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'Mr. Walkman' walks away


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Pioneering Sony engineer Nobutoshi Kihara recently retired from the company he's spent most of his career with, the AFP reports, after having a hand in creating many of the Japanese giant's most successful gadgets (and a few of the not so successful ones). In addition the Walkman, Kihara also helped developed the first commercially successful transistor radio, Japan's first magnetic tape recorders, and a range of other Sony products, including portable tape recorders, stereo systems, digital cameras, and everybody's favorite: Betamax. That last bit of 80s nostalgia apparently still leaves the 80-year old Kihara wistful for what could have been, with the AFP reporting that "it still boiled his blood to think that consumers have been forced to use the 'inferior' VHS over Sony's Betamax." A situation that, of course, now sees history repeating itself, although Kihara's no doubt happy to watch this format war play out from the sidelines.

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