Friday, October 29, 2010

List: '12 Monumental Gadget Firsts'

Today’s ‘List Friday’. Gizmodo tells us Sony launched its tape cassette Walkman on 1 July 1979 [1]. It wasn’t an instant hit. But eventually it took off. And with sales of 200 million it remained the world’s iconic low cost portable music device for many years. Arguably until Apple launched its iPod. On 23 October 2001. This week Sony announced – ironically on the iPod’s ninth birthday – it’s withdrawing the Walkman from sale in Japan. Technology sprints on, eyes fixed on the horizon. Or past it. And sparing no sentiment for its previous champions. Fittingly gizmodo – a tech website; or is it a blog? – provides today’s list: ‘12 Monumental Gadget Firsts’ [2]. (Click on each photograph to find out more about its gadget.) Its blurb says ‘These clunky ‘firsts’ will leave you hungry for a game of Duck Hunt and your favorite cassette. Or possibly send you scrambling to hug your sleek iPhone while giving thanks for the goodness that is modern technology’. All the ‘Monumental Gadget Firsts’ look clunky and outdated. But each of themas the first commercially available model of their gadgetis a necessary step on the pathway of tech evolution. We all thought they were terrific in their day. And though their day’s gone, they still have an important role to play. At least 63-year-old Farmdoc likes to think so. Ho hum.


Jenna said...

Hi - just found you!

The most important thing is these clunky old things worked and worked and worked. My dad still has a 1980 walkman that we all used at concerts and for playing with and it still does its thing. Think it may well be the one thing my sis and I argue over in many years time!

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

I am old enough to remember the radios and TVs that had things that looked like light bulbs in the back, they were called valves and came in lots of colours. If one seemed to be dead the radio wouldn't work so you took the valve to the store and bought a new one.
I also remember the introduction of sliced bread!