Thursday, 18 March 2021


 My obit of Lou Ottens, who invented the audio cassette, and the portable tape recorder, and had a hand in the creation of the CD, is online at the Guardian; it should appear in the paper paper soon. You can link to it here.

This happens to be a piece which appears exactly as I wrote it (after one brief rewrite when a sort of re-organsation was required. It was one of those rare times when I was asked for 800 words and filed exactly 800 words; I didn't bother to recount after I did the touch-up!

It occurred to me that Ottens reminded me of a number of engineers I have worked with in my years of broadcasting: very bright men who are practical problem solvers, very calm and reasonable, and who enjoy nothing more than a problem to solve. It's always the producers, or the talent, who often couldn't plug the machine into the wall, who get all excited. It's much more fun to work with them!

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