Ok. A couple weeks ago the Sony Walkman turned 30 years old. Hit the markets in 1979. I got my first Walkman in the mid-'80's. At Towers Records -- back when there were Tower Record Stores -- we'd buy these strange things called cassette tapes. Cassette tapes were a spool of magnetic tape encased in a rectangular plastic covering. And the magnetic tape would always seem to get caught up in the Walkman interior ("Hey, this fucking thing is EATING MY TAPE!" -- is what was commonly said). Anyway, you'd pop these cassette tapes into the Walkman and listen to music as you.... you know, walked. It could be taken outdoors. You could listen to music as you played tennis or walked the dog or lay on the beach. . It was accessible... and transportable - you weren't tethered to your bedroom sound system listening to music anymore. The BBC recently asked a thirteen-year-old boy to review the Sony Walkman 30 years after its release. Here's what the british boy reported: My friends couldn't imagine their parents using this monstrous box, but there was interest in what the thing was and how it worked. In some classes in school they let me listen to music and one teacher recognised it and got nostalgic. It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that I made: I mistook the metal/normal switch on the Walkman for a genre-specific equaliser, but later I discovered that it was in fact used to switch between different types of cassette. Another notable feature that the iPod has and the Walkman doesn't is "shuffle", where the player selects random tracks to play. It's a function that, on the face of it, the Walkman lacks. But I managed to create an impromptu shuffle feature simply by holding down "rewind" and releasing it randomly - effective, if a little laboured. BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | Giving up my iPod for a Walkman -------------------- Ok, smartass. I love that "It took me three days to figure out that here was another side to the tape" bit. I remember buying Madonna's cassette single, "La Isla Bonita" (off the "True Blue" album) and listening to it over and over on my Sony Walkman.