Wonder of Tech: Which Retro Tech Do You Miss Most?
Which Retro Tech Do
by Carolyn Nicander Mohr
Even if you love new tech, you may miss
some features of classic tech…
While new tech offers exciting features, we may remember tech from the
past that we miss.
Something as simple as making a phone call has changed
dramatically in the past few years.
Not too long ago we used very different ways to
communicate that seem almost foreign to us now…
Take your time to dial a
phone number. You actually
had to remember the
number and spin the dial for
No caller ID, call waiting or
voice mail. You had to guess
who was calling when the
People who tried to call you
when you were already on
the phone heard a busy
* Rotary Phone image by Nate Steiner
Remember the excitement of
coming home to a flashing
light on your answering
machine, indicating a
message was waiting for
disappointment when the
message wasn’t from the
person you were hoping for…
*Answering Machine image by Dave Chamberlain
When was the last time
you saw a pay phone?
Pay phones are much
more rare now in the US
and the UK.
Payphones can still be
useful if you forgot your
phone or your phone’s
* London Phone Booth image by Sami Pyylampi
There was a certain
satisfaction to ending a
phone call by snapping your
flip phone shut.
Flip phones also protected
you from accidentally
calling someone without
*Flip Phone image by Aaron Vince
QWERTY Keyboard on a
QWERTY Keyboards made typing a breeze. You could type without
even looking at your phone.
Now apps such as SwiftKey and Swype make typing on a glas
*image by Ninja M.
The way we listen to music has radically changed over the
From vinyl records to 8-track tapes to cassette tapes to CD’s to
digital files to streaming music, each advancement has changed
not only the format but the way we enjoy our music.
Vinyl records were delicate, liable
to warp, scratch and break.
The sound of a record dropping
onto a turntable and of a needle
gliding over a scratch can add to
the pleasure of listening to the
Some people say that vinyl records
are making a comeback.
*Turntable image by Katie Mollon
45 RPM Singles
45 RPM single records
let you buy a song
instead of an entire
You also got a bonus
song on side B of the
Sometimes the Side B
song became more
famous than the Side A
*45 Record Adapters image by Leo Reynolds
Cassette and 8-Track tapes made
it possible for you to take your
music with you easily.
You could also record music onto
The debate between cassettes vs.
8-track tapes was eventually won
by cassette tapes.
The victory was short-lived as CD’s
eventually replaced tapes.
* Cassette Tape image by Ani-Bee
Video Cassette Tapes
Video cassette tapes allowed
people to time-shift viewing
TV shows for the first time.
People were often frustrated
by accidentally recording
over their shows.
Tapes were portable so you
could share a tape with a
* Video Cassette photo by anankkml, courtesy of
Free Digital Photos
When people first got personal computers, they were not as
advanced as they are today.
Monochrome screens were like black & white TV sets.
Before Windows, DOS made using a computer more
difficult, requiring specific commands be entered to achieve a
• Computer data used to be
stored on floppy disks.
• You could take floppy disks
with you to transfer data
• After floppy disks, people
used thumb drives, then hard
disks, then the Cloud to store
and transfer data.
* Floppy Disk image courtesy of Wikipedia
Taking pictures used to mean a
financial investment with the
cost of film, flash bulbs and
developing the pictures.
You didn’t know whether you
got the shot you wanted until
after the film was developed.
* Instamatic Camera image by Collecting Cameras
Find out which retro tech I miss most at
The Wonder of Tech
Learn more information at and share your thoughts about the
tech you miss most at The Wonder of Tech:
Nostalgic for Tech!