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back to article Doctor Who and the Unsatisfactory Five Hole Tape Punch

This sentence is false... As soon as I heard about the sponsored Doctor Who-themed parties, I just knew that they would want an article on the early years of Doctor Who IT to include in the special pack. However, since nobody has actually asked me for it yet, you get first dibs. W.O.T.A.N. for Will Operating Thought ANalogue …

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Childcatcher

William Hartnell - the real Doctor

Brought back memories.

Yes the War Machines were hopelessly flaky but it's possibly worth remembering when this series were first broadcast. The Post Office Tower had only just been built.

(If you get this series on the BBC DVD it includes some great documentaries about the period).

Actually my favourite episodes remain the first three series, - scaring me shitless from behind the sofa. They're available (with DSP image enhancement). Favourite lines include the Doctor's grand-daugher being in school "oh, I forgot you haven't decimalised yet" (1963 ish) - or similar, from memory.

This used to be cutting edge science fiction. No I don't work for BBC marketing

.

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Cutting-Edge indeed

Those of us who hid behind the sofa during those early episodes would surely agree.

Before colour, wasn't it? It certainly was in our house.

Wonderful stuff

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Silver badge

Absolutely!

I was old enough not to hide behind the sofa when I first saw it, but it was still (and is still) great stuff. I wish the Beeb would collect it like they do the current stuff and sell it at a reasonable price - $60-75US/season instead of outlandishly insisting you buy it at a rate of $25-30US/show.

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Bronze badge

@Tom 13

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Doctor-Who-Beginning-Unearthly-Destruction/dp/B000C6EMTC/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1320716473&sr=1-1

£8.49, $15-ish

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Silver badge
Stop

Cost

You have to remember the amount of work that goes into the re-releases. They are painstakingly restored. Dodgy 405 line film recordings restored to interlaced video, colour restored to episodes where the colour masters no longer exist, film and tape damage repaired and where original film sequences exist they are re-transfered using modern technology for hugely enhanced resolution.

Not to mention the excellent documentaries that accompany each DVD.

And in anycase, if you are patient most releases can be picked up for as little as a six quid from Amazon if you can wait a year or so.

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Holmes

Aha! Gotcha!

That might make the case of The Robot Receptionist In The Lobby Of The International Electromatics Building the first documented code-injection attack.

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Big Brother

My father worked on a little known very early computer in the early 1950s whilst in the MOD. He designed a punch tape reader for it, using compressed air. Needless to say, it didn't catch on... He did use it for early neural net and image recognition experiments, I have seen the report, dated 1954. Vertical reel to reel tape drives were still employed by the MOD in the 1980s. My hippy brother got his locks trapped in one, and had to be cut free. The drive was wrecked.

Yes, the MOD did employ hippies ... he is still there

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Headmaster

The Cybermen have a problem with breathing gold, so as long as the bluetooth sets werent dusted with the stuff, the planetary upgrade should have gone without a hitch.

Sadly, they were hosting their control systems on the MS Cloud, which crashed and caused so many delays, the Cybermen gave up and went back to stealing metal signposts and drain covers in their attempt at world domination.

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Silver badge

Must by why all the audiophiles have gold connectors.

They want make sure they have something to stop a cyberman just by jacking him up.

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Wrong Cybermen

The Cybermen with the gold problems came from Mondos - not Rose's parallel earth.

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TRT
Silver badge

B.O.S.S.

FACT

The BOSS operator's console was also used to control a moon-base and a fleet of space interceptors which defended the Earth against organ-stealing green skinned alien invaders around 1980. The voice-interfaced and largely autonomous Space Intruder Detector satellite was much superior to all of these Dr Who efforts, and could even give Siri a run for its money.

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Those uniforms!

That ass!

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Anonymous Coward

just a decade out

UFO was made in ~1970

Proof of set reuse: http://ufoseries.com/photos/ninaAndFreeman.jpg

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Anonymous Coward

FACT

The BOSS computer, even then, had started work on the Virgin Logo, and already had a pretty clear concept presentation, as can be seen in the photo.

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TRT
Silver badge
FAIL

UFO made in 1969/70, set in 1980.

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The world just wasn't ready for its first gay CPU

A new keyboard, please.

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LDIR - get it right!

" LDIR instruction (LoaD Indirect Repeat"

Point of order, LDIR was Load INCREMENT Repeat, not INDIRECT!

The counterpart to LDDR, LoaD Decrement Repeat.

On account of LDIR being the equivalent of

do {

*DE = *HL;

DE++;

HL++;

BC--

} while (BC != 0)

and LDDR being the equivalent of

do {

*DE = *HL;

DE--;

HL--;

BC--

} while (BC != 0)

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Silver badge

Isn't it a little early in the week to be drinking, Stob?

Just asking ... Regardless, this round of coffee's on me :-)

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says:

The Robot Receptionist has another function to augment its role; it is clearly an early attempt at a Cyber-Pachinko machine.

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Boffin

Prime

Plus the Tom Baker Prime adverts we got here in .au

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpcnp11_-7A

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Anonymous Coward

Saw those a while back

they were on 'More Than 30 Years In The TARDIS'...

What I want to know is if those are part of the Doctor Who Canon- that'd mean the Doctor's married to Romana! She ended up in E-Space, didn't she? That'd make a fantastic twist for the new Doctor Who series- not only was he a grandfather once, but he also got married in the 80s, had a fun wedding night- and then she left to raise the kids.

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Bronze badge

Well Tom was married to Lalla wasn't he?

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Coat

Logopolis was huge

I'm not surprised a die size reduction was attempted.

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TRT
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Paris Hilton

Cooeeerrr!

All this talk of Leela and Vikki and the like... I'm going to have to pop off for a quick Jodrell.

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PT
Paris Hilton

Strange, I didn't see Leela mentioned anywhere except in your comment.

Thanks for the memory, though!

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TRT
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Yeah, sorry...

got distracted by trying to make a gag about Jodrell Bank and my memory got backfilled, understandably, with various thoughts of the Doctor's female (and one male) assistant. Of course, my absolute favourite assistant of all time ever has to be Sarah-Jane. I miss her!

*goes misty eyed*

Of course, there's tons of BBC Sci-Fi tech that El Reg could comment on... I mean, Blake's 7 with Zen (just so cool!), Orac and Slave, Tripods, erm... help me out here.

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Anonymous Coward

Logopolis

And Block Transfer Mathematics.

Full story here, for the uninitiated: http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Block_Transfer_Computation

And its actually very interesting.

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Block Transfer Computations

Sound like bit-blitting!

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FAIL

Gotcha 2

"I/O: Teletype, 110 cps ie, "faster than Polly""

Actually it was a Creed Teleprinter, probably a GPO Tele 7 in a sound reducing cover, 50Baud. Polly must have been an incredibly slow typist.

Many a happy hour maintaining those.

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Silver badge

"The sort of thing one only usually sees when testing Comp Sci graduates during job interviews"

Hell no, I get to implement designs like that all the time.

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"Ho yus!"

loved that!

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Happy

Cloff!

"creations which are visually the product of the union of a commercial-size chest freezer and Metal Mickey."

Verity, dear heart, I require a new keyboard.

Mr Larrington

The Tower of Barad-Dûr

Harlow

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Happy

Tch!

You know how it works in early sci-fi, the more tape reels and the more flashing lights you have, the more important and psychotic the machine! It also needs an ominous teleprinter to build suspense! Voice synths simply spoil the mood but a slow, grinding tele-printer scrolling up words such as, "M A N I S S L A V E. A R M A G E D D O N C O M M E N C I N G." really gets the mood going!

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