Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Walkman - outdated just like us old fogies

I still have my Walkman and still use it occasionally.  That period of technology came and went very quickly.  Kids today, all born after 2000, were given a Walkman to try to figure out what it was and what it does--this short video shows the results.  It made me feel like a dinosaur...(but a smart one, 'cause I know how to use a Walkman (~.~))   I think other old fogies like me will get a few laughs watching this video.

(Video: under 7 and a half minutes): 
From Forbidden Knowledge site:

This is hilarious, watching young 
kids trying to figure out what a 
Walkman *is*, let alone how it 
works; what they think of it and 
how it competes against the 
technology of today.

I remember very well when the 
Japanese craze, the Sony Walkman, 
hit the international market, in 1980. 
I was then living in Sao Paulo, Brazil 
and it was an absolutely revolutionary 
moment. I remember seeing my 
mother talking walks in the Brazilian 
outback, listening to Gustav Mahler 
concertos and watching her ecstatic 
facial expressions, as she experienced 
having her favorite music playing right 
in her head, in any setting whatsoever.

What I did not know until researching 
the subject, just now was that the design 
and patents for a portable cassette tape 
player were invented by the German-
Brazilian, Andreas Pavel in 1972, who filed 
a patent for what he called "Stereobelt" in 
Italy in 1977, followed by patent 
applications in the US, Germany, the UK 
and Japan by the end of 1978. (His patent 
applications in the US and the UK were 

In 1979, Sony began selling the popular 
Walkman in Japan, without giving credit 
to its inventor. It took 22 years of legal 
action on the part of Pavel to arrive at a 
settlement with Sony, in 2001. 
While secret, the cash settlement for 
damages is estimated to have been in 
excess of $10M and he is now also receiving 
royalties on some Walkman sales, as well as 
the official recognition from Sony that Pavel 
was the original inventor of the personal 

Forbidden Knowledge
(Video: under 7 and a half minutes):