Hitachi DA-P100; an excuse for musing?
According to the sticker, this CD player's birthday is April 1986. While this Hitachi may seem chunky now, in its day it was really small. I don't know where the DA-P100 falls on the timeline of portable & affordable CD players (I remember no-name portables that were alarmingly cheap in the late 80's), but I'm interested in making a different point.
This CD player is actually one of the most flexible and consumer-friendly devices I've ever seen. There are three ways to power it; AC cord, wall wart/car adapter mini jack, and batteries. It has both headphone and line out, a built in speaker, tone control, programmability, an LCD display, a power LED (why oh why did power LED's ever disappear?), even a switch marked "S&P" (salt & pepper dispenser, I expect).
When I look at any number of new gadgets, they often need custom power supplies with custom jacks, difficult-sized buttons each perform multi-stacked functions, no status display or power LED, etc. etc. Hitachi didn't set out to reinvent the 16-bit digital wheel with this CD player, instead they created an easy to use device, with lots of simple and friendly touches. And here's the clincher - after 20 years it still works.