Published on March 3, 2014
Which Retro Tech Do You Miss? by Carolyn Nicander Mohr
Even if you love new tech, you may miss some features of classic tech… While new tech offers exciting features, we may remember tech from the past that we miss.
Telephones Something as simple as making a phone call has changed dramatically in the past few years. Not too long ago we used very different ways to communicate that seem almost foreign to us now…
Rotary Phones Take your time to dial a phone number. You actually had to remember the number and spin the dial for each number. No caller ID, call waiting or voice mail. You had to guess who was calling when the phone rang. People who tried to call you when you were already on the phone heard a busy signal. * Rotary Phone image by Nate Steiner
Answering Machines Remember the excitement of coming home to a flashing light on your answering machine, indicating a message was waiting for you… Remember the disappointment when the message wasn’t from the person you were hoping for… *Answering Machine image by Dave Chamberlain
Pay Phones When was the last time you saw a pay phone? Pay phones are much more rare now in the US and the UK. Payphones can still be useful if you forgot your phone or your phone’s battery dies. * London Phone Booth image by Sami Pyylampi
Flip Phones There was a certain satisfaction to ending a phone call by snapping your flip phone shut. Flip phones also protected you from accidentally calling someone without your knowledge. *Flip Phone image by Aaron Vince
QWERTY Keyboard on a Smartphone QWERTY Keyboards made typing a breeze. You could type without even looking at your phone. Now apps such as SwiftKey and Swype make typing on a glas screen easier. *image by Ninja M.
Music The way we listen to music has radically changed over the decades. From vinyl records to 8-track tapes to cassette tapes to CD’s to digital files to streaming music, each advancement has changed not only the format but the way we enjoy our music.
Vinyl Records Vinyl records were delicate, liable to warp, scratch and break. The sound of a record dropping onto a turntable and of a needle gliding over a scratch can add to the pleasure of listening to the music. Some people say that vinyl records are making a comeback. *Turntable image by Katie Mollon
45 RPM Singles 45 RPM single records let you buy a song instead of an entire album. You also got a bonus song on side B of the record. Sometimes the Side B song became more famous than the Side A song. *45 Record Adapters image by Leo Reynolds
Cassette/8-Track Tapes Cassette and 8-Track tapes made it possible for you to take your music with you easily. You could also record music onto blank tapes. The debate between cassettes vs. 8-track tapes was eventually won by cassette tapes. The victory was short-lived as CD’s eventually replaced tapes. * Cassette Tape image by Ani-Bee
Video Cassette Tapes Video cassette tapes allowed people to time-shift viewing TV shows for the first time. People were often frustrated by accidentally recording over their shows. Tapes were portable so you could share a tape with a friend. * Video Cassette photo by anankkml, courtesy of Free Digital Photos
Computers When people first got personal computers, they were not as advanced as they are today. Monochrome screens were like black & white TV sets. Before Windows, DOS made using a computer more difficult, requiring specific commands be entered to achieve a desired result.
Floppy Disks • Computer data used to be stored on floppy disks. • You could take floppy disks with you to transfer data between computers. • After floppy disks, people used thumb drives, then hard disks, then the Cloud to store and transfer data. * Floppy Disk image courtesy of Wikipedia
Film Cameras Taking pictures used to mean a financial investment with the cost of film, flash bulbs and developing the pictures. You didn’t know whether you got the shot you wanted until after the film was developed. * Instamatic Camera image by Collecting Cameras
Find out which retro tech I miss most at The Wonder of Tech Learn more information at and share your thoughts about the tech you miss most at The Wonder of Tech: Nostalgic for Tech!
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