Posts Tagged ‘ABC Wednesday’

Midnight.blanket
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I’m having a conversation with a woman in my church choir. Somehow, the nature of pets came up. At one point, she said, “But you don’t HAVE cats.”

Oh yes, I do. Two of them, in fact, both for over two years. The Daughter knows their birthdays – one’s in January, the other in June – but I’m a BAD cat papa.

Midnight is the elder cat. Read the rest of this entry »

Betamax_closeThere was a story late in 2015 that Betamax cassette tapes would be discontinued in March 2016. This surprised me. Sony had discontinued making the RECORDERS more than a dozen years earlier.

Betamax was “a videotape format in competition with VHS (introduced in Japan by JVC in October 1976 and in the United States by RCA in August 1977)…”

According to Sony’s own history webpages, the name came from a double meaning: beta being the Japanese word used to describe the way signals were recorded onto the tape, and from the fact that when the tape ran through the transport, it looked like the Greek letter beta (β). The suffix -max, from the word “maximum”, was added to suggest greatness…

Betamax and VHS competed in a fierce format war, which saw VHS come out on top in most markets. The VHS format’s defeat of the Betamax format became a classic marketing case study. Sony’s attempt to dictate an industry standard backfired when JVC made the tactical decision to forgo Sony’s offer of Betamax in favor of developing its own technology…

It is odd, too, because all the experts, and most of the users, considered Betamax a superior product in terms of recording quality.

By 1980, JVC’s VHS format controlled 60% of the North American market. The large economy of scale allowed VHS units to be introduced to the European market at a far lower cost than the rarer Betamax units. In the United Kingdom, Betamax held a 25% market share in 1981, but by 1986, it was down to 7.5% and continued to decline further. By 1984, 40 companies made VHS format equipment in comparison with Beta’s 12. Sony finally conceded defeat in 1988 when it, too, began producing VHS recorders though it still continued to produce Betamax recorders until 2002.

In Japan, Betamax had more success…, but eventually both Betamax and VHS were supplanted by laser-based technology…

One other major consequence of the Betamax technology’s introduction to the U.S. was the lawsuit Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios (1984, the “Betamax case”), with the U.S. Supreme Court determining home videotaping to be legal in the United States, wherein home videotape cassette recorders were a legal technology since they had substantial noninfringing uses.

I never owned a Betamax machine. Seeing two incompatible technologies vying in the marketplace, I bought NEITHER machine until it was clear that VHS was going to win out. My first VHS player I didn’t purchase until c. 1985, one of the late adapters.

abcw19klein

ABC Wednesday – Round 19

World Almanac 2016From the time I was about ten years old, I would get for Christmas a World Almanac almost every year. And I was happy.

When I was growing up, it was my parents making the purchase. As an adult, it would be a significant other, or else I would gift it to myself.

The almanac contained tons of statistics. Some of them were rather static Read the rest of this entry »

Zombies albumThe Zombies was a British Invasion group. From 1962 to 1967, the group consisted of:
Colin Blunstone – lead vocals
Rod Argent – organ, vocals
Paul Atkinson – guitar, vocals
Chris White – bass, vocals
Hugh Grundy – drums

The group won a music competition sponsored by a London newspaper, and were signed a recording contract with Decca in 1964.

“Rod Argent built the lyrics of ‘She’s Not There’ from a John Lee Hooker song, whose title ‘No One Told Me’ became Read the rest of this entry »

yield to pedestrianBack in February, I had arranged for a certain speaker to give a talk at one of the Black History Month sessions in adult education at my church.

Unfortunately, about a week and a half before she was scheduled to visit, she was hit by a car at the corner of Central Avenue and Henry Johnson Boulevard, a major intersection in Albany. She survived with some broken bones and bruises, but she was in no shape to give her talk.

Now, I wasn’t there. But I would not be surprised if she were hit because some car failed to yield the right of way to her as a pedestrian. I believe this because Read the rest of this entry »

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