Table of Contents
- “Excuse me, but you can’t hear your pager with your Walkman on.”
- Other Popular Responses
- Rounding out the List
- The Winners Are…
- Thanks! Stay Tuned
Remember the thrill of pulling away the cellophane wrapper of your brand-new, just-released VHS tape? What about the joy of listening to the dulcet tones of a 2400 baud modem handshake? (It kind of went something like this: rrrrrrssscreeeeeeeeeeeeeaaacccccccccccccchhhhhhhgggggg!!!!!). And who can forget the ecstasy of listening to your favorite music on a state-of-the-art Walkman?
Yes, this is a tale of technologies that once amazed us, but haven’t been part of our lives for decades. That was the premise for the July poll, in which we asked you to share the technologies — we’re talking devices, gadgets, systems, software, and anything else — that you once “couldn’t live without,” but you now find irrelevant, uninteresting, and obsolete.
As we had hoped, there were plenty of responses that filled us with nostalgia for a simpler, slower time before smartphones roamed the earth, and if you said you were “checking out the web” people would wonder if you had a problem with spiders.
“Excuse me, but you can’t hear your pager with your Walkman on.”
There were two old-school technologies, in particular, that many community members loved: pagers and Walkmans! Here are some fun facts about each:
- The first pager-like system was used in 1921 by the Detroit Police Department. However, the first successful consumer pager was Motorola's iconic “Pageboy I” which launched in 1964. It had no display and couldn’t store messages. It worked by alerting the wearer through different tones what action they should take.
- Although the Walkman took over the world largely thanks to people’s love of pop and rock music, it was actually inspired by one of Sony’s co-founders who wanted a way to listen to opera on long flights.
Other Popular Responses
The following obsolete — but obviously not forgotten — technologies also received multiple mentions:
- CD player
- Dial-up modem
- Commodore 64
- CDs (music and storage)
- MP3 player
- Atari 2600
Rounding out the List
And here are some oldies-but-goodies that also made the list:
- Nintendo NES
- Tape drives for backups
- Apple Newton
- DAT drives
- SCSI drives
- T1 data lines
- Video 2000
- Windows smartphone
- Mice balls
- HP IPAQ
The Winners Are…
And now, let us turn our attention from the past to the present, as we announce the two lucky poll participants who have been randomly selected to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Congratulations to Ixit and Ben Liebowitz! Please email me at email@example.com to claim your prize.
Thanks! Stay Tuned
Thanks to everyone who participated in the fun and retro July poll. With so much focus on the future these days — and not all of it of the inspiring variety — it’s nice to reflect on the good ol’ days when you could settle in for hours of fun with your beloved Commodore 64, or dial in to your favorite bulletin board system (that is, until someone in your house picked up the phone and knocked you off… argh!!!).
Please stay tuned for the August poll, which will be available very soon!