Archive for July 1st, 2009

Back to the 90s…or 80s, even?

July 1, 2009

Check out the Walkman! I remember the days when I used to have one of these, and I loved it. It had a metallic blue front panel where the cassette went in, and those old school headphones that went over the head, but were always that little bit too big, even when you did adjust them.  

But the one this boy’s been given is even more retro – I certainly wasn’t alive when those bad boys were around. However – the article on the BBC’s news site did astound and upset me a little. The boy in question, Scott Campbell, said it took him ‘3 days to realise there were two sides to the tape’. 3 days!? I’m not being funny, but bloody hell, isn’t it obvious?
Actually that’s a bit of a rhetorical question, as clearly it’s not obvious to the youth of today. I always thought of myself as a younger generation person [I’m 22] but here I am, being made to feel old by a teenager who has never seen a cassette tape before.
His account – if he is indeed the author (more of that later) – is both funny and nostalgic. I used to love fast forwarding, although not to create a shuffle but to skip to my favourite songs. I never experienced a metal cassettetape, but I strongly believe I would have enjoyed it.
I think his face says it all...

I think his face says it all...


It was most interesting to note, however, the changes to the Walkman “brand” that have occurred through the years. The Walkman brand lives on, but due to the iPod being the be-all-and-end-all of MP3 players, I think we now know it primarily through Sony Ericsson Walkman phones. This in itself is interesting, as it reflects the converged services that mobile phones now offer. Mobile phones are digital cameras, MP3 players, internet browsers – it’s staggering how far technology has come since I listened to tapes on my Walkman. However, the opportunity to reflect on this only really surfaces when we’re provided with a comparison to something more outdated. 

Now – about the authorship – what kind of 13-year old says ‘cumbersome’…??  Or better still – ‘aesthetically pleasing’…? In fact, did a 13-year old even write this? The more I read of this article, the less convinced I am.

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