Combine a sleep-deprived night with a bevy of boxes and bouquets under a tree with trimmings and lights…and what do you have? An excited boy or girl on Christmas. Kids who can’t wait to see if they got that Xbox or iPad or BB gun or doll they were hoping for. When I was growing up, the BB gun and the doll were possibilities. But the Xbox and iPad would have only been imaginary. The most high tech gift I remember getting was a do-it-yourself diode transistor radio kit. And my brother and I marveled for hours at how something we could build ourselves would bring in radio stations from far away places. No antennae or cables required. I think that’s where our digital dreams started.
I remember a very special gift one year. My brother and I got a portable reel-to-reel recorder. If I remember correctly it was an AIWA model…similar to the picture above. Boys, being boys, we couldn’t just hit the record button and do plain ol’ boring recordings of words and music. No, we had to do things like put our finger on the spool to slow it down during the recording…then laugh at our chipmunk voices in the playback.
This was our first peek into the wonderful world of recording…way before walkmans and way, way before iPods and iPhones and iPads.
But, in this day of gadgetry being within the reach of just about anyone, I think the mystique of electronic experimentation is diminished. Back then we had to “see what it can do”. Nowadays we just expect it to do fantastic stuff with the tap of a thumb or finger.
Don’t get me wrong…I like it both ways. And that’s why I’d better quit writing about digital dreams on my MacBook and go add a BB gun to my wish list for Santa.
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