Sunday, November 22, 2009


Listening to: Human Touch - Bruce Springsteen

We went to a small bookfair raising funds for a local school yesterday, and I came away with a few old National Geographics to add to my yellow bordered collection of memorable issues.

In the December 1985 issue (Spine index : Titanic, The Vatican City/Its Treasures, Nicuragua, Daniel Boone, plus a 'The Making of America' map of the Ohio Valley) I came across this ad for Lufthansa:

So the flag carrier of Germany (actually only West Germany at the time. I think something called Interflug carted the easterners around from memory) is 'The World's most German Airline'. As opposed to who, Air France? Wow, who knew?

Also catching my eye was an ad for the latest in portable CD player technology, smaller than a CD case and weighing in at only 520 grams (lighter than 5 CD cases. Again, who knew?)
Somehow, (don't ask how or why, these things are unknowable) I still have my first ever walkman, from 1989. Weighing in a positively svelte 260 grams (without batteries, tape, or headphones), it was good for four or five hours listening (depending on how often you used fast forward or rewind), with the comedy bonus of hearing your favourite songs have their vocalists replaced by Leonard Cohen as the batteries wore down and the tape slowed, before eventually grinding to a halt altogether. Depending on the song length you could get up to twenty or so tracks on to a 90 minute (two sided) tape. This walkman had a direction reverser so you could change sides of the tape without having to pull the tape out of the machine and manually turn it over. Very advanced.My first discman from 2004 (I went for a long time without portable music after my last walkman died in the 90's). Weighs about 200 grams without CD or headphones, lasts for for or five hours again, but convieniently beeps through the headphones to warn of imminent battery failure before cutting out as the juice is exhausted. Actual playing time is slightly less than a cassette player, CD's being limited to 80 minutes (meaning amongst other things, that the cassette tape version of 'The Very Best of Supertramp' has more tracks on it than the CD version).
My first and current Mp3 player which I got at the end of last year (I'm a late technology adopter). Weighs 52 grams without headphones, and with added parafilm customisation to protect the display screen. Good for 16+ hours on a single charge, currently storing 776 songs and counting (I haven't filled it yet).
I think I might hang on to these to show Charlotte how things worked in the old days. Every kid should know how to re-spool a cassette tape after your player has munched it. Once upon a time it was an essential skill.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i also have my first ever was a national...i upgraded to an aiwa...loved that reverse button!