Sunday Fun Links

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

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31 Responses to “Sunday Fun Links”

  1. #1 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Recommended: SexySaxMan @ 3:30.

    Security kid says “He’s not above the law.”
    Cameraman: “But he IS above the law. He’s famous.”

    The last 2 minutes is awesome anti-authorityness on many levels.

  2. #2 |  Kolohe | 

    What’s that TV Trope where something isn’t funny or even particularly notable until years later? Whatever it is, the newscast is flush with it.

  3. #3 |  Mister DNA | 

    Re: Sexy Sax Man

    It helps that he totally looks like Doug from Ghost World.

  4. #4 |  Bob | 

    OH MY GOD!

    That guy had a Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 1, complete with the expansion module.

    I so had one of those. It came with 4K of RAM. It cost me 100 bucks to upgrade it to a then incomprehensible 16K or RAM.

    16K! Noone will ever need that much RAM.

    Yup. That’s what we used for computers back in the before times.

  5. #5 |  Bob | 


    “2 to 3 thousand Home Computer owners in the Bay Area”

    This isn’t some backwater in Missouri! (No offense, Marty) This is the freakin SILICON VALLEY.

    My favorite part, though… is the revelation that it costs 5 bucks an hour for this guy to connect so he can avoid having to buy A 20 cent newspaper.

    I grew up in Silicon Valley. My first computer was a Cosmac ELF I had to mail order as a kit in 1977.

    Back when 1200 baud modems first came out, (We had 300 baud modems before that, and we liked it!) I was at a friend’s house that was excited because he was now connected to “Compuserve” at the astonishing rate of 1200 baud!

    I think he was paying 18 bucks an hour for the ability to watch text scroll in at the now excruciatingly slow rate of 1200 baud. It took him 3 hours to download all the local flight times once…

    It was the Wild Wild West!

  6. #6 |  Bob | 

    Holy Shit! i found a Wiki article on the Cosmac ELF!

    Mine was the kit from Quest. It cost me 106 bucks. I bought it while I was in Orlando, Florida attending the Navy’s Nuclear Power School.

    Toggle switches and 2 hexadecimal displays. That was the dawn of time for personal computing. I spent countless hours mercilessly entering programs by setting the toggle switches and pressing STORE for every byte.

    Good times, good times.

  7. #7 |  Rhayader | 

    Pilkington is the man — I get the impression that he portrays a slightly exaggerated version of himself, which makes sense. I caught most of an “Idiot Abroad” marathon a week or so ago, it’s great stuff.

  8. #8 |  Chris | 

    I’m never gonna dance again…

  9. #9 |  Elliot | 

    “An Idiot Abroad” makes me dislike Ricky Gervais. Maybe Karl Pilkington does ham it up a bit, but my impression (comparing him to people I’ve encountered in real life who are similar) is that some things he can’t help. Ricky is unjustifiably mean to him at times. But as Karl puts it, he’s a grownup and he can take care of himself.

    Mark Twain and other writers of his era used the rube character, often in first person voice, to great effect, to illustrate the absurdity of many aspects of high culture. The reader gets to laugh at the simplicity of the country bumpkin, but at the same time, the uncultured figure reacts in a matter of fact way to fads and customs which many unquestioningly regard as sophisticated, but which are a bit ridiculous in some ways. (One example was a rube going to an opera and describing it in hilarious fashion. At first blush, one might think the story was making fun of the narrator, but it also pokes fun of the audience members who don’t actually enjoy the performance, but go because they want to appear to be cultured.)

    I just hope Karl is earning a lot of money.

  10. #10 |  Chuchundra | 

    My first computer was a Commodore 64, circa 1983. My first pay online service was Q-Link, a forerunner of AOL for C64 users. It cost $3.60 an hour for a 300 Baud connection.

    @Bob #5, IIRC, 300 Baud was just slow enough that you could keep up with the words being displayed on the screen if you were a bit of a speed reader. 1200 Baud text is too fast to read unless you’re Commander Data.

  11. #11 |  Rhayader | 

    “An Idiot Abroad” makes me dislike Ricky Gervais.

    Hah, yeah Gervais makes his motivations plain in the show’s title sequence: “I want him to hate it.”

    The funniest moments though have nothing to do with Gervais or Merchant (both of whom I do like, for what it’s worth). I was cracking up constantly at Karl mumbling to himself, especially in Brazil and China.

  12. #12 |  Greg | 

    Freddy Mercury is undead and his zombie swam to America to play sax.
    For the love of god, somebody aim for the head. Please….

    @Bob, depends on where in MO one was in the 70s. In STL there were some largish defense contractors, so I got my first list of blond jokes courtesy of McDonell Douglas back in ’79. One of my neighbors had a Sinclair, and I helped another assemble his Heathkit H8. ‘Natch nothing near the scene of the Valley, and no TRS80s till 81, so freshman year was COBOL decks on an ancient AS400…

    Regardless, the dogwalker ad is priceless…

  13. #13 |  Buddy Hinton | 

    My first computer was a VIC-20. Christmas 1982, I think. I learned BASIC from the manual for a couple months before I actually had the computer. On Christmas day I made my first program to trick my best friend into thinking he broke the computer. Some nice splash screens and then an explosive show and then: “CPU BURNOUT COMPLETE. PLEASE PURCHASE A NEW REPLACEMENT MACHINE AND BE MORE CAREFUL IN THE FUTURE.” Yes, I am a bad man.

  14. #14 |  Zman | 

    Just think how much nostalgia everyone will have if the telecoms have their way and we go back to usage-based billing.

  15. #15 |  Psion | 

    Ah … the TRS-80 Model I. A lovely machine to hack. I built my own expansion interface and got it up to a whopping 48K of memory and ultimately tripled its clock speed. I also saw a CoCo (the Tandy Color Computer) in that segment.

    My favorite bit was the smug tone the anchor had regarding the future of news via computer. The World Wide Web was just over a decade away!

  16. #16 |  Aresen | 

    Craigslist has taken down the “walk your dog” link.

  17. #17 |  Ye Olde MOdulator-DEModulator Procured News-Paper / Sometimes Right | 

    […] the eve of the New York Times’ second attempt at establishing a paywall, Radley Balko points to a 1981 news report about using your home computer to read the newspaper. I love the fact that, in […]

  18. #18 |  Frank Hummel | 

    You Americans your TRS and Commodores…

    My first was Sinclair Spectrum ZX+ in 1985. Each key was assigned a different BASIC command. Spend a lot of time playing Elite.

  19. #19 |  WillyTee | 

    We had a computer at our JR High school( Forest lake, Minn.) back in 1975.I was told then that we were one of 10 schools in the country to get a computer.
    I was one of the 3 people who used it. Anytime i wanted to get out of class all i had to say was i wanted to use the computer, which was of course excellent at the time. We moved the following year and I didn’t see a PC again until 1985! all the money i could have made LOL
    No one I’m still in contact with from Forest lake remembers any computer! Iwas stoned 24/7 but not that stoned.
    Anyone else have a computer at their school back then? wish I could find information on it to prove to a certain person I’m not totally full of BS

  20. #20 |  Buddy Hinton | 

    we in america got some kind of TIMEX SINCLAIR, which was kind of a feng sui thing that we would have programmed the hell out of had it had a proper kybd. As things stood we had to watch the IBM PC kill AMIGA which was the central tragedy of the 80s. Worse than Imelda Marcos and Bhopal combined from a philosophical standpoint (tho not a humanistic standpoint).

    Hands up: who still plays Telengard (besides me)?

  21. #21 |  johnl | 

    Karl really carries the show.

  22. #22 |  Psion | 

    [removes his hat and holds it to his heart]

    Amiga. A name that should have blazed a path in the computer industry to become the driving force were it not for the black-hearted scoundrels Gould and Ali. If only Jack Tramiel had stayed with the company!

  23. #23 |  World’s Strangest | Weird Children’s Book of Opposites | 

    […] via The Agitator | Amazon […]

  24. #24 |  Marty Feldman's Eyes | 

    Re: dog walking

    Link now reads:

    “This posting has been flagged for removal.”

    Anyone care to summarize for those of us who got here too late?

  25. #25 |  noseeum | 

    We had a TRS-80 in my third grade class, and I was allowed to skip recess to play on it.

    Soon after, we got an Apple IIe at home, and I helped my dad to all of our home accounting on some software he bought. Can’t remember what it was called.

    I spent a lot of time programming in LOGO and BASIC on that thing. I remember buying computer mags where they would have entire BASIC programs published. So cool because you could toss it into your computer then start tweaking away to improve it.

    Ah, the simple life.

    And man was I a dork at 10 years old!

  26. #26 |  Robert | 

    “Here is Cyndi Lauper singing “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” to aggravated passengers in a Buenos Aires airport terminal.”

    Because of the singing, or some other reason?

    As far as PC’s go, my high school had a TRS80 in 1979. I was not allowed to take the computer class because I did not have the prerequisite math class. But I was allowed to use it after hours, and was soon writing programs much more complex than what the people taking the class were writing.

  27. #27 |  stan | 

    noseeum… Was it Visicalc?

    My programming career back then (@1980) was very brief. I wrote a Basic program to pick lottery numbers for my wife, who occasionally bought tickets, and tried to write a program to help me do my taxes. I actually got pretty far with the tax program, but gave it up when my financial situation moved beyond straight w-2 forms. I just wasn’t ever that good at it.

  28. #28 |  André | 

    noseeum: Ah, LOGOwriter on the Apple IIgs. That takes me back. I remember being introduced to programming on it in Kindergarten through some special thing my school did. It was the coolest thing ever. That, and playing The Wonderful World of Eamon.

  29. #29 |  Elliot | 

    Rhayander (#11):Hah, yeah Gervais makes his motivations plain in the show’s title sequence: “I want him to hate it.”

    The funniest moments though have nothing to do with Gervais or Merchant (both of whom I do like, for what it’s worth). I was cracking up constantly at Karl mumbling to himself, especially in Brazil and China.

    I still think Ricky is funny as hell. I love his stand up specials from last year. The Invention of Lying was hilarious, too. And, subversively derisive of religion. But I probably wouldn’t be able to stand his company in person.

    Karl’s reactions to the locals and the sights was often funny as hell. There was enough material there, I didn’t see the point in putting him in a grungy hotel room to hear him complain. Getting him to try weird food, sure.

    As far as treating people well, I thought Karl’s discussions with the “Elephant Baba”—speaking to him as a person not as a spectacle, inquiring about his health and such—showed him to be quite a decent person.

  30. #30 |  Joe | 

    The FLW house was very cool. Glad it is being restored.

  31. #31 |  pam | 

    the FLW house looks like a prison…