Your RF Cafe
May 1959 Popular Electronics[Table of Contents]
People old and young enjoy waxing nostalgic about and learning some of the history of early electronics. Popular Electronics was published from October 1954 through April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged. See all articles from Popular Electronics.
This series of comics describing the kinds of reactions you might expect to receive from various people who are visiting your crib and are introduced to your new stereo setup. Done in a 1959 edition of Popular Electronics, the scenarios still hold true today, only now you can extend the equipment type to include your gaming computer and wide screen television, and add to the distractions the guy who is dividing his attention between you and his smartphone. It's too bad you don't see this kind of stuff in newer publications.
By Carl Kohler
Sooner or later the avid hi-fi and stereo enthusiast begins inviting friends over to admire his latest equipment acquisitions and enjoy his newest recordings. Portrayed here are a handful of guests any stereo-loving host may encounter to his bewilderment.
Becoming strangely affected the moment the music begins, this guest fancies himself something of an impromptu conductor. He sometimes breaks into interpretive dance routines ranging from quasi-ballet to the common waltz-clog, and has been known to do a fandango to locomotive sound recordings. He can be persuaded to sit still only if test tones are played.
He seems to derive an almost sadistic satisfaction from finding minor flaws in his host's equipment and pointing out that the same turntables, tuners and amplifiers are selling for half of what the host paid, elsewhere. A genius at discovering minute damaged areas on cabinets which have escaped the attention of his host.
If not closely watched, he will quietly begin "investigating" any piece of hi-fi stereo equipment he can put his paws on. He can easily be spotted since he invariably carries a miniature tool kit in his hip pocket and is given to loitering around the backsides of cabinets.
This guest hasn't really approved of any recording since "Cohen On The Telephone" was issued. He listens to his host's latest and most unique records with utter dissatisfaction and frequent grunts of derision. Always giving the strong impression that he has been shanghaied into lending ears (which may be true), he has been known to stalk out during the first bars of music which keeps other people rooted to their chairs.
Caring little for his host's splendid library of recordings, he is quite impressed with the cataloging and cross-filing system. He has a dismal habit of insisting upon discussing record-classification methods in detail while his host's most enthralling musical selections are vainly being played for him.
Displaying a flattering interest in anything and everything his host may suggest be played, this type actually wants only background music so he can find the most comfortable chair in the room and take a nap. He demonstrates a weird ability to doze off no matter what kind of music is offered him.
Posted February 22, 2013