Sounding out the past

We’ve come a long way.Or have we? (as Hilary Mantel might say). I was looking through some old archived Argos catalogues online and was struck by how standard the offerings were throughout the decades. Just the technology changed. Home furnishings, garden accessories, tat we don’t really need. Nothing particularly radical. The same but different.

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Shrink Wrapped Dead Format Discs

Just acquired a clutch of defunct media format discs. In this case PAL format CED video discs, many still (just about) shrink wrapped. CED was a short lived (early 80s) alternative to laserdisc which was also analogue (well analogue video and analogue and/or digital audio) but is basiclly an analogue grooved vinyl record in a protective caddy.

Sadly though a vintage player came with the bundle it needs some light TLC because a small disc loading belt inside has perished. Hopefully once replaced some of these curiosities might even play.

Interestingly CED was pushed hard by RCA but the fight and eventual failure probably broke RCA as a company. We may be incredulous that video could have been stored on a vinyl disc but a very similar technology is strapped to the Voyager spacecraft that is now leaving our galaxy. A cartridge and stylus for playback is even supplied for any ET how may one day intercept the craft. A gold analogue video disc was cutting edge technology when Voyager left Earth.