On 11 April 2013 I'm finally getting some long needed surgery on my troublesome sinuses. Provided that everything goes according to plan, I'll be back home the same day...with a wad of dressings up my nose and possibly a black eye or two.
The reason I'm telling you this is because afterwards I'm going to take approx 10 days off and therefore won't be updating the site or responding to comments, messages or emails during this time.
Making decent quality voiceovers will be impossible until things heal up, so apologies to anyone who has sent me items to review - I'll get to these as soon as I can when I'm back up and running properly.
(UPDATE - Surgery was successful, but recovery is likely to take a while - next site update - May 2013)
To give you something to do in the meantime... here is another in my occasional series of Trips Down Memory High-Street.
Below is a Christmas 1985 Catalogue from the UK High Street Electrical Retailer Laskys. Laskys was less common than Dixons (in more ways than one). Their product line was a bit more upmarket and aspirational, for example they sold HiFi separates where Dixons preferred ready assembled Mini Systems.
I remember the Laskys in Manchester's Arndale Centre as being a long dark cave filled with flashing LEDs and VU meters. When I started working in Manchester a couple of years after this 1985 catalogue was printed, I regularly visited their shops to lust over the CD Portable Boomboxes which would have cost me well over a month's wage at the time. This catalogue is interesting because it claims to feature the "Worlds First" portable Compact Disc Stereo, which cost £399, the CD555 from Philips.
Another very strong Laskys memory I have from around this time, probably the same shopping visit where I picked this very catalogue up, was seeing an demonstration of an Atari ST and its High Resolution SM124 Monochrome Monitor with the (at the time) impressive resolution of 640x400 at 71.2hz. It was the first time I'd seen a computer display that didn't flicker and looked to my eyes then, as sharp and white as a piece of paper.
Other things to look for in this catalogue are the Sony WMW800 Back-to-Back Tape-to-Tape Walkman, an Aiwa Personal Stereo with a wired Remote Control - something I remember being desperate to own, a Panasonic 'portable music system' with a slide out turntable, the last of the Disc cameras, a Casio B&W pocket TV, the Nintendo Donkey Kong 3 Micro Vs LCD Game, and the popular James Bond Musical Alarm LCD watch. CDs were already well established by the time this catalogue was printed with various players available, including a twin disc model and portables including the D50 from Sony.
The competition to win the Golf GTI has expired now so don't bother entering, I think the car has probably been scrapped by now too. The thought of getting the sum of £50 spending money for your free holiday made me smile.
Laskys was bought out by Comet in 1989, and the branches disappeared completely, but the name was resurrected in 2006 as an online retailer, which then disappeared when the Comet chain closed in December 2012.