Old technology

January 21, 2007

This weekend I really wanted to find my MiniDisc player so I could digitize a Spineless show from Bard and a Don Cab show from 1999 where they rocked Bottom of the Hill one day in October. There is only one place where a piece of electronics like that could be kept: the front closet.

I soon found a familiar friend lurking behind the beta pillows and out-of-season jackets: the family of boxes that hold old papers and are part of a series of items that I keep moving around with me and will continue to do so until I have a basement, at which point I will have them become ruined by a rising water level or a faulty water pump of some sort and then my time as an amateur archivist will be over.

Until then

Inside one of those memory lanes was a particularly specific box that acts as my storehouse for things I’m never going to do anything with: my legacy box. It is my own World’s Fair.

The oldest item is an audio recording done by my dad in the 60s of something called “The Beatles.” My dad’s precise notes tell me:

dad cataloging reel-to-reel audio

  • 0-315 Interview
  • 315 – What you doin’ – 346
  • etc…

Dad: tell me more about the ways of your time. What became of this British singing group?

uncatalogued audio

Then there are the super 8 films that date from the era when I was 10 and shot “stop-action” films around the house. I wonder if the sign at the digital copier store is true: can they turn my old movies into a DVD? I’d be into it. It’s been a while since I was my once proud afro touched with the extra vigor of youth.

super8 film

Then there are the tubes. I recognize these tubes NOT from the time I bought a bunch of old tubes at a flea market with the intent of encasing them in Lucite blocks— which eventually let to me ruining a pair of eyeglasses. No, these are from the time when my obsession was making my Sovtek amp sound “sweet” by replacing all the tubes in it…I think. But it seems more likely that these were from my earlier tube obsession: the summer I read Dan Torres‘s book on tube amps at Bard during one summer.


The latest addition to the collection is the MiniDisc. Oh man did we have some good times togther: recording live shows, the era where the MiniDisc 4 track reigned, editing tracks on the fly, in my pocket, while walking to meet people. I can’t believe Minidisco.com is still around!

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