Panem Et Discos Compactos

My old CD player is balking. More and more often it just sits there blinking, and pretends there’s no disk in its maw. Normally, I wouldn’t mind much since I hardly ever listen to recorded music these days –I don’t like any distraction when I’m writing code– and when I do it’s usually mp3 samples to check out a new band for inclusion in the New and Improved Gigometer™; that, I do on the computer.

But there’s some nasty IRQ conflict somewhere (Hate PCI! Hate PCI!) and I can’t play CDs unless I have freshly rebooted; since I reboot only every 3 or 4 weeks, that does not leave much time to go through my ever-accumulating pile of stuff. I still have some CDs from last year’s South By Southwest that I probably should go through before this year’s conference rolls around! And so it came that I got a portable CD/mp3 player, a Philips EXP503.

The Philips Expanium 503First of all, I hate the name. “Expanium“? Or –as they so madisonavenuely put it– “eXpanium“? “Panium is the genitive plural of panis, but what would expanis mean? “Former bread” I guess… I’ve bought a “Of The Croutons”? Gimme a break!

On the plus side, it’s downtown black –always good enough, as the saying goes, until something darker comes along– and it’s got this dark blue LC display, hard to read but very stylish. (The headphones are dark blue as well, but I think they were made for elves; human ears don’t bend that way…) Never mind, Art Tatum is sounding pretty good right now, and the claim is that this contraption will go on playing for 20 hours on its two, puny AA batteries. Does physics really allow that?

All I need to do now is to figure out how to burn all that old vinyl onto CD-R; and since yesterday was Elvis’s birthday, I should mention that I still have the very first record I ever bought:

RCA 86.304 E.P.

Three continents, four countries, and four transatlantic crossings. Still going strong!

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