Never mind the newest gizmos, your mp3 players, high-def, and mobile devices. Libraries are haunted by ghosts of technology past and technology that never really was. Here are some snippets of tech support I have had to give. Exchange 1
Professor: This VHS tape is broken. The machine won't play it.
Me: Let me see what's going on.
Professor: Look. It won't even go into the machine.
Professor proceeds to try and force the VHS into the player.
Me: Turn the tape around. Exchange 2
Student: Something's wrong with the VCR. Nothing's coming up onscreen, and there's no sound.
Me: Let me come see.
I check connections and find everything is hooked up right. I pop out the tape.
Me: You're at the end of the tape. You need to rewind it. Exchange 3
Student: Hi, can I check out LD23?
Me: That's a laserdisc. Do you know what laserdiscs are?
He even sounds a little offended by the question.
I bring out the laserdisc.
Me: Okay, here you go.
He takes it and looks at it for a bit.
Student: Okay, I don't know what a laserdisc is. Isn't there a DVD?
I've had this conversation quite a few times. Laserdiscs are a precursor to DVDs. They never caught on. Of course, we have hundreds of them. Pioneer reccently announced they won't be manufacturing laserdisc players anymore. They announced it only in Japan
. The format was a little better received in Japan, but it seems odd that they didn't offer an English press release. We are planning to stock up because there are things that are on laserdisc but have not made it yet to DVD. It's annoying. But it is fun to blow the undergrads minds when I bring an LD out.
Labels: Reference Questions