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Back in the Sixties, when I was a wee sprat, my brothers or myself were the remote. French kings had human chesspieces, Ottoman caliphs had human footstools, and Mom and Dad had us.
Is it also a death ray?
Most modern remote controls use infrared, though I suppose some may be migrating to bluetooth or something similar. But I recall that back in the day I saw a remote control that worked on an audio signal. The remote had something like small tuning forks, rods of metal that would vibrate when you pressed one of the buttons. I can’t remember what brand of TV they were for. They were probably black & white sets.
Our first remote control TV was also our first color TV. I’m talking about the one my dad bought in 1970, one of those big wooden floor jobs by Magnavox. The remote was big, maybe 8″ x 8″ and it had to be pointed right at the TV, no bank shots allowed. Funny thing was that the wheels on my mothers vacuum cleaner squeaked and turned the TV on and if you dropped a dime, not a quarter, not a nickel, a dime, on the terrazzo floor the TV would turn off. Of course, as Monty described above, my parents had remote controls for everything from the beginning.
Bonus round: About 10 years later (1980) I was living in Redondo, CA and a friends wife worked as a receptionist for Magnavox in Torrance. She said Magnavox was developing an inter-office newsletter and they wanted the employees to come up with a name for the newsletter and whomever’s name they chose would receive a 100 dollar bill. Off the top O’ my skall I told her, “Video Sentinel” which she liked and submitted and won. When she got that C note her and her husband (an army buddy) and me and my skweez at the time went and chowed like big Dawgz at the 94th Aero Squadron. Nom, nom, nom. So there ya go, I have sort of a detached connection to Magnavox.