Showing posts with label gadgets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gadgets. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

It's not consumerism if you need it

This right here is just what the missus and I always have needed -- dueling collegiate toasters.

In the morning, she can have her inferior, bland Cornhusker toast -- the Big Ten effect, no doubt -- and I can smirk at her as I enjoy my stylish and much more flavorful LSU Tiger toast. All I need is to click on an Amazon button . . . and wait for the parcels to arrive.

YOU WILL NOTE that the LSU toaster is more expensive than the NU toaster. My lovely wife likely will say that's due to kickbacks that have to be paid to somebody in the Gret Stet.

That's because she slept through economics, not to mention many of her other classes at Lincoln.

I attribute the price discrepancy to simple supply and demand.

Geaux Tigers.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Heavy metal

Don't bother me.

It sounds like my childhood in here.

It sounds like heavy metal.

Now, by heavy metal, I do not mean Megadeth. I'm talking a sheet-metal chassis filled with vacuum tubes and wires that connect them to resistors and capacitors and all manner of normal-size things that won't fit on a computer chip.

I'm talking an honest-to-God tube-type, hi-fi tuner . . . circa 1960, when FM was mono, not stereo, but you could buy this little box,
see? And when stereo did come to town, this "multiplexer"
(below) would set you up.

HI. I'm the Mighty Favog, and I'm a geekaholic. Hi, Favog!

Right now, I'm listening to the new/old Voice of Music tuner. No one will mistake it for state of the art. But the sound it produces could be mistaken for a certain Magnavox console, circa 1962. The one that lived in my childhood home.

It sounds quirky, but really warm. It also gets warm, thanks to the vacuum tubes, which fill the studio with a nostalgic aroma.

The old VM also is unforgiving. It hates rock stations that turn the processing up to 11. It really hates them. I can almost hear it saying,
"Back in my day. . . ."

its day, FM was for "good music." And like a good tuner of its time, the VM loves classical and jazz, enveloping the orchestration in an affectionate hug, then playfully tousling the music's long hair.

Which is a pun you might "get" if you're as old as I . . . and my Voice of Music tuner.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

House of hi-fi

You may be a geek if you get really excited over winning this in an eBay auction.

I am a geek, because the 1960 Voice of Music tuner (with an add-on FM multiplex adapter for that newfangled "stereo" thing) is mine. Mine! Mine! Mine! Because a radio isn't a real radio without vacuum tubes and Conelrad markers at 640 and 1240 on the AM dial.

There's only one purchase that could make me happier.


But an opening bid of a little short of $1,000 is a lot more than a final purchase price of a little over $70. Champagne taste, etc., and so forth.

Monday, July 12, 2010

This TV set is 39 years old

When this Sony color portable was made in 1971, television sets were not cheap.

You had to save up for one. And they were tanks -- solid and heavy.

On the other hand, if a set like this model KV-1201 were to break, which was extremely unlikely, you could get it fixed. And the picture quality was very, very good . . . as you can see 39 years later.

I BOUGHT this set for $7.50 Sunday at an estate sale. If I had bought it brand new in 1971, I would have gotten almost four decades of use out of it, and it would still work like new.

Makes you wonder, doesn't it? It makes you wonder what the real cost is of our postmodern consumer society, where we buy lots and lots of stuff -- gadgets -- and almost none of it will last longer than a few years, at which point you will throw it away.

It makes you wonder whether the flat-panel HDTV you bought for $500 will last four years, much less four decades. It also makes you wonder whether, if it lasts two, you will junk it anyway because it's no longer the latest thing -- and we Americans are all about the latest thing, aren't we?

Me, I'm rather partial to scavenged relics of a lost era of durable goods -- truly durable goods.

And at $7.50, this bit of durability is a bargain you'd be hard-pressed to beat.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

And then there's this. . . .

I wonder if this thing will do the Internets?

What's an Internet?

It's geek porn, I tells ya! Geek porn!

That's it . . . I'm done. As in "done in."

Gone. Lost. Incommunicado.

Just bring me some beer and some Carnation Instant Breakfast, then call EMS to hook me up a catheter. I have been reliably informed of the existence of a website that's the online home of almost every Radio Shack catalog published from 1939 to 2005.

And that's just part of it.

It seems to me that all I need right now is Doc Brown's DeLorean and some period-appropriate cash, and I'll be in bidness. Oh, the places we'll go!

The gadgets we'll buy!

I THINK I'll get me a classic Rek-O-Kut turntable from 1961. And a vintage Harman-Kardon stereophonic receiver.

Maybe an H.H. Scott FM tuner, too!

Oh! And a Tandberg reel-to-reel tape deck! Tapes! I need tapes!

AND WHEN I'm done shopping in the year of my birth, maybe I'll pop over to Radio Shack somewhere during my junior year of high school . . . let's make it Christmastime 1977. I always wanted a DX-160 communications receiver.

And while I'm at it, maybe I'll pick up this, too:

"What is it?" you ask?

It's an iPod.