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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

R.I.P., Walkman

They die so young these days:

First they take away my Zima, now this: Sony has pressed the eject button on the Walkman, discontinuing production of the AM/FM cassette player after 31 years.

It's bad enough that John Hughes is dead and “Goonies” alum Martha Plimpton is playing a grandmother on TV.

How many more '80s icons must disappear to prove Generation X is inching into baby boomer territory? And more importantly, where in the name of puffy paint and pegged pants can we privately play our mixtapes from middle school? (OK, China will still produce a version.)

It's easy to forget what a big deal the Walkmans were and how they changed not just the way we listened to music but the way we interacted socially. The cassette players are among the many "innovations" that seemed like real advances but turned out just to be place-keepers on the sideroads of the information superhighway, such as pagers and FAX machines. I had to send a FAX yeterday and it had been so long since I'd done it that I forgot whether the sheet being sent is fed in rightside up or upside down. I think installed computer software is headed out the door, too. I wanted to edit a photo at work a few days ago, but I didn't have any software. So I just went to Google and searched for "free online photo editing" and found several that did everything I could have wanted in a program I went to Best Buy to get.

FWIW, I think all the people getting revved up over 3D TV should relax and just stick with regular TV for a couple of years till the real next innovation comes along -- holographic projection. We're still a long way from being able to have our own holodecks, but the technology to have everything from virtual-reality entertainment to business meetings (so long, business travel industry!) is moving ahead quickly.


Bob G.
Wed, 10/27/2010 - 9:12am

If you ever need a walk down memory lane, just chat me up and come on over, for I STILL have:
-Cathode-ray screen televison including "stereo expansion"
(you want "hi-def", do what I do...wear your glasses...lol)
-A computer with WIN 98 on it that runs fine.
-A BETA VCR that works marvelously.
-Two walkman radio/cassette players WITH headsets.
-An original 23 channel CB radio that still works (with valid license)
-A TURNTABLE (with a lot of classic rock on VINYL)
-A mess of comics from those days.
-Many (now) classic toys and HO scale model trains
-Several cameras that still use REAL FILM.
-And a 1983 Pontiac (R.I.P.) Firebird with less than 60K original miles. And I can roll the windows up & down MANUALLY (who needs a gym membership card?)

And why do we KEEP all this stuff, anyway?
BECAUSE THEY WORK...and work damn well.
Oh, did I mention we also have several bottles of WINE available at any one time?