Making the Perfect Record: From Inscription to Impression in Early Magnetic Recording

Prose Bordering on Science Fiction

In his analysis of the medial ideology of electronic text, Kirschenbaum (2008, 38) observes the following: “Industry leaders may have grasped the appeal of this ideology even earlier than fiction writers or academicians. In 1982, four Bay-area entrepreneurs cofounded a new company devoted to network enterprise computing. They called it Sun.” In the case of early magnetic recording, a similar dynamic emerges, with people in industry first deploying a medial ideology of magnetic audio. Importantly, however, these entrepreneurs used techniques from fiction in their own technical writing and speeches.

(This note comments on the page titled, “No Neat Distinctions between Genres.”)

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