Thursday, August 05, 2010

BEDAu, Day 5: What's this thing?

This may not be challenging for any of you, but there is a possibility that some of you won't recognize this object--and not just because it's a pretty bad picture that intentionally pushes the object out of scale..

I found this in my desk drawer at work today and was struck by the fact that you don't really see these things anymore. When I was a kid, just getting into music of my own and watching my brothers listen to music of their own, these things were more common. But technology has (it seems?) passed this object by. It still represents something that is very common, but standardization has made it less necessary.

What it is?

It's a headphone jack adapter.

Here it is in proper context. For the uninitiated, you sometimes has to use an adapter like this to plug your headphones into your older brothers boom box to listen to Boston or Kansas or The Steve Miller Band. Or if you were in the car, travelling to visit relatives in Kentucky, your Dad might demand that you plug in the headphones so that he could focus on negotiating the traffic on I-285 without all that noisy distraction of AC-DC  or Thriller.

Back before iPods ruled the music scene, there were a great variety of "portable" devices for you to listen to your Tears for Fears cassettes. And this was before everyone used earbuds, there were larger headphones that pretty much covered your entire head. And their plugs and accompanying jacks were about as large as an iPod Shuffle is today.

How I've held onto this bit of arcane tech and from where it originated, I don't know. But I've got it. And now you know about it.

No comments: