Sony is shutting down production of its revolutionary portable music player.
Those too young to remember when the Walkman first appeared on city streets three decades ago may find it hard to imagine how strange the phenomenon looked. Take this 1981 article in Money magazine, written in the form of a letter to a friend:
When you were in New York last month, you wondered why some glassy-eyed folks were walking around with headphones wired to little boxes. … Well, after you left, I asked around and learned that we were wrong—they're not members of some crazy new cult. Those little boxes are portable tape cassette players. It seems that you don't have to stay home to listen to your stereo these days.
To most people today, the "glassy-eyed folks" are those, like me, who do.
Fred Kaplan is Slate's "War Stories" columnist and author of the book, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter.
Photograph of a Walkman by Evan-amos via Wikipedia.