800th Blog Special:Ten Archaic Technology That I Had Growing Up


On January 17th I published my 700th blog.This amazes since when I to 600 I wondered what else I had to talk about. However thanks to the Everybody Loves Raymond episode guide, I have hit 800 blogs before the end of the year. As you may or may not know I always celebrate the milestone of 100 blogs with something special. Either something a little bigger or something I’ve put off, but always something personal. So what am I discussing this time?

As I have approach another birthday and find myself getting even older, I can’t help but look back at awe at the way things have changed since I was a kid. The things we have today and the thing amazing technology from the era that we’ve discarded since. So I decided to list ten pieces of tech that is either nonexistent or just plain outdated today. Now of course, I am not THAT old. You could go back further than the 80’s, but since that is when I was a kid that is the time period I will be comparing to today.



Analog TV’s

Do I even need to get into this one? While I didn’t grow waaayyy back when households only had one TV, and no color, I did grow up in a time when not every TV was wired to cable. Ah, the endless hours desperately trying to pick up a station using antennae! Whatever happened to UHF anyway? When we did watch cable, the choices were a lot more limited than we have today. And of course we didn’t have flatscreen, HI-Def or 3-D Plasma. Remotes were primitive to, basically they changed the channel and that was all!





Boom Boxes/Headphones/Walkman’s

I actually did own some records ages ago, and loved playing them. But CD’s pretty much wiped that out. Remember when CD’s came in these stupid boxes which were quickly eliminated when people complained how wasteful they were? Boom Boxes used to be HUGE and I owned a few over the years. But the one thing that makes me envious is the headphones people use today. Earbuds which DO NOT have to go over your head. Young people today will never know what it was like with the plastic band over your head not only wrecking your hair but it was impossible to lay down with them on. I hated headphones. Walkman’s were a smaller version of the boom box that was actually portable. But they still had to  use tapes so they are as archaic as the boom box.






Tape Recorders

Yeah I know I said this already but the kids of of today will never know about the struggle of recording our favorite song off the radio. I created mix tapes and I miss doing that today. Of course today we can download any song we want and play it on whatever device we want. Back in the old days we were a little more limited. Course people older than I used 8-Track but I have no knowledge of that curious piece of technology,.





FYI that computer on the picture is the APPLE IIC and I was my computer for YEARS

I can remember having a Commodore 64, you know what I did with it? I used to make pretty colors on the screen. That was a neat thing back then! To say the least computers have come a long way. In some ways I can still do the exact same thing on them but the PC’s are lot less bulky. Graphics are better, yeah we had games but man were they primitive. Anyone remember floppy disks that you had to insert into a disk drive before the machine would do anything? Oh yeah, the good old day indeed! Not only are the smaller, and have less extraneous equipment, but we also have laptops which make things so much simpler. The internet has even evolved, remember dial up? Ah yes the days when going online sounded like screechy cats. I still miss America Online sometimes. And obviously the internet has made what we do on computers much more cooler. In fact, here’s a big one that I love today…..






Cheating a little here but still. To be fair I never really experienced life before ATM’s. So I never really enjoyed the experience of having to go into the bank to do EVERYTHING, even just withdraw or deposit the smallest amount of money. However, what I do love is the online banking we have today. I was on top of that innovation as soon as it started, and at first it was pretty primitive. It didn’t have all the bells and whistles like today, you pretty much got your balance and that was it. As time went on the information got more detailed, and easier to access (at first you needed special software from the bank), and I thank the lord everyday that I know long have to spend one day a month writing out checks for all my bills. I really hated that.




Newspapers & Magazines

OK REALLY cheating here, but it’s my list. This is an obvious one, and I already touched on it a few months ago. Back in my day we always got the paper every day. We had TV news of course (though not 24 hours a day it was on @ 6 and 11 and that was it!) but we liked to read our papers as well. Thanks to Ipad’s and Kindle’s the days of people reading newspapers everywhere have faded a bit. What do people read in bathroom’s these days? I’m sure paper boys haven’t gone the way of the 60’s newsboys (you know they’d stand on street corners screaming “Read all about it!”) but I’m sure there aren’t quite as many homes getting those papers either.





80’s cars aren’t too different from today’s cars in the most basic sense. But some other ways they sure are! When I was a kid we’d go on trips and my father would grow irate when me and my brother would dare to read a comic book while riding in the back seat. Wonder how he’d feel with using Bluetooth to watch videos or listen to music on our phones, or just watching a DVD in the car. When I was a kid we didn’t always have clocks in the car, and would  have to wait for the time to be told on some radio station. Imagine that!! There are also more safety features including the air bag.






Film Cameras


Hard to believe there was a time when Polaroid camera’s were all the rage. You’d take the picture and it would come out right then and there. But of course digital camera’s killed that, when you could not only see the picture as soon as you take it but also hook it up to a computer and share or enhance the image. I grew up with film cameras and once again, kids of today will never know the fun of film. You had a limited number of pictures if you ran out that was it. There was no hooking anything to a computer, you had to send away for the pics to be printed or bring to a photo mat (who remembers those??). And the quality wsn’t nearly as good as the digital pics would give us. Film could also be damaged easier and you’d lose your pictures if you weren’t careful (course it would take days even weeks to realize the picture you took did NOT come out). It was a pain in the a** and it’s one thing that I really do not miss these days. In fact you weren’t a true 80’s kid unless you tried the stupid Disc Camera. Look it up, it was ridiculous! And of course I had one.






Ah, the days before TIVO. Whatever happened to Tivo anyway? Yes my friends back before the DVR we had to put a tape into a machine to record a program. And if you forgot or messed up a timer or something, you were pretty much out of luck. And of course tapes would break or get damages, they weren’t perfect. I never had Betamax thankfully but man did I love VHS. There sure wasn’t any “on demand” to find the program on. In my day it was called “pay per view” and you may think it was limited to wrestling events or, well, porn but actually when I young you had to call (yes CALL) the cable company for a new movie “pay per view” also. Of all the tech listed this is the one I kinda miss. We also video cassette recorders which were these huge cameras you popped the tape in. The original one’s you couldn’t and had to drag the VCR with you. Yes I am serious. These cameras were cumbersome and hard on the shoulders but we ALL had them.





Phones/Answering Machines


To think there was a time when people were shocked when phone’s stopped using rotary dialers (yes that was a thing). I never thought I’d see the day we wouldb’t have the phones I grew up with. You know, thethered to a cord so that you were restricted to a certain area of the house? Even if people have landlines chances ae it’s a coedless phone they’re using. Cordless phones in the 80’s sucked. It’s funny see the old connections for phones in people’s homes just sitting ther euseless. Of course, phones do a lot mroe than anyone thought possible. They eliminated mail order, weather reports in newspapers, and heck you could be reading this on one right now! The one downside to this is that people always have there phones on them, and are afraid to miss any messgae or call. In my day if you wer eout of the house, you were out of the house. And whatever problem someone else just had to wait until you got home and saw the little red light of your answering machine. I miss old fashoned answering machines, young folks rtoday will never knpw the excitement of seeing that little light flashing when you’d come home. I also miss phone books, yet another struggle that people from today will never understand. If we wanted to find a number we needed to look through a big yellow book to find it, or call 411 that was alays a thing.





While it’s cliche to say that we have lost a lot while gaining all this technology, I do think what we have gained outweighs what we may have lost. And I will conclude with the snetence I used to hear growing up and now I’m saying it. Damn, I wish they had this stuff when I was a kid!!

4 replies
  1. les
    les says:

    Hi RichB. Yeah, those are pretty great examples of retro-tech….of course, I go back a little further and had:

    8 track tapes(really cool, because you couldn’t fast forward or rewind them…albums had to be great from cover to cover to survive as 8 tracks…and most of them were!)

    The rotary phones….the spinning dial that took longer to get a number imputed the higher it was in value….911, for instance could take too long if you were having a heart attack….

    The super 8 mm movie cameras(way before camcorders….) and the reel projectors to watch the movies.

    and HELL YES! The Polaroid camera was a freakin’ MIRACLE when it debuted. An absolute party favorite for years.

    Cars that not only didn’t have bluetooth and mounted video screens…but no power anything…manual crank windows, manual operated door locks, manual steering wheel you had to crank around 4 or 5 times to turn a corner….no anti-lock brakes/power brakes.

    I’m with you on computers. My first computer was an Apple IIC as well. AH Basic and 8 inch floppy discs….

    Manually open doors….those Star Trek inspired auto sensing doors so common now? Didn’t exist until I was 5.

    In any case, congratulations on your 800th blog. Here’s to another 800, my friend. Peace.

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