I have two topics that are related by water.
The first topic is easiest. I have a Tascam Porta-05 cassette recorder in like new condition, still in box with manuals. My office flooded recently in a plumbing incident. As I have never used this device, I have no idea how to test whether it still works. I'd like to know so that I can know whether to claim it on my insurance claim. And if I claim it on my insurance claim, I'd need some help in understanding what is an appropriate modern replacement for it as I'm sure that model is no longer available.
The second topic is in the earliest of planning stages right now. As we remodel our family room space (also flooded), my daughter has requested a stage. I think that sounds like a fun idea. I've done a little live sound engineering. Let me rephrase that, I pushed some sliders and twisted some knobs and pushed some buttons and stuff and did my best to look official and in control until the squeeling stopped. "Engineering" is far too strong and precise of a term to describe what I did. So, what I'd like to do is put together some kind of a live music set up with at least two voice mics and probably two acoustic instrument mics and line ins for a bass and at least one electric guitar. So, probably like eight inputs, speakers, and an output to be able to record. It seems like mixers are either recording or live. I've seen that the recording mixers have all manner of outputs described with words and phrases that have no meaning to me. However, of these certainly wonderful and exciting output opportunities, I haven't the foggiest what I want. I saw nothing that said USB or Firewire for connecting a computer to mix down a recording.
The question for the second topic is this: If you had a budget of $1,000, what would you buy for what I described. Starting completely from scratch. The $1,000 does not have to include the computer, lights, or barstools for acoustic guitar players to sit upon and look all coffeehousey and musical, but it does have to include mic stands, mics, mixer, monitors, speakers, speaker stands, etc. I don't mind getting a basic outfit and adding over time, or upgrading over time. For instance, speakers can rest on the floor at first and get stands later or I can build some stands.