I REMEMBER WHEN...

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Sonic Purity

Dimensions Eyeore
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
27
Location
Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
I bought a beta too. Betamax was higher quality and more durable. I seem to remember a story that Amway distributed vhs tapes causing the vhs to become the desired format.
(Skipping blithely over the fact that no one knows me here and i almost died on 26 Oct. and my life has been upended and it and me are a shattered mess…)

Between 1981 (just out of university) and 1995, i worked professionally in the home A/V repair industry (Resistance Repair, Berkeley, California). Nominally our shop was about audio equipment, and that’s all i did as part of my job (cassette decks, turntables, CD players, etc. etc.). New hires from Pacific Stereo when they went out of business (another I Remember When) had video skills as well, so the shop took on VCR repairs, doing many of them.

This was a small business, and all of us got along well: all the good parts of a collegial atmosphere. I had several conversations with the techs who did video about the whole Beta(max) vs. VHS situation. Wrenchboy is correct that, technologically, Beta was superior to VHS in terms of technical quality, especially in the earlier years. “Durable” depends specifically what one means. Beta machines were vastly more electromechanically complex than VHS, and difficult to work on. The video techs had Beta machines at home (and VHS, the way people in an industry tend to collect different things in their industry), but hated working on them. They’d rather repair 5 VHS machines to 1 Beta, at least.

I have never heard about Amway having anything to do with the VHS vs. Beta format war. It was more about economics: VHS was cheaper, not enough people cared about the higher quality of (early) Beta, repair techs gave the simpler, often more reliable VHS mechanisms a thumbs up, and content producers did not want to release multiple formats, so most went with VHS (later, if not initially). The ever-greater lack of commercially-released Beta content further reduced the appeal of the (technically superior) format. As well, both formats continued to improve in quality and reliability (though the Beta mechanisms never got simpler, so the repair techs continued to hate them), to the point where the quality delta between Beta and VHS grew lesser and lesser.

By the late 1980s when my then-True Love (life partner/spousal equivalent) wanted us to get a VCR, VHS Hi-Fi was out, and worked pretty well. Having insider information, i knew that JVC, originator of the VHS format, shared most, but not all, of its patented innovations. They held some close to the vest, for themselves. Thus their machines performed slightly better than other VHS brands, at that time. Researched and picked a good model (HR-D470U… i’m amazed i still remember that), did a few tweaks the video techs recommended, and got many good years of service out of that deck (until the mid 2000s).

By the 1990s (i don’t recall which year. Mid-decade or later. Think it was after i left the industry), even Sony, originator of the Beta format, threw in the towel: they started making VHS machines, and reduced their Beta lineup until it eventually (i believe, not certain) disappeared. My parents had a Sony VHS deck from 1996 which was quite nice.

Thank you for letting me get out of my usual Mega Lurk Recluse mode from a brief diversion from the ongoing tragedy of what my life has become. This isn’t the place to get all emotional and express my deep, deep gratitude for being allowed to view the Dims forums, and to the many of you whom i feel i kinda a little bit know (even though i don’t, beyond your posts) who are regulars (new, long-term, and in-between), but i know i’m not going to go post this in a more appropriate thread.

Having almost lost my life very suddenly (unexpectedly) and in an excruciatingly painful way, and now struggling day by day to find if i will again have anything like a normal life, i’m appreciating the dawn of each new day like i haven’t in decades. The fatlovesex world/fatosphere has for many years been and remains the only aspect of life of sufficient interest to me to make living worthwhile and give me hope.

After this brief diversion into melancholy, we now return you to your much happier/funnier reminiscences of times and things past. Anyone else in North America remember when lumber dimensions in the insane U.S./Imperial system used to be literal, rather than “dimensional”? E.g. when a 2 x 4 was 2" by 4"? I was dealing with this yesterday, when setting up my bed to try out Inclined Bed Therapy. At this moment there’s a old-growth redwood post which used to be part of an added overhang (taken down a few years ago) to the garage on this 1927 house which is holding up the middle of my bed (under the box springs).
 

abzu

Active Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2015
Messages
31
Location
Atlantis
I remember when we migrated away from our Holy Mountain after the crops in the valley began to fail. The trek was arduous, and many of us fell along the way until we came to the plane of Shinar, the place of the Three Rivers. Steve wanted to name it Ea'den after our Lord Ea, for by his guidance had we found his garden. But a vote was taken, and we named it Kansas after my brother's daughter, for she was flat and fertile like the plane. There we built the first Ziggurat in memory of our Mountain, and dedicated it to Enlil, Lord of the Air, and his personal trainer, Nigel, whom mortals have largely forgotten.

I can't remember much before that. Things get really hazy before about 8000BCE.
 

LizzieJones

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
386
Location
Canada
I remember when shopping for the latest Osmond record album was one of my favourite past times. :)
 
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