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Nostalgia: Long Gone Gadgets

John Cusack in Say Anythi 002 300x180 Nostalgia: Long Gone Gadgets

This week, Zemoga’s talking gadgets: our all-time favorites, cutting-edge innovations, and even ones that haven’t been invented…yet.  Today, we’re getting blast from the past with some gadget nostalgia!

By Briana Campbell (@MsMatchgirl)

It’s 1988, you’re sitting in a movie theater with a couple of girlfriends, eating Twizzlers and drinking a diet cola.  And before you, on screen, sweet Lloyd Dobbler (John Cusack) is holding a boom box high above his head, Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” blaring, trying to win back his love, Diane Cort (Ione Skye).  It’s an iconic scene.  It’s one this girl has thought (ok, dreamt) a lot about over the years.  And it’s dated.

I mean, really?  A boom box?  What would an 18 year old, love struck teenager use today?  Holding an iPod docking station above your head doesn’t quite have the same affect, does it?

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This week, Zemoga’s talking gadgets: our all-time favorites, cutting-edge innovations, and even ones that haven’t been invented…yet.  Today, we’re getting blast from the past with some gadget nostalgia!

By Briana Campbell (@MsMatchgirl)

It’s 1988, you’re sitting in a movie theater with a couple of girlfriends, eating Twizzlers and drinking a diet cola.  And before you, on screen, sweet Lloyd Dobbler (John Cusack) is holding a boom box high above his head, Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” blaring, trying to win back his love, Diane Cort (Ione Skye).  It’s an iconic scene.  It’s one this girl has thought (ok, dreamt) a lot about over the years.  And it’s dated.

I mean, really?  A boom box?  What would an 18 year old, love struck teenager use today?  Holding an iPod docking station above your head doesn’t quite have the same affect, does it?

In the 80s, the boom box was the way that people shared music.  You took it to the park or to the beach, you made mix tapes, songs recorded off the built-in radio.  Kids carried them through city streets and on subway cars, blasting their tunes for all to hear.  They weren’t portable by today’s standards, but they certainly made a social impact on music sharing.

Today, we use our smart-phones to do pretty much everything from taking photos and video to shopping online to communicating with our friends.  We’re connected at all times.  It’s a whole new world.  I’m feeling a bit nostalgic for simpler times, for some technologies that seemed so cutting edge in their day, but are all hanging out together in the gadget graveyard now.  Having grown up in the 1980s, several come to mind.

Here are a few I’m reminiscing about:

Polaroid may be making a comeback, but it has been popular amongst my “hipster” pals and other “artist” types all along.  Is there anyone else out there who longs for that $20 plastic camera and shooting and shaking tons of pics of your pals?  Anyone else have photo albums full of bad hair, lavender colored plastic eyeglasses and acid-washed jeans, all on Polaroid film?  The Polaroid app on my phone, while producing totally cool looking images, just isn’t the same.

Pagers (or beepers) were so awesome.  Originally only for important professional types, they crossed 80s/early 90s culture to students, call girls and, who can forget the famous interaction from the first season of The Real World, where naïve Julie asks New York rapper Heather B if she’s a drug dealer because she wears a beeper on her belt.  Sometime in the late 90s, cell phones started to overtake pagers as the way to contact people on the go.

OK. When I was in the 4th grade, this kid Tim sat next to me in class and he had one of those amazing (yet ever so geeky) Casio Databank watches.  I know that Casio still makes those things, but there is something so fun about one of the 80s models.  They were so cutting edge!  A calculator and time – on. your. wrist! Crazy!

Sure, today, you can play Tetris on your phone, but did anyone else have one of these?  My sisters and I used to fight (with my dad!) over who had the next turn at Tetris on our GameBoy.  I guarantee that this first generation one is sitting quietly on a shelf at my folks’ house.  I remember, in the late 90s, buying a next generation one (still a black & white screen, but much slimmer) and a year or so later, though still the 90s, my boyfriend buying me a GameBoy color – which I still have.  I’ve never used it for much besides Tetris (and a little Pokémon during a best not talked about Japanimation phase in 1998), but, really what more does a girl need?

And, while I may run my entire life – three email accounts, calendar, messaging, phone (and more!) – on my Google MyTouch, there was a time when Palm was the only thing out there in the world of personal, electronic organizers.  It was small, fit in your pocket (or on your belt like a pager) and kept you oh-so-much-more organized than pencil and paper. Sure, they’re having some problems now, but there was a time when they ruled the roost, and don’t you forget it!

Just a few of the geeky gadgets from times gone by that I’m feeling a little nostalgic for today.  And I left off Atari and answering machines and my Fisher-Price portable record player!  What are some gadgets you remember (and miss)?  Leave them in the comments – we want to know!

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