Locklin on science

Shitty future: Bugman design versus eternal design

Posted in Design by Scott Locklin on February 4, 2020

I was yacking with nerds recently on the reason why some people enjoy owning  mechanical wristwatches. In the finance business or any enterprise sales org, wearing a mechanical wristwatch is well understood, like wearing a nice pair of leather shoes or a silk necktie. Tastes may differ, but people in that milieu understand the appeal. In tech, other than a small subculture  of people who wear the Speedmaster moon watch (because we all wanted to be astronauts), and an even smaller subculture who wear something like the Rolex Milgauss (some of us work around big atom-smashing magnets), the mechanical wristwatch is mostly a source of confusion.

You can dismiss it as an expensive status symbol (many things are; nice cars, nice bags, nice nerd dildo, nice anything), but the continued existence of the mechanical wristwatch is more than that. The wristwatch became popular after WW-1, and was a necessary piece of equipment in the time of the last great explorers, from the Everest and Polar expeditions to Jaques Cousteau‘s undersea adventures to the Moon landing. The association with this now historic, but still golden era continues to sell wristwatches.

The geared mechanical clockwork itself is ancient: we have no idea where/when it was invented, but we know the ancient Greeks had such mechanisms. While there is no evidence for or against it, it is possible that gear trains predate recorded civilization. The geared mechanical clock, like the pipe organ and the Gothic cathedral is a defining symbol of Western Civilization. Division of the day into mechanically measured hours  unrelated to the movements of the sun is a symbol of the defeat of the tyranny of nature by human ingenuity and machine culture.

As a piece of technology, wristwatches probably peaked around 1970 when quartz watches became a thing. Quartz watches are undoubtedly more accurate, and at this point you could probably stick a microdot which syncs to GPS atomic clocks anywhere. But the psychological framework, and the association with the last  human earthbound age of adventure and exploration remains. Watchmakers continue to innovate; my daily beater by Damasko contains a bunch of technology you usually only see in an experimental physics Ph.D. thesis (saw them all in mine anyway); ceramic bearings, martensitic steel, preferentially etched silicon springs, viton o-rings. None of this is necessary to build a good watch; it is just a tribute to the art of mechanical things and the creativity and artistry of the craftsman.

There is still much to be said for the mechanical wristwatch as a useful object. Whether it is self winding or manual, it doesn’t require batteries or plugging into USB ports, and it might keep track of any number of useful things. It’s also routine to make new ones waterproof. While quartz has more accuracy, for most purposes (including orbital mechanics navigation), mechanical watches are accurate enough it doesn’t matter. If it does matter, you can buy a hybrid quartz/mechanical self winding springdrive.  There is also the aspect of durability: if you take good care of them and avoid mishaps, most well made watches will continue to be serviceable without a major overhaul for … centuries. People hand them down to their grandchildren.

I expect there to be mechanical wristwatches made for as long as some remnant of Western Civilization continues to exist, if only to sell luxury products to the Chinese.  It’s a fundamental art form; a physical embodiment of the spirit of Western Faustian civilization.

I do not expect goofy innovations like the present form of “smart watches” to be around for as long. Smart watches are bugman technology.  They tell time … and do all kinds of other crap you don’t need such as informing you when you have email/slack updates, saving you the towering inconvenience of reading them a half second later on your phone or laptop. When you dump $600 on one of these goofy things, you can’t even expect it to be around in 20 years to give to the kids you (as a bugman) will never have, let alone 100 or 200 years as a $600 watch might. It isn’t because new “smart watches” have amazing new features which obsolete the old ones: it’s because the connectors and case will physically wear out and the operating system for your phone won’t support old models.

The difference between mechanical watches and smart watches is a sort of useful test case to generalize this sort of value judgement from. Consumerist capitalism has committed many great sins.   I could put up with most of them if they could get engineering aesthetics right. The world we live in is ugly.  Bugman engineering is one of the forms of ugliness which makes life more unpleasant than it needs to be.

Bugman devices are festooned with unnecessary LED lights. Whether it is a smoke alarm, a computer monitor switch, keyboard, power strip, DVD player, radio: you virtually never need an LED light to tell you that some object is hooked up to power. Especially objects which stay on all the time, like a smoke alarm or monitor. If you must have an indicator of activity; place a mechanical button on the object that makes a noise when you press it with power is on. Nobody is going to notice one among the sea of stupid little lights in a room have gone out. The time when it was “futuristic” to have little led’s all over your refrigerator or toaster is long past. Just stop it.

Bugman designed appliances have digital clocks you must set. There is no reason for your oven, blender, microwave, refrigerator, dish washer or water dispenser to know what time it is.  Power does go out on occasion (all the time in “futuristic” shit holes like Berkeley), and nobody wants to tell their stove what time it is. If you must have a clock; make one with a mechanical clock with hands you can easily move rather than navigating a 3 layer menu of membrane switches to set digits.

Bugman devices don’t use mechanical switches; they’re not “futuristic” enough. Capacitative switches are terrible and never work right. Touch screens on your car’s entertainment system are a horror. Membrane switches on your appliance or anything else are a planned obsolescence insult unless you are operating in a flammable or underwater atmosphere; the only reason to use membrane switches.

Bugman devices are besmirched with extraneous software and are networked when they don’t have to be. Being able to control your light bulb over wifi or bluetooth is almost never necessary. It is wasteful, a security nightmare and aesthetically disgusting. And no I don’t want my stove to be on the internet so its clock knows what time it is.

Bugman devices and services use invasive phone applications for payment instead of credit cards. If your device is hooked up to the internet enough to talk to a cell phone, it’s hooked up to the internet enough to use a credit card, crypto currency or paypal. Bugmen don’t mind the security and privacy nightmare of loading new executables on their nerd dildo phones.

Bugman devices complexify life and make people work rather than making their lives better. Every password, clock, networked device, app you have to manage, every battery you have to charge, change or replace is making your life worse. Bugman don’t care though; it helps fill the emptiness.

Bugman software substitutes software for actual experiences. Not all video games or online entertainment are bugman, but most VR applications or immersive social games (looking at you, Guitar Hero) are. Bugman sexuality; well, I bet they’re excited about sex robots.

Juicero, an internet equipped, phone interfacing, centrally planned/distributed subscription juice machine that costs $700 instead of a manual juicer that costs $10 and lasts multiple lifetimes.

Peloton: an internet equipped, exercise bicycle that costs $2000 plus subscription, as opposed to a $500 bike and some competitive friends.

Soylent is bugman food. It even looks like something the actual bug-man in the classic “The Fly” movie would eat. Hell, the bugmen in the media are trying us to get to eat actual bugs.

Many images and ideas from the excellent (arguably NSFW) “Shitty Future” twitter feed.

30 Responses

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  1. glaucous_noise said, on February 4, 2020 at 2:45 am

    thankfully if what the feds are doing in the repo markets (dumping ~120 billion in helicopter money /day into them if I understand that bewildering phenomenon correctly), the coronavirus, trade war, burgeoning grandpa socialist in charge of one of the US’s biggest political parties, GE being potentially exposed as one of the greatest frauds in history by the Madoff guy, Iran tensions rapidly escalating, massive wild fires, world wide economic protests such as the yellow vest movement, unprecedented levels of corporate debt and toxic economic sludge such as We Work or mortgage backed securities (yep those are back in vogue), the Never land fairytale doom vortex we’re living in will explode in an orgiastic modern day Ragnarök.

    After that, I can expect that sanity will prevail and we’ll intelligently rebuild society with safeguards against history repeating itself, as opposed to the lizard people invoking martial law and activating the Orwellian cryptosoviet hellscape they’ve been quietly building over the past several decades.

    Right?

    • Scott Locklin said, on February 4, 2020 at 4:19 pm

      Sounds like thoughtcrime, citizen. Report to the retraining camp with your cricket bucket.

  2. Petro said, on February 4, 2020 at 3:10 am

    When my father died he left behind a Longines mechanical watch. I had it cleaned by a guy down in Palo Alto and then sort of fell apart thereafter (I suspect he did something wrong). The remains were then stolen in a burglary a few years ago.
    It looked something like this:
    https://www.authenticwatches.com/longines-flagship-heritage-l47958782.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiApt_xBRDxARIsAAMUMu_28sUqbiYtCWlOMxiapV5_st0krtub0QhFUvd_yv6oDJnVJuen-EgaAikpEALw_wcB

    I intend to get something like that to replace it when I have the sort of liquidity that makes that reasonable.

    Of course I first need to get a 12 HT engine for my Land Cruiser.

    And yeah most modern design is horrible from lots of different angles.

    I’ve got a “Your app sucks and so do you” rant at a steady boil these days.

    • Scott Locklin said, on February 4, 2020 at 4:16 pm

      I bought a nice 120 year old pocketwatch in Czech republic and carried it around for a year. It eventually needed an adjustment and a new crystal (was still crawling all over vacuum chambers), and I brought it in to some dude on Solano who claimed to be a watch servicer. He did replace the crystal, but according to our pal Vincent, obviously just sprayed WD in the back of the thing, which tied the hairspring in knots, ruining it forever.

      Anyway, lesson learned; find a guy who can fix your watch. It’s actually a pain in the ass and it costs a few bucks. But, watches, unlike ipotato watches can be fixed.

      FWIIW you can find a vintage Longines here, probably for a decent price: https://www.chrono24.com/

  3. enlightenedpenguin said, on February 4, 2020 at 3:32 am

    Smartwatches are the epitome of the bugman dystopia. Companies are taking a refined, classic, and functional piece of machinery and smart-fucking it into a fragile, distracting and rotting piece of nonsense. Apparently the solution to all of this noise is meditation, which of course, you “need” an app for. I’m not going to point out the irony here.

    Despite the hulking fitness it once enjoyed, Western culture has caught a terminal case of the flu, and the symptoms are Rampant Consumerism. Obesity. Laziness. Socialism. Feminism. Political and Corporate Corruption. Social media, internet, and screen culture. Scientific stagnation. Economic stagnation.

    The political system is catching up to this rather quickly. As George Carlin once put it, quite elegantly,

    “. . . [Politicians] Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain’t going to do any good; you’re just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it’s not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here…
    like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There’s a nice campaign slogan for somebody: ‘The Public Sucks. F*ck Hope.”

    Ignorant people => Ignorant politicians => American society is withering away, and science and technology sure as fucking hell aren’t going to cure it. Smart watches are just another go by corporate america to dominate a financially ignorant population.

    • Scott Locklin said, on February 5, 2020 at 3:10 am

      FWIIW the best people I know in the US are going permanent expat or thinking about it (or are senior citizens who can’t move). Not that it will be obviously better anywhere else, but just “not as bad” is a decent compromise.

      • asciilifeform said, on February 5, 2020 at 6:40 pm

        How many of these “expats” are living on something other than interest from US (and, generally, “international finance”)-controlled financial instruments (or, worse — pensions) ?

        • enlightenedpenguin said, on February 5, 2020 at 10:54 pm

          The US economy is solid and will remain so for awhile. But the plateau is here. Look at real GDP growth and historical PE ratios. Per the textbooks, technology is the primary driver of economic growth:

          What’s driving technology in 21st century US:
          Breakthroughs in Chemistry/Material Science? Negligible.
          ” Industrial/Engineering/Physics? Marginal.
          ” Computing/Software/Micro-Electronics? Yes but marginal impact on economy.
          ” Biology? Biology has more potential than anything else (potential that doesn’t violate laws of thermo), but who’s doing the research? U̶n̶i̶v̶e̶r̶s̶i̶t̶i̶e̶s̶ Young-adult retirement centers? Big Pharma?

          Interest drawing expats or not, US primacy is dying out.

          https://aeon.co/essays/has-progress-in-science-and-technology-come-to-a-halt

        • Scott Locklin said, on February 6, 2020 at 2:31 pm

          Many of the people I speak of have invested in local businesses, even farm land. All are long at least a bit of crypto.

          I think (barring nuclear or biological warfare) US primacy is going to be with us for the rest of our lives, for good or ill. It’s ridiculous, as we’re basically living off of systems that were built by our grandparents. Like, I wonder how many people in DC actually understand how the petrodollar works, and what Nixon had in mind in the 73 reforms? They were obviously supposed to be temporary stopgaps! The social classes allegedly running the place are hysterically decadent and moronic; literally the entire ruling class of America was defeated by an eccentric game show host, and continues to be defeated by same. Things in the US could get vastly worse for the average citizen, and the whole crazy contraption could continue to function for another 50 years on momentum, simply for lack of obvious competitors. The dollar’s primacy isn’t going anywhere, and we’ve happily built ourselves a surveillance hellscape which will clamp down on any internal dissent.

          • Bryce said, on February 7, 2020 at 2:37 am

            We’re running the dollar under “modern monetary theory” which says that all money is government debt and government debt isn’t a problem. I’m skeptical, as usual.

            David Epstein’s book “Range” discusses the current scientific stagnation from several angles. It has been very interesting. Restarting technological progress will require changing our education system and a bunch of public and private incentives and deregulating. Yeah, not going to happen.

            • Scott Locklin said, on February 8, 2020 at 3:25 am

              I’m not familiar with that book, but will have a look. I’ve considered trying to put a dent in the problem by teaching a sort of “Cathedral School” the way the old school teachers did in the golden scholastic era of the 1200s. The actual number of schools which taught people who pushed the needle was incredibly small back in the day. It’s a thing where an individual or a couple of guys could really push the needle.

              Thiel obviously recognizes this with his Unversity fellowships, but didn’t go the distance.

              I’ll almost certainly not do this, unless I have a life-changing liquidity event, and run out of interesting things to think about, but someone should.

              • Bryce said, on February 8, 2020 at 5:19 pm

                Classical Christian education teaching the trivium is making a big comeback. Dewey et al killed it during the 20th century and unsurprisingly killed our intellects along with it. In addition to Epstein’s book, I highly recommend Vishal Mangalwadi’s “The Book that Made Your World” which demonstrates the Christian foundations of Western progress. Even though I am a Christian, I was surprised at the effect of the Christian religion upon our civilization, especially when compared to others as he does. There is a reason science was stillborn in other cultures compared to the scientific progress in ours.

                • Scott Locklin said, on February 13, 2020 at 10:18 pm

                  Murray said something similar to this book in “Human Achievement” FWIIW. I believe he even cited some Chinese study on what made the West successful, but I may be confusing it with some other book.

                  “In the beginning was the Logos.”

  4. bobbybobbob said, on February 4, 2020 at 5:28 am

    My quartz seiko watch with the solar power face has gone 20 years so far and I’ve never even wound it. Curious to see if it beats me.

    • bobbybobbob said, on February 4, 2020 at 5:46 am

      On indoor bike training: I don’t understand Peleton, where some instructor barks at you, but Trainer Road (algorithm optimized training plans), Zwift (virtual racing) and Rouvy (ride famous routes and cities) are actually kinda cool. I don’t use any of this crap, but I don’t think it’s quite bugman tech. If the price comes down and I move somewhere colder I might splurge.

      • Petro said, on February 5, 2020 at 3:12 pm

        > I don’t understand Peleton, where some instructor barks at you,

        Same reason celebrities have personal trainers. You don’t *need* some marginally educated mope to build you a “custom training program” and walk you through the moves–there’s already a Brazillion programs out there, pick one learn the moves and dance.

        Where most people have problems is that once you learn the moves it gets *really* uncomfortable. Deadlifts suck because they “hurt” along every vector, physical, mental and emotional. Climbing hills on a bicycle can be like this if they’re steep enough and long enough (I was pulling a trailer uphill once while fasting and my heart rate hit 180. This is when I was 42 years old. My THRM was 178).

        As anyone who has gone through a real boot camp can attest, having some grim faced S.O.B barking at you WILL get a couple more reps out of you. Peleton and thousands of gyms across the US hope to replicate that with their 6 AM “Cardio Bootcamps”.

        • Bryce said, on February 8, 2020 at 5:22 pm

          The Peloton uses novelty and marketing to get people to exercise: good looking people taking you through novel, visual courses. This can actually work, but you’re still doing only one exercise: cycling. You’ll end up looking like a cyclist if you stick with it. If that’s what you want, great. I’d prefer to look like a sprinter

  5. asciilifeform said, on February 4, 2020 at 7:20 pm

    Re: membrane switches on kitchen appliances — they’re cleanable. The question is why the hell a refrigerator needs a dedicated panel to display ads 24/7. (The answer of course is “it doesn’t, but no one asked the consumer, he is cattle”.)

    Re: wristwatches: “…serviceable without a major overhaul for … centuries” is an exaggeration — lubricant congeals, and springs — fatigue.

    I still suspect that most “fine horology” aficionados are status wankers — given that they buy Rolex, and not e.g. 1960s Soviet pieces with equally-fine mechanics and that keep similarly-exact time.

    It’s peacockism, with “technological” justifications as pure afterthought.

    And besides, if Rolexism is supposedly about “appreciation of the fine clockwork”, why isn’t there a sapphire glass on the bottom as well as the top of the piece? So that one could actually see that fine clockwork?

    As for “technology you usually only see in an experimental physics Ph.D. thesis” — where is the progress towards a home- and small-biz-affordable cesium fountain clock? The price of these hasn’t changed much in several decades, AFAIK. And would be pretty great to ditch the dependence on (unauthenticated!) radio signals from Washington for precision timekeeping on servers. One can buy telco-surplus rubidium clocks for about 100 $, but they tend to be of questionable calibration and it is impossible to know the remaining lamp life.

    Where is the *real* “fine horology” on a non-military budget?

    • Scott Locklin said, on February 5, 2020 at 2:54 am

      There is actually a hobbyist community in atomic clocks; google it. As a some time HFT type dorkus, it doesn’t really matter if DC or Moscow lizards are trolling me with atomic clock sync signals (it’s usually fine, apparently; I haven’t checked myself). As long as you’re on the same clock as them, most things work just fine. I haven’t been following Bram’s GPS clock meme coin, but if there is a financial reason to have a really good clock, I’m certainly capable of building/tuning one. Would certainly enjoy trolling him.

      I am a big fan of some of the old Soviet movements. Poljot 3133 seems to mostly be a bad joke; everyone I know who owned one had to pay multiples of its value every few months to keep it running. Possibly some were high quality but that’s not what I’ve heard so far. 2209, 2415 or 2200 movements though are super legit. 60s Jaeger Lecoultre qualty at least. For example: https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/WMQAAOSwxtVcCriw/s-l640.jpg There are a few meme brands being made in Russia today for billionaires who want Russian made objects d’art, but for quality for upper middle class people, the Krauts can’t be beat. The sheer autism and power of German makers is amazing, even when owned by Swiss/French conglomerates. I prefer the independents, but A Lange is considered the greatest in the world current year. And I really like Glashutte Original.

      I’m not actually exaggerating about centuries of service. I had a 120 or so year old czech made watch as I said above which was working reasonably well; +/- a few seconds a week. Until I let some dipshit spray it with lube from a can and ruin the spring. I also have a very obscure german watch made using a 100 odd year old A. Schild spring; works great; second or two a week. I mean, russian watches might not last so long, but the German ones certainly will!

      • asciilifeform said, on February 5, 2020 at 6:37 pm

        Re: hand-made cesium clock — I’m aware that it is possible, and at a reasonable cost in materials. Some people build their own linear accelerators, “fusors”, etc. to this day. But, like many similar projects, “is cheap if your time is worth nothing”. Usually is cheaper still to buy a surplus commercial unit.

        The Smithsonian museum in Washington for some years displayed a prototype “single-chip cesium primary standard”. IIRC circa mid-1990s. Where did this item go, commercially? Why is a primary time source not standard equipment in high-end servers? That’s what I’d like to know.

        Re: Sov-watches — I’m not a collector, as such, but did inherit a number of examples (the earliest going back to the 1950s) which still appear to run, when wound. (And look quite like the “fancy” Rolexen etc. when disassembled.)

        Re: 100+ year-old spring — very interesting. Did it sit in a museum for most of that time, or in fact was in use?

        • Scott Locklin said, on February 6, 2020 at 2:43 pm

          I have no idea the provenance of my particular spring, but it’s a common practice; either from recycled watch parts from damaged watches, or springs that have sat on the shelf in repair shops for decades. It’s difficult for small manufactures to create their own springs, though it’s becoming less so now that watchmakers have discovered preferentially etched silicon is a near perfect spring material.

          FWIIW arbitrageurs almost certainly *do* use atomic clocks, but they also use GPS, because that’s what everyone else uses (I’m not privy to any hiccups or interesting jitter GPS might experience, but I assume there may be some). And the hobbyists I mention use recycled atomic clocks[1]. Like anything else, an old atomic clock can be tuned. I guess you could build one by hand also, but I wouldn’t attempt it! Seems like there still is a chip scale atomic clock for sale[2][3]? Obviously such things will not be as good as a larger device; I’d rather GPS signal than a chip-scale atomic clock for most applications I can think of.

          [1] https://www.wired.com/2007/12/time-hackers/
          [2] https://www.microsemi.com/product-directory/timing-synchronization/3932-embedded-clocks-frequency-references
          [3] https://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/devices/chipscale-atomic-clock

          • asciilifeform said, on February 7, 2020 at 1:20 am

            #2 link — very interesting, thank you.

            And it seems to answer my orig. question (“why not in every high-end server ?”) — apparently same vendor also offers traditional, rack-mounted cesium fountains. Which are “primary” standards (i.e. do not require calibration) while the miniaturized clocks are not. Evidently there is not yet a pocket-sized plug-in replacement for the 1970s-style units.

  6. Anonymous said, on February 8, 2020 at 2:25 am

    >Bugman sexuality; well, I bet they’re excited about sex robots.

    Hell, *I’m* exited about sexbots and I’m an ace. I’m not particularly optimistic obviously but I think sexbots are gonna be an important step towards a transhuman future. Also, just read the wikipedia article on sex bots and found this term ‘teledildonics’ which has an obvious meaning but *damn* does it sound like typical fiddling with a smartphone. This is what I’m gonna use from now on anyway.

    Personally I’ve been going down the rabbit hole of ditching tech for a few years now. No cellphone. My main machine runs a barebones Linux without X. Only wired peripherals. Got my old printer repaired and printed some paper maps recently, bought a compass. Started studying electronics for real, will build a small handheld based on simple microcontrollers like PIC/etc that can be used (and be useful) in the wilderness. My personal future definitely lies outside of the ‘civilization’.

    • Scott Locklin said, on February 8, 2020 at 3:16 am

      Have a look at the HP100lx as a useful, well designed computer which is portable and incredibly rugged. Perfect computer for Unabomber.

      ClockDVA had a whole record about ‘teledildonics’ in the 80s I think

      • Anonymous said, on February 8, 2020 at 5:38 am

        >HP100lx

        I need much more interaction with the physical reality. Looks like modern smartphones have a bunch of useful sensors. In addition to that I want something for debugging digital electronics, at least I want to be able to blink fucking LEDs and drive servos — something almost entirely impossible with a typical computer. Also, no membrane bs, thnx. I wanna see if I can give it gamepad-like handles, each with a groove with keys grouped into triplets such that when you grip a handle your fingertips end in the groove. The triplet thing is like when touchtyping on a typical keyboard most of the time each finger is used to press a home row key, the key above that key, and the one below. We’ll see.

        Also, I see a lot of interest in retro stuff these days but it peeves me that instead of building something new based on the lessons learned from both good old tech and modern crap people mostly jerk off to the former. It’s especially weird when it comes to software. Like, DOS is good, really? Or Lisp. Lisp is total crap but has some good core ideas worth iterating on. I don’t see much iteration. All these projects like Lisp, Smalltalk, etc, they are just walking corpses being supported because the commoonitay is smart enough to see something’s wrong with modern tech but not enough to build something better. Fucking cargo cults.

  7. Rickey said, on February 12, 2020 at 3:23 am

    This article reminded me of a book I read several years ago, “Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike” by Grant Peterson. The main thrust of his book is that if you are not a professional racer, why are you wasting your money on spandex, carbon fiber, lightweight alloys, special shoes, 21 speeds, etc. if you just want to get in shape, commute or enjoy the outdoors. The best revelation in the book is why would any non racer spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for a lightweight bicycle when most of the mass that you are moving is your own body weight. Just drop 20 pounds and save yourself a grand. When my much abused steel Huffy Timberwolf that I purchased in the early 90’s finally gave out last year, I told the owner of the bike store that I wanted to replace it with a stainless steel beast. He politely ignored me since he was a bit of a snob but his assistant completely understood and hooked me up with a 40 pound, 7 speed cruiser. I even added a steel basket to it and derive much pleasure when I pass the carbon fiber/spandex types while wearing a t-shirt, cargo shorts and a fisherman’s hat with an extra long bill.

  8. S said, on June 7, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Talk more about aesthetics! This stuff is before my time, and I need help disconnected from the bugmen all around me. Loved this piece on watches.

  9. TonyC said, on June 17, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    Now I’m going to have to go dig out of some back file cabinet somewhere 2 hp100lx(s) a black one and a grayish(?) one … Maybe the grayish one was a 200 LX? Was there ever a 200 LX?

    Ran a PCDos version of STSC APL that i used to code up Ziemba’s “Dr. Z’s beat the racetrack”

    . HP100 LXIt was a very useful form factor. Hell, what I wouldn’t give for my modern cell phone to have a hinge on its long axis and a fold-out keyboard.

    • Scott Locklin said, on June 18, 2020 at 1:34 pm

      Indeed the grey one is the 200lx; slightly different plastic. Very small differences in the ROM; otherwise the same thing. I just came across mine in a storage container last night, along with the Sharp Zaurus I literally never used, but which ended up being the origin story of Android; I should get some batteries for the thing.


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