Author Topic: Edge of Destruction  (Read 3748 times)

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Offline Katie

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Edge of Destruction
« on: August 11, 2011, 10:40:16 AM »
Why were they using video tapes for surveillance and the cameras were so visible? The internet (if I can call it that since it did nothing for them) was so useless! And why didn't they have cell phones? That would've been so much easier then them using pay phones? Don't you think?
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 11:02:58 AM by Katie »
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Offline tomswift2002

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Re: Edge of Destruction
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2011, 10:56:48 AM »
I'm not too sure what you're asking.

But you have to remember that the book was written in the late 80's, at a time when most people had never heard of the internet and the only computers that people were familiar with were the types that were shown on TV that looked like the old UNIVAC and ENIVAC computers, even though you had early PC's and Commodore 64's and Amiga's on the market that hooked up to TV's.  Those who did use the internet mostly used it for sending electronic messages, not video or even still photo's, since digital video and photo's were in their very early infancy and the amount of compression needed to send that stuff over the internet back then would've made it worthless.

Not to mention that, back in the 80's and 90's, as far as I know, when police or detectives were conducting surveillance, or even interviewing a suspect/witness on video tape, the courts told them that the video had to be shot and shown on analog video tape.

Plus, miniturization technology was nowhere near the level of today's miniturization.
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Offline Katie

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Re: Edge of Destruction
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2011, 11:02:02 AM »
I'm not too sure what you're asking.

But you have to remember that the book was written in the late 80's, at a time when most people had never heard of the internet and the only computers that people were familiar with were the types that were shown on TV that looked like the old UNIVAC and ENIVAC computers, even though you had early PC's and Commodore 64's and Amiga's on the market that hooked up to TV's.  Those who did use the internet mostly used it for sending electronic messages, not video or even still photo's, since digital video and photo's were in their very early infancy and the amount of compression needed to send that stuff over the internet back then would've made it worthless.

Not to mention that, back in the 80's and 90's, as far as I know, when police or detectives were conducting surveillance, or even interviewing a suspect/witness on video tape, the courts told them that the video had to be shot and shown on analog video tape.

Plus, miniturization technology was nowhere near the level of today's miniturization.

It was more of rant, I guess. :-[ I have no idea what you're talking about. What's electronic messages? ???  I've never heard of the other stuff you mentioned.
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Offline MacGyver

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Re: Edge of Destruction
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2011, 11:59:42 AM »
What's there to rant about? Edge of Destruction was published in 1987. As one who still recalls living in that year (though I was rather young at the time ;)), I can tell you that while there were computers available- in addition to the ones tomswift2002 mentioned, there were also Apple II Macintosh computers that were pretty popular. And Microsoft PCs were still really in infancy at that point.
Technically the Internet has existed since 1969, through ARPANET, a government project that connected some computers for the exchange of information- but the World Wide Web wasn't even available until about 1993 when browsers like Mosaic first started being available. It probably really wasn't until about 1995 or 1996 that the term "Internet" even became all that well known to the general public and that people started connecting to the World Wide Web, outside of computer aficionados.
        What tomswift2002 was saying regarding electronic messages was pretty much that at that time in the late '80s, people who used the Internet were mainly sending early forms of E-mail (which has been around since the 1970s, but again- only really known and used by computer aficionados and government agencies, etc.) and connecting in forums like the one we're posting on here- except that the format was much different and they were commonly known as a BBS- bulletin board system. In fact, if you read Terminal Shock (#102 in The Hardy Boys Digests and published in 1990), Frank uses a BBS to connect with his friend.
            As to cell phones, technically they've been around since the 1970s, but not available commercially until the 1980s. And the cell phones available circa 1987 looked something like this:

And of course, probably its best known user:

 :D (Zack Morris from Saved By the Bell)
         And generally, many people didn't really have cell phones- it was a luxury that many couldn't afford. However, car phones were fairly popular and I'm guessing probably cheaper. My dad had a car phone for a while in the mid to late '90s before we ever got a cell phone- I don't know that anyone in my family got a cell phone perhaps all the way until the early 2000s. (We were poor- lol. ;D)
 So, yeah- the simple fact was that many adults didn't even have cell phones in 1987, much less teenagers. So pay phones were the best option when needing to make a call away from home (unless you can use a business' or someone else's telephone or something.)
   
     I know it can be jarring to read for someone who I'm guessing has grown up with the Internet and cell phones always being readily available, but you have to keep the setting in mind. It's the same as reading historical fiction- you have to keep in mind the setting and remember that the same technology was not necessarily available then. And that is a factor in any story- most every story has a problem for the protagonist to solve and when reading books set in different times we can see how different people handled different problems with different technology available. This doesn't make it any less of a good story; it's just different circumstances.
       I mean, the Westward expansion would have gone a lot quicker if they had automobiles, but they weren't around then; but that doesn't lessen my enjoyment of Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. ;)
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 09:15:03 PM by MacGyver »
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Offline Katie

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Re: Edge of Destruction
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011, 12:52:05 PM »
Nothing, I guess, I was just pointing a few things out. :-[ Wow, what a history lesson. Thanks. ;D 8) Never knew all that. :o
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 03:08:57 PM by SkyWarp »
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Offline MacGyver

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Re: Edge of Destruction
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2011, 03:19:18 PM »
No problem- I like history. ;D 8)
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Offline MacGyver

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Re: Edge of Destruction
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2011, 10:31:35 AM »
I saw this on Bing and thought you might like it, as it gives a rundown of electronic gadgets from the past and their modern counterparts. :)
"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me."- Jesus
"You can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it."- MacGyver in "Cease Fire"

Offline Katie

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Re: Edge of Destruction
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2011, 04:51:55 PM »
I saw this on Bing and thought you might like it, as it gives a rundown of electronic gadgets from the past and their modern counterparts. :)

Cool. Thanks! ;) :D
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Offline MacGyver

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Re: Edge of Destruction
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2011, 05:04:45 PM »
you're welcome. :)
"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me."- Jesus
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Offline tomswift2002

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Re: Edge of Destruction
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2011, 09:24:58 AM »
         And generally, many people didn't really have cell phones- it was a luxury that many couldn't afford. However, car phones were fairly popular and I'm guessing probably cheaper. My dad had a car phone for a while in the mid to late '90s before we ever got a cell phone- I don't know that anyone in my family got a cell phone perhaps all the way until the early 2000s. (We were poor- lol. ;D)
 So, yeah- the simple fact was that many adults didn't even have cell phones in 1987, much less teenagers. So pay phones were the best option when needing to make a call away from home (unless you can use a business' or someone else' telephone or something.)
   
 

Or else they had CB radio's in their cars that allowed them to radio home or to somewhere that had a CB radio (plus if they had an accident, radioing for the police was a big plus).  But even then, not a lot of people had  CB radio's.

But also, when you think about, there were even laptop computers in 1987 --- but they weren't like today's laptops that weigh, at the most, about 10 pounds.  Back then the laptops weighed about 50-60 pounds and you really needed a table or desk to use them, since they were about as portable as a portable typewriter.


I was just looking at that Bing article on technology: then and now.  Well, the fax machine is still used in the business world, especially when you are placing orders and you have to write the orders out by hand, so I wouldn't say that faxing is old school just yet.  Plus, while I don't use a VCR that often nowadays to record anything off of TV, I still don't own a TiVo but I do use a DVD-Recorder and DVD-R's to record stuff off of TV.  The DVD-Recorder doesn't offer as many functions as a TiVo or other DVR, but still I can record stuff from both analog and digital sources in good clarity.  One thing that I don't see on the list of "High End Technology: Then and Now" is Laserdisc and DVD/Blu-Ray.  Here's a review of laserdisc and a comparison of the size of a Laserdisc compared to a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray (Warning though, there is some strong language in this person's review, but it is the best video that shows a review/comparison of the different formats): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI-QVXYlJKk   

Here's another guy's review of the different features of Laserdisc:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz0eEpEYeMY&feature=related

But, by and far, in the late 80's and early 90's when Edge of Destruction was written, VHS was the leader in video playback.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2011, 11:06:50 AM by tomswift2002 »
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Offline MacGyver

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Re: Edge of Destruction
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2011, 01:47:21 PM »
Quote
But, by and far, in the late 80's and early 90's when Edge of Destruction was written, VHS was the leader in video playback.
Yeah- in those days, my family was still rocking the Beta tapes. I still remember when VHS first came out and was the new big thing. There was a time when the video rental store had tons of Beta tapes and just a small shelf for the VHS tapes. And then eventually VHS took over altogether...and then came DVD years later. And now there's Blu-Ray...and the cycle keeps going. Somehow I don't remember seeing LaserDiscs in there at all. But yeah- it just keeps going. And the beat goes on. :)
       But I do remember my science class in the mid-90s using a LaserDisc player to show some things and that was pretty neat. I remember seeing those huge discs that looked like a CD but it was the size of a vinyl record. LaserDiscs were definitely the forerunner of DVDs- they essentially did some of the same things, though as those video reviews pointed out, there are some things you can only do on LaserDiscs that you don't quite get on DVDs.
Interesting stuff- thanks for the links. I was especially excited to see the Indiana Jones LaserDiscs in that one video. 8)
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Offline Katie

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Re: Edge of Destruction
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2011, 06:21:52 PM »
I never knew there were LaserDiscs, very cool. ;D
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Offline tomswift2002

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Re: Edge of Destruction
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2011, 07:32:34 PM »
I remember the first time that I held my first Laserdisc.  I thought that it was a LP, but the it weighed a lot more than even a triple-LP set.
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Offline SkyWarp

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Re: Edge of Destruction
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2011, 12:35:22 PM »
Don't forget HDDVD that lost out to BluRay a couple years ago. 

Offline MacGyver

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Re: Edge of Destruction
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2011, 02:25:33 PM »
Yep- another media format now gone and forgotten. And there were 16mm slides and projectors before Beta tapes....
"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me."- Jesus
"You can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it."- MacGyver in "Cease Fire"