Tag Archives: Walkman

Technology

9 Jun

When I was a teenager in the ’80s, my parents finally got a microwave oven and a VHS VCR…they both seemed so “high-tech” back then.
The microwave could heat food in literally seconds! It seemed so “futuristic”! And the VCR allowed us to program it to record a TV show while we weren’t at home so that we could watch it later! How convenient!
(Never mind that no one could actually understand how to program it…even setting the clock on it was a chore!)

I think every housewife had a copy of this video in the ’80s when VCRs became popular.

Other “new” technology back then were CD players, the “Walkman“, and video games. They were all so popular.

(Click here and read a post I wrote a while back about the Walkman).

In the ’80s, everyone was surprised how “small” this music player was!

A popular TV show when I was in junior high was “Knight Rider“. It was about a vigilante and his “partner”…a super-intelligent Trans-Am that was bullet-proof (even the tires!) and it could do an endless array of unbelievable things. But the three things it did in every episode were: carry on a “witty” conversation with it’s driver and/or whomever else was near it, drive itself and “turbo-boost” over things.
I couldn’t wait for cars like that to become reality!

How often would this really be necessary?

A teacher of mine in the ’80s once told my classmates and me that by the time we were thirty there would be “flying cars”. Obviously that didn’t happen! What a let-down!

I was looking forward to this!

Another “high-tech” item that my family got was I was a kid was a “push-button” telephone with a “re-dial” button. It seems so ordinary now…but it was such a time-saver compared to how telephones had been until then!

Remember these? Yes? Then you must be at least my age. 😉

Now we have a huge variety of technology all around us that we would have never dreamed of even twenty years ago.
For example, when I was dating my wife, one time I misunderstood our meeting place and we couldn’t find each other. That date was lost!
Today’s young people couldn’t imagine such a thing happening because they grew up after cell-phones were invented and became something that everyone carries at all times—like a wallet and keys. If my wife and I had cell-phones when we were dating, my mistake wouldn’t have been an incident at all.

The internet and computers are extremely convenient and useful. They can do so many things and are practical in our daily lives now.
I have had a cell-phone with internet-access for a number of years now…I can barely remember how I used to “kill time” on the train during my daily commute before I had a cell-phone!

Nowadays, nearly everyone uses the phone on the trains in Japan.

But all of this new technology isn’t always good.
When I came to Japan, I had no idea what to expect. There was no internet back then.
And when I got here, everything was different and unusual to me!
But nowadays, most people never travel anywhere without “researching” the destination online first. Nothing’s a surprise! Is that always good?

And there are often stories in the news about people (usually teenagers) bullying others online. It’s regrettable.

I wonder what new technology we’ll see in the future.

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Walkman is more popular than I-pod in Japan

4 Sep

In Japan, the Sony Walkman® MP3 player has begun selling more units than the I-pod®.

Consumers in Japan feel that the sound quality of the Walkman is superior to that of the I-pod.
Also, the Walkman‘s headphones are more comfortable and offer better sound.

Many people feel that the software to upload files to the Walkman is easier to use than the I-pod‘s software.

And finally, the battery in the Walkman charges faster and the charge lasts much longer than the battery in the I-pod.

I have a Sony Walkman® MP3 player and so does my oldest daughter. My younger two daughters have the I-pod® players.
And I agree with all of the points above. The Walkman is better!
(Also, I know many people think that the I-pod looks cool…but I like the design of the Walkman MP-3 player better. The I-pod looks weak, but the Walkman looks tough, in my opinion.)

Sony Walkman MP3 players

Sony Walkman MP3 players

Apple I-pod MP3 players

Apple I-pod MP3 players

Which do you have? Walkman or I-pod? Why did you choose that one?
Have you tried both? Which is better, in your opinion?

(By the way, on this subject, I wrote a post last July about an English boy who traded his I-pod to try out an “old-school” 1979 style Walkman. Click here to see it).

Walkman

1 Jul

Okonomibloggy has a blog-post with a link to a BBC story about a thirteen-year-old boy who traded his I-pod for a old-school 1980’s style cassette-player Walkman for a week.

The original "Walkman" (1979)

The original "Walkman" (1979)

It was an amusing read.

The article mentioned that the Sony Walkman was turning thirty years old soon.

The original "Walkman" logo (1979)

The original "Walkman" logo (1979)

The current "Walkman" logo.

The current "Walkman" logo.

I looked online and it turns out that today (2009 July 1) is the 30th anniversary of the release of the first Sony Walkman.
The first Walkman went on sale on 1979 July 1.

I didn’t have a Walkman in 1979. I got my first one in the mid-1980’s when I was in high school.
It was the most current version…but an antique by today’s standards.
And compared to the modern Walkman, it was as big and heavy as a brick. But back in the ’80s, it was the coolest thing. And it was considered small and light.

Compared to my current Walkman (I use a Sony Walkman MP3 player now…not an I-pod) which can hold my entire CD collection in it’s memory, the one I had in the ’80s played cassette tapes…which are crap, but back in the ’80s they were the most modern medium for music storage.

Did you have one of the “brick” Walkman cassette players back in the ’80s?
Do you have a Walkman now?

I have this type of "Walkman" MP3 player now. It's small and light, but...

I have this type of "Walkman" MP3 player now. It's small and light, but...

Sony's newest "Walkman" is smaller and lighter!

Sony's newest "Walkman" is smaller and lighter!

Product names

12 Jun

I was thinking about the fact that in America many products are referred to by the most popular brand name of that product.

For example, “Post-It“. It’s a brand-name…not actually the name for the adhesive memo paper. But nearly everyone in America uses the name “Post-It” as the generic name for this product.

PostItI’m not even sure what the correct name of the product is in English!

In Japan, referring to a product by a brand-name is almost never done. How about in your country?

Here in Japan, those adhesive memo papers that are called 「タックメモ」 (tack-memo)…not “Post-It“.

In America, many products are referred to by a company’s name.

Other examples are:

Coke“, “7-Eleven“, “Q-Tips“, “Jell-o“, “Xerox“, “Velcro“, “Thermos“, “Scotch Tape“, “Walkman“, and “Gameboy“.

The correct names for those products in English are:
“cola”, “convenience store”, “cotton swabs”, “gelatin dessert”, “copy machine”, “hook-and-loop tape”, “insulated beverage container”, “cellophane tape”, “portable music player”, and “portable game player”.

In Japanese they are:
「コーラ」 (cola), 「コンビニ」 (konbini (convenience store)), 「メンボー」 (menbou (cotton swabs)), 「ゼリー」 (jelly (gelatin dessert)), 複写機 (fukushaki (copy machine)), 「マジック・テープ」 (magic tape (hook-and-loop tape (Velcro))), 水筒 (suitou (insulated drink container)), 「セロファンテープ」 (cellophane tape), 「ウォークマン」 (Walkman ®), 「ゲームボーイ」 (Gameboy ®).