ADVERTISEMENT

Let’s take a walk down memory lane, where nostalgia meets technological relics! We’re talking about those old gadgets from yesteryear — the bulky TV sets, calculator watches, the Atari 2600, and more. They were the cool kids on the block, the trendsetters that had people hooked.

There was the Tamagotchi — a virtual pet that you had to feed, care for and clean up after. It was our first test run with responsibility as pet owners. And then there were also the gaming systems from Nintendo and Atari that blessed the kids of the ’80s and ’90s with gems like Super Mario Bros., Contra, Duck Hunt, and Donkey Kong. 

Sadly, the old technology couldn’t keep up with their sleeker, more advanced successors. They had their limitations, whether it was functionality, connectivity, or user experience. And you know how it goes – when you can’t keep up, you fade away. The 36-roll film cameras have been replaced by smartphones. Calculator watches have given way to smartwatches now.

We’ve compiled a list of old gadgets for you. They may be outdated, but they hold a special spot in our hearts. They’re like time capsules, reminding us of a simpler era when waiting patiently and savoring the moment was all part of the fun. The obsolete technology is nothing more than a memory now. A select few in our list are still in production and are used for micro-niche products.

So get ready to geek out and embrace the retro vibes!

#1

Dumb Phones

Dumb Phones

Dumb phones were the opposite of smartphones (obviously!). They were just meant for sending and receiving calls and messages. No apps, no games — except for the snake game, of course.

Thief12 Report

Add photo comments
POST
star44886 avatar
Will Cable
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When phones were so big they had their own case, then got so small you could put them in your pocket with ease and now they are getting so big you need a bag to carry it in.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#2

Polaroid Instant Cameras

Person Holding A Polaroid Camera In His Hands

The instant Polaroids could never come out perfect. But even then, the instant Polaroid was a vintage symbol of authenticity and spontaneity. Its unpredictable colors made each Polaroid unique. It was always there to create cherished memories.

Report

Add photo comments
POST
master_minds9_1 avatar
DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I still think these are a great idea. I like hard copy photos and the nostalgia and the iconic white border still appeals to me...maybe just me lol

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#3

Floppy Disks

Person Holding A Floppy Disk In His Hand

These humble squares that came around in 1971 could store up to 1.4MB of data. The only place they’re seen today is on the “save” icon.

Report

Add photo comments
POST
shylabouche_1 avatar
Bouche, Audi, and Shyla, oh my!
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Who else remembers 5.25" floppies? If you cut a hole in just the right spot, you could make it a double-sided disk.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#4

Compact Cassette Tape

Person Holding Compact Cassette Tape In Hands

Cassette tapes had a unique charm. Music lovers could create mixtapes and meticulously curate their favorite songs to share with friends and loved ones. Their mechanical whirr and warble added a texture to the music. Sadly, they slowly faded away as digital music became more popular.

Report

Add photo comments
POST
kathrynbaylis avatar
Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Remember having your headphones on, turning up the volume, and listening to the sounds and voices on the little bit of blank tape after the music was over?

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
ADVERTISEMENT
#5

Public Telephone Booths

Red Telephone Booth Near The Bench

Phone booths went from iconic landmarks to extinction pretty quickly. Maybe they simply got tired of hearing our endless babble!

Report

Add photo comments
POST
shanecaraher avatar
Pedantic Panda
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Now being reinvented for various reasons, have saw them used as small museums and libraries.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#6

Typewriters

Old Typewriter On The Table

A long time ago, typewriters would create a symphony of clacking keys — notifying that someone was hard at work. Sadly, they were outpaced by personal computers and laptops. Still, their clickety-clack charm remains far superior to keyboard typing.

Report

Add photo comments
POST
stefanie_herda avatar
Stefanie Herda
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I learned typing on one of those in the picture and today everybodx asks me, why I don't use my pinkies to type. No one today knows what force you had to use to type an a and to make it visible on the paper.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#7

Game Boy

Red Game Boy Color On Black Table

The Game Boy was the bestselling gaming device in the early 90s. Its monochrome screen and pixelated sprites captured the hearts of many youngsters.

Report

#8

Walkman, Discman And MP3 Players

Walkman, Discman And MP3 Players

These portable music players once were the only way for people to enjoy their personal list of songs. They were dethroned by YouTube and Spotify.

Marc Zimmermann Report

Add photo comments
POST
kathrynbaylis avatar
Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
12 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I had one of the first Walkmans. Man, did they drain batteries in record time!

View more commentsArrow down menu
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
#9

Vinyl Records

Vinyl Record Playing

Vinyl records were the timeless treasures of music enthusiasts. These elegant pieces of technology are a reminder of a time when music was savored, and collected with reverence. They haven’t faded out completely like other obsolete gadgets. A lot of music aficionados still have a turntable and vinyl records.

Report

#10

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

The NES had several pixelated games. It was discontinued as high-definition gaming emerged.

Christo Report

#11

Tamagotchi

Tamagotchi

These virtual pets captured the hearts of every ’90s kid. You could feed, play, and care for these adorable pixelated creatures, and watch them grow and evolve. It was a relaxing and compulsive way to enjoy pet ownership without all the fuss.

Nxr-at Report

#12

Analogue And Dial-Up Modems

Analogue And Dial-Up Modems

You’re truly a ’90s kid if you remember the screeching and beeping as dial-up modems connected to the Internet. This obsolete technology from the ’90s had a snail-paced connection speed. If someone picked up the phone, you’d have to do the frustrating dance with technology once again.

secretlondon123 Report

ADVERTISEMENT
#13

Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)

Personal Digital Assistant With A Pen On The Table

These were portable assistants that had a lot of useful features, such as storing contacts, calendar updates, a time management tool, and note-taking software. 

Report

#14

Video Home System (VHS)

Video Home System On The Table

Back in the ’90s, people would rent VHS tapes to catch up on the latest movies. Now there’s Netflix and many more streaming services.

Report

Add photo comments
POST
kathrynbaylis avatar
Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
12 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not just rent movies, but record movies and TV shows. Really great if you had cable and at least one good premium channel like HBO or Showtime. You could record relatively new movies for the price of the cable subscription and the tape—-and back in the eighties, cable was comparatively cheap. You also didn’t have countless useless channels no one ever watched that were only added to artificially jack up the price. Like “Hey, we offer you 100 channels (only 95 of them are fillers, basically s**t no one cares about, or wants to watch)”.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#15

Fax Machines

Fax Machines

They were once a ubiquitous presence in offices (along with the pesky dot matrix printer). These machines emitted strange noises and became a symbol of the mundane work environment. Today, we have emails, scanners, and cloud storage, offering faster, paperless solutions.

BrokenSphere Report

Add photo comments
POST
jessicaspecht avatar
Jessica SpeLangm
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Many offices still have these, because the company can't securely use emails for everything.

View more commentsArrow down menu
#16

Overhead Projectors

Overhead Projectors

They once used to be the centerpiece of dimly lit classroom presentations. Students could place their sheets on the glass of the projector and put on a dazzling presentation. As technology leaped forward, the overhead projector was cast aside.

Bomas13 Report

Add photo comments
POST
laughingorc avatar
Laughing Orc
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's a very svelte and sexy looking OHP. The ones in our school were hulking white beasts that needed to be wheeled in on trolleys.

View more commentsArrow down menu
ADVERTISEMENT
#17

Rotary Telephones And Wired Landlines

Old Landline Black Phone On The Table

Before mobile phones, rotary phones, with their finger-spinning dials, were used in several homes. Their cords would wind and knot around like a hot mess. Thankfully, smartphones came around and we finally said goodbye to those knotty wires.

Report

Add photo comments
POST
master_minds9_1 avatar
DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hated the knotty wires...absolutely adored the rotary dial. I'd still take one of those just as a cool decor.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#18

Nintendo 64

Nintendo 64

The Nintendo 64 was very popular when it was launched in the late ’90s. But as the new millennium approached, sleeker consoles emerged, and the console, with its 64-bit processor, fell behind in the race.

JCD1981NL Report

Add photo comments
POST
duesvolent90 avatar
TheGoodBoi
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Still got it! Currently playing Zelda Ocarina of Time. Damn water temple...

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#19

Pagers And Beepers

Pagers And Beepers

They once used to be clipped-on status symbols. Pagers would buzz with urgency and display cryptic messages of no more than a few characters.

Der Sascha Report

#20

Digital Audio Tapes (DAT)

Digital Audio Tapes (DAT)

Sony developed the Digital Audio Tape (DAT) in 1987. They were used for recording music. They lost their relevance in the early 2000s.

JPRoche Report

Add photo comments
POST
duesvolent90 avatar
TheGoodBoi
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh look it jammed and pulled all the tape out, now where's my pencil..

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
ADVERTISEMENT
#21

Portable DVD Players

Portable DVD Players

Portable DVD players were the ultimate travel companions, delivering movies with a few clicks. However, they struggled to keep up after smartphones and tablets were invented.

Santeri Viinamäki Report

Add photo comments
POST
kathrynbaylis avatar
Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And now computers and laptop’s don’t even have disc drives for CDs and DVDs anymore. You know, for the movies you can’t find on iTunes or Amazon—-and that you actually own, not purchase the use of, which can be taken away any time they have an issue with the copyright, or the studio wants to change the contract, or some such b******t.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#22

Daisy Wheel And Dot-Matrix Printers

Daisy Wheel And Dot-Matrix Printers

Imagine waiting for a printout as the daisy wheel and dot matrix printers sprayed tiny dots of ink on the paper. You could take a lunch break, and they’d still be printing. They were a true test of patience.

Wikidevnl Report

Add photo comments
POST
kathrynbaylis avatar
Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Remember the roll of rough textured green and white lined paper for them? Then the huge roll of smooth and glossy white paper? Remember having to line up the holes and sprockets exactly even, or it would jam?

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#23

Film Cameras

Person Holding Film Camera In His Hands

Film cameras required patience and craftsmanship. They could only click 36 photos at a time, so every aspiring photographer had to be very selective of what to snap. The film roll then had to be developed meticulously in a dark room to avoid overexposure. A few photography aficionados still own (and use) vintage film cameras.

Report

ADVERTISEMENT
#24

Calculators

Woman Counting Things On Calculator

This technology is not obsolete but has been around for so long that it deserves a place on our list.

Report

Add photo comments
POST
master_minds9_1 avatar
DennyS (denzoren)
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Calculators are a main stay....whether it's a dedicated calculator or on my phone, it's always in use.

View more commentsArrow down menu
#25

Atari 2600

Atari 2600

The Atari 2600 was a pioneer in the gaming world. Its iconic joystick brought the thrill of arcade games right into our living rooms.

Yarivi Report

#26

Cathode Ray Tube Televisions

Old Chunky TV Screen

Long before LCD and LED flatscreens, our parents owned cathode-ray tube televisions. They had a bulky frame with an antenna that needed constant adjusting (and a few thumps) to catch the perfect signal.

Report

Add photo comments
POST
laughingorc avatar
Laughing Orc
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

These are now collectors items and are highly sought after by retro video game enthusiasts - many older games were designed around the quirks of CRT televisions and don't look the same when emulated or played on a modern LCD / LED screen

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#27

Calculator Watches

Calculator Watches

They were the equivalent of geek chic in the ’90s. The tech-savvy trendsetters could solve simple math problems for you.

Binarysequence Report

Add photo comments
POST
zhhhvvmbfdcotuiqig avatar
Tim Nicebutdim
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Who needs a calculator watch? I had a pacman watch in the early 80's endless hours of fun during boring lessons.

View more commentsArrow down menu
ADVERTISEMENT
See Also on Bored Panda
#28

VCR

VCR

The VCR is another obsolete technology example that was very popular for its time. These home entertainment systems revolutionized how people consumed movies and TV shows in the ’80s and ’90s. They also came in handy when you had to record a TV show.

Liftarn Report

Add photo comments
POST
tucker_cahooter avatar
Tucker Cahooter
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And when they first came out you had to decide between VHS or Beta. And woe betide those people who chose Beta...

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#29

Original 128k Macintosh

Original 128k Macintosh

The original 128K Macintosh made Apple the industry leader in personal computers.

Sailko Report

Add photo comments
POST
ronman avatar
Ron Man
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not sure Apple was ever the industry leader in personal computers.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#30

Gamegear

Gamegear

In 1991, Sega debuted the Game Gear, a portable 8-bit gaming system. It was a bulky device that craved a lot of batteries.

Inthepockets Report

#31

PS/2 Ports

PS/2 Ports

The default keyboard and mouse connections to desktops had to be made using PS/2 connectors. They’re not completely obsolete as they are still used by gamers to connect different devices.

D-Kuru Report

Add photo comments
POST
dustinmiller avatar
Dustin Miller
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The best is when you're born just at the right time to have PCs like these while also having a PS2 in the family game room; so then when you hear someone say PS/2 port you think you can play your PS2 games on the computer

View more commentsArrow down menu
ADVERTISEMENT
See Also on Bored Panda
#32

Pocket TVs

Pocket TVs

They first came out in the 1970s and had a 1.5-inch screen to help you avoid boredom.

Morn Report

Add photo comments
POST
kathrynbaylis avatar
Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The ones from the sixties were way bigger than this Casio. My father had one we used to take camping, because it had a battery compartment and a decent antenna. The thing had a handle, a screen that was maybe 4” x4”, and was just a little smaller than an early 2000s desktop CPU—-when they switched from beige to black and CPUs started getting smaller and smaller.

View more commentsArrow down menu
#33

Car Phones

Car Phones

They ruled the roads before mobile phones were invented.

Pim GMX Report

#34

Disposable Cameras

Disposable Cameras

They came preloaded with a film reel that could take up to 36 photos.

Rept0n1x Report

Add photo comments
POST
amytaylor_1 avatar
Amy Taylor
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I still see these at weddings… they put them on the reception tables for the guests to take pics

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
#35

8-Track Players

8-Track Players

The 8-track tape car stereos were the ultimate travel companions in the ’60s.

CZmarlin Report

Add photo comments
POST
kathrynbaylis avatar
Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
12 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And through the seventies too. By the early eighties, cassettes were king, and they were selling 8 Track converters so you could play cassettes in your 8 Track player. It was the size of an 8 Track, but had a place to put the cassette so it would play.

View more commentsArrow down menu
#36

Digital Versatile Disc (DVD)

Many DVD Discs On Th Table

DVDs have a much larger storage capacity compared to CDs. A conventional DVD has a maximum storage capacity of 4.7GB, whereas upgraded versions have a maximum storage capacity of 17.08GB and an extended lifespan.

Report

Add photo comments
POST
jessicaspecht avatar
Jessica SpeLangm
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

DVD's aren't "old gadgets". They are still VERY much in use, as CD's are too. This shouldn't be in this article.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
ADVERTISEMENT
See Also on Bored Panda
#37

Portable Dictation Devices

Portable Dictation Devices

They were reliable companions for busy professionals who wanted to take notes. Now we have voice-recording apps.

AVandewerdt Report

Add photo comments
POST
cara_6 avatar
Cara
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I still have a dictaphone, but I just plug it into my laptop to upload and send to out secretary, none of this mini tape business. Mini tapes for answerphones were fun though!

View more commentsArrow down menu
#38

Nintendo Power Glove

Nintendo Power Glove

This was an innovative accessory of the ’90s, far ahead of its time. It promised an immersive gaming experience; however, its functionality was limited.

Digital Game Museum Report

Add photo comments
POST
mllechloet avatar
CT
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

For me, the Power Glove reminds me of the movie "The Wizard" (1989), with the character of Lucas Barton who had one (as a child, I had a crush on him)

View more commentsArrow down menu
#39

The Clapper

The Clapper

Clappers were light switches that responded to claps to turn the lights on and off. They were convenient for anyone feeling lazy. They aren’t completely redundant, and you may still be able to buy a clapper online.

Charles Report

#40

Apple iPods

Apple iPod On A Glass Table

iPods gave us 1,000 songs in our pocket. Now, with music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, iPods have become a thing of the past.

Report

Add photo comments
POST
laughingorc avatar
Laughing Orc
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think it's less to do with streaming services and more to do with phones being able to store much more music than they could when iPods were introduced.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu
ADVERTISEMENT
See Also on Bored Panda
#41

Blackberry Phone

Blackberry Phone

The BlackBerry is another obsolete technology that was very popular in the late 2000s. It was quite a status symbol in the business world with its sleek design and signature keyboard. You would often hear people asking, “What’s your BlackBerry PIN?” as a subtle snark that they owned a BlackBerry.

Wojciech30 Report

#42

LaserDisc

LaserDisc

Our list of old gadgets from the ’80s wouldn’t be complete without LaserDiscs. They were popular among cinephiles as they offered better video quality than VHS tapes. However, they were fragile and susceptible to damage. They gave way to DVDs.

Mspritch Report

Add photo comments
POST
kathrynbaylis avatar
Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
12 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In the eighties we called them Videodiscs. They required a special player you could rent with the discs. It was similar to a CD player, only the discs were as big around as an LP, but many times thicker. They were only out for a short time in the early eighties, then disappeared when VCRs took over the market. You could only play whatever movies were out on Videodisc, but not record anything at all, which was a huge drawback, plus VCRs were way way cheaper than the original video player/recorder, the Betamax. VCR tapes were also smaller and cheaper than Betamax tapes.

View more commentsArrow down menu
#43

ColecoVision

ColecoVision

The ColecoVision had over 145 games and gave us gems like Donkey Kong, and Frogger. It was discontinued in the ’80s.

Fritz Saalfeld Report

#44

Nintendo's R.O.B.

Nintendo's R.O.B.

The Robotic Operating Buddy (R.O.B.) was perhaps the first attempt to introduce AI into the real world. It had a distinctive design and offered interactive gameplay. The R.O.B. added a futuristic twist to our gaming experiences.

Evan-Amos Report

Add photo comments
POST
tucker_cahooter avatar
Tucker Cahooter
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I had never seen this and it looks like the inspiration for Wall-E

ADVERTISEMENT
See Also on Bored Panda
#45

GPS Navigation Systems In Cars

GPS Navigation Systems In Cars

After paper maps, people relied on GPS navigation systems — bulky devices that could be fitted on the car dashboard. But as smartphones became smarter, standalone GPS devices gradually lost their shine.

Dandy1022 Report

Add photo comments
POST
jessicaspecht avatar
Jessica SpeLangm
Community Member
12 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Many new cars STILL have GPS navigation. It's built in to the dashboard. This doesn't belong here.

View More Replies...
View more commentsArrow down menu