Not Nostalgic: Using Old Tech and What You Don’t Miss

Photo by Daniel Hedrick on flickr

The following is a guest post

Nostalgia can be a knee jerk reaction for some people, but those people probably haven’t tried to stream a YouTube on a dial-up connection. This isn’t the only old piece of technology that was a massive pain either. We often don’t appreciate how great new technology is until we look more closely at the older stuff and just how irritating it could be. Here are a few examples of tech that you most likely won’t miss.

Blue Screen of Death


Image via Flickr by _rockinfree

Although it can still happen today, of course, the Blue Screen of Death is something that people from the earlier days of computing will remember far more than those from today’s tablet-toting, smartphone-using generation of techies. As soon as that blue screen appeared, you knew that your computer was in serious trouble. It was the computer equivalent of a choked off scream. The frequency of these visits from the Blue Screen is something no modern computer user will ever miss.

Screeching Dial-Up Modems

Remember back when you had to pick one, either phone or Internet? Your Internet addiction could cut off the entire family from the phone. And then when they decided to pick up the phone out of spite, or if they didn’t know you were using it, you’d immediately get kicked off, and they’d get an earful of sound splitting line noise.

No, that’s not Skrillex’s latest hit.


If you connected to the Internet enough, in fact, you’d often start hearing that “song” in your sleep. Some people can’t even listen to EDM anymore without getting traumatic flashbacks.

No one will miss getting a per-hour rate on Internet either. Just imagine if all those hours browsing pictures of cats could cost hundreds of dollars. You’ll breathe easier by assuring yourself that the days of dial-up are truly behind us.

Printing the Slow Way with Dot Matrix

These were like modern printers, only infinitely slower and louder. Now there are new-fangled printers that use lasers and that can pop out pages in seconds. But the old dot matrix units would take an hour just to load, and nearly as long to print out anything of serious length.


Floppy Disks Fails

It can be jarring to realize that the huge awkward floppy disks of the past store just 1.44 MB of data while being many times larger than the tiny SD cards we have now that store thousands of times more data. If you wanted to install any large program this way, it could take dozens of disks to do the trick.

And by the time you got to the end the entire process could be corrupted because the things were so buggy. You can also forget the security provided by Cloud backups; if the floppy you had your huge project on failed, you were straight out of luck.

CRT Monitors

Anyone who grew up with modern LCD screens would be quite confused by their much bulkier predecessors that weighed about 5 times more for no apparent reason.

So just because something’s old and part of your younger days, it clearly doesn’t arouse nostalgia automatically. After all, would you really give up all the conveniences of today for some of these obsolete technologies?

Tommy Wyher is from Tampa, Florida. He does not miss anything about dial up or getting kicked off when the phone was picked up so he trusts hughesnet plans to keep him connected.

One thought on “Not Nostalgic: Using Old Tech and What You Don’t Miss

  1. Pingback: Inside the surprisingly persistent success of AOL | buzzcarl

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