Saturday, 4 December 2010

Machines can have soul too

I've been reading a Jeremy Clarkson book called "I know You Got Soul" which goes on in Clarkson's normal entertaining and informative way about how machines can appear to have human flaws and traits and is is this that makes us think they are more than just an inanimate object.

So I decided it was time to start making my own list of these things, I probably won't finish it all in one article but let's see how it goes.

Going back to when I was a lad and just making my way into double figures, I remember being given a small Philco Transistor radio for my birthday of Christmas, this was a little red thing with Medium Wave and Long Wave as  in those halcyon days FM was something that only posh people had. Radio 1 was on 247m on medium wave and radio Luxembourg was available in the evenings on 208m.

This little radio introduced me to the likes of Queen, Cozy Powel and many others, the UK Top 40 was broadcast on a Tuesday and the countdown was carried out by Johnie Walker before he decided to go off to the US.

The radio accompanied me everywhere and got dropped, bashed and in once case thrown and still managed to carry on working. Basically, it was the Captain Scarlet of transistor radios.

Eventually it expired and was replaced by an ITT Weekend Automatic with FM and shorwave, this was a good radio but it never reached the levels of the old Philco.

Moving on a bit we come to the land of the cassette recorder, I had used open reel devices before but the time came to go portable and my first and best device was an ITT KB SL52 portable cassette recorder with automatic recording level and a green button that you pressed to show how flat the 5 batteries that ran it were going. It was a mono device but gave really very good quality sound for a portable device and at the time I was convinced that stereo was really a waste of time and could see no real benefits to it.

It was used regularly over the years and was eventually replaced by an Amerex Stereo system that was good but never managed to live up to the portability of the old ITT. Now, of course cassettes are no longer in use and the same applies to the old open reel machines although you can not beat them for the sheer joy of watching the big reels going round and round while the sound quality was generally excellent.

Nothing has really managed to succesfully replace any of this equipment. and given me the same levels of joy that I used to get from using them, sure I can now carry all my music collection round on a portable device but it's not the same as having a huge selection of cassettes on a shelf arranged in alphabetical order

There was a special one marked Singles Collection 12 with a selection of music that was designed to cause the ladies to cuddle up to you. It didn't start out that wau and was just a selection of music that I really liked.

All the above devices were not prefect, just like humans that had their flaws but they were loveable and I miss them.