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


The last blockbuster had an end of summer sleepover

Several months ago, the last Blockbuster store on Earth temporarily rebranded - as an extremely nostalgic Airbnb. A few lucky...


Best day trips from Melbourne

We've got more reasons than ever to embrace the adventures we can find in our own backyard and, luckily, Victoria...


Travel SOS: What's the deal with face masks and flying?

Ian has seen reports of people flying without masks and wants to know if it is safe. Q. IanI have...

Mental Health

Frequent travel could make you 7 per cent happier

Every now and then we come across a study that feels as if it's stating the obvious. Such is this...


Travel does at times confront us and make us squirm

Travel does at times confront us and make us squirm, which it should. Travel also can make us appreciate our...


You can now stay in a Buckingham Palace-inspired caravan

Have you ever wondered what Buckingham Palace would look like squeezed into a four-person caravan on the North Yorkshire coast?...


New measures will protect Australians from COVID-19 on all flights

Australia's national cabinet has announced new measures to protect Australians from COVID-19 on domestic and international flights and in airports....


Doctors call for action on social media’s health misinformation

The peak body for Australia's doctors has called on the government to invest in advertising to counter health misinformation being...