Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 15th May 2007 17:37 UTC
Geek stuff, sci-fi... "Ever since the remote control's co-inventor Robert Adler passed away [in March], I've wanted to own one of the first remote controls. After trolling through eBay every now and then, I finally have in my hands a piece of the history of the button. But there's a mystery: which piece?" Entertainingly written piece on the world's first remote controls. I totally enjoy the simplicity of the ultrasonic remote: "All these early remotes are purely mechanical. No batteries at all. When you push the button, a small hammer strikes an aluminum rod, triggering a sound above our hearing range that's picked up by the TV. Each rod is a different length, thus a different frequency, thus distinguishable by the TV." Brilliant.
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I'd forgotten!
by sbergman27 on Tue 15th May 2007 18:10 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

My grandmother used to have one of these. I'm pretty sure it was a Zenith Space Command. (psst! psst!) It also had a neat quick start feature that kept the tubes warmed up. I enabled it. I probably shouldn't have done that. And when I enabled that "custom" feature of her window unit air conditioner, so that the fan was variable speed, I think it confused her a good bit, looking back on the matter.

For someone who didn't "get" new-fangled technology, she certainly had a lot of it.

But the remote did benefit her.

After a long hard day working the the garden (More of a jungle, really. Peas, tomatoes, garlic, figs, persimmons(!), corn, zucchini, okra, cucumbers... a bunch of stuff I've forgotten or didn't recognize, with an old water cooled air conditioning cooling tower in the middle... all in a Dallas back yard, and much of it considerably taller than a 7 year old) she certainly did enjoy her "Television Programs".

"The Lawrence Welk Program" was one of her favorites.

Sorry to drag you down my own memory lane like this, but it is *sort of* on topic for this story, right? ;-)

Edited 2007-05-15 18:12

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