Posted in: Automotive, Business, Clothes & Shoes, Current Events, Deals, Foods, Health, Household, Low Tech, Mind and Body, Movies, Music, Photography, Sayings, Shopping, Sports, Stuff, Technology, Television, Toys, Transportation. Tagged: audio, camcorder, camera, Christmas, cooking, Deals, games, holiday, photography, technology, toys, video. Leave a Comment
You Asked For It was an American television show that aired from 1950-1959. Viewers were asked to mail in requests for things they wanted to see on the show. The program showed how things worked, a behind the scenes look at movie effects, curiosities, etc.
The one episode that I remember seeing, was how they made it look like an actor was riding on a moving horse (close-up shot). The horse or fake horse was actually stationary (but would rock back and forth) and the background scenery would move behind the horse creating the illusion that the horse was moving forward. I believe it was in this same episode that they show how they used red colored wax bullets, so when they shot someone in say, a western movie, it would appear as though the person was shot and bleeding.
You know how they say that “Everything old, is new again”. Well, there are a number of current day television shows that take you behind the scenes of how things are done, such as “How It’s Made”. This is a show on the Science Channel and they have a series of episodes that show how just about anything is made. This is somewhat similar, but not quite, because they only show how things are made (hence the title How It’s Made) and they don’t show how special effects are done or any of the other curiosities someone might request. Even good ol’ Mister Rogers on “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood” took you on field trips to show how things were made.
But the one show that comes the closest to the “You Asked For It” show, is a kids show called “Curiosity Quest”. Just like “You Asked For It”, they ask for viewers to send in requests for what they wanted to see. They’ve been to places like, the Vermont Teddy Bear factor showing how the bears are made, how bread, bikes, snowboards are made, to how they train fire fighters. A great show, even for adults that are curious about these things.
A few youTube videos of different You Asked For It episodes:
Wikipedia.com–You Asked For It
Luigi’s Flying Tires is a new attraction at the Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California. It’s part of the new Cars Land area of the park. I can’t say that I’ve gone there yet, and you may ask yourself; why am I writing about it if I haven’t experienced it yet? I’m mentioning it because it has direct roots to an old Disneyland ride that I have been on many times–the Flying Saucer ride.
The now defunct Flying Saucer ride was around from 1961 to 1966 and the new Luigi’s Flying Tires ride is a reincarnated version of those saucers. The Flying Saucer ride was probably ahead of its time back in the 60′s, the ride was closed many times, due to malfunctions, no doubt. But the Flying Tires ride uses new technologies to address these problems. Read about my experience on the Flying Saucers at this link: http://yesteryearremembered.com/?p=9
To explain the history of the new ride, I will quote from a paragraph on the Disneyland Resort website:
“Luigi’s Flying Tires uses a completely new, state-of-the-art ride system, but the attraction is inspired by a classic Disneyland Park attraction, Flying Saucers. More than 5 million aspiring space explorers rode the Flying Saucers from August 6, 1961 to August 5, 1966. Even decades later, it’s still a favorite memory of many Disneyland Resort Guests — including Cars director John Lasseter. Now, the unique experience of floating on air can be relived and shared with a whole new generation of fans!”
Here’s some technical specs on the new ride:
- The Luigi’s Flying Tires ride covers 8,000 square feet of space
- There are 6,714 air vents (think of a gigantic air hockey table)
- 1.86 million cubic feet of air per minute is used to keep the tires afloat
- Ride capacity-600 rides per hour
- Ride length-2 minutes
- Tire size-9 foot diameter
- Height requirement-32 inches
- Vehicle capacity-2-3 riders
John Lasseter–Chief Creative Officer at Pixar & Disney Animation Studios, Test Rides The Flying Tires:
Read more about Luigi’s Flying Tires ride at the Disneyland Resort website:
So, if you read the teaser post for this posting, did you picture a city park with multiple carousels spinning round and round filled with kids smiling from ear to ear as they rode up and down on wooden horses? I have to admit, that would be a pretty amazing sight to see.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but the carousels that I’m referring to are the Kodak Carousel projectors (which was already given away in the title). During my years in high school in the early to mid ’70s, there was a traveling multimedia show that came to our school to show us a slide show. Now this wasn’t just any slide show with one projector and a tray of slides, and a person speaking in a monotone voice…”now class, this is the Amazon rain forest”…this show utilized multiple projectors timed to an audio track using a computer. It was absolutely amazing to see this presentation, because I had not seen anything like it before that time. If I remember correctly, the theme of this slide show was Japan, so there was images of landscapes, people and animals and more.
The screen that the show was projected on, was nearly the width of the classroom that we were in (we were in temporary bungalows at the time) and they must have had at least 40 Kodak Carousel projectors all mounted in a metal framed rig that locked each projector in place.
If there was a single image that filled the entire height and width of the screen, then there may have been multiple projectors projecting a portion of that image. All projectors together made up the entire image. They also were able to fade one or more projectors out and fade other projectors in to give what they call in video editing, a dissolve transition.
If the complexity of aligning and synchronizing the timing of each projector wasn’t enough, they added music to the mix which just layered on more complexity, because it had to be synced with the images being shown on the screen.
The Kodak Carousel slide show was the predecessor to today’s modern day digital multimedia slide shows. When you were talking about a slide show back in the 70′s, you were literally talking about a “slide” show, where you used slide film mounted in slide mounts and used a projector to show them on a projection screen. With today’s modern computers and software, just about anybody; professional and amateur alike, can put together a multimedia presentation with a fraction of the effort and equipment of these previous productions. Ya gotta love technology.
I’m really surprised that I couldn’t find much information about this on the web, because before digital video editing came to be, this method of presentation was pretty common place. The only thing I found was the black & white photo above which shows a typical projector setup.
Plastic sheet, Light sensitive silver halide salts (photography film) has been almost totally replaced in the consumer market by complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) sensors, or in other words, digital photography.
It wasn’t too long ago that if you picked up a camera, it was no doubt loaded with film, which the camera used to produce the images you shot. If you’re one of those ‘LATE adopters’, you may have not had the opportunity to even shoot photographs with a film camera (wow, that boggles my mind).
It was such a joy to shoot photographs with film (I say this with just a bit of sarcasm). Depending on how old a film camera you had, determined how the film was loaded and how difficult it was, for instance:
There was paper backed films on spools which you had to break this small paper band around the middle of the roll. You would then move the now empty take-up reel to the opposite side of the film holder or camera, you would insert the new roll of film in the camera and unroll a small amount of the paper and wind it onto the take-up reel, then you would close up the camera and start winding the film knob until you got to the first frame of the film.
Single shot sheet films, were even more of a joy to load. In the case of a 4″X5″ size film (that’s big), you would have to load the individual sheets of film into film holders in complete darkness. This was usually accomplished in either a darkroom, or a changing bag, which allowed for doing light sensitive operations when a darkroom was not available, such as loading film in film holders. You would open up the changing bag, place your box of film into the bag, along with your film holders, zip up the bag and stick both your arms into the sleeves of the bag and start loading film. I found this youtube video of a photographer showing how he loads his sheet film holders.
Disc films and easy-load metal cartridges, were as easy as opening up the camera, and dropping the film in and closing up the camera. Although many of the 35mm, single lens reflex (SLR) cameras, you still had to drop in the metal cartridge, pull the film over to the take-up reel and wind it onto the reel.
Back in April, 1880, a small company was born on the 3rd floor of a building in Rochester, New York. That company was started by a high school dropout by the name of Eastman Kodak. Kodak was the pioneer of photographic film, and anyone who has taken photographs with a film camera, has probably used Kodak film at one time or another.
Kodak was not only the pioneer of photographic film, but they were the first to introduce a digital camera. The Kodak DCS 100, was the first commercially available digital camera. The 1.3 megapixel Nikon F3 based Kodak DCS (Digital Camera System) was announced by Kodak in 1991. The camera consisted of an unmodified F3 HP camera body attached to a custom made winder and a digital back. Captured photos are stored on a separate digital storage unit (DSU) that connects to the camera winder via an interconnect cable. This early digital camera would set you back $25,000, that’s a sizable chunk of change for a 1.3 megapixel camera, considering we are selling high-end Digital SLR cameras with just over 21 megapixels, for under $7,000. These high-end digital cameras of today, are just another example of smaller, faster, better, cheaper.
The transition from film to digital photography was a fairly swift one, considering that film photography has been around since the early 1800′s and digital cameras have only been around for about 21 years. The digital revolution hit fast and hard. Film was being passed over more and more in favor of the digital format. Digital SLRs, digital point & shoot and mobile phone cameras all contributed to declining sales of photographic film. Even the single-use film cameras that use to be prevalent on the tables at many wedding receptions have a digital replacement, and yes they are single-use as well.
Despite all that Kodak has contributed to the photographic world, they couldn’t keep up with all the competition from its competitors in both the film and digital fields. Kodak filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 19, 2012 so it can reorganize it’s finances and hopefully come back stronger in the years to come. On February 10, 2012, Kodak also announced that it would cease production of its digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames this year to focus its consumer business on desktop printers, online and retail-based printing, and camera accessories and batteries.
Being a long time Kodak film user, I wish Kodak the best of luck!
It was on August 12, 1981, that IBM launched what we know of today, as the ‘personal computer’. That was over 30 years ago–we’ve come a long way since that time. Check out these technical specifications on that 30 year old computer:
The model 5150 featured a 4.77 MHz 8 to 16 bit Intel 8088 processor. It had a whopping 16 kb of RAM (yes, that’s ‘kb’), oh but wait, it was expandable to 256 kb and your choice of either one or two 160 kb floppy drives for your storage and for the visuals, a monochrome monitor. By the way, this PC did not come with an internal hard drive, that component wasn’t included in the IBM PC until March 1983, in the XT model.
Now compare this to say a current model Dell computer which has a multi-core processor running at upwards of 3.0 GHz and with a base memory of 6 gb of RAM, expandable to 16 gb. Includes an internal hard drive standard. There is one thing that the early PC had that the now generation PC does not have…a floppy drive! No great loss, in today’s world, files are just too big for these outdated devices.
It’s hard to imagine that we used these PC’s on a daily basis. A simple Word document of today would just about fill one floppy disk up. And you couldn’t even think about running any of our memory hungry and processor intensive software programs of today on one of these. As I recall, because the original PC did not have a hard drive, each time you wanted to use a certain software package, you had to load it from the floppy disks. Depending on the size of the program, this could take multiple times of switching floppies in and out of the floppy drive.
Today, our iPods, iPads, game consoles and calculators have more memory and processor power than these early desktop computers. But you know what, we loved them back then and they worked, given the software programs of the time.
According to wired.com, depending on how you configured your new PC, it could run you anywhere from $1,565 to $6,000, that’s $4,000 to $15,000 in today’s dollars. Yikes!
I couldn’t afford an original IBM PC, so I opted to get get an IBM PC ‘clone’ as they were called. It was from a company by the name of Leading Edge and it served me well for several years. The configuration I purchased did not come with an internal hard drive, so I purchased a 20 mb hardcard which fit into a slot inside the computer, just like a peripheral card would. Back then, I thought I would never come close to using that much hard drive capacity, boy was I wrong!
Some interesting reading from wired.com and thinq.co.uk
More details on the IBM PC at wikipedia.com
What Do Baseball, Playing Cards & Love Hotels Have In Common?
Answer: Nintendo had or still has a hand in each of these areas.
According to wikipedia.com, in 1889 (yes, that’s the 1800′s), Nintendo produced hanafuda playing cards, which are used for a Japanese card game. The photo below shows what the hanafuda cards look like. The object of the game is to accumulate more points than the other players.
Love hotels…? Uhh, I won’t even touch that topic.
I will say that between 1963 and 1968, Nintendo setup a love hotel chain, a taxi company, and several other things. All of these ventures eventually failed.
Ok, this is where Nintendo first came into my life. Most everyone has heard about the Nintendo Wii by now and maybe even the Nintendo DS (the little pocket size game consoles), but I bet not many people have heard about the Nintendo Game & Watch games. The Game & Watch as the name implies was a game and a watch in one pocket sized package. The name “watch” is a bit misleading because you didn’t strap this thing on your wrist, but it had a clock built into it so you could see how much time you’re wasting trying to beat the game.
The Game & Watch first appeared on the market in 1980. If it looks like the modern day original Nintendo DS that was released in 2004, that’s probably because the DS was fashioned after the Game & Watch units.
My mother traveled to Japan for vacation back in the ’80s and she had brought me back 2 of the Nintendo Game & Watch consoles. One was Donkey Kong and the other was a Popeye game. I tended to play the Donkey Kong game more, because of the expanded screen real estate, due to it’s duel screens, the Popeye game only had one.
After all these years, I still own both of the Game & Watch consoles and they are still in great condition, but I haven’t played with either of them for quite a while! I guess I’m just hanging on to the memories.
For much more details on the Game & Watch, visit wikipedia.com:
For more details about Nintendo’s other endeavors, please visit wikipedia.com at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo
Most little boys are fascinated by trucks and tractors of all configurations, myself included. I was fascinated by, of all things, the city trash truck that made it’s way to our house once every week. I remember hearing that familiar sound and I would look out the window or go outside to watch as the garbage men picked up each of our garbage cans (by hand) and dumped them into the back of the trash truck. They would bang them against the bottom edge of the opening to make sure everything was out of the can. We had these galvanized metal garbage cans and after a few bangs against the truck, the sides would be all dented in.
All right, enough of the dented trash cans, on to the “Magic” Trash Truck. I use the term “Magic” kinda loosely, maybe it wasn’t magical, but I thought it was interesting or neat at the very least. But would you have read this post if I titled my teaser post “Interesting Trash Truck” or “Neat Trash Truck”?
Anyway, once the back of the truck was filled to the point where they couldn’t fit any more garbage, they flipped a lever or switch and this claw thing (for lack of a better word) would come down from up above and it would cover the garbage then it would slide back up to it’s start position and voila, all of the garbage was gone! Where did all that trash go? See, Magic!
I call these old style trash trucks, but I’m sure they still use them somewhere. The ones you see the most these days have an arm that picks up the trash can and dumps it into a bin, Big Woop!
Here’s how it goes down. You pull your TV dinner out of the oven, turn on the television, setup a TV tray and sit down on your couch ready to watch your favorite show.
Then the unthinkable happens! Just at the moment Wile E. Coyote is about to catch the Road Runner (beep, beep!), the picture starts rolling vertically up, then down the screen. Nooooo!!! Now I’ll never find out if Wile E. Coyote caught the Road Runner!
If you’re the lazy type and the TV exhibits vertical hold problems, and it’s rolling slow enough, you can still watch what’s on the tube and not have to get up to adjust it. But, if you’re having a horizontal hold problem, chances are, the picture is so skewed that the image is unwatchable.
Unfortunately, if I had to adjust the roll and/or skewing of the picture, the vertical and horizontal hold adjustment components were on the back of the TV. On my particular set (an RCA), it was recessed inside the back panel and you had to use a straight blade screwdriver poked through a small hole to make the adjustments.
While making the adjustments, my grumblings sounded something like this: “A little more, a little more, no, too much! Oh, right there, no, back the other way! Drat it all!” And that was just me talking to myself! I had to use a mirror so I could watch the screen, while I was fiddling with the adjusters on the back.
Fortunately with todays digital televisions, this problem has gone the way of the dinosaurs. But back when I was growing up, this was a constant headache when watching TV.
This post got me thinking, with this problem a thing of the past and with the addition of remote controls, I don’t have to constantly get up from the couch, walk over to the set, then walk back to the couch and sit down, just to adjust the TV. Hmm, how am I supposed to get any exercise. Well I guess I still have to put the DVD disk in the player.
Here’s a filler post to pacify you while I put the finishing touches on my next post.
This inventive person figured out a way to turn an old typewriter into an input device (keyboard) for your computer or iPad. If you’re handy with a soldering iron, you might want to check it out!