Public radio listeners are probably familiar with Radiolab, a show about science that originates from WNYC in New York City. It airs on Maine Public Saturdays at noon, but I tend to listen to the podcast.
In October and November, they had a fascinating series of episodes that revolved around an audio technology that many of us who grew up in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s remember with a good deal of fondness but in retrospect seems like a passing phase between records and CDs. I am talking, of course, about the cassette tape. The people sharing these stories came from around the world, and they had much more stake in the maligned medium than I could have imagined. The one story in particular (Nov. 12) that blew my mind was about how software pirates in Europe in the 1980s combined radio broadcasting and audio tapes to create a crude but effective precursor to the internet. Amazing. The series is called Mixtape.
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