Janice Williams Loves Austin And sometimes I write about it.

December 5, 2014

Old-Fashioned VCR Stuff

Filed under: At home,Normal Life — Janice @ 11:03 pm

We got to laughing at work this week about the way the world was back when video tape recorders came along. I was the only one in on the conversation that was an adult when this all took place. They were all just kids at home that don’t remember all the details of life back then.

I am NOT an early adopter. My friend Jamey had a massively HUGE Betamax machine. I don’t think I ever saw a real movie on it unless it was just rolling during a party. He was the one that kept me abreast of the latest innovations and how I needed to move forward and get a VCR.

I did finally get a VCR in about 1984, I think. It was a VHS tape player and had a remote that had to be plugged into the VCR so I had a long wire draped across the living room to the remote on the coffee table. I never did mind it because I didn’t lose the remote that way.

My favorite thing about a VCR was that I could tape TV shows and watch them at a different time. I was working a morning show and if I could tape something and go ahead and go to bed, that was a big plus to me. Jamey and others used their tape players more for watching new movies. Back before video came along, if you had a life at night (like a night time job), you missed out on a lot of monumental television. I still haven’t seen Lonesome Dove, for instance.

On my birthday, probably 1985 and I was 26, Jamey and the guys on my staff gave me a membership to a video store. My coworkers were laughing about the ways video stores began. Only one other remembered the days when those stores began. My group gave me a membership that cost $30, I think. Although I feel like everything today is just about as expensive as it was back then, I do realize that $30 then is a LOT more than it is now. That was quite an investment (and 4 guys pitched in on this gift). For the $30 I got 10 rentals included.

I have no memory of what I might have rented with that membership. I really don’t know that I took good advantage of it. I have never been an avid renter or buyer of movies on tape or DVD. Now that we can stream movies I would be more inclined to watch them, but I find myself on the internet or finding TV shows to watch.

Last weekend I actually threw away a lot of VHS video tapes. Since we don’t even own a VCR anymore, they seem rather superfluous. I did save the ones that have my nephews on them as kids. I saved a few of Mark playing on TV. I threw away all examples of me being and actress or newsreader and previous jobs. I know no one needs to see those! I threw away some old TV shows that are probably available on Netflix.

I love how quickly we move from one technology to another. I really like the technologies that let me throw away old things and not replace them with something new. I throw out the VCR and the videos and their replacement is just information in the air.

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