Useless Information

This was written in 2016 and this year... 2022... I just turned 70... probably lots of folks out there who have have never seen a camcorder.

 I just got a stark reminder of just how old I am getting and just how much technology has evolved.  I'm a huge pack rat and have started to thin things out in preparation for a possible move to the NC Coast.

A box of old VHS tapes... some with video of my kids when they were very young and of my folks as well.... prompted me to google VCR's. Just this past July... the last company in Japan still making VCR's ceased production some 40 years after they first became available to consumers.

In high school I had a job, cant remember what they called it,  but I took my study hall period in the library and if there was a class that had a film to view I would go to that class and operate the projector.  Sometime during that time the school bought a video tape machine. It was the predecessor to the VCR. It was a reel to reel video tape machine that you had to thread up somewhat like a film projector and it had a black and white camera so you could record video as well. They had a guy from the company come and demonstrate it and show us how to operate it as well.  I would guesstimate that machine probably cost in excess of $10,000 at that time and possibly quite a bit more.

VCR's came later and were pretty complicated mechanically... lots of motors to load the cassette into position then thread the tape around a head that turned at a very high speed that had the sensors on it to read the signal recorded on the tape... and then another motor that moved the tape across the head.

Now we have cell phones that can record HD video with no moving parts at all.

I read somewhere recently that a computer from back in the day capable of doing what a cell phone can do today would take up several large rooms.

Among the many things I lost in the fire were a couple of video anachronisms... one very old the other not so old. One was the image tube from an old black and white television camera. It was at least as old as I am I imagine. It was huge and so were the old vacuum tube studio cameras that it would have been used in.  Those old cameras were in constant need of alignment and tweaking. That was the reason for the old test pattern they used to broadcast at the end of the day after they had signed off. Those were the days before all night television. The other thing was a very tiny color television picture tube with about a 1 inch screen.  It came out of a VHS camcorder... it was in the viewfinder so you could see what you were recording. It was a miniature version of what was in your 25 inch color console TV from back in the day. The camcorder itself is now an anachronism.

I told you I was a pack rat.