Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Great Jettison: Part 3

...Some electronics, see voo play

Denon 5-Disc CD changer on display before being sold on Craigslist
I don't think the new owner of this listens to much King Diamond, but I know he'll enjoy it.

Electronics... Part of many homes, even a techno-Luddite, retro-tightwad like me has electronics, many of them functional!  In my history, I have had many pieces of old technology.  I remember the New York City trash pile find of the old turntable/stereo receiver that I used in my home bedroom and college dorm room until it fried itself out.  Among the other electronic detritus were some things of value.  First, our two 5-disc CD changers.

We had one JVC unit inherited from family and given to other family, pretty boring.  The other player I had was my Denon model from high school.  I purchased this player at a Dubuque pawn shop (Jerry's for those who must know) for $50 bucks in about 2002.  I had it hooked up and listened to a LOT of King Diamond, Alice in Chains, Megadeth, and Smashing Pumpkins with it.  I guess Denon players are popular with audio heads, because I got immediate interest in the unit and a lot of enthusiasm from the buyer.  I sold it for $10, and was very happy about the deal.  Much like the bike, he got something he wanted for a good price, and I got to unload something I wasn't using anymore.  Craigslist to the rescue again!

Laserdisc player on display before being sold on Craigslist
Yes, it is as big and heavy as it looks, thank you!

So, we've established that I love old things, especially things I can get for free.  Imagine my excitement when I saw the email from the school library where I work.  "We are getting rid of our laserdisc materials here at the library.  We have two laserdisc players and a large number of discs, all of which can be had to the first taker."  I was MOVING when I saw that message.  Someone else had gotten one of the players, but I got one and my pick of videos.  Most of the videos were educational materials, but I did get one Hollywood movie: Citizen Kane.

Laserdisc player on display with Citizen Kane before being sold on Craigslist
The player in action.  I know it is now in a better place...barely.

For the kiddies who don't know what a laserdisc is, think of it like a 12-inch DVD that holds about 30 minutes of video per side.  As archaic as that seems, there are laserdisc movie collectors out there because there are some unique features to this medium.  The most notable feature that I tried was the frame-by-frame view.  DVDs are separated into chapters for easy access, but the 'chapters' listed in laserdisc cases were frame numbers.  One can literally punch in a frame number like "13567" and either start the film from that exact frame or view that frame as a still image.  Many say this is the only way to view the secret one-frame glace up Jessica Rabbit's dress from Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).

In its time in the basement, the laserdisc player was of mostly novel value.  Like most things down there, it was more decoration than function, although it DID serve as the last link in my big video game console daisy-chain hookup.  I occasionally watched the discs, including almost all of Citizen Kane's 4 discs, but mostly it was a conversation piece.

I listed it along with a short description of my educational discs on Craigslist for $20.  I got a response from someone who was a collector of documentary films.  When we met, I was interested in this unique collecting hobby.  He described his collection on many formats, but he had none on laserdisc nor a laserdisc player.  ANOTHER Craigslist victory with me dumping something cool but useless and someone else getting something they really want for a good price.

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