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We Feel So Old Thanks To People Sharing The Obsolete Tech They Remember Being New

September 27, 2021

You don't have to be that old to notice how quickly technology moves in the 21st Century.

I mean, I remember when Sonic the Hedgehog was the peak of next-gen gaming. Safe to say things have changed a bit since then.

The r/AskReddit thread, "What is something that you actually remember being new technology, but is now obsolete?" will either make you feel old, or very old.

Using infrared to transfer files.

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"I remember trading Pokémon the old fashioned way with a cable, and if you pulled out the cable while the second transfer was going through you'd duplicate the first Pokémon transferred.

"So many pidgeys sacrificed in exchange for endless squirtles."


T9 texting.

"This is my favorite answer in this thread as it really was very useful for a very short period of time. My first smart phone was in college and until then, I always had a flip phone. In high school, everyone used T9 specifically for texting while in class since you could keep it in your pocket and send texts without even looking."


CD drives in every computer.

"I needed a CD-Rom in the back of a textbook and my laptop didn't have one so I ended up using my Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive plugged into the USB to rip it as an ISO then using a program to mount the ISO image, that way I didn't have to plug it in each time I needed it. What a scam to force us to buy new textbooks."


Microsoft Encarta.

"Not exactly tech, but interactive encyclopedias on cds. I remember being amazed as a kid, so much information, sound clips, music, images, even videos and easy search. Now you just have all of that and so much more on Wikipedia."


CD burners.

"Yeah, I bought a DVD writer a decade ago along with one of those giant spindles of writable disks.

"Maybe got halfway through the package. It's floating around in a box somewhere from when I moved. Still have the DVD writer in my PC but I haven't used it for at least 3 years and even before that it was pretty infrequently used."



"I remember in the mid-2000's I saved up and bought a Dell PDA. I felt so cool having this thing and I ended up using the spreadsheet function at my school to help do inventory since I was helping with their IT. Felt so cool going to classrooms and being so futuristic using that thing to document serial numbers and details lol."


Flip phones.

"When people were losing their s**t excited about a flip smart phone, it quite literally hurt my brain to think about the weird time circle I had lived through, from a flip phone being the coolest to obsolete and then coming back around to cool."


MP3 players.

"Dedicated MP3 players. Going from a Walkman to a Discman to an MP3 player was huge. 'I can have ALL my albums on this one device!?'

"These days people look at me funny for not just using my phone. But the iPod Classic is still the best music device I've ever found."


Nintendo 64.

"I remember playing Goldeneye on N64 and thinking it was the literal peak of gaming. I wasn't really into PC stuff even though multiplayer was around for awhile by then, so having a few friends in one room split screen with a pizza was literal heaven."


Dedicated GPS devices.

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"I remember when GPS devices came out, that was huge. No more printing out directions, the little machine will direct you. Pretty much immediately the same exact thing was added to smartphones. I bet my dad still has his GPS in his glovebox dusty as all hell"


Custom ringtones.

"It used to be such a huge industry back in the day and people would actually pay money for s**tty 8bit versions of songs to play when people called them. Now most people I know just keep their phones on vibrate or silent and use default ringtones."


Prepaid phone cards.

"You'd buy a phonecard so that you could use it in a payphone and never have to worry about having change. They converted half the phoneboxes to take them which must have been a major infrastructure operation. This must have been the 1980s I think. Now completely forgotten."



"My father bought one of those when they cost so much he got the one where the remote control was attached to the machine by a cable to save a little money. That thing was a BEAST.

"I don't think it ever actually broke. One move we just decided not to take it with us because it weighed a ton and new VCRs cost next to nothing at that point."


Caller ID boxes that were separate from the phone.

"Caller ID boxes. I used to think we were so fancy since we had the little box with the screen that showed name and number before anyone else we knew had one"


Nintendo Entertainment System.

"I remember getting a Nintendo (NES) in the late 80's. It' hard to explain how amazing it was to have that at home. Now we can use emulators and download all of the games onto a small hard drive, but the act of changing the games and the way they looked and felt...all of that was really great."


CD changers in the trunk of a car.

"I had one of those 6-CD changers that went in the trunk, that thing was badass. Until you realized the CD you wanted to listen to was inside the car with you, and not in the device, so you had to pull over to take something out and put the new CD in."



"Typewriters, I was so proud to get my first portable, I was going to write a novel. I actually did a course as a teen to learn to use the new electric typewriters. If anyone ever needs to replace a typewriter ribbon, I'm qualified."


Open world video games.

"I remember being at my friend's house and being amazed at the concept of an open world game when he was showing me GTA III. Felt like you could do anything in that game, now I know Liberty City by heart and find most open world games kinda intimidating and boring."


Old school digital cameras.

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"My dad was super excited the first time he brought a digital camera home for us to play with. It was a brick that took 8 photos and saved them onto a floppy disc. It even came with a floppy disc carry case so you didn't have to worry about losing them."



"Oh my..... I am 62......

"Fax machines, word processors, pagers, home answering machines, cable TV, vhs, Beta, cd players and disks, 8 tracks, 85 percent efficiency furnaces, 4 barrel carburetors, fuel injected 2 stroke outboad engines, variable cylinder engines, frozen orange juice, tang, electric typewriter........I could go on....."