers from flipping 10-15 times a day.
    I get an electrician in there right now. Too many loads on each circuit. There should be at most 4 lights/outlets per circuit. If you're breaking 10-15 times a day, there's more than 4 lights/outlets per circuit and a fire hazzard. Sounds like a homeowner wiring job who did not follow code.

  14. #14
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Many times what's marketed as new is just churn to keep the industry going. Just look at phones, they seem to want to lock these things up as much as possible compared to earlier designs. So locked down that you may no longer be admin of your device unless you break into it and even this is getting harder with time. When the heck did this become acceptable in the computing device industry ?!?! It's for your own good, more secure bla bla

    Where is the expandable storage & user replaceable battery. Battery is almost gone and only storage is left and even that is being removed. The 3.5mm jack going away. Are you freaking kidding me. You think a hundred plus year old tried and tested interface that is still very much in use is no good just because you have a market cap of a few hundred billion !!!!!
    I personally go for the $50 ~5 inch Android with an as recent as possible OS, and a removable battery.

    I don't really do anything on my phone besides take calls, listen to voicemails, check emails, hire a ridesharing service when absolutely necessary.

    I use Google Maps sparingly, and even then, I don't ask it for directions, I simply look at where I am on Maps and where I need to go, and memorize the map, e.g. if I need to go one block south and three blocks west. I don't even like to use Google Maps for train and bus schedules either. Every time I board a bus, I grab copies of the printed schedule/map, then look at the map and schedules to determine where I need to be to get to where I need to go.

    No streaming, no video, no dating apps, no Facebook, no social media, no Groupon, and I don't take any personal photographs. I don't look at my phone to check the time either.

    Sometimes I might check beeradvocate.com when I'm at the liquor store, to see if the craft beer I'm about to buy for 75% off is good or not. Sometimes I read the WAB too, or read the news, but rarely.

    Since I use my phone so little, all I need is the $50 smartphone. Currently model is an LG.

    Mobile phone manufacturers force obsolescence anyways. Since their strategy is to force us to throw our phones away like Kleenex when they come out with new ones, I may as well buy at a price point as close to the price of a Kleenex as possible, while still having "smart" capabilities.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 07 Jun 18, at 18:07.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

  15. #15
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    No streaming, no video, no dating apps, no Facebook, no social media, no Groupon, and I don't take any personal photographs. I don't look at my phone to check the time either.
    podcasts ?

    then there are useful discussions and talks on youtube

    Camera is very useful for me, a key feature. Makes documenting 'life' easier. A portable colour photocopier

    Since I use my phone so little, all I need is the $50 smartphone. Currently model is an LG.
    Wonder if its the Stylo 3
    Last edited by Double Edge; 08 Jun 18, at 11:15.

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