In this modern age of tablets and smart phones, I’d like to take a look at the devices that found their way into my life, like ipads have for children these days, the things that kept me out of Mum and Dads way if you like.
Vinyl Records: Sure I started listening to mum and Dad’s Vinyl first off, it was not long before Sesame Street records and other Disney records were bought for my sister and I to play. Remember when relatives would send you money in the post stuck to the inside of your birthday card? I Remember The Ghostbusters Soundtrack was the first Album I bought with money received for my birthday and yes, I still have it. We had a stand alone record player that even had Disco lights in the front panel of the box underneath where the record was played from.
Cassette Tapes: Cassette Tapes were an audio format used to play back pre recorded album magnetic tape and even better you could buy a 60 or 90 minute “blank cassette” and record other peoples records or songs off the radio if you had a portable Cassette/Radio device, or make a mix of all your 7 inch vinyl singles on one tape. Before casssettes there was the Reel To Reel tape format which did the same thing but weren’t so portable, well not the Hifi Stereo ones anyway. The first thing I remember recording off the Radio on our families Radio Cassette Recorder was Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run on my very first blank cassette.
Atari 2600 Game System/Commodore 64: A few families who lived in our court, had an Atari 2600. You would plug the Atari in to the antenna socket on your TV and switch the TV to channel 0 or 1 then plug a game cartridge into the Atari and turn it on and play the game. We waited a few years and got a Commodore 64 Computer for Christmas one year. With the Commodore 64 you could buy games on electronic cartridge, Cassettes Or Floppy Discs. We had a friends that we swap games with and their dad had connections with a computer club who wrote and developed their own games for other people to play for free.
VHS Video Cassette Recorder: A VCR was an electronic box you connected to your TV to, to do 1 of 2 things; watch pre recorded rental tapes or a tape you had recorded yourself from off the TV, like you would with a Tivo or DVR, these days, except on to a large magnetic tape cassette. With the invention of Stereo Hifi VCR’s which once hooked up to a large screen TV and a Home Theater Amp and speaker set, started the beginnings of cultivating a collection of favorite movies or being a frequent renter of new release movies from the Local Civic Or Blockbuster tape rental place.
Compact Discs: CD’s Are 5 inch silver discs that have digital audio written on to them for the playback of music and can also store computer data also. The First CD I bought to listen to Was U2’s Achtung Baby in 1991. The first Computer game I bought on CD-Rom for a PC was Wing Commander a flight battle game. The data capacity of the discs along with new laser technology being developed in the last 20 years has meant that we can now Burn our own CD’s and other format discs too. Data discs can store Standard Definition video programs on an 8gig DVD and High Definition Video programs on 50gig Blu Ray Discs now. Incidentally the first DVD I bought was also the first Bluray Disc I bought too, which happened to be the movie GATTACA
The memories…..of bygone days.
Hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane and my insight in to what is mostly a bunch of old crap that has now been made redundant by the digital age…