Monday, October 24, 2011

Gadget Freak, Part I

I have always had a passion and fascination with electronics. If it beeps, blips, blinks, flashes or needs some sort of power supply, I'm into it. I remember taking apart radios, tape players and whatever else I could get my hands on just to see what was inside of them. The challenge when I was younger was to get the devices reassembled in working order before dad came home.

I recall one time when I was about four years old my father had just gotten a combination radio and cassette player (keep in mind, this was circa 1971 so this was high tech). When he brought it home he showed us all how he could record something off the radio and play it back on the tape.

That sounds simple enough these days but my four-year-old brain, having seen this only once, somehow got it backward. I believed that you could get the contents of the tape to play on the radio. The part I remembered in the right order was that you had to press the play and record buttons at the same time.

Shortly after, my parents went out and we were left with a babysitter. Wanting to show off, another fascination I never outgrew, I tried to show the babysitter how this all worked... using my father's Johnny Cash cassette.

For those of you who know how cassettes work, the record button won't go down when you put in a pre-recorded tape because the record tab has been removed. Somehow, my little undeveloped brain figured that out, figured out a way to override it and managed to erase random chunks from my dad's tape.

Dad never got angry with me about it. He was more curious as to how I had accomplished it because, at the time, he didn't know how to do it himself. Of course, I had slept a couple of times between the time I did it and dad discovered it (I had no idea I had done any damage) and the knowledge of how the damage had been done was lost to me.

1 comment:

AM said...

I remember that! No, he didn't get mad he just couldn't figure it out.