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#144004 10/04/05 07:54 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 91
G
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Reminds me of a comedian (whose act I won't do justice) who travelled from the US up into Canada.

"So I didn't realize they went by kilometers/hour up there, I get on the highway and I'm like speed limit 120? Awesome!?!

"...so I'm driving around with it on the wood, I come up on a school zone - 'Caution, School Zone, slow to 60...' Sweet!!!" [Linked Image]


-George
#144005 10/04/05 10:46 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,492
T
Member
Today it is noticeably warmer, 20 Celsius. We actually opened the classroom windows to get it warm... and we fired up an electric kettle in our classroom to get some tea... nice to have a steaming mug in your hands during class...
Apart from that it's been grey and rainy all the time for more than a week, with only short breaks.

There's about one situation where I use non-metric units... and that's sizing iron pipes. Until today steel gas and water pipes have escaped any efforts of standardization. Austria went to metric long before WW I, but no rule without exception... ok, 1" and 2" boards are also something you'll occasionally see, but not officially.

#144006 10/04/05 11:42 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 329
I
Member
The mixture of systems is a bit of a PIA.
Here in the states it is still a real colage of metric and SAE units. Even though I am partial to SAE measurements it will really be nice when every thing is all metric. Unfortunately there is a strong resistance to change. So, the transition overhere has become a rather arduous task.

#144007 10/04/05 12:30 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 93
J
Member
I despair of it. The UK started metrication in 1965, and they still have not got there yet. It is a mystery to me how anybody of my age (b 1968) will never have been taught anything but metric, and yet when I left the country about 10 years ago, they were all arguing about bananas by the ounce, led on by a man who appointed himself the "metric martyr", older than me by only a couple of years.

If you meet people who say they like the imperial system because it is "easier", tell them to picture one pint of water, and then ask them to tell you how many cubic inches that represents. So far, only one person has ever given the correct answer to me, out of probably about 20.

On the other hand, if you repeat the question using litres and cubic cm, only very very rarely do people get it wrong. Even my Mother , schooled in the 40s, knows it.

#144008 10/04/05 01:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,492
T
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Seond that on the unit mix. When I first came to the US I was pretty surprised to see soft drinks sold in 1,5l bottles, whereas milk is sold in 1/4 and 1/2 gal. packs...

After all I find it quite surprising it's possible to play US audio tapes and CDs on European equipment and vice versa, considering how many different TV, radio broadcast,... standards we have around the world...

#144009 10/04/05 01:28 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 93
J
Member
Audio tapes (compact cassettes) were invented by Philips, which is a Dutch company. There were a number of incompatible cassette formats in the early 60s (and those old 8-track loops were popular in the US; less so in Europe) but after Philips released the cassette spec. as an open standard the others were squeezed out. US cassette vendors licensed the same general standard as everyone else.

CDs were developed jointly by Philips and Sony, so again, the standard was in place and various US organisations subsequently just sub-licensed it.

There seems to be a bit of a format war brewing up now for the next generation of DVDs (HD DVD versus BluRay) As though betamax versus VHS wasn't bad enough.

#144010 10/04/05 02:33 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,492
T
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Don't forget Video 2000! Still got a working machine and like 60 tapes! 8hrs of video on one tape, without LongPlay...

#144011 10/04/05 06:15 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 93
J
Member
Ah indeed -- turn the cassette over. "Simply years ahead", was the company's ad. slogan at the time.

I have a V2000 machine on permanent loan to my cousin because we share a morbid brain sickness to do with the Eurovision song contest and the only tapes that I have of the years 1976 to 1979 are in V2000 format. I don't even think that VHS had arrived in Europe by that time.

After I left the UK, the V2000 machine, with its PAL-I modulators, was of no use, so it went to cousin, similarly afflicted by knowing how Monaco joined in for the first time in 1959, and how even though Luxembourg won in 1973, the contest was held in the Dome in Brighton (UK) in 1974, when ABBA won it, and other useful facts far too exciting to go into now.

One of these days I must go and visit him with the laptop, and transcribe those into .avi files, before the VCR decays irretrievably. He says it still runs, but with what I know about Philips hi-fi audio decks of a similar age, also from the same factory, the drive belts and other such parts are going to start popping quite soon. They don't make nostalgia like they used to, do they.

#144012 10/04/05 07:30 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 223
A
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Quote
Don't forget Video 2000!
Not only that, but who's got a Philips N1700 VCR format machine? That's the one with the square shaped cassette and the reels are on top of each other. The picture quality easily surpasses Beta and VHS, but alas head wear and mechanical reliability of the cassettes is appalling. Having said that I've never had to replace any electronic components or belts in two surviving machines which must be now about 26 years old.
In fact come to think of it,with all my ancient VCR's reliablity has been exceptionally good. Those piano key operated VCR's are built like battleships....none of this unreliable switchmode supply, plastic gears that break, and belts that last only two years nonsense. I restored a ca. 1979 Sanyo Betacord VTC9300 only a few days ago, to sit on top of the Decca hybrid CTV in the living room. All it needed was a set of belts. But what a classic, having one chunky AC synchronous motor to drive the whole lot, heads included. And despite the tape running past the heads during fast winding, they seem to last forever.

#144013 10/05/05 03:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 93
J
Member
It is the same thing with most consumer equipment.

The very first models sometimes still have a couple of glitches, and those normally become obvious very soon. But once those are ironed out, the early models tend to have very good build quality, and to have trouble-free and long lives.

It is only in subsequent models that they begin revising the design to find where cuts can be made.

Consumer equipment in general these days is hard to deal with, though. The worst thing is that everything is glued or riveted together, so the very act of dismantling it to make tests and an inspection will be destructive. The second problem is that everything tends to be in custom ICs so you end up having to replace a whole board, and that's if you are lucky enough to find a source.

That said, who thinks that the quality of electrolytic caps is getting poorer and poorer? I'm sure I've been noticing more failed ones in the last couple of years than previously.

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