Thursday, July 29, 2010


by Michael

How many of you owned a Laserdisc player? Hands? None of you? Well, I owned one (which no longer works, making my Laserdiscs sadly unplayable), so I found this article over at TripleCanopy which I found via TeleRead--doubly fascinating. I had no idea that e-books and Laserdiscs had any shared heritage, and I never could have guessed that they were also related to one of the founders of the SDS at Columbia, who also happens to head the Institute for the Future of the Book. The interview is really enlightening, as it shows how the changing technology at times created new formats, while at others the technology was chasing the ideas of great thinkers.

And in other e-news, a new Kindle is born. Looks pretty nice, though with my iPad now I won’t be diving into a dedicated e-reader anytime soon.


  1. Oh wow! I never imagined reading about those bad boys! The "Okay, who flipped it last time?" and one of us four children in the rotation of getting-up-and-flipping-the-disc routine.

    My parents were probably one of the first owners of one. And in the end, they had over three hundred in their collection—which eventually was sold on eBay.

    Thanks for the links; looking forward to reading them!

  2. Oi! I not only own a laserdisc player, it still works quite well, thank you. ;)

    In fact, my partner and I are keeping it around specifically for the express purpose of still being able to play our laserdiscs editions of the original One True Star Wars Trilogy, which for the longest time were the only way to see them in their unaltered state until Lucas caved and put them on DVD.

    Very cool to hear that laserdiscs eventually lead to ebooks, though! :D

  3. We had 2..count them..2! Laserdisc players when I was a kid, my Dad had an insane obsession with new tech. When my school bought them to run a Standard Deviants math program, I got to teach my teacher how to use the thing!

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