When new technology inventions are introduced, we think they will last forever. They also seem so rad and important that we wonder what we would do without them. Then, the technology improves and gets better, and we wonder how we survived without the latest one. And on and on it goes. So in the spirit of Throwback Thursday, let us take a trip down memory lane on some of the technological inventions that are now no longer relevant.
The first time many of us probably encountered or heard of a pager was from watching doctor shows on breakfast telly on Saturday mornings like Doogie Howser MD. These inventions seemed like really cool alerting gadgets. With the advents of smartphones and instant email access on mobile phones, pagers do not seem to matter anymore. Everything else seems to be able to carry out their function these days, even smartwatches.
2. Floppy disks
These gadgets, that the save button on our computers are still shaped after, were the only means of sending files at some point. They were massive compared to the tiny USBs that have incredibly large storage capacities available today. They have now been replaced with CDs, flash drives and hard drives. Even these replacements seem to be going obsolete too with cloud storage access.
3. Portable music players
Remember when your Walkman made you feel like the coolest kid on the block? Or when the iPods, mp3 players and Discmans were the only way to carry your music around. Now, you can listen to music anywhere by simply downloading them to your phones. With the introduction of airpods, you no longer need a wire hanging from your phone to your ears. Music streaming apps have also made things even easier, and they give users a world of choices to pick from with just one click.
4. Film rental stores
If you remember the days of video clubs where you had a join one and rent out films for a few days, then you are just as old. If you wanted to see a very popular film, you already know you probably have to wait a long line because everyone else is seeing it. You also needed to pay to get these films so you know your weekend cannot be disturbed. If God forbid something came up and you couldn’t watch them, then you either had to return them unwatched or pay for an extension. But with easy download sites and streaming services like Netflix, you can now control when, where and what you watch.
These were the only means of communication at some point. An average home these days would probably not bother with owning a landline. Offices now get by without intercoms and land phones. It was not always like this; every household at some point needed a home phone. They were used as both home accessories and the basic means of communication at the time.
Some children of this generation have probably never even seen this invention in their homes. Remember when your parents locked them so you could not make calls when they were away, but you tapped the phones anyway and called your bestie?
6. Film camera
The days of having to wait a few days or hours to see your pictures are long gone. You can now take pictures by yourself with your phones, digital cameras and other devices. A lot more people are self-proclaimed social media photographers these days. It is so much easier to take photos, and you do not need an overtly specialised hand. Just a steady hand, good lighting with a great device and you are already taking high fashion images.
Typewriters are one of those inventions that are so vintage and super cool. They were what computers are now. Before the days of MS word and notepads, typewriters did everything text related. They weren’t the easiest things to type with, especially with the paper jam situations, but they served dual functions of computer and printers at the same time. It was every secretary’s best friend.
This must have taken you down memory lane a little. Share some more of old school gadgets you can remember and some of your favourite memories with them below in the comments section.