Happy Halloween from 1998

I know that I've written about this subject before, but can I just say that I love "obsolete" technology?

Halloween was a few days ago, and for the sake of... I don't even know... nostalgia? Let's call it nostalgia.

For the sake of nostalgia, I brought out my grandpa's old camcorder to capture my kids' fun night of trick or treating. Now, before I get too far into this story, I want to make it clear that this isn't a generations old "Super 8" camcorder. As much as I wish it was, this camera is just a decades old (1998 baby) Sony Handicam with one 8mm tape in it.

While all of the other grownups were capturing little Timmy's candy-collecting escapades with their 8 million megapixel iPhone cameras and instantly sharing those videos with grandma and grandpa via "the cloud," I was lugging around a brick attached to a nylon ribbon around my neck and recording the night's events in glorious 480p, and it. was. awesome.

And it's not going to waste, either.

All 56 minutes of footage has already been transferred onto my computer for editing, and—lemme tell you—Memaw and Pepaw are going to be blown away by the high definition VHS tape that will soon be delivered straight to their to their front porch.

Why go through all this trouble, you ask?

If I'm being perfectly honest... it's because it's fun, and because I can (and also because none of the kids picked a costume that was anachronistic to the late 90's—a kitty? a princess? a dragon? all apropos for the time I was pretending I was living in).

There's something that is just indescribably satisfying about using technology that most people would have thrown away a decade ago. In the case of this video camera, it's that satisfying *kerchunk* the tape makes when you put it in... although, now that I think of it, my Walkman makes the same sound (plus that added *hiss* to remind you there are actual moving parts behind your music). But it's also the *clickety-clack* of a typewriter (electric or manual, dealer's choice), the *snap* of a film camera (bonus points for the *whir* of an automatic point-and-shoot, or the *squeeeeee* of the flash capacitor on a disposable one), and even the *tick-tick-tick* of a mechanical watch.

Hell, I even love the *click* of an iPod wheel, and every single sound Windows XP makes.

In a world where we're all rushing to get shit done faster in order to just do more shit, the inherent inefficiencies of older technology is definitely a feature, not a bug. When you have to slow down just to accomplish something that would normally take microseconds in 2023, you can actually take the time to appreciate it more.

Because, honestly, who gives a shit if my kids' Halloween night was memorialized in 8mm instead of 4k?

Being able to see every hair on their heads isn't a requirement for enjoyment, but taking the time to get that footage off the tape, editing it into something campy and silly for friends and family to enjoy, and then maybe even exporting it back onto another unnecessarily antiquated technology will guarantee that I will enjoy not only the act of preserving those memories, but the memories themselves.


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