My turn: Technology advances hard to fathom

By Helena Rodriguez: PNT columnist

I was recently packing belongings and came across boxes of old cassette tapes. Old school stuff.

This dusty, ancient collection, dating back to the 1980s, takes up a good amount of storage space.

I looked over the vintage recordings and found it hard to fathom that an iPod, no bigger than my palm, can hold thousands of these recordings.

I told my daughter, Laura, how excited I was in grade school one Saturday morning, running all the way home, when my friend Joann loaned me her record player.

I chugged that small suitcase-sized box home and eagerly set a 45 on the turntable. I put the needle on the vinyl and music churned… for about two minutes … then the words started repeating.

That was the downside to records.

But I explained to Laura, we just gave the needle a tap, and it skipped forward to another part of the album. When the needle wore out, we were in trouble.

As for cassettes, mine were always getting eaten up by the cassette player.

I’d have to manually wind the ribbon back into the little reel.

Assuming the ribbon didn’t get bent or torn, the music would go on…until it was time to turn the cassette over or rewind.