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At 11:36 AM 1/30/2004 -0500, Frank Strauss wrote:
>The discussions engendered by these two threads are what I love about
>this list!  Where else would you discuss things like this? In response
>to Don Cox's thought that cassette players might be around for another
>50 years, I would make the observation that VHS tapes were sold by the
>jillions and you used to see  6 or 7 different brands at places like
>BJ's and Sam's Club. Now you're lucky if they carry even one. Also, the
>machines have certainly gotten dirt cheap, but they're not nearly as
>available. How long before you'll only be able to get a machine on eBay? FBS

There is a fundamental difference which is relevant for longevity. If one
postulates even with contemporary technology that an engineer had never
heard of cassette tape, she would have little trouble building a device to
play one back by inference and observation. Few cassettes would need to be
destroyed in the process and the resulting machine would be neither
difficult nor costly to build from scratch.

As for rotary-head video - even with full plans, constructing a playback
device ab ovum which would deliver a recognizable picture would be
prohibitively difficult and costly.


Mike
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