O : Notes

  • Observations (See Post)
  • Obsolescence
  • Ogmore by the sea (See Post)
  • Obsolete Games
  • Old Games
  • Oldies
  • Outstanding Burmans (See Post)


O Pei

  • In our younger days, Opal was a decent car.
    Some Burmese jokingly call it “O Pei”.
  • When one is called “O Pei”, then one is considered obsolete (good to be ignored for getting old).

T. O.

  • Stands for Technical Obsolescence
  • Can cause the slow or quick death of old technologies
    Slide rules gave way to calculators and smart devices
    Vacuum tubes were superseded by transistors and Integrated Circuits
    Manual typewriters were replaced by electric typewriters and word processors
    Floppy disks were replaced by CDs and solid state storage
  • Some artifacts can be found only in museums, antique fairs, and die-hard collectors.
  • Some technologies (e.g. automation, robotics, AI) are disruptive.
  • Many automobile workers lost their jobs when robotics (and the related fields) made them dispensable
    Those, who did not have alternate skills, were hit hard
  • Touch typists and secretaries found that their skills have been marginalized by the word processors, voice-activated systems and other advanced tools

Silver Lining

  • Survived T.O. by being a Life Long Learner
  • In our youth, we did not have access to the wonderful world of Internet, AI, and Gaming
  • Slates, Chalk & Talk, Logarithm tables, Slide rules, Multiplication tables (up to 16), Grammar books, Pronouncing Dictionaries, and most now hard-to-find artifacts trained us to “remember” (not rote learning per se, but using visualization and tricks)
  • Ended up having a reasonably good memory and a knack of “connecting the dots” of diverse topics
  • For me, it’s easy to remember and too hard to forget
  • I was a mini-dictionary, a micro search engine and a walking encyclopedia. Those skills were useful in the early days.
  • Sad to learn that several sayas, colleagues and friends have memory loss.
  • Glad to learn that some sayas in the 80s and 90s still have sharp memory


  • Some people (especially in the USA) believe that I am either “brain damaged” or have an “unusual brain”
  • One said, “You can write backwards faster than most of us can write forward”. A few were not impressed.
  • A professor said, “You cannot earn money by being an expert in History in general, and History of Computing in particular.”
    A manager said, “What is the use of knowing the Trivia (e.g. hobbies, awards) of your fellow workers?”
  • T.O. required me to unlearn some old skills
  • Learned new skills
  • After procrastinating for several decades, I had a wake up call to dump my Trivia while I still have reasonably good health and memory
  • My spouse told me that we should pay back to our mother land, alma mater, mentors and benefactors.
  • I am heeding my spouse’s excellent advice.
    Simply need volunteers to lighten some of my load.

Obsolete games

With the advent of the Internet and sophisticated games, the following games are obsolete.

  • Gin (Top)
  • Doe (Gon Nyin)
  • Htoke Si
  • Tug o war
  • Kite flying
  • Phunn Khone Dann
  • Hide and Seek
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Fizz Buzz
  • Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?
  • Simple Simon Says
  • Musical Chairs
  • River Jordan
  • Rope Skipping
  • Limbo
  • London Bridge is falling down
  • Blind Man’s Buff
  • Hokey Pokey
  • Whispering
  • Charade

Old Games

  • Thone Pone Phair
  • Ket
  • Mah Jong
  • Follow the leader
  • Fizz Buzz
  • Marbles
  • Sit Tu Yin (Burmese Chess)
  • Chinese Checkers
  • Chinese Chess
  • Pontoon
  • Foosball


You are an oldie if you have used the following:

  • slates
  • blackboard and chalk
  • exercise books
  • slide rules
  • typewriters
  • rotary phones
  • punched paper tape
  • punched card
  • floppy disks
  • vinyl records

Some are on display in museums and at vintage fairs.


During our school days, SPHS has its own book shop.

Later, we bought books from Ava House and the RIT Book shop. The official exchange rate was five kyats to a US Dollar. For books, the price was converted using six kyats to a Dollar.

Exercise Books

The exercise books are available in different sizes. They typically range from 40 pages to 200 pages.

An exercise book with 80 pages costs around 50 pyas retail.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cho-lin-1.jpg

The exercise book brought over to the US by Ko Benny Tan (M70) shows

  • the badges of the Universities and Institutes under the then New Education System
  • the badge of Trade Corporation (9) Rangoon
  • Ko Benny’s other names
  • subject name.

Inside the book is the calligraphy of Angelina Tan (his personal copier and sweet heart.)

The exercise book was put on display at SPZP-2000.

Ko Benny was a Golden Sponsor, designer of mementos and co-Chair of the Working Committee for SPZP-2000.

Categories: Notes

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