Old-school tech: good riddance or sadly missed?

Font Size:

With our ‘always on’ approach to technology, using a smartphone is so second nature to us that it’s hard to remember what life was like before our devices became 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 the 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?

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 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.

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.

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.

Rotary dial phones
The rotary dial phone was once the be all and end all of the telephones. Like the cell phone of today, everybody had one, and they ruled domestic communications for decades.

But that all changed in the 1980s when they were replaced by a new upstart, push-button telephones. You could say, their days were numbered.

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 text and call.

What do you miss about old technology? Is there anything on the list that you would actually bring back?

With PA

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


Why are we all so obsessed with nostalgia?

Prudence Wade speaks to a psychologist to find out more.

Technology to keep you independent

Live at home independently for longer by making technology work for you.

Fisher-Price at 90 – toys that entertained the generations

How children's toys have changed over the decades.


Total Comments: 1
  1. 0

    New tech all the way! Flip phones used to break where the keyboard attached to the base. Touch screen phones have no moving parts, so unless you drop them or drown some of them…
    Tapes, whether beta, VHS, cassette, reel to reel are still limited in how long the recording lasts and how many times it could be played.
    What would I like to see make a come back?

    Paper and biro!!



continue reading


Research shows vaccine willingness in Australia is high

COVID-19 vaccination has finally started, but the program will only work if a large enough proportion of the population agrees...


These seven tips are vital for healthy ageing

We're all living longer than ever, so it's a good idea to think about how you can help yourself stay...


Thinking of hiring a cleaner? Here's what you need to know

Busy lives and longer working hours mean today's householders have even less time for domestic chores, and many are turning...


How can the dead send emails? The ethical dilemma of digital souls

Patrick Stokes, Deakin University Tim Hart was sitting on his couch one evening in November 2011 when he got an...

Health news

Australians want to die at home - but do we achieve that goal?

How do you want to die? More than 70 per cent of Australians want the end to come at home,...


Rise in 'grey divorces' sparks warning from legal experts

More Australians are divorcing later in life, leading to "unique, confusing and overwhelming" challenges for couples aged over 50. The...


Friday Funnies: Short jokes for the shortest month

February flies by too fast, just like these short but sharp jokes. What is the recipe for Honeymoon Salad?Lettuce alone...


The four types of hearing loss explained

Research indicates that one in six Australians has some form of hearing loss.  Hearing loss refers to reduced hearing, which...