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Thread: Why did we stop wearing digital watches and velcro shoes?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Usually when a technological innovation makes life easier and simpler, we adopt it. Why not with those?
    I think this is an excellent example of “begging the question “. Because the question invokes a situation that is simply not a common experience. Douglas Adams dealt with digital watches pretty effectively I thought. I recall he said that earth was so primitive they still thought digital watches were a good idea.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Douglas Adams dealt with digital watches pretty effectively I thought. I recall he said that earth was so primitive they still thought digital watches were a good idea.
    He wrote that in 1977, of course, when digital watches still weren't a good idea, for reasons already described, but were nevertheless considered a "pretty neat" idea (Adams's phrase) by some people.
    You actually can see him explaining his position on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0keUhMiZ44&t. He's pretty clearly referring to the early two-handed LED watches, which were simultaneously an order of magnitude less convenient and an order of magnitude more expensive.
    There always is a group of people who adopt new stuff simply because it's new and expensive and Adams was taking a swipe at them. Fortunately, they're kept largely out of contact with the rest of us these days, because they're all queuing outside the Apple store most of the time.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    I think this is an excellent example of “begging the question “. Because the question invokes a situation that is simply not a common experience. Douglas Adams dealt with digital watches pretty effectively I thought. I recall he said that earth was so primitive they still thought digital watches were a good idea.
    I can only speak to my personal experience. As someone who may be midly dyslexic it took me a long, miserable time to learn to read clocks.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

  4. #34
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    I still recall one of the early ads for an LCD watch (Seiko, or Casio, maybe?). It showed a gentleman with a thick German accent explaining how to view an LED watch by saying “Push the button!”

    I think the actor may have been Leon Askin, who played General Burkhalter on Hogan’s Heroes.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    I can only speak to my personal experience. As someone who may be midly dyslexic it took me a long, miserable time to learn to read clocks.
    I also may only speak of personal experiences. I never wore watches/ring/bracelets as I was always around fast rotating machinery and we were discouraged by safety videos to not wear such adornments even though my wife gave me many stylists analog watches. After suffering a stroke and then retirement I was instructed by my doctor to wear a FitBit or other such device to monitor HB. Now six years later it is on me at all times except to being charged.

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    Saturday Night Live ran a fake commercial for an LED watch whose buttons were (somehow) arranged so that you needed a third hand to display the time.

    I guess that this was that you could show off your trendy new piece of jewelry every time you asked someone to lend a hand.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    He wrote that in 1977, of course, when digital watches still weren't a good idea, for reasons already described, but were nevertheless considered a "pretty neat" idea (Adams's phrase) by some people.
    You actually can see him explaining his position on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0keUhMiZ44&t. He's pretty clearly referring to the early two-handed LED watches, which were simultaneously an order of magnitude less convenient and an order of magnitude more expensive.
    There always is a group of people who adopt new stuff simply because it's new and expensive and Adams was taking a swipe at them. Fortunately, they're kept largely out of contact with the rest of us these days, because they're all queuing outside the Apple store most of the time.

    Grant Hutchison
    That is right I think. I remember the first digital watches, I was kind of in the business of new products, Sinclair made one I think, along with some terrible audio equipment that nevertheless opened a sector up, as did his computer. We got intellectual about the analog nature of time, sundials and stuff like that, and decided digital watches were a gimmick. Today there are people who do not see the dial as part of everyday life. The wrist watch is a very good invention, many examples are hard to read as a clock, just jewellery and more gimmicks. I still have a self winding watch in a drawer, I remember Thor Heyerdahl saying he had one on Kontiki as a spare, still showing good time after his Journey , not worn. Time is less important with age but I shall keep my watch, it’s close to what I would design, a Timex indiglo, works as a torch in black darkness, except it is awkward to change by one hour for travelling. Of course there are digital clocks all around on equipment, still requires a little calculation to work out a quarter hour, and so on. Then velcro, I still have sandals with Velcro adjustment that has worked for several years as the shoes got tatty with summer use. So it is a nostalgic thread, for me, but it begs the question,
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  8. #38
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    One other thing about analog watches: I realize there is a learning curve, and partly this is because I am used to them, but personally I like to have numbers put into visual form, in graphs and stuff, and I find it easier to just take a quick look and realize how much time is left before the next hour.
    As above, so below

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    One other thing about analog watches: I realize there is a learning curve, and partly this is because I am used to them, but personally I like to have numbers put into visual form, in graphs and stuff, and I find it easier to just take a quick look and realize how much time is left before the next hour.
    That learning curve is illustrated if you try a left handed, counterclockwise watch. They do exist. I am left handed but quite happy to have learned clockwise. I suppose the digital equivalent would be to start at 2400 and count down the time, just to be perverse.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    That learning curve is illustrated if you try a left handed, counterclockwise watch. They do exist. I am left handed but quite happy to have learned clockwise. I suppose the digital equivalent would be to start at 2400 and count down the time, just to be perverse.
    I’m left handed too, but I can’t imagine why the direction the hands spin has any relevance. Surely the key to a left handed watch would be to have the winding button on the left rather than the right of the face? I’d love to wear a watch on my right wrist but can’t because I’d have to be a contortionist to reach the button.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    As above, so below

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I’m left handed too, but I can’t imagine why the direction the hands spin has any relevance. Surely the key to a left handed watch would be to have the winding button on the left rather than the right of the face? I’d love to wear a watch on my right wrist but can’t because I’d have to be a contortionist to reach the button.
    I've worn my watch on my right wrist since the very late seventies, when I got my first digital (LCD) watch. Prior to that, I wore clockwork watches on my left wrist, so that I could reach the winder, as you say.

    Grant Hutchison

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I’m left handed too, but I can’t imagine why the direction the hands spin has any relevance. Surely the key to a left handed watch would be to have the winding button on the left rather than the right of the face? I’d love to wear a watch on my right wrist but can’t because I’d have to be a contortionist to reach the button.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Oh I have always worn my watch on the right wrist to save it from impacts! I hammer left handed, the winder on the right does look cack handed to observers but is just a knack learned as a teenager. Now my watch has a battery I only have to change an hour or a date, and then I would like a button to just do that. I did consider getting a radio synchonised watch like Grant but never did so yet. I find the internal light so useful and I did not find a radio watch with that feature.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  13. #43
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    If you had a sundial it sent a shadow round clockwise and I presume that was why clocks were designed like that and counterclockwise had negative superstitions. I was surprised to find in a recent check , that left handed winders and counterclock designs are expensive collectors items. There were even wrist mounted sundials, I had a replica from the Mary Rose, with neat folding Gnomon. Reading the time from a counterclock takes a few seconds.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  14. #44
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    I stopped wearing watches because they tended to break or the wristband broke. Wasn't worth it.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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    Daylight savings time having begun yesterday, I set my watch to coincide with my phone to within one second. But it'll likely just sit on my desk as it's been doing for a while. I've gotten out of the habit of wearing it.
    What I don't get about watches is why men's watches are generally so enormous. And expensive. People pay many thousands of dollars for a heavy lump of metal to weigh down their arms. When I need a new one, I get the thinnest full-sized dial I can find for under $100 or so. They work just fine.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    In the 90s I had a talking watch but it soon stopped working.
    SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    a Timex indiglo, works as a torch in black darkness
    Never wore a watch as a matter of principle until they made a Quartermaster in the navy. 1st job is to be the ship's timekeeper so I went out and got a 3-button Casio F-91W, probably the most popular digital watch ever. Great watch, except the light sucks. I still use the F-105W: same design but has an electroluminescent backlight. There is a whole community of F-91W "hackers" who modify them. E.g., if you fill the case with oil, it will work as a dive watch.

    A weird story is how the F-91W came to be "the sign of al-Qaeda." It turns out the watch became popular among makers of time bombs (and no, I have never tried that myself!).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casio_...e_in_terrorism

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    I stopped wearing watches because they tended to break or the wristband broke. Wasn't worth it.
    There is a youtube video for everything these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
    I've worn velcro shoes before. They were quicker & easier to don & dedon than shoes with laces, but not by a substantial margin, and less likely to snag on something, but again not by a substantial margin (especially when I got in the habit of tucking shoelaces' ends & loops into the shoes).
    I've not had Velcro shoes, but I've thought about getting trainers after my laces have ended up wrapped multiple times around the crank while riding a bicycle. In all cases, it has been resolved without violent incident, but it did require stopping the bicycle - even if backward pedalling for a bit gets it unwound, it's now long and loose and flopping all over the place.

    I'll try tucking in and see how well that works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    One other thing about watches. Even though I have an iPhone, I find it easier to furtively look at my watch if I’m in a meeting and know I have to finish at some time. In other places it might be OK to just pick up your iPhone or look at the clock in the wall, but I prefer to be discreet about it.
    I wear a watch as a matter of course, but once when it was broken, I did use my iPhone. Including on the aeroplane, with the phone switched into aeroplane mode in conformance will all applicable superstitions.

    My failure to be discreet about looking at the phone got me in trouble with a psychotic crew member, who said I was taking pictures of the crew (I wasn't), threatened to have me thrown off the flight, etc. This happened to be the flight in which I achieved "one million mile" status on that airline (it's one that occasionally beats the crap out of its passengers), and was checking the phone to see when I had hit that mark.

    I resolved the problem by switching to a different airline, even though I now have lifetime "gold" status on the first one. (This wasn't the only incident, but it was the straw that broke the camel's back. So now I use a different airline, so they won't threaten to break my back.)
    People who live in glass houses, should get undressed in the dark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Oh I have always worn my watch on the right wrist to save it from impacts! I hammer left handed, the winder on the right does look cack handed to observers but is just a knack learned as a teenager. Now my watch has a battery I only have to change an hour or a date, and then I would like a button to just do that. I did consider getting a radio synchonised watch like Grant but never did so yet. I find the internal light so useful and I did not find a radio watch with that feature.
    I am a righty and wear my watch on my right hand as well, it just felt natural because I do everything else with my right hand.
    Last edited by KaiYeves; 2021-Mar-15 at 11:05 PM.
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  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    I am a righty and west my watch on my right hand as well, it just felt natural because I do everything else with my right hand.
    Lefties tend to be ambies because so many tools are designed for righties!
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Surely the key to a left handed watch would be to have the winding button on the left rather than the right of the face
    Some watch faces are also tilted relative to the wrist strap, so orienting it with the bottom facing you doesn't require moving your arm as far. A tilted one would only be tilted the correct way on one arm; on the other arm it would be at an even worse angle than a non-tilted one.

  23. #53
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    When travelling, I sometimes wear a watch on each side, showing the time in different time zones.
    People who live in glass houses, should get undressed in the dark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Daylight savings time having begun yesterday
    I'm really glad we don't have that.
    People who live in glass houses, should get undressed in the dark.

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    In the late 70's I had a Seiko Sports 100 with a velcro watchband and, as the velcro tended to relax a bit in the water while surfing, I usually tightened it up as I paddling out through the shore break. One day the band broke as I was tightening it and I just managed to grab the watch before it fell off, phew!

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    On Rhoda there was a huge wall clock in one episode. It had multiple different color geometric figures on it. A character spent almost a minute explaining how it worked and finished saying something like “So it’s 9:11.” Then the figures completely changed and she said “See, now it’s 9:12.”
    Later another character looked at it and said “Look at the time, I have to run.”
    And while we are on this, what happened to 3D TV?
    SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mazanec View Post
    And while we are on this, what happened to 3D TV?
    Still alive and well in our house, though there are only about two movies I would actually care to watch in 3D.
    It at first rode the (most recent) wave of success of 3D cinema, and then enthusiasm waned as 3D cinema (again) fell victim to really badly made 3D movies, and people decided they weren't that keen on wearing heavy glasses for a couple of hours to watch a movie at home.

    So now people are buying TVs with screen resolutions finer than the ability of their eyes to detect, instead.

    Grant Hutchison

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Still alive and well in our house, though there are only about two movies I would actually care to watch in 3D.
    Back during the late stages of the Roman Empire, I watched an Alfredo Hitchcock film in 3-D in a theatre. Only one I've ever seen that way.

    It was really cool and an interesting novelty for 10 or 15 minutes, and then I more or less forgot that it was 3-D . . .

    I think it might be the only film I've ever seen, that featured someone I actually knew in real life. (I hadn't been born when the film was made, but I knew someone in it years later. But still, before I saw the film.)
    People who live in glass houses, should get undressed in the dark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 21st Century Schizoid Man View Post
    Back during the late stages of the Roman Empire, I watched an Alfredo Hitchcock film in 3-D in a theatre. Only one I've ever seen that way.
    My favorite director and pasta chef!
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    I was working for a company that made receiver and image processing chips for televisions at the start of the most recent 3D craze.
    A coworker, who was designing 3D image processing chips, invited me to see a demonstration. I was very impressed, and said it could be a game-changer.

    A few months later, I got to see another demonstration, and was very disappointed. What had changed was the content. My coworker said that there was a lack of true 3D content, and it is expensive to create. Therefore someone decided it would be a good idea to "create" 3D content from 2D using computer processing. The result looked like a layer of flat people in front of a flat background. Anybody remember "Colorforms"?

    After the demo, I thought "They just killed 3D TV."
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