I consider myself a tech savvy person, who, by all means enjoys advancements in technology. But, at the same time, my emotional affiliation with the fading trends often takes me to a dark corner. You see, while I’m a huge advocate of the concept of modernization but at the same time it has always been very difficult for me to say good bye to some – if not all – the technologies from our childhood days.
Here is my list of 6 technologies that are now antiques, often making the 90’s kids nostalgic!
I am not sure if the record companies (even in the remotest parts of the world) are producing new releases on cassettes anymore. This is slightly disturbing because I do recall buying a cassette just a little over a decade ago back in 2005. To think that children who are hitting their teens now have no idea what a cassette is madness!
Surfing YouTube one day, I came across a video from a family in the U.S. The father was asking his sons about a cassette and asking them to play music from it. The father did a pretty good job of convincing them that back in the days it was the best way to listen to music. But, poor children, they kept trying to understand what a cassette was and miserably failed.
My point is simple: the new generation will never understand how difficult it was for us to maintain our personal music library. Many of us just bought a cassette for the reason that there was only one song in the whole album, which we liked. Good old memories from my childhood, they shall always be a part of me!
It is impossible to talk about a cassette and not talk about a Walkman.
The biggest problem I have with modern technologies is that nothing is classified as cool. If we talk about an MP3 player then everyone has one. If we talk about iPod then most of us have one. If we talk about smartphones then almost everyone has one! But back in the days how many of us had a Walkman? Not a lot of us, I’d guess.
I remember getting my first Walkman as a gift and I became the center of attention in my classroom. Of course, there were “difficult” tasks that came along, like the batteries running out in a couple of days or rewinding and forwarding the cassette with a pencil but as tough as this might sound to a lot of millennials, having a Walkman was mega fun unlike the current touch-and-go MP3 players.
We are almost in the era when most of us have stopped using telephones. Bulk of the business and personal communication has shifted to cellphones and computers. This isn’t particularly a bad thing since access to each other has become more time efficient and simple.
Still, you can’t blame the 90’s kid for being a tad nostalgic about the good old days when it took almost 30 seconds or more to dial a landline number! I especially remember hating the numbers that had a 0! Do you recall how frustrating it was to restart the whole process if you accidentally didn’t rotate the dial of an analog phone properly?
Then there were the different designs and sizes in which the analog phones came. I always wanted to have the huge wall phone, which we used to see in movies and television but unfortunately my wish never came true.
There was also the call rejection technique, which I highly doubt is used these days. This is how it worked: we would pick up the phone receiver and put it away, engaging the line for as long as we didn’t want to be bothered with phone calls! Those were the days! The good old, simple days!
Flip and Sliding Cellphones
Android and iOS operation systems for cellphones have completely changed the cellphone world. Bigger screen, high end processor, massive camera resolution and huge storage is now what we all aim for.
The scenario was completely different less than a decade ago. Phones with flip opening or slide opening were the real deal. Some of the most popular phones included Motorola Razor, Samsung D Series, Nokia Xpress Music, Sony Walkman Edition and so on.
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Sure, it was a struggle texting with a non-qwerty keypad but the never-ending battery life and the long-lasting phone life were something modern cellphones can never achieve.
My most favorite phone from that era was Samsung D500. For a start, it was the most good-looking phone of its time and it came with an external detachable speaker. Loud music for the music lovers!
VCRs and VHS Players
Before we moved onto watching movies on CD players in our computers or home theater systems or in the current era of downloading and online streaming, VCR/VHR/VCP players were the real deal.
I remember Rs. 10 per day was the rental cost of a VHS and the shopkeepers would beg us to return it on time if it was a new movie so they could lend it out to other customers.
I personally didn’t like watching movies on VCR too much. The print was always bad because the video rental guys would keep copying movies on old tapes. If you were lucky, you would get to watch a movie with a master print but you had to wait months before that came out, which meant by then your excitement would’ve been all but long gone.
I am glad CDs came in, I am glad that we can do online streaming and I am glad that we can now watch movies in Ultra HD resolutions. Saying good bye to VCR actually gives me an inner satisfaction.
Oh, my Lord! For those of us who remember and had to use the dial-up internet must recall the struggles and annoyance that came as a package.
First of all, it was too slow; too slow at times to even check one’s email on simple layouts offered by Yahoo and Hotmail. At the same time, the dial-up tone, when it would connect, was A.N.N.O.Y.I.N.G! I would often call it, “Rise of the machines” from the Terminator movie series. It was like Skynet is waking up!
Of course, if you were good enough you could mute or decrease the volume of your dial tone from the modem but most of us didn’t know how to do that.
The worst thing was the fragility of the connection. On one hand it would sometimes take multiple tries before the internet was finally connected. On the other hand if someone picked up the receiver of the landline then you would get disconnected!
Dial-up Internet was awful all around. Thank God for broadband internet and thank God for 4G/LTE mobile internet. I am so glad that dial-up is dead for good!
Do you agree with my list? What technologies do you think we have left in the past? Please, leave a comment to share your views.