What Outdated Tech Do You Miss The Most?

Technology is always marching on, and for the most part, that's a good thing. Gadgets get more efficient, more powerful, cheaper, smaller, all around nicer. But for every innovation that you don't know how you ever lived without, there's something — usually something little — that you miss. What old, antiquated gadget makes your heart swell with nostalgia, even if it's demonstrably inferior to what followed it in just about every single way?

Image by Oleg Golovnev/Shutterstock


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    Sega Master System II. Some awesome games and great old memories on that beast.

      Yes! Alex Kidd. Sonic 1, 2 & Chaos. Awesome titles.

        Definitely those ones. My favourite of all though was Wonderboy III: The Dragon's Trap. While you could easily beat that game in a day these days, I was playing this one when I was 6 years old or so, and it felt like it took an eternity to beat. Still one of my favourite games ever.

          Heh. I remember Dragons Trap being mindblowing. You're just playing along like Wonder Boy II and then bam! You're a dragon and nothing works the same. Not many games had moments where they completely pulled the rug out from under me and changed the rules like that.

    the abacus got to have mad skills to use them as opposed to those darn calculator things

      No mad skills necessary. We all had to learn to use the abacus growing up in Japan. Not sure if they do that now days. I got to 3rd dan abacus before migrating to Australia.

    Amiga 500. Time adjusted, better than anything else after it.

      The best computer ever made!

      Don't forget the rest of the Amiga range.
      I bought a 1000 in 1986, which I replaced with the 1200 in 1992 and that was still going strong (as a 2nd computer) in 2000. Brilliant computers for the time. I discovered so much on these computers: digital art, music composition, gaming (Lemmings, Leisuresuit Larry, etc.) web surfing, etc.

        I had the 500 and the 1200. Octomed and Deluxepaint were the shit!!

          I still have my A500 and A1200 (both working). It's unfortunate Commodore was run by morons, because at the time bang for buck, nothing came remotely close from the PC & Apple world to what the Amiga could do.

            my parents couldnt afford to give me an amiga, but i was always into them (and jealous of my mates who had one!). i cant help imaging how different the computing landscape would be today if they had stuffed up and it was still around. most likely it would be the powerhouse microsoft is today software wise, with the design sensibility and hardware selling of apple, but running on sub-ghz cpu's (it sure did a lot with a little!). not sure if it would be in the enterprise though, which was one of windows stepping stones to becoming the os lead in the consumer market

      Ahh yes, remember the holy grail of the Amiga era, the hard drive? That monster of a machine that could hold 20 entire MEGABYTES!

      Kind of shows how fast tech has advanced when you could stream the entire contents of that over a modest net connection in about a minute and probably think "this is going a bit slow"

    In a way, the CRT is appropriate. Being able to experiment with 3D with the cheap 3D stuff on NVidia back in the day was fun. Now you have to commit big time if you want 3D on a PC.

      My Samsung 3D monitor cost $280, hardly a big investment.

    my old 21" crt pre-flatcreen, fishbowl for life yo!

    Nokia 3210 mobile phone (plus 3315, 3310, etc) we still have one in the office here that is used to this day in all it's 2G glory.

    3's voicemail system - telstra, optus and vodafone don't have anything nearly as good. With 3 your voicemail was also your e-mail inbox so you can access your voicemail from any computer in the world, and save messages as a simple .wav attachment to playback anywhere (eg, a courtroom).

    Pocket TVs and Pocket radios that can listen to TV - these are still around but will be junk in 2013 when analogue TV is switched off. I still have a Casio, like this one:
    http://www.amazon.com/Casio-TV-880-Portable-Handheld-Color/dp/B00005EBGN
    (there are a few digital pocket TVs available - i have one of them at home too actually - but nothing with HD channel support yet)

    The VCR and walkman get honourable mentions.

    Last edited 17/12/12 3:54 pm

    Vinyl record albums.
    No, I'm not an "audiophile", I just used to love some of the album artwork / sleeves and posters that you'd get with them. They were big enough that the artwork was much better presented too I think.
    Also vinyl based Juke boxes were kind of fun to watch in action too.

    Old valve TV's.
    I remember as a kid watching that little dot fade out when it was turned off.
    (along with the "End of transmission" test patterns, because TV actually went off air over night)

    My early 70's red segment LED watch.
    It was so cool and "space age" at the time. Now if you can find them, they're just "retro" haha.

      you don't need to miss vinyl -- it's the one music format that's has increasing sales!

      Yeah. Album covers were a real buzz. You'd play the album and gaze at the album cover. Great stuff.

    The guillotine.
    That is how you make your political representatives start doing their jobs properly.

    Dumb Phones (3210, 3310, Motorola Coke Phone).

      Lol, I remember when before the iPhone, it was the Nokia 3310/3315 that everybody had to have. Snake FTW.

      my mum still uses the motoroala coke phone

    Old school Nokia mobile phones, the ones which were a 1/4 of the size of a smartphone, and week long battery life.

    Nothing. The term outdated lends itself for me to think that these types of techs would serve no purpose that I can't fulfill more efficiently.

      Awww. No good memories then?
      " makes your heart swell with nostalgia, even if it’s demonstrably inferior to what followed it in just about every single way? "

        Plenty of good memories but that doesn't mean I miss the devices/tech they came from. I had so much fun playing Skate or Die on the C64. Doesn't mean I miss it.

      There are probably plenty of exceptions but the one that comes to mind is "feature" phones. Smartphones might be infinitely more capable but as a portable device for making/receiving voice and text messages, nothing has ever come close to my best feature phone, the Samsung SGH X820. It was less than 6mm thick and weighed only 69g. You may still be able to buy feature phones but they are nothing like that.

    My first computer, an Atari 8-bit series (can't remember exactly which model) with the original Ghostbusters and Bruce Lee games. That's where the gaming begun.

    The casette recorder. Finally being ale to record all my vinyl into a portable medium. Revolutionary! And the Sony Walkman for bringing it to the masses

    The printed encyclopedia. It has always felt like the electronic encyclopedias (Encarta, sure. But even Britannica) had far shorter articles with less detailed information than the old set of ~30 books my parents bought way back when.

    Microfiche. Apart from being cool to use at the time, it's an analogue storage medium that's right on the edge of low-tech while still being relatively compact.

    My old Nokia 2650:
    http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_2650-813.php
    Just a really cute, simple but effective little handset.

    N64 - no annoying updates all the time and quick to jump on a play a game.
    Dumb Phones - (nokia 3110), when making a phone call was easy.

    I don't really mind myself, but my cats sorely miss sleeping on top of those warm CRT screens...

    +1 for older Nokia phones. We even still keep a couple around just in case.

    MiniDisc - like a mini CD player but could also record - great for sneaking into gigs to capture your favourite bands shows for prosperity... pity some complete arse stole my Sony and my entire collection of recordings.

      to capture your favourite bands shows for prosperity

      Do you mean "posterity" or were you a bootlegger?

    The big office line printer with the blue and white striped continuous paper making a huge racket all day printing stuff, sounded like serious, important business was happening.

    Also Midi game music.

      Ewww, you actually miss Midi game music? I personally couldn't wait until it ended. Maybe that's because I was making music and was getting sick of the different interpretations of the instruments each sound card had.

      I miss the tractor feed paper. Is was terrific for making banners.

        And the awesome mess on the carpet when tearing the tracks off.

    CRT TV's. My LG CRT TV lasted 10 years with no faults, no picture fading. Upgraded to New 55" LCD LED SUPER HD, True sound Blah blah blah and its been fixed 3 times in the last 4 years. Also my Nokia 3310, could not destroy that phone.

      No magnetic issues? Colour patches in the corner?

      My (brandname product #1) lasted for (long number of years), then I got another (different brandname product #2) and it breaks all the time. I have only used these products, and not tested any others.

      Therefore:
      The technology Product #1 was comprised of is *obviously* superior to the technology Product #2 is comprised of.

      Anecdotal evidence totally works. I saw a guy use it once.

        Nope. not seeing where Daveo said anything about the older gear being "better" in his opinion.
        Point of comments is to talk about things that bring back fond memories " even if it’s demonstrably inferior to what followed it in just about every single way?"

          You're really going around targeting my comments are you mate.

          "lasted 10 years with no faults, no picture fading", "been fixed 3 times in the last 4 years".

          No, you're right, there's nothing even implying in the slightest that he thinks one was better than the other. My mistake. He's quite obviously saying they're completely equal.

    I can't believe one person has not said iPhone 5. Mine would be a stereo amplifier from the late 70's.

      Because an iPhone 5 is......ahhh, yeah ok, I see what you mean.

    Typewriters. Not so much for their (limited) functionality but moreso for the fonts and letterpress-style aesthetics of the finished document.

      Also, as Marian Call has shown, they make a surprisingly effective musical instrument

      Not that limited... try typing something and printing it without power or a battery on anything other than typewriter!

        Try doing anything much else with a typewriter then.
        Yep pretty limited I'd say.
        And again, not the point being made.
        Geez olearymo. No coffee today?

          Wow. Sorry to offend, mate. Didn't know you were that uptight about typewriters?

            Try not just jumping all over other peoples comments then.
            You obviously don;t like it yourself eh?

              It wasn't your comment. Maybe if the person I responded to had a problem, they could take it up with me themselves? They don't necessarily need you jumping in to 'save' them.

              For the record I think you read my comment as far more aggressive than intended.

      My mum used to do part time work at home typing up documents for people when I was a tadger.
      The sound of that clatter, clatter, ting, sliiiide, clatter ,clatter clatter brings back some memories that's for sure.

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