Thursday, December 25, 2008

Saying 'goodbye' to VHS says a lot about one's age

I remember the emergence of the VCR -- something kids today take so easily for granted.

It was 1981, and the choice was between BETA with the better picture and VHS which was cheaper and probably would win more popular use. So I wrongly and embarrassingly went with BETA, which by the end of the decade had mostly been phased out in the marketplace. TV stations still use it.

Now, The Los Angeles Times reports that VHS is on its last leg. Its end is near after a 30-year run. And I feel so much older, watching one technology give way to another and become an item for a museum instead of a living room.

Here is what The Times says:

Pop culture is finally hitting the eject button on the VHS tape, the once-ubiquitous home-video format that will finish this month as a creaky ghost of Christmas past.

After three decades of steady if unspectacular service, the spinning wheels of the home-entertainment stalwart are slowing to a halt at retail outlets. On a crisp Friday morning in October, the final truckload of VHS tapes rolled out of a Palm Harbor, Fla., warehouse run by Ryan J. Kugler, the last major supplier of the tapes.

"It's dead, this is it, this is the last Christmas, without a doubt," said Kugler, 34, a Burbank businessman. "I was the last one buying VHS and the last one selling it, and I'm done. Anything left in warehouse we'll just give away or throw away."

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