Skip To Content
  • Old-School Tech To Smart Tech badge

13 Things That Were So Futuristic When You Were A Kid, But Are Now Totally Obsolete

Remember when those colorful iMacs were peak technology?

The past few decades have been an explosion of technology. It's wild to think about how much things have changed even from when we were kids to now.

NBC / Via giphy.com

So when redditor u/chevroletstyleline asked, "What is something that you actually remember being new technology, but is now obsolete?" people had lots of nostalgic suggestions. Here are some of the most upvoted ones:

1. CD-ROM encyclopedias:

"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 wiki."

u/llamasinbahamas

2. Infrared file sharing:

"Infrared to send files from one phone to another."

u/Daverina

3. Rewritable CDs:

"At some point in the late '90s, Best Buy had a Black Friday sale on writable DVDs. I bought 200. I have about 150 of them left."

u/mordeci00

A rewritable CD in a clear plastic case being held in a person's hands
Michel Baret / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

 

4. Car CD players, especially the ~fancy~ ones with a six-disc changer:

"CD players, especially in cars. I thought the best thing ever would be to have a CD changer in my car. Now my car doesn't even have a CD player."

u/markhewitt1978

5. Caller ID devices:

"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."

u/orangestar17

6. 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."

u/shaidyn

7. T9 texting:

"T9 texting. I learned an entirely new way of relaying language and will never use it again."

u/GoldenGod4818

keypad of a black candy bar style mobile phone
Diablo2097 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

8. Flip phones:

"I remember when the Motorola Razr was cutting edge."

u/The_Louster

9. WebTV:

"WebTV. An internet box that connected to the phone line and the TV. Internet access without a full-on computer!"

u/wish4111

10. Ringtones:

"Custom ringtones. It used to be such a huge industry back in the day, and people would actually pay money for shitty 8-bit 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."

u/-eDgAR-

11. Nintendo 64 graphics:

"I specifically remember sitting on the living room floor with my brother, playing Ocarina of Time on the N64 and saying to each other, 'Man, graphics can’t get better than this.'"

u/AlexGarrido

Young Link in Ocarina of Time holding the Ocarina in wonder
Nintendo / Via youtube.com

12. GPS devices, like TomToms and Garmins:

"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."

u/stingrayrodriguez

13. And finally, payphone calling cards:

"You'd buy a phone card 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."

u/elom44

Is there anything you remember thinking was super futuristic, but is like an ancient relic now? Let us know in the comments!

Nostalgia Trip

Take a trip down memory lane that’ll make you feel nostalgia AF

Newsletter signup form