My father was an amateur film and photo enthusiast. It was one of his hobbies, the others being fighter planes and cars. Part of what attracted him was the technology. In his den, I found his collections after he died: films of my childhood that he spliced together, loads of boxes mailed from the developer, opened but not yet sorted, working equipment for recording, editing and viewing, and complete issues of Wings and Motor Trends for a good many years. While it was easy to take leave of the magazines, clearly this film collection was irresistible. If nothing else, I had to watch them: they were the closest things I had to a message in a bottle.