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Old 06-09-2019, 07:43 AM
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Favorite outdated columns


Last week there was a column on the front page that mentioned the electron gun at the back of your TV or computer monitor.

Not mine!

But how about a whole column that is hoplessly out of date? I was searching for whatever happened to VCR Plus+. (I know that "++" in computer lingo means add 1, but "Plus+"?) That remote-like thing where you punch in some number from TV Guide and it'll automatically have your VCR record the show. I had one but threw it out a looong time ago.

I knew that the encoding for the shorter codes was worked out and wondered if the longer ones were ever cracked. (They were.) Anyway, the Wikipedia article on it linked to an old SD column on it from 1993. (So short codes only are discussed.)

Wow, what a column!

I don't see TubaDiva putting this on the front page unless the whole point is to do retro stuff.

Anybody got any more such old favorites? Stuff that was interesting years ago but now is not a thing at all.

Last edited by ftg; 06-09-2019 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:39 PM
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Probably not a "favorite" but the first one that came to mind was the one on polarized plugs:

https://www.straightdope.com/columns...hats-the-deal/

I got the first Straight Dope book as a gift from a middle school teacher c. 1994 or 1995. I had no idea what the hell the colum was talking about -- weren't plugs always like that, with one slot longer? Then I remembered we had an old plug in our house that was like that: two slots of equal dimensions, no hole for the ground. I put 2 and 2 together. I also realized then how old that book was. No matter, I still fell in love with it.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:30 AM
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I remember he introduced much of the world to "gerbil stuffing" and pedaled back when someone called him on it. Can't remember another instance of that happening.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancia View Post
Probably not a "favorite" but the first one that came to mind was the one on polarized plugs:

https://www.straightdope.com/columns...hats-the-deal/ ...
The line "Who is responsible--the same person who came up with swine flu vaccine?" is also something that would be lost on younger readers.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horatio Hellpop View Post
I remember he introduced much of the world to "gerbil stuffing" and pedaled back when someone called him on it. Can't remember another instance of that happening.
I can.

Thank goodness, too. The porphyria = vampirism trope is a millstone around my neck that may never be shed.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:23 PM
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The original column mentioning porphyria and vampires from 1986 is here.

The porphyria part is a "late breaking news" postscript. The main column is long enough to stand on its own so that alone can more-or-less survive re-posting.
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