Another fun part of going thru my Dad’s stuff is finding old technology – well, at least dead tech. Dad worked in radio…and we in radio tend to stick with technology until every drop is squeezed from it. Seriously – you’ll find cassette tape decks, DAT (Digital Audio Tape) decks, legions of out of date PC’s chugging along, ISDN lines, and MiniDiscs. What are MiniDiscs? They look like floppy discs at 7/8th scale, and can hold between 60 and 80 minutes of audio. Below is the player I found in one of Dad’s bags (still works!)
Now my Dad was a morning show producer, so he had to record TONS of audio at home and at work to use on air – so when Sony started pushing MiniDiscs as replacements for cassettes in the 90’s, the station got free players and recorders to test out how they would stand up to abuse with constant use. Dad would record bits, listener audio, and even his shows on these MiniDiscs.
I even had one of these as a kid before I owned a portable CD player – Dad gave me a player that he got from the station, and I would use the recorder at home to transfer my CD’s onto MD’s (in realtime!). The 60 minute MD was one I used to record Chuck Berry’s Greatest Hits Part 1 onto (THAT was a blast from the past). So now I have a new project – transferring all of Dad’s airchecks (show recordings) and preserving them so my grandmother and I can hear him whenever we want to.
Ain’t technology grand?