Science: Technology
Old Tech Competition   (+10)  [vote for, against]
Science competition where you are required to do a simple modern task on old equipment

In a recent anno someone mentioned using a slide rule, and since I was born after the widespread adoption of the modern marvel that is the calculator I realised I have no idea how to use one. Since I have an engineering background however, I figure I could probably pick it up without too much of a problem. How true is this for other technology?

The competition would involve giving the contestants a task and old equipment which is able to complete the task but no instructions.

This could include using an HP 10C calculator to perform a mathematical equation, a slide rule calculation to within a certain accuracy or running a game on a DOS machine (creating a boot disk is now unheard of).

Obviously the task would only be disclosed at the competition. Prizes would be modern versions of the equipment.
-- miasere, Jun 08 2009

(?) RetroChallenge
Somewhat similar [BunsenHoneydew, Jun 13 2009]

(?) Rough Science
A TV show that had a team of experts in the wild, tasked with various challenges.
One such challenge I remember was to take a photograph - this included finding/making silver iodide from natural sources, constructing a pinhole camera box, etc. [Jinbish, Jun 13 2009]

(?) Rough Science Challenges
Some experiments that you can do at home... [Jinbish, Jun 13 2009]

Of course it must be made into a TV show. The programming one would probably not be that great as far as watching. But big industrial stuff could be fun. Maybe dangerous = more fun.
-- bungston, Jun 08 2009

Getting some microsystems engineers to build a valve circuit could be interesting. Apparently the difference between elecronic and electrical engineering is whether its more or less than 12 Volts.
-- miasere, Jun 08 2009

Good Idea. I think your idea of Old School is a little bit shy of reality, though!.
-- gnomethang, Jun 08 2009

/No manuals/

I think contestants should have support available that is appropriate for the period in question, which will mostly be paper manuals. Probably these would be more valuable than anything findable on Google.

Other actors in the show aside from the contestants would be clad according to the period, to give it a Connecticut Yankee feel.
-- bungston, Jun 08 2009

(+) //This could include using an HP 10C calculator to perform a mathematical equation//

Surely you meant the AB acus 10bc calculator...
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jun 08 2009

I'd like to see the challenge of doing something conventionally electrical or chemical(gas/diesel) with only mechanical or human powered means with points for efficiancy.
-- gryphon327, Jun 09 2009

[+] I like this because the concept is similar to 'Junkyard Wars' where they have to rely on their experience and intellect to complete a task using older discarded vehicles and machinery.
-- Jscotty, Jun 09 2009

random, halfbakery