Here’s one more museum post before calling it a day: an order form from a shareware company called American Software. I probably got this from a once-ubiquitous computer show either at the Cow Palace or Oakland Convention Center. The additional cost for a 3.5-inch floppy disk suggests that this order form is from the early 90s. Googling the company and address shows almost no trace of American Software. The only matching results are ads from the company in Boys’ Life magazine (now in Google’s scanned archive). Coincidentally, I did read Boys’ Life during that time, though I probably wouldn’t have remembered this if I hadn’t encountered this order form.
Here’s another early 1990s warranty card, for a Sony high fidelity component speaker system. This system came with a receiver with integrated dual tape decks, a CD player, a record player, and two huge floor speakers. A wood cabinet with a glass door and metal Sony logo rounded out the package.
This system was our first introduction to compact discs. Since we didn’t really have any at the time, I remember it was a big deal when we finally got some. Later, we would record music from CDs to tapes using the receiver.
We actually still have the receiver which we use for the radio and for outputting TV sound. The rest of the components have since been donated. A pair of spare Logitech 2.1 speakers connected via the headphone jack now serve as the output.
Some things I won’t forget about this system include playing a Jacky Cheung CD super loud when we first moved into our new house, and playing Genesis and Super Nintendo games with the huge speakers. Despite their size, however, they were severely lacking in bass, even with the EQ turned up. When I later discovered 2.1 speakers, I was amazed at both the sound and size difference, and it made it easier downsize and give away the big speakers.
Lastly, the model number of the receiver is HST-211. The CD player was CDP-291. Googling around it appears that the speakers might have been model SS-U211. Amazing how a little warranty card can evoke so many memories.
Here’s another document that came with our Sony XBR TV, a brochure for Sony telephones. Brochure was printed in the USA in September, 1993.
For future reference, I had to turn on “Descreen” and turn off “Auto Tone” to get an accurate scan. Without the former, the resulting scan had a screen-door effect (moire?) due to all the little dots that comprise the image. With the latter, the colors were over-saturated and washed out, again probably due to the little dots and the auto-tone algorithm.
Some more 1990s Sony TV nostalgia, the “Important Safeguards” that come with the TV. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve always enjoyed Sony’s packaging, and this pamphlet and its illustrations are an example of that.
Here’s another exhibit from our early 1990s Sony XBR TV, an enrollment card for the Sony Club – XBR. When I was a teenager I was very much impressed by this, to be part of the exclusive club; back then, just the letters “XBR” were drool-worthy. Now, the only thing I see that is that someone spent an amount of money in exchange for a good – nothing elite about that, but it’s interesting to see the manufacturer milking it with “priority” hotlines and “exclusive” mailings.
I suppose another way to look at it is that someone worked hard to earn and save money, and the XBR is the reward. Why shouldn’t they be made to feel a little special, even if it’s just slightly superficial? To be fair, the quality of the XBR was better than other TVs at the time.
Since we’re on a warranty-card roll, here’s one from an early 1990s Sony XBR television (update: model KV-32XBR37). I want to say that we bought this TV from Macy’s at a discount, perhaps due to it being a floor model or something. We went from a 27-inch Toshiba to this 32-inch XBR. It had speakers on each side, and while the screen wasn’t perfectly flat, it was curved in only one plane (think of an arch as opposed to a dome). Looking at the docs now I know that it came with headphones, which I can hardly remember.
One last note of interest: in the upper-right section of the warranty card it states “Color TV XBR Projection TV”. I remember this being a tube TV, not a projection, but perhaps it was a combo technology that I’m not aware of.
The original warranty card from my Sound Blaster 2.0. Interesting to note that it’s almost 24 years to the day from when I purchased it back in 1992. Amazingly, even the floppies had a warranty. I suppose it makes sense for a period before the proliferation of the internet.
In this museum post we have a receipt from Cala Foods, circa 1992 (Monday, March 30). This is from when cash registers still used dot matrix printers, which means that 24 years later the text is still readable. Contrast this with modern thermal printers that fade after a short period of time.
Notable are the coupons on the backs of receipts during those times. Nowadays, the coupons print separately from another machine. We used to always love the McDonald’s coupons for use at 16th and Mission and 24th and Mission, our local McDs. It looks like the coupon below is for Ocean and Bayshore, however. Looking closer at the address for this Cala, it looks like it might have been a special visit because it’s the one that was near Silver Avenue rather than the one on South Van Ness, our regular store. Maybe my mom reached the sale-item limit and wanted to go to a different store to stock up.
Today, the Cala near Silver has become Manila Oriental Market. I actually went there recently and had no idea it used to be a Cala. The Cala that was on South Van Ness, as far as I know, is still an empty building.
As always, hope you’ve enjoyed this stroll down memory lane.