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CED Digest Vol. 7 No. 37  •  9/14/2002


20 Years Ago In CED History:

September 15, 1982:
* Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, who became foreign minister of Iran shortly after U.S.
hostages were seized in Tehran in November 1979, is executed by firing squad.
He had been convicted of plotting to assassinate Ayatollah Khomeini and
attempting to overthrow the government. As official spokesperson for Iran,
Ghotbzadeh appeared on U.S. television many times during the hostage crisis.
* Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos arrives in the U.S. for an official
state visit, his first in 16 years. Two days earlier five Democratic senators
had sent President Reagan a letter protesting the visit, saying it could be
interpreted "as a sign that your administration condones the repression of the
Marcos government." During an appearance before a group of congressmen, Marcos
asserts that "there was no such thing as human rights" in the Philippines until
he imposed martial law.
* PLO leader Yasir Arafat meets at the Vatican with Pope John Paul II and in
Rome with Italian government leaders.

September 16, 1982:
* Christian militiamen begin a day-long slaughter of Palestinians in the Sabra
and Chatila refugee camps in West Beirut. Worldwide condemnation of the
atrocity is accompanied by anger directed against Israel for permitting the
militiamen, whose hatred of the Palestinians is common knowledge, to enter the

September 17, 1982:
* British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher arrives in Japan on the first leg of
her first official visit to Asia. After her arrival in China, Thatcher and
Chinese officials discuss a wide range of topics, but none so pressing as the
future of the British crown colony of Hong Kong. China seems certain to claim
sovereignty over Hong Kong but appears willing to make certain concessions to
ensure its continued prosperity.
* Future CED title in widespread theatrical release: Tempest.

September 18, 1982:
* It is revealed that as many as 600 refugees may have died in the massacre
that took place two days earlier in Lebanon. 

September 19, 1982:
* Sweden's Social Democratic Party (SD) picks up 12 additional seats in
elections for Parliament, enough to give it control of the government.
* The New York Cosmos defeat the Seattle Sounders 1-0 in Soccer Bowl '82.
* At the 34th annual Emmy awards, "Hill Street Blues" is chosen as the
outstanding drama series and "Barney Miller" is voted the outstanding comedy
series. "A Woman Called Golda," based on the life of the late Israeli Prime
Minister Golda Meir, is voted the year's outstanding drama special. Ingrid
Bergman, who starred in it, is posthumously named outstanding lead actress in a
limited series or special.

September 20, 1982:
* Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi begins a week-long visit to the Soviet
Union. Gandhi thanks the Soviet Union for "standing by" India but also,
according to reports, makes it clear that her country counts itself among the
nonaligned nations.

September 21, 1982:
* Players in the National Football League (NFL) go on strike against all the
league's 28 teams. It is the first in-season strike in the history of the NFL.
* Amin Gemayel is elected president of Lebanon by Parliament. He is the elder
brother of Bashir Gemayel, who was president-elect until being assassinated on
September 14.

Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2002 02:59:09 -0700
Subject: VBT-200
From: hbo3

>With the sad stories we'll be hearing about 9/11 this week, I thought 
>I'd relate a story about a happy event that took place at the Twin 
>Towers 25 years ago. This was the introduction of the VBT200, the 
>first retail SelectaVision product, and the first VHS Video Cassette 
>Recorder marketed in the United States. RCA announced the VBT200 VCR 
>on August 23, 1977, and from that date until it went on sale in 
>October, the company had a road show demonstrating VHS to the 
>technology press and RCA dealers.
>A picture of the cover of the bimonthly RCA magazine "Communicate" 
>with Daly, Sauter, and Pollack along with the VBT200 VCR can be seen 
>on this page:

To the members: A *NIB* VBT-200 just went on eBay today (Sept 8th) for
only $100.00 bux. I wish I had the money, I'd have purchased it.  The VCR
was actually manufactured by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.
(Panasonic, Technics, Quasar). I have the Panasonic Version here now,
completely restored by me from my old TV/VCR repairman days. The darned
thing records a better picture than *ANY* non S-VHS vcr I've seen in
today's times.
Awesome stuff....

Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002 18:47:50 -0700
From: "Robert M. Johnson, Jr." <robtjohn>
Subject: Why is there no trading in our community???

Hello All,
	In my twenty years of CED collecting, I have discovered that most of my
fellow CED collectors share three things in common: (1) an appreciation
for the format, (2) many duplicate titles in their collections, and (3)
some holes to fill in their collections.  Rather than turning to eBay,
pawn shops, thrift stores, or other similar sources to secure wanted
titles for our collections and to dispose of our duplicate titles, I
propose we begin to trade our duplicate titles within our CED Magic
community to secure those duplicate titles others may own in order to
round out our own CED collections.  The cost of the trades would involve
only the rather reasonable disc Media Mail shipping rates and allow us
to circumvent the actual auction purchase costs of individual discs
involved and avoid listing our own discs on auction sites such as eBay
or running ads in our local newspapers.  And they would be packaged
properly for shipping!
	Doing this would allow us to circumvent many of the problems we have
all experienced in collecting CED's.  No more eBay "sold as is because I
do not have a player to test them with."  No more incorrect titles in
caddies.  No more empty caddies.  No more discs which look like they
were used to fingerprint every resident of a medium sized town inside of
pristine caddies.  No more securing a CED title to replace a bad one we
own only to have delivered a worse copy of the title we were trying to
replace.  No more paying inflated shipping costs (up to $7.95) in order
to get a single disc delivered.  No more cracked caddies or broken
discs.  And on and on ad infinitim.  
	My pockets are not deep.  I'm just as sure yours are not either!  Seems
like a viable solution, doesn't it?
	Anyone actively collecting CED's and interested in trading some of your
duplicate CED titles for some of mine (or someone else's, for that
matter), please e-mail me or some other members of our CED Magic
community so we may all start this process.  I am an active American
Flyer S Gauge collector and trading is done often in the model
railroader community.  Why not begin it in the CED community?  
	Thank you for your time and happy collecting!

	Robert Johnson
	Hayward, California

Date: Sat, 14 Sep 2002 18:13:57 -0800
From: Tom Howe <>
Subject: VHD Discs and Players Galore!

Hello All:

Earlier this Summer I added three pages to the history section concerning the
Victor VHD VideoDisc system, which uses grooveless capacitively-encoded discs
housed in caddies and was marketed primarily in Japan. I soon started getting
queries from people desperately looking for VHD stuff and wanting to know where
they could locate it. I've had a VHD player and a small collection of discs for
some time, more or less picked up by accident here in the USA, but I hadn't
made any effort to locate additional items: I've had modest success locating PAL/UK CED's at the eBay UK auction site, so I thought the Yahoo Japan auction site might be a good place to look for VHD's, and sure enough, a simple search on "VHD" brought up close to 200 auctions for VHD discs and players. Here are a couple links to the VHD search results at Yahoo/Japan. The first link is directed through to Yahoo and returns thumbnail image results, while the second goes directly to Yahoo and returns text results: But two problems will immediately be apparent when you start looking at these auctions. Although a lot can be learned from the pictures, most of the text will be in Japanese, which will either look like gobbledygook or Kanji depending upon what fonts are installed on your computer. And nearly all the auctions will state (in English) "Seller will not ship internationally." Fortunately, AltaVista and Rinkya offer solutions to both problems. AltaVista has a free Babelfish translation service for various languages including Japanese-to-English where you simply paste the URL of the Japanese auction page into a box and are returned a page with it translated into English: Although these translations are in English, they leave something to be desired in the way of comprehension owing to the difficulty in making grammatically coherent translations from Japanese to English. So examine both the picture and text carefully. For instance, there's a VHS/DVD combo player that also happens to have the letters "VHD" in its model number, so the auctions that have pictures of players could be this DVD unit if the seller happens to specify the model number in the auction. The AltaVista site also allows a block of text to be copied and pasted for translation purposes. This is not required on the active auction pages, but may be needed on pages that require a cookie to be set, as the URL translation does not allow that process. For this block paste to work you will need Japanese fonts installed and may have to set your operating system to display in those fonts. On my Macintosh OS X machine this is done with the International System Preferences pane, but I haven't attempted the procedure under Windows or Linux. If you do change the OS language, make sure you know how to go back to English "by feel" as the pull down menus and icon names will be in Japanese. The Rinkya Auction Service allows you to bid on all auctions at the Yahoo Japan site regardless of what the seller's international shipping policies are: They accomplish this by actually purchasing the item themselves in Japan, and upon getting it from the original seller, shipping it to you in the United States. Of course, they charge rather hefty fees for this service to make such a business venture profitable. Here is a summary of their charges for a VHD demo disc that I got for the minimum bid of 500 Yen (seems no one in Japan is interested in demo discs): Price on YJ: 500 yen ($4.23) Runnerup Rinkya bidder: None/Not Rinkya Runnerup Rinkya bid: 0 yen Commission: $20.00 (fee based on YJ price and runner up bid) Bank fee: $5 Shipping/handling: $10 (YJ to Rinkya) -------------------------------------------------- Total due: $39.23 (excludes S/H to USA) Rinkya ships purchased items in batches at roughly monthly intervals and they use Global Priority or Global Express Mail, which run from about $5 to $10 per pound depending on the package weight. So if you want to get just one VHD disc through their service, plan on spending about $70 on it, but the service does have a Back-to-School sale going on right now that eliminates the commission fee on purchases of 1000 Yen or less. Rinkya has an FAQ at this URL that explains the details of their service: I think Rinkya is OK if you want relatively few VHD items, but biding your time and dealing directly with sellers who can speak English and will ship internationally would be better to assemble a large collection. For example, if you find such a seller with 100 separate VHD disc auctions, you could bid directly on all those auctions yourself and save a lot by avoiding the fees Rinkya would charge on each and every auction. Another method is to wait for auctions that combine items you're looking for, as that will keep the Rinkya fees down. For instance, I found the Star Wars Trilogy (6 discs) in one auction and four Olivia Newton-John discs in another, which saved a lot over purchasing those items in single title auctions. Besides the above items, in little over a month, I found practically all the VHD items I wanted including a Victor HD-9500 3D player, an IF-D3S 3D goggle, some 3D discs, and a spare VDS-1100 stylus cartridge. The most expensive item was the apparently new-in-box 3D goggle with carrying case and sample disc, which went for 20,000 Yen (about $175). Many of the discs get no bids, even at a 500 Yen minimum, so it appears that VHD at Yahoo Japan is a buyer's market, much as it is with CED at eBay U.S.A. Since this message is going out to a lot of people, I'd recommend using restraint in your initial bidding, as this VHD stuff will probably be appearing at Yahoo Japan for a long time to come. For some time, Rinkya has been using a Yahoo User ID derived from a Japan anime character, but today they changed it vhd_link, possibly because I told them to expect an increase in the number of people buying VHD stuff through their service. You may be wondering how eBay fits in with Japan, since it's vastly larger than Yahoo in the US. Well, the situation was flip-flopped in Japan due to eBay's late arrival there. Ebay announced a few months ago that they were withdrawing from the Japan market: In closing, I should mention that I have no plans to put a VHD player guide or title database on the CED Magic site. I have enough RCA CED content to keep me busy for many years to come. But there are a couple of other sites that have been started up to provide VHD information. Here are their URL's: --Tom


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