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PARADISEC's director Linda Barwick has been raising the alarm for years about the way media are becoming obsolete because the machines to read them are dying.

So it was very sad to hear the death-rattle on the CHILDES list in this message from Brian MacWhinney

Dear Colleagues,
It appears that we are now just about at the end of the rope in terms of our ability to rescue by digitization any data from the 1970s and early 1980s that was recorded using the half-inch reel-to-reel video of that time. The problem is that the machines required to play these tapes are now virtually all non-functional. And there are no "new" units of this type that one can purchase. I have been working with Canaan Media in New Jersey to rescue old audio and video through digitization. The old reel-to-reel audio is not at all a problem and the machines that read these tapes will last still for decades. However, the Sony and Toshiba machines that read the half-inch helical tapes seem to be more sensitive. Canaan Media has three of the Sony AV-3650 machines, but none of them are operational. They have asked me to post a note to info-childes asking if anyone has operational machines like the Sony AV-3650. If so, we would be happy to pay for shipping costs to send these to New Jersey.....

Go to info-childes AT googlegroups.com for more information


eBay draws a blank but in a google search I found a couple of Sony AV-3650s on SwapThing:

Thanks! Have passed it on - guess there may be a "buyer beware" concern. What they need is a handy, inventive, cannibaliser of old machines to build new ones. AIATSIS used to have such an essential person - who haunted auctions hunting down old recording machines for spare parts.

You could try the National Film and Sound Archives in Canberra.

Hi, Just stumbled across this blog.
I have several of the machines in working order here in Sydney. Not interested in selling as I still use them for archiving material but if I can be of help, let me know.
Roderick AT stagesafety dot com

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The Transient Building, symbolising the impermanence of language, houses both the Linguistics Department at Sydney University and PARADISEC, a digital archive for endangered Pacific languages and music.


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