Helen of Marlowe's Blog

A yearning for older technology

Posted in Uncategorized by helenofmarlowe on July 10, 2010

For some years I’ve had in my office a radio/cd player that I like.

I like the remote control. I can sit at my desk and turn the radio on or off, or change the stations (I have only two presets) w/o even looking at what I’m doing. Just pick up the remote, feel the top right button for on/off, press it w/o even looking up. It’s an actual button — sticks up off the surface of the remote.

But for some months, maybe a year,  this radio  has picked up a habit of suddenly crackling and then going mute.  I have to turn it off and back on, sometimes more than once, to get it going again.

So fast forward to today– I have in here a new radio with ipod dock.
And a remote control.
Brookstone.
And I yearn for the older technology. This little remote control has no substance to it. It’s tiny and lightweight, and the “buttons” are just places on the surface that you press. Can’t do that without looking. Have to pick it up, hold it up close to read the tiny blue writing on a black background.

As I removed my old radio, I noticed one of the speakers had a wire that had come loose, almost off, just hanging. I think if I had re-attached that wire, I would have solved the problem.

So I’m wondering — do I keep the new radio that’s smaller (which is good) but not as easy to use? Do I fix the old one and bring it back in?

Do I take the old one to Goodwill and get used to the new one? Maybe I can stick pebbles onto the virtual buttons to achieve the tactile feature that the engineers of today don’t seem to value.

A chilled glass of Australian Chardonney (Little Penguin is my favorite, with Black Opal running close) solves many problems, but so far it has done little if anything for this one.

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  1. […] For some years I've had in my office a radio/cd player that I like. I like the remote control. I can sit at my desk and turn the radio on or off, or change the stations (I have only two presets) w/o even looking at what I'm doing. Just pick up the remote, feel the top right button for on/off, press it w/o even looking up. It's an actual button — sticks up off the surface of the remote. But for some months, maybe a year,  this radio  has picked u … Read More […]

  2. Mister Reiner said, on July 10, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    New technology isn’t always as fun to play with as the old stuff. A lot of new stuff tries to be sleek, compact and multifunctional. What’s wrong with having 20 buttons and switches? Doesn’t everyone miss the days of carrying around a boom box?

    I still don’t own any mp3/video players. For what? For who? It’s just another tiny gadget with a tiny screen that is just going to put additional strain on my eyes.

    But you know what? My Mom really loves the iPod shuffle I got her for Christmas – and she’s in her sixties! lol

  3. alvason said, on July 10, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    It’s a no-brainer – get the old one fixed and dispose of the new one. Or at least check out how much it will be to fix the old one, then you can make a judgment.

    Funny coincidence: I week or so ago I came across an old (15 years or more) fountain pen and roller ball set, lovely pieces – Shaeffer. Presents from Donnie. So I cleaned out the fountain pen (weak ammonia solution) and went to fill it but found that it wouldn’t take more than a drop or two of ink (I still have my old bottle of ink, top screwed tight for 6 years since I retired).

    As for the roller ball, well, out here in the country I couldn’t find a shop that had the refill I needed (the old one having dried out long ago).

    First thing I did was try to find Shaeffer, ‘cos they used to consider these things guaranteed for life but, surprise surprise, they have pulled out of Australia – market is too small, I guess.

    Next stop was The Pen Shop, the best, err, pen shop in Australia, branches in all the main cities (all 5 or 6 of them!).

    I sent them off and had a call the next day – the fountain pen needed a new bladder, which they could do, did I want a black or blue refill for the roller ball pen (blue) and how did I want to pay (about $65)? I said I was delighted they could help me, go ahead with the fountain pen, send me two blue refills for the other, call me when they are ready and I’ll fix up payment then. They’re going to call next week.

    (I saw 12 simple ball pens in a shop for $1, but can’t be compared with my cherished Shaeffer set.)

    So. There is a value in the things you have used and loved for some time. Not to be discarded at the first sign of trouble. Not only that, but there is something just too sleek and, well, over-engineered about today’s stuff, hasn’t got the feeling of utility of older products. Just a grumpy old man speaking here of course and if you want to send me one of these new iPad things as a toy I shall be thrilled to bits.

    Get the old ‘un fixed!

    Let us know what you do.
    Adam

  4. dewey said, on July 11, 2010 at 10:18 am

    helen: find out if your favorite is still available for purchase, and it’s price. if so, spend up to that amount to fix your original, else purchase a new one. ditch the new junk. why would you pay for something you don’t even like?

    adam: you now have me interested in finding my old, beloved fountain pen. thanks a lot. i think. 🙂

  5. dewey said, on July 11, 2010 at 10:23 am

    for what it’s worth, this is the one i like because it fits my needs very well. it did *not* come with a remote, but one is available – with real buttons and everything. neither are cheap, however.

    http://www.ihomeaudio.com/products.asp?product_id=10460&dept_id=1006

    • helenofmarlowe said, on July 12, 2010 at 1:40 pm

      That looks like a good one Dewey. I don’t have an iPhone, but it looks like it will work with the ipod. I wonder if there is somewhere to buy it locally, or if it has to be ordered. (I like to see, touch, what I’m buying, that that’s becoming more difficult every day.)


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