Old-school tech we wish would make a comeback

By Prudence Wade. Published 2020-08-09
BOLD-Technology
Even though life is easier now, we can’t help but miss the humble VHS tape.

With our ‘always on’ approach to technology, we’re so glued to our smartphones it’s hard to remember what life was like before our devices got so sophisticated.

When we do think back to all the bits of tech which are now no more, you can’t help but feel nostalgic. Modern life might be easier, but these were simpler times: remember those slow hours spent listening to the dial up sound as your family’s computer struggled to connect to the Internet?

Vinyl has been making a comeback – but will any of these other kinds of old-school tech, that currently seem useless, suddenly become cool again? We can only hope…

Cassette tapes

Making a playlist on Spotify just doesn’t have the same romance as painstakingly putting together a mixtape for someone special on a single cassette tape.

File CDs under this category as well: the more scratched they were, the more you loved them.

VHS tapes

Sure, they tended to skip and could get fuzzy with overuse, but just the thought of VHS tapes fills us with nostalgia – probably because we used them to watch to death some of our favourite films ever.

Floppy discs

Floppy discs might not be the coolest thing on this list – after all, they were basically used to save your homework – but we miss them for aesthetic reasons. There was something so visually pleasing about the way you could stack them up against each other and enjoy their contrasting colours.

Walkmans

Who needs a smartphone holding all the music in the world when you could choose one tape and play it over and over on your Walkman? Plus, strutting down the street with your Walkman attached to your jeans gave you the ultimate feeling of cool.

Typewriters

Few things are more satisfying than the thunk of keys on a typewriter and ding at the end of each line – your laptop really can’t compare. While we don’t miss the fact they were bulky and constantly jammed, you’ve got to hand it to the trusty typewriter: they lasted way longer than a computer does nowadays. Plus, they never gave you the dreaded spinning wheel of doom.

Overhead projectors

You knew you were in for a great – and unproductive – lesson whenever the overhead projector was wheeled into your school classroom. Plenty of laughs and relaxation time were guaranteed as your teacher spent ages struggling to work out which way round to place the worksheet. Kids today just won’t understand.

Cord phones

While it was a nightmare having to hold all your private conversations in front of the whole family – because likely your phone was tethered in the kitchen – we still miss being able to twirl the cord around our fingers as we chatted.

Fax machines

Like most things on this list, fax machines are incredibly inefficient compared to what we have nowadays. But even if it’s not as user friendly as sending a text or email, you can’t deny the feeling of excitement when you heard the machine firing up.

Flip phones

Pressing ‘end call’ on your smartphone just doesn’t have the same drama as snapping your flip phone shut. We miss the theatre these kinds of phones gave you – in fact, sometimes we miss dumb phones in general. Those really were simpler times, when all you could do on your mobile was occasionally text your friends (credit allowing) and play a game of Snake.