If you didn't live through in the 90s, you won't understand what a weird and wonderful decade it was. Among other cultural turning points, it was the first time that consumer electronics (like CD players and Gameboys) became accessible to nearly everyone at a sensible price.
However, no one really uses these things anymore, except to be ironic (looking at you, hipsters). The fact that younger audiences reading this won't even recognize some of the things we're about to show pretty much becomes its own reward. If you're a 90s kid yourself, you'll get a decent nostalgia high, but hopefully not feel too old.
Either way, there'll be a lot of fun and a few smiles along the way - come and see for yourself.
1. The Horror Of The Scratched CD
Remove and Replace
If you were used to vinyl, then scratches always meant the end of your music. But when CD's arrived, we were always terrified of the scratches on the surface. Though it didn't usually make any difference at all to the sound.
2. The Big Book Of CDs
When they first came out, CDs were pretty expensive. Then prices fell like a stone and everyone suddenly had hundreds of them. They had to keep them in giant trappers like this.
3. When Video Tapes Went Haywire
A generation familiar with Netflix will never know the frustration of trying to repair a video cassette so they can watch their favorite movies at home.
4. The Thrill Of A Trip To Blockbuster
The video rental chains are long gone now, but there was always real excitement when the family went to shop for a few rentals from the Blockbuster for the weekend.
5. The Audio Cassette Repair Kit
When a cassette went crazy and the tape inside spewed forth into your device and your hands, it was a trusty pencil that you used to try and wind it back inside.
6. Romance Is Dead
When you can text the person you're interested in, there's no need to pass a romantic note in class. We think you're missing out on something sweet here.
7. The Boom Box Special
Yes, the boom box. In retrospect, it was a dreadful idea to have a portable stereo you could use to annoy other people absolutely everywhere, but it was cool for about 10 minutes.
8. The Cable Knot On A Landline Phone
Nobody will get nostalgic for this mess. Cables that used to tie themselves in a tangled mess and then needed hours of work to get them back to normal? RIP, landline phone.
9. The Moment Of Pure Horror
You'd set the video tape to record and then go out. Then you'd come home and instead of your favorite show, you got this dancing screen of static. Epic fail.
10. Old People's GPS
Before there was Google Maps, there were maps. They were made of paper and you had to work out where you were and where you wanted to go without any help from technology.
11. The Fuss Over Napster
Before there was YouTube streaming, there was a company called Napster which facilitated the first online music piracy. It was great. Unless you were in a band, then it wasn't great at all.
12. The Slidey Metal Thing
One of the many things you miss out on today is the chance to slide this metal thing to grab your remote control. No, it doesn't make much sense in retrospect, but it was cool at the time.
13. The CD Walkman
Possibly the worst audio device of all time was the portable CD Walkman. It didn't fit in a pocket, rarely stayed stable enough to play a tune through and used a ton of battery power.
14. Getting Ready For Gaming Fun
Little Birds Me
The old school cartridges for games machines were amazing if you could get the dust out of it so the game would actually work. Blowing helped. Honest.
15. Battery Power Was Better
One thing that hasn't got better over time is battery life. Our old phones might have been less functional, but batteries lasted for days, not hours.
16. The Dual Device Wielder Of Yesteryear
Now, your smartphone is your phone AND your music player, but it wasn't always like that. As technology evolved it got more compact, but we still had to carry multiple devices.
17. Before VoIP Was A Thing
Calls are always free with Skype, Facebook, Google Hangouts, etc., but once upon a time, they weren't. Most of us got free minutes late in the evening and we made sure we used them because calls were expensive.
It's amazing how far we've come in just a few decades. We wonder what people born after 2020 won't recognize about today's technology?
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