February 9th, 2011


I REALLY Remember the 80's...

Just finished watching part two of a three part series on PBS produced by the BBC called "Electric Dreams". In the second episode, they updated the family to the 1980's.

In the 1980's, I bought my first VCR, in 1982. It was a Curtis Mathis brand, bought at a Curtis Mathis store, at a cost of $699. It had a WIRED remote, a pop-up lid to put the tape in. Also, buying at a Curtis Mathis store, it automatically came with a 4 year warranty. In the show however, one thing I didn't quite agree with. The so-called "tech experts" said VCRs from that time required maintenance every 6 months. Most I ever had to do to the original machine was a Q-Tip with alcohol along the tape head every few months. No technicians involved. That machine was still working fine 6 years later, when I passed it on to a friend after buying a new VCR with a wireless remote, and stereo capability.

Seems the family in the show got a JVC Compact VHS machine for their first camcorder. My first camcorder, bought in 1985, was an Emerson which had a handheld camera, attached to a full size battery powered VHS machine with a shoulder strap. Some of the video shot with that outfit can be seen here... I'm thankfull for that primative tape unit, it has preserved video of three people no longer with us... both grandparents on my mom's side, and moms brother, my late Uncle David.

My first CD player had no remote, no digital display, was a Sears "Proformance" brand purchased in 1984 for $599... cheap for a CD player that year. The "name brands" were over $1000. The machine had 16 LED lights to indicate which track you were listening to, anything over 16, you had to guess. The machine weighed close to 20 pounds. Still have the machine in the closet, although it no longer works well. Keeping it for nostalgia I guess. Like the dad in the documentary, I re-purchased a lot of my old vinyl on CD, but kept the vinyl also. Currently, slowly, trying to transfer the old vinyl I hadn't re-purchased, or wasn't available on CD, to CD... since recordable CD's are so cheap now!