Dispatches from Andyland "Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever!" — The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

July 3, 2009

obsolete skills

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Andrew @ 10:29 am

Did anyone else see that article from a few days ago where BBC magazine had a kid give up his MP3 player for a Sony Walkman? After reading that article, and after talking about that article with my older  daughter. We wound up in a similar situation. Yesterday she started being tutored for her Torah portion for her Bat Mitvah next June.

Her tutor sends home tapes for people to practice with. She doesn’t have the capability to make CDs yet. My first idea was to send her with a laptop and Audacity. The record/stop button¬† interface of Audicity should be familiar to the tutor. My backup plan was to create MP3s off of the tape. I forgot about the laptop until my daughter texted me about needing a tape recorder, so on to the backup plan.

Until I can make the MP3s, she’s using an old portable tape recorder (some sort of late 80’s Walman-style portable tape player.) and it was amusing to see all of the things that I’d take for granted that she had trouble figuring out:

The first issue was to figure out which side of the tape it was recorded on. This involved playing the tape on each side, rewinding, fast-forwarding, playing with the volume control, and unfortunately switching from “tape” to “fm” while the volume was at full. Eventually she figured out which side the recording was on and where on the tape. Then she labeled it and told me that it was unfortunate design (where I pointed out to here that the cassette did have sides labeled “A” and “B”, which she didn’t notice.)

The next issue was how to fit that cardboard track listing sleeve into the plastic cassette holder. She had it folded L-shaped and not J-shaped. It didn’t fit in right and was too tall. Once I pointed out how that there were two creases in the cardboard, she figured it out.

Its been a while since I’ve needed a tape player, but I learned these skills a long time ago. To my daughter, this is all brand new and there is a learning curve.

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