Thursday, July 23, 2009

Old tech is...charming

For more than three years now I've been lugging around an old cassette recorder, which was the recorder of the staff writer before me and whoever else before her. I don't know how old the recorder is but it's probably younger than I think, and yet everytime I bring it out during an interview I can't help feeling those "Did you come from the 80s?" thought bubbles flying my way.

I find nothing wrong with this recorder--it has actually done a good job for me, except for those times when I accidentally tape over a bit I have yet to transcribe or goof up with the pause switch so that I leave the interview having recorded nothing at all. Old tech it may be, but apparently I am stoneage enough to still be confounded by such a simple "featureless" contraption.

It's so funny how fast technology updates itself--imagine, that gadget you just bought last year is suddenly an antique this year! I really noticed this when, just some weeks ago, a friend of mine borrowed my point and shoot and brushed her finger over the screen several times. Finally, in exasperation, she asked, "It's not touch screen?"

Updating technology is good--actually, just today I finally replaced that apparition from the 80s; I now have a nifty little recording device I can use in interviews, although I have yet to find out if it's up to par with its old-tech counterpart--but to be so obsessed with the new that "coolness" trumps "usefulness," perhaps one could afford to slow down a bit to figure out what is really essential.

In time, recorders like my old one shall be called "charming" and people will hunt them down in shelves stacked with turntables and TVs with knobs. But until then (that is to say, while it still works and while they still sell batteries for it) anyone caught holding such a charming little object may just as well enjoy looking like she lives under a rock (and really, my techie motto is "as long as it works")--at least no one will expect you to know how to fix office machinery that go berserk.


WillyJ said...

Hmm. at first glance I thought that was a bread toaster :-)

Seriously : "figure out what is really essential" - I share that philosophy on usefulness.
I used to transport a 4 x 2 foot tape component player-recorder to record our CLP formation sessions.
Then I hit upon the idea of borrowing my son's MP4 palm-sized gizmo to record the speaker's talks. I just place it close to the speaker system and it works fine. Only thing is, it took a great deal of agony to learn how the thing operates.

petrufied said...

haha bread toaster! the newer tech is good in the way that it's more mobile, so you don't have to lug those heavy contraptions around. how nice for your son to have a small mp4 to lend to you Willy! :D

The "sleeker look" though should only be a bonus and not the reason for buying any new gadget. imagine trying to learn how to operate every sleek looking gadget in the market! XD

Ligaya said...

Hey Nikko! This is so true.

Although, when the old isn't working it's just not charming enough.

Also! Recommendation from Ate to me, and now from me to you: ♥

petrufied said...

Thanks for the link, Joy! will check it out.

when the old doesn't work, it's time to REALLY buy a new one, haha

John Jansen said...

Wow -- that takes me back. When I was a lad, my parents had a Panasonic tape recorder a lot like that one. Both, I suspect, could be dated around 1985 or '86.

petrufied said...

Hi there, John! haha, the '80s! I have a newer-looking version of that one in the picture but i don't think it has any more powerful features, which means it prolly also comes from the 80s. it's just smaller but it uses the same big cassettes, not even the mini ones.

digital life here we come! XD

sunnyday said...

I still think we should at least try to hold on to the simple life as much as we can -- I mean, making do with the "old" when it's still useful and doesn't prevent us from functioning properly in the world.

I just unearthed my Walkman a few days ago :-) I think I'll use it for interviews, if it still works.

petrufied said...

...or you can listen to blueboy, sunnyday haha

sunnyday said...

Haha!! I'll look for other cassette tapes to listen to. I get a kick out of pressing "rewind" and "fast forward" too ;-)