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Redundant technology

Started by greencalx, May 22, 2022, 05:02:27 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Blumf

Quote from: Voltan (Man of Steel) on May 24, 2022, 02:12:01 PMHowever, if we wanted evidence straight away we had a high-tech instant camera. It was white, the size of a shoe box, had moulded handles on each side and looked like something Jacques Cousteau would use to tow himself through the ocean. It shone two red lights on the target and when the dots merged it was in focus, i.e. it produced damp, muddy photos with a green tinge, for about a quid a pop.

Why didn't they use a Polaroid camera?

I have absolutely no idea - it was a complete and utter waste of space. As was the senior manager, who I suspect was responsible for procuring it.

Sebastian Cobb

Quote from: Blumf on May 24, 2022, 02:29:11 PMhttps://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/23/new-york-city-removes-the-last-payphone-from-service.html
Well that's Superman fucked then.

(actually, not really)



There was a story a while back that BT had started putting a little touch-screen tablet-like device that allowed calls to be made (presumably giving away the odd voip call is cheaper than having people maintain payphones) in digital signage. But they had taken it upon themselves to implement some algorithm to block frequently dialled mobile numbers to stop junkies using it to call their dealers.

https://www.eastlondonlines.co.uk/2018/12/bt-suspends-free-calls-from-new-wi-fi-hubs-after-drug-dealers-dominate-use/

Quote from: gilbertharding on May 24, 2022, 11:39:39 AMMicrofilm. When I worked for the Council architect's department, occasionally we would have a project at a school which, if it had been built in the previous 40 years, might have record drawings available on microfilm, which, if you could find them, you might be able to get a full-size print of, which you would then have to reproduce on CAD.

Inevitably the original drawing would have been done in feet and inches, and the scale would be in fractions of an inch to the foot - so you would have to borrow a jealously guarded old imperial scale rule from a time-served old sweat (although it's literally just occurred to me that you could draw it in CAD at any convenient scale, and then just blow it up to be correct once it was all done... duh).

Still lots of film and fiche out there, although the readers and printers are getting rarer so there's a big drive to get it all digitised or destroyed now. It's a shame because film is such a robust format. As long as you store and handle it reasonably well, it'll last forever, and the readers are such simple tech.

I was involved in a project to digitise some film about 20 years ago and whilst the film had lasted the best part of 50 years in a filing cabinet, the cheap CD-Rs the digitised images were burnt onto only lasted about 5 thanks to disc rot. Seeing all that history turn to glitter, knowing that the original film which could have lasted another few hundred years was burnt. Progress.

mippy

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on May 24, 2022, 10:22:56 AMI use printable OHP transparency sheets for photo-silkscreening and other forms of analog photography where you need a large positive or negative that's as big as the final print, like cyanotypes. There are still quite a few companies selling them, so I'm sure they have various uses.


Oh, I am interested in making digital negatives, what OHP ro you use?

Sebastian Cobb

Quote from: Huxleys Babkins on May 24, 2022, 03:43:25 PMStill lots of film and fiche out there, although the readers and printers are getting rarer so there's a big drive to get it all digitised or destroyed now. It's a shame because film is such a robust format. As long as you store and handle it reasonably well, it'll last forever, and the readers are such simple tech.


I've heard it's still cheaper and more robust to archive full movies on 35mm than it is to store them in some sort of online backup system. Also it's not going to be some proprietary file format nobody can remember how to read in a few decades time. I've heard some studios still print copies for archival in this way even if the film itself was end-to-end digital.

Steve Albini claims he still uses analogue tape because he reckons it's more proven as an archival medium as well.

greencalx

I was always fascinated by the microfiche machines in the local library when I was a kid. As someone who liked gadgets, I wanted to get my grubby mitts on one of them, but since I had no idea what they were for – and there was probably no way a librarian would let a 10-year old loose on them – I never experienced the pleasure.

Captain Poodle Basher

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on May 24, 2022, 10:22:56 AMI use printable OHP transparency sheets for photo-silkscreening and other forms of analog photography where you need a large positive or negative that's as big as the final print, like cyanotypes. There are still quite a few companies selling them, so I'm sure they have various uses.

Overhead projectors died because they're not as simple as a whiteboard (which doesn't catch fire, need electricity or bulbs, take time to warm up, etc), but not as useful as a projector connected to an actual computer. Whiteboards are still the thing if you're in a meeting and need to sketch a quick diagram. Most job interviews I've been to have involved sketching stuff on a whiteboard. I think one company had a flip chart, but they're lame. 15 years ago I worked for a company that had a whiteboard which incorporated a scanner that could print out the whiteboard on nasty thermal paper. I seem to remember someone sold one that could digitise and email, but generally we take a photo on our phones.

I'd like an old-school large-format pen plotter (XY plotter) with felt tip pens that you can use to draw massive diagrams (the paper moves back and forth, the pens move up and down and from side to side, second cousin to a seismograph). You can still get small ones for artistic purposes (or forging signatures). In technical areas like electronics and computing they seem to have been replaced by large format inkjet printers, which can do shading, variable line thickness, and other things but are considerably more boring.

Has anyone mentioned back-up tapes for computers? Of course the old-school reel-to-reel are only known from 60s and 70s movies. As recently as 15 years ago, we had people taking back-ups home weekly. I think more recent systems would use video cassettes, so you can see why they went out of fashion. File alongside zip drives, which were like better floppy disks, but not as good as USB drives, and writable CDs and DVDs.

EDIT: Old school CRC oscilloscopes with proper dots that move across the screen. Now it's all digital electronics.


Ah plotter printers.

I once worked as a temp doing basic computing stuff for about 6 months or so. The office smart arse was in charge of printing out complex plans of the likes of utilities layouts etc. He would get a request from higher ups and bamboozle them with complexities and time frames by mentioning workloads and how he would help out but it meant overtime.

This would be agreed and everybody would go back to work. Matey would wait until the rest of us had gone home before starting the print job and then heading off to have a meal, a few pints or see a movie before coming back to remove the printout from the huge printer cradle and lay it out on the display table and then head home. One of those wheezes that everybody knew about but didn't know about it if anything was asked in an official capacity.

Re: Backup tapes. I had my fill of them 20 years ago when doing IT rollouts. Christ but they were always temperamental and knowing where you were when it came to volumes was pure guesswork. I don't think we ever actually had to resort to them more than a handful of occasions when something went very wrong. I usually got the task of swapping the tapes in and out. Worst one was having to set up in the training room in a pharmaceutical plant where a bunch of new hires were being shown a graphic video of what happens when you use a forklift with a reckless disregard for safety. I kept my head firmly turned away but got a running commentary the whole way through of the "Urgh! That's his guts falling out!" variety.

Sherringford Hovis

Quote from: Captain Poodle Basher on May 24, 2022, 08:44:31 PMThe office smart arse

Sounds like the kind of wheeze I'd pull, given the chance.

Lloyds bought Abbey Life in the mid 90s and I got sent there through an employment agency as a temp to operate a rostrum-style camera, committing paper life assurance archive records to microfiche. Populated by almost a dozen dithery cardigan aficionados - carbon-copies of Gary's colleagues in Men Behaving Badly - the department's expected workload was so slight and supervision so minimal that I could easily hit my weekly target by lunchtime Tuesday, so for a few weeks I worked flat-out for the first two days and only showed up to clock in and out and bung a few boxes of film onto the collection trolley for the rest of the week: daily swims in the sea, coffee and newspapers in the cafe and pints while on the clock didn't hamper my small hourly raise for being super-efficient.

Since I was obviously such a trustworthy go-getter, the chief cardigan moved me to the super-secret-confidential microfiche desk, where they scanned all the interesting stuff concerning payouts Abbey Life had/hadn't granted regarding murders, suicides and other untoward/unusual cases. That joyously expired fella with his home-made arse-stuffing trapeze contraption who sometimes features on these pages would have fit right in amongst these files. Unfortunately, my productivity went through the floor because I kept stopping to read stuff with morbid fascination that I'd previously been prodigiously whizzing through. Didn't matter though, as after around a fortnight of rotting my humanity voraciously absorbing bureaucratic representations of gore and sorrow, some administrative hiccup between the agency and Abbey Life meant that both companies forgot about me and I continued to be paid even though there was no work for me to do. As an experiment, I didn't clock in or out one Friday - still got my full amount of money. So with the Autumn evenings drawing in and swimming becoming less enjoyable I found another job driving a van for a fabric warehouse, yet the microfiche money kept arriving for another six weeks - best summer ever.

dissolute ocelot

Quote from: mippy on May 24, 2022, 03:45:29 PMOh, I am interested in making digital negatives, what OHP ro you use?
Recently I got some inkjet transparency sheets from cyanotype.co.uk which worked quite well, and I've also used PhotoPaperDirect (from Amazon) which was fine. I've not found much difference between brands. Whatever the brand, my printer sometimes struggles to pick up the film from the input tray, especially with multiple sheets, but aside from that every brand I've used was OK and gave quite dense blacks with the appropriate printer settings. I've not done any colour printing.

Sebastian Cobb

Quote from: Sherringford Hovis on May 25, 2022, 03:29:34 AMSounds like the kind of wheeze I'd pull, given the chance.

Lloyds bought Abbey Life in the mid 90s and I got sent there through an employment agency as a temp to operate a rostrum-style camera, committing paper life assurance archive records to microfiche. Populated by almost a dozen dithery cardigan aficionados - carbon-copies of Gary's colleagues in Men Behaving Badly - the department's expected workload was so slight and supervision so minimal that I could easily hit my weekly target by lunchtime Tuesday, so for a few weeks I worked flat-out for the first two days and only showed up to clock in and out and bung a few boxes of film onto the collection trolley for the rest of the week: daily swims in the sea, coffee and newspapers in the cafe and pints while on the clock didn't hamper my small hourly raise for being super-efficient.

Since I was obviously such a trustworthy go-getter, the chief cardigan moved me to the super-secret-confidential microfiche desk, where they scanned all the interesting stuff concerning payouts Abbey Life had/hadn't granted regarding murders, suicides and other untoward/unusual cases. That joyously expired fella with his home-made arse-stuffing trapeze contraption who sometimes features on these pages would have fit right in amongst these files. Unfortunately, my productivity went through the floor because I kept stopping to read stuff with morbid fascination that I'd previously been prodigiously whizzing through. Didn't matter though, as after around a fortnight of rotting my humanity voraciously absorbing bureaucratic representations of gore and sorrow, some administrative hiccup between the agency and Abbey Life meant that both companies forgot about me and I continued to be paid even though there was no work for me to do. As an experiment, I didn't clock in or out one Friday - still got my full amount of money. So with the Autumn evenings drawing in and swimming becoming less enjoyable I found another job driving a van for a fabric warehouse, yet the microfiche money kept arriving for another six weeks - best summer ever.

That's some top scamming, well done!

buzby

We still use backup tapes - we have DEC/Compaq/HP Alpha cluster running VMS that has a 24-cartridge jukebox for LTO tapes. It runs a weekly backup cycle (3 tapes per week, so 8 weeks in total) and I go in on Mondays to remove the previous weeks tape set to go to offsite storage and load the set that have come back. We run DAT backups on the workstations too.

We also still use SPARC-based Solaris machines, mostly because we have got a lot of abandonware development tools from the 90s and Solaris is very good at binary executable backwards compatibility between versions.

I did write a lengthy post about the UK telex network a couple of days ago, but ran foul of the 1-hour logout timer eating the post when I tried to post it, and couldnt' be bothered to redo it again.

Fax machines are still an everyday feature of Japanese life.
https://theconversation.com/japans-love-affair-with-the-fax-machine-a-strange-relic-of-technological-fantasies-168674

Sebastian Cobb

QuoteWe also still use SPARC-based Solaris machines, mostly because we have got a lot of abandonware development tools from the 90s and Solaris is very good at binary executable backwards compatibility between versions.

Oh gosh this has reminded me that a couple of jobs back we still 'supported' some legacy stuff that had front ends built in Centura (apparently a company co-founded by Bruce Scott, employee number 4 of what became Oracle, and the guy whose cat was called Tiger, which is why lots of Oracle docs give the example scott/tiger during login sequences) but we couldn't really support it because their IDE was written for 16-bit windows and worked on 32-bit machines, it wouldn't play when we got our laptops upgraded to 64-bit although the built binaries did. I was supposed to look into getting a 32-bit VM set up for support but I left so I didn't.

greencalx

I guess there's some irony in modern technology eating Buzby's obsolete technology post.

Do I mean irony? Or do I mean Alanis Morissette? Either way, it would be very fitting if we could post to this thread by telex.

buzby

Quote from: Sebastian Cobb on May 25, 2022, 10:59:03 AMOh gosh this has reminded me that a couple of jobs back we still 'supported' some legacy stuff that had front ends built in Centura (apparently a company co-founded by Bruce Scott, employee number 4 of what became Oracle, and the guy whose cat was called Tiger, which is why lots of Oracle docs give the example scott/tiger during login sequences) but we couldn't really support it because their IDE was written for 16-bit windows and worked on 32-bit machines, it wouldn't play when we got our laptops upgraded to 64-bit although the built binaries did. I was supposed to look into getting a 32-bit VM set up for support but I left so I didn't.
We have that as well. I use Intel 16-bit DOS PLM386 and C compilers from the early 90s. They worked on 32-bit Windows (NT, 2000, XP, Windows 7 32-bit) but won't work on 64-bit Windows because Microsoft did not include the NTVDM (NT Virtual DOS Machine) in any of their 64-bit builds (it's the NTVDM that these versions of Windows used to run 16-bit applications). There are ways you can unofficially bodge the NTVDM into a 64-bit build, but our security policies won't allow it.

We initially got around it by building a virtual machine using the Virtual PC XP Mode VM built into Windows 7 Pro to run them in, but MS removed the ability to run XP Mode virtual machines from Virtual PC in later versions of Windows. Since we moved to Windows 10, It was easier to just build a dedicated Windows 7 32-bit desktop PC to run the compilers and Remote Desktop or VNC into it.

Quote from: greencalx on May 25, 2022, 11:00:58 AMI guess there's some irony in modern technology eating Buzby's obsolete technology post.

Do I mean irony? Or do I mean Alanis Morissette? Either way, it would be very fitting if we could post to this thread by telex.
It's something that arrived with the recent site updates which I always forget to change. It would be nice if it defaulted to 1 day instead of 1 hour. It actually happened again with this post, but I remembered to copy it to the clipboard first this time.

Sebastian Cobb

Speaking of which I'm having an absolute mare at the moment trying to interface our systems with a SOAP web service written in .NET using wsHTTPBinding, it seems interoperability with it is terrible and that particular binding is absent from .NET core so we can't even build a small adaptor service using the stubs provided by svcutil and shove it in docker.

gilbertharding

Quote from: Captain Poodle Basher on May 24, 2022, 08:44:31 PMAh plotter printers.


They were amazing. That A1 sheet of tracing film flying in and out and the pen whizzing backwards and forwards.

Kids using CAD today might see that the file briefly does something called 'optimising' just before it prints - won't realise that 'optimise' used to be a vital, and quite longwinded process which meant that the printer changed pens as few times as possible, and generally drew the plot as efficiently as possible.

Because I had my first job in an era when computerisation in construction was in its early days (and people thought the telex machine had a future), the company had a number of different, and completely incompatible IT systems. The accounts and estimating departments had a load of terminals connected to a big computer in the middle of a building (not a 'network' as such... the brand was Star, if that means anything). Everything this system did, beyond contain a database of clients and products, was programmed by the only guy in the company who understood it.

However, the actual estimates (as in the physical documents sent to clients) were produced thusly: The estimator, having produced the figures, manually filled in a series of forms - these forms had been photocopied so many times they were like GHOSTS - which would be collected by a minion (usually a girl who worked on reception, but if she was on holiday, me) to take to a computer called the WANG, which looked like this:

to spend the morning inputting the info on the photocopied forms, which would (if you were lucky) be printed out onto 4-part continuous letterheaded stationery, on a massive daisywheel printer which lived under an acoustic hood, and was always jamming (meaning you had to input all the data again).

Incidentally - the WANG computer wasn't just attached to that desk. The desk WAS the WANG computer. It ran of floppy disks which must have been 12" diameter. The screen was green, and had over the years burned through the phosphor on the inside of the CRT (which is why people were obsessed with screen savers in the 90s).

gilbertharding

Incidentally, a few years before all this, in the mid 80s I was in the air cadets, and spent a day at an airbase with people working on the brand new completely up to date Panavia Tornado GR1.

We were given instruction on programming the autopilot/navigation system for a mission which involved: placing the relevant OS maps on a giant table which had a wire mesh underneath it, then clicking what looked like a mouse (actually a digitiser puck) on the points on the map where you wanted the aeroplane to fly to and make turns... then after some jiggery-pokery, the results were loaded onto a completely ordinary C60 cassette which the navigator put in his pocket to play on a cassette deck next to the back seat of the supersonic swing-wing tactical nuclear bomber. And we were filled with awe and wonder at this miracle of modern science.

Like at 4:53 here:
(and 6:56 - 7:33)

buzby

Quote from: gilbertharding on May 25, 2022, 01:13:34 PMThe accounts and estimating departments had a load of terminals connected to a big computer in the middle of a building (not a 'network' as such... the brand was Star, if that means anything).
Star was mostly likely referring to the database and accounting software that ran on the system (Star Computers was a leading UK company in that field). it was probably running on a DEC VAX (running VMS) or Pyramid 90x (running an early form of Unix) minicomputer. Back then terminal access was via RS232 serial connections rather than ethernet, either via dedicated ports on the computer (for instance, the Pyramid 90x could have up to 16 serial ports) or via terminal servers like the Gandalf Starmaster. When I started work in 1995 we still had Pyramids accessed via VT terminals through a Gandalf Starmaster, alongside the new PC network.

Quotea computer called the WANG, which looked like this:


Incidentally - the WANG computer wasn't just attached to that desk. The desk WAS the WANG computer. It ran of floppy disks which must have been 12" diameter. The screen was green, and had over the years burned through the phosphor on the inside of the CRT (which is why people were obsessed with screen savers in the 90s).

A Wang System 2200 WCS minicomputer. It has 2 8" floppy disk drives (which were quite common in the era it was made) a hard disk and a tape drive. It had  4k to 32k of RAM and 4k of ROM, with an additional 16k ROM for Wang BASIC. They cost $7500 for the basic version in 1974. A later version was called the 2200 PCS (Personal COmputer System), and had been shrunk down to fit into the terminal case. Part of that involved the creation of the 5 1/4" floppy disk format, which was created by Shugart at Wang's request so they could fit the floppy drives inside the case.

gilbertharding

Quote from: buzby on May 25, 2022, 02:32:11 PMStar was mostly likely referring to the database and accounting software that ran on the system (Star Computers was a leading UK company in that field). it was probably running on a DEC VAX (running VMS) or Pyramid 90x (running an early form of Unix) minicomputer. Back then terminal access was via RS232 serial connections rather than ethernet, either via dedicated ports on the computer (for instance, the Pyramid 90x could have up to 16 serial ports) or via terminal servers like the Gandalf Starmaster. When I started work in 1995 we still had Pyramids accessed via VT terminals through a Gandalf Starmaster, alongside the new PC network.

I think you're right.

QuoteA Wang System 2200 WCS minicomputer. It has 2 8" floppy disk drives (which were quite common in the era it was made) a hard disk and a tape drive. It had  4k to 32k of RAM and 4k of ROM, with an additional 16k ROM for Wang BASIC. They cost $7500 for the basic version in 1974. A later version was called the 2200 PCS (Personal COmputer System), and had been shrunk down to fit into the terminal case. Part of that involved the creation of the 5 1/4" floppy disk format, which was created by Shugart at Wang's request so they could fit the floppy drives inside the case.



The one on the left. 8". Only time I've ever seen them. The middle one was standard issue when I started. The one on the right was the stuff of a madman's dreams.

The first machine I was given at work to do my job* on looked like this. It was portable (ie, it had a handle on the back).


* my job was to make drawings of PC Concrete floor layouts using a CAD programme which the IT manager had MADE HIMSELF, starting with a desktop publishing programme

Sebastian Cobb

My Dad's work had a poor-man's (Amsterad) version of the IBM as a pool laptop for a while.



They later gave him a chunky Elonex 386 which boasted an inbuilt ISA slot.



The vented box behind the keyboard contains the whopping 40mb hard drive.

Sonny_Jim

Cor just think how many libraries of congress you could store on 40MB?  It must be loads.

Mr_Simnock

freeview boxes can't be far off obsolete

Sebastian Cobb

Quote from: Mr_Simnock on May 25, 2022, 03:42:29 PMfreeview boxes can't be far off obsolete

They are binning off one of the multiplexes at the end of June to re-purpose it for 5g. I guess turning streetlights into death rays is just more important!

https://rxtvinfo.com/2022/freeview-channel-switch-off-is-coming

famethrowa

Quote from: gilbertharding on May 25, 2022, 03:04:52 PM

The one on the left. 8". Only time I've ever seen them. The middle one was standard issue when I started. The one on the right was the stuff of a madman's dreams.


My mother's accounting office in the early 80s had a big computer made by DIGITAL, with a CPU the size of a chest freezer that took 8" disks. No-one in the office knew what to do with the damn thing, so I was able to fiddle with it plenty, and the company had even included a disk of games! Total text things, there was a bomber game where you would put in how many bombs you wanted to drop on North Africa, and a psychiatrist game where you could talk random nonsense to the computer (something I'm still doing to this very day). I still remember the feeling of sliding the disk in and clicking the lever shut.

Ferris

Quote from: JaDanketies on May 22, 2022, 05:23:25 PMPicked up a ELC Rotary Phone for our little one at a charity shop. He picks it up and says, "hello?!" like he's talking on the phone, and I wonder, "where the fuck did he learn that from? A rotary phone looks about as similar to a modern phone as it does a car."



We have this exact phone/toy thing, the eyes go up and down if you wheel it around. My son dropped it on the floor (a lot) and the "face" bit came off so it was just the eyes, piercing, disjointed, oscillating rapidly as it made the wheezing organ noise coming at you. It was like something from Evil Dead.

I also bought him a cheap tape recorder thing which he loves because you can speak into it and tell a joke then rewind and hit play to show everyone the joke you just said.

Ferris

Quote from: Sherringford Hovis on May 25, 2022, 03:29:34 AMSounds like the kind of wheeze I'd pull, given the chance.

Lloyds bought Abbey Life in the mid 90s and I got sent there through an employment agency as a temp to operate a rostrum-style camera, committing paper life assurance archive records to microfiche. Populated by almost a dozen dithery cardigan aficionados - carbon-copies of Gary's colleagues in Men Behaving Badly - the department's expected workload was so slight and supervision so minimal that I could easily hit my weekly target by lunchtime Tuesday, so for a few weeks I worked flat-out for the first two days and only showed up to clock in and out and bung a few boxes of film onto the collection trolley for the rest of the week: daily swims in the sea, coffee and newspapers in the cafe and pints while on the clock didn't hamper my small hourly raise for being super-efficient.

Since I was obviously such a trustworthy go-getter, the chief cardigan moved me to the super-secret-confidential microfiche desk, where they scanned all the interesting stuff concerning payouts Abbey Life had/hadn't granted regarding murders, suicides and other untoward/unusual cases. That joyously expired fella with his home-made arse-stuffing trapeze contraption who sometimes features on these pages would have fit right in amongst these files. Unfortunately, my productivity went through the floor because I kept stopping to read stuff with morbid fascination that I'd previously been prodigiously whizzing through. Didn't matter though, as after around a fortnight of rotting my humanity voraciously absorbing bureaucratic representations of gore and sorrow, some administrative hiccup between the agency and Abbey Life meant that both companies forgot about me and I continued to be paid even though there was no work for me to do. As an experiment, I didn't clock in or out one Friday - still got my full amount of money. So with the Autumn evenings drawing in and swimming becoming less enjoyable I found another job driving a van for a fabric warehouse, yet the microfiche money kept arriving for another six weeks - best summer ever.

This is my dream.

Sebastian Cobb

I kind of regret not liberating the Digital-branded keyboard I found in the loft of my last flat, if it was an actual high-quality termnial-era board rather than a cheap and nasty DEC-branded ps2 affair I definitely would have.

Mister Six


Sebastian Cobb

Quote from: Mister Six on May 25, 2022, 09:06:24 PMCan't be arsed seeing if this has been mentioned already, but the Japanese government only started phasing out floppy disks last year.

After the Snowden leaks the Kremlin reverted to typewriters as they're not networkable.

Tangentially related in the height of the Cold War one of the only Americans that could get in and out of the Russian embassy unhindered was a Xerox engineer, so the CIA recruited him to fit a modified 8mm cine camera inside that could photograph the sheets being copied.

https://electricalstrategies.com/about/in-the-news/spies-in-the-xerox-machine/

I kind of wouldn't mind pissing about with an 8mm camera tbh. I got a development tank for 35mm off a relative a while back and have a Minolta X300 kicking around but so far have done nothing with it.

Edit: jesus 8mm tanks cost a bomb.