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technology related sensory memories from my childhood

  • sliding the metal cover on floppy disks
  • the slight resistance of inserting cassette and video tapes
  • ripping off the strips of holed paper off of dot matrix printer paper 
  • rolling the wheel on a disposable camera to take another photo

The heaviness and rubber texture of the roller ball in a computer mouse, and the little ring of lint

Unkinking the curly cord of a telephone while you talked

The -peww sound and slowly fading image of a crt monitor turning off, and then running your finger through the static on the dusty glass

The crunch of opening or closing a plastic Disney vhs cover

The sound effects in kidpix

Extending and collapsing metal antennas and using them as magic wands

Manually rewinding cassette tapes by spinning them around my fingers

Playing with the rubber casing of the buttons on a Walkman–pulling them away, rotating them, slipping them from side to side on the stiff posts of the buttons

The audio and visual static at the end of a videotape

The satisfying thwap-thwap-thwap as you page through a well-filled CD sleeve book

How weird and small and light the first cordless phone felt

Having to set the cartridge just right to get a game to work

The mechanical whirr and click-clunk of the top-loader VHS player.

The noisy handshake of the 24.000 baud modem, the noise on the phone line if someone picked it up while connected.

The muffled groan of the roof aerial re-aligning itself after you set the channel dial. Having two knobs on the big TV, one with UHF. The warm, dry staticy feeling of the old tube. 

The subtle thunk of seating ROMs in their socket.

The cercklunk of switching channels on the 4 button mechanically tuned TV set when it drifted out of tune – one click off the station and one back… Usually at the denouement of a film or show…

The crackles of programs on cassette loading with the tedious several minutes of screech while it loaded the pre-game picture… Which it would then instantly, and irritatingly, blank so it had enough memory to load the game.

Peeling sticky little write protect labels off and carefully positioning them on the side of disk.