Tech Nostalgia

I am old enough to remember when Tech stuff just worked, and never went wrong.
The days before ‘planned obsolescence’ made sure we had to throw it away and keep buying new things.

My first ever cassette player. Never let me down once.
Then they stopped making cassettes.

The wonderful Ferguson Videostar VHS player/recorder.
Always reliable, and never once failed to work.
Then they stopped making VHS tapes.

My first CD payer. It cost the equivalent of a month’s wages at the time, and I could only afford to buy six CDs the first year.
It never let me down, but it was so big that when I moved I had to get a ‘mini-system’. I gave it away, still working.

You can buy a DVD player for Β£20 now, but when I bought my first one, there wasn’t much change from Β£500.
It was a monster machine, and always worked well. It is in a box somewhere now, as the size became an issue.

From the 1960s until the year 2000, those products served me well, and never once failed to work.

Shame we can’t say the same about the Tech that’s around today.

60 thoughts on “Tech Nostalgia

  1. It’s one of those things I wrestle with too, Pete. When we get used to using something, something “better” seems to come along. While you didn’t have any problems with prior technology, I doubt that the sound and picture quality was what it is today. It is a bit of a tradeoff, and I certainly have felt like you before.

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  2. Well…I have some old tech that still works as well (an original playstation 2, that’s still functioning as a dvd player, and it really works well😊) Have to agree though…these days modern tech does seem to let you down quite a bit. Although I’m still a fan of my IpadπŸ˜€πŸ˜€

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    1. My washing machine is metal, though many of the car body parts are ‘reinforced plastic’. When I hit a deer, the front panel under the headlights ‘deformed’, and I just had to pull it back into shape. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sadder still are the products of earlier technology that can’t be listened to. I have a Dictaphone record from the 1950’s that we sent to my grandparents to say hello. No idea how to listen to it. Fortunately my old record player still works on the 78rpm records of my grandparents.

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  4. I have a Pioneer receiver amplifier SX-780 that I bought in the 1970’s. It still works like a charm. For years now, it’s been hooked up to a portable CD player. Originally, it was hooked up to a Technics turntable, which still works but is in storage, along with my vinyl record collection.

    A friend gave me a new VHS player at a time when I didn’t have a television set. Then one day, I bought a small flat screen TV and a DVD player. Both players were hooked up to the flat screen TV by Best Buy, but they didn’t explain how to switch from one to the other. So I occasionally use the DVD player, but have never used the VHS player. As for the flat screen TV, it’s not set up for broadcast, and we cancelled the cable a year after we bought it, so it will probably last for decades!

    I had an Envision computer monitor that I bought in 2002 that finally died this year. Over the years, it was hooked up to three personal computers. A friend of mine gave me a Dell monitor, but I have no idea how old it is. My latest PC was purchased in 2013. It’s still working seven years later, although the DVD drive failed within a few months of purchase.

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      1. Salesman: “As always, should you or any of your family purchase this product, the manufacturer will disavow any responsibility regarding the life of said product, which has been programmed to self-destruct ten seconds after the warranty runs out. Good luck, sucker!”

        These days, purchasing a product that is “built to last” is practically a mission impossible.

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  5. Cameras. Yesterday we went on the parkway to observe the fall color. It was a hazy day so taking photos with my phone left me wishing I had a good camera with a UV lens. We have so many film cameras and one digital 35 mm but it is so old the quality is not up to par. This morning I decided to check into buying film for my Hasselblad. Color film, runs about $50 for five rolls. There is one store about 30 miles away that processes film once per week at $3-$5 per roll. Then I looked for a digital back for the Hasselblad. ** $26,000 ** I guess the best option is a new digital SLR.

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    1. I think a modern digital SLR is a good option now. They have fixed most of the early issues, and some of the viewfinders are exceptional. Even better, you no longer have to pay a fortune for them, as many have dropped in price because of the Covid slump.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  6. So glad your Covid test came up negative, Pete, first and foremost. I’m not as nostalgic for the old technology as you are. I remember our old television sets–they were always going on the blink, but I do sometimes wish for the less complicated days of push a button, it comes on and it works.
    –Pam

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    1. Early televisions were awful, I agree. A lot of that was to do with poor signal transmission though. But in 1978, I bought a Sony Trinitron colour TV, and it was still working really well many years later, when I got divorced and moved out. Mind, you, it cost twice as much as any other TV on the market back then.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, machinery – “HARDWARE” – made obsolete because they wouldn’t break on their own…so the technology changed to force you to buy your favorite music and movies in a. different format…I have owned movies on VHS, Laserdisc, DVD and now blu-ray…each one negating the other….and streaming, downloading, storing on a cloud…we’ll see how they can charge you again for that! Interesting though that music, which went from vinyl to 8-trck, cassette, CD and now streaming, is now hugely popular among music fans as vinyl again!

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  8. Can’t agree much with this. We have 2 tape decks still working and used, my PC is 11yrs old and Phil’s one is 15, both in use daily. CD players in our conservatory and bedroom over 20 years old and still going strong. We have newer ones in our media room but they are of excellent quality and we don’t expect them to become obsolete anytime soon. Same with our record players. We don’t have a vhs machine anymore but our DVD player is 10 years old and our blue ray player 5. I think if you do your research before purchasing, and get the best you can afford from reliable makers you don’t have so much problems. Of course we could do away with all that and just go to streaming, but as Phil says, where’s the fun in that!

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      1. My chap Phil sold his record collection many moons ago when he got into CD’s. The howls of anguish when he found out what they’d be worth now :). Now of course he’s replacing them all (2nd hand) bit by bit. πŸ™„

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  9. I’ll give you the CD and DVD players, Pete (though they are basically the same technology). But cassette and VHS players were notorious for two things; chewing up tapes, and recording over previous recordings.

    I seem to recall a guy at C4 who had quite a thing going repairing VHS recorders.

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  10. You are SO right. How many times have I wished that I’d kept my turntable, which ironically is back in fashion now? Planned obsolescence is one of my least favorite things about modern life. I had a scientist friend years ago who used to say that it all started with the disposable razor blade. Have a lovely weekend!

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  11. Not so much tech, but I’m sad to say that my Henry vacuum cleaner has just given up after 22 years of service 😦 Luckily you can still buy them, and only about Β£20 more than I paid all those years ago.
    In saying that my laptop is 7 years old, the TV 13 years, I have an 11 year old server in the basement that stores films and music and a digital camera 12 years old. Agreed they have all been superseded but I’m loathed to upgrade until they go bang. Maybe I’m just lucky with tech πŸ™‚

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  12. We have disposed of them Pete. What I remember and what is being revived now is the record player for singles and LPs. I miss those LPs. mostly Dad’s collection given by his priest friends when he was working in UST. They are quite expensive now. I think we have saved two DVD/CD players but we no longer use them. I have several original CDs two.

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    1. Yes, that was on the rental tapes from places like Blockbuster Video. I had to throw away hundreds of old tapes when I moved. Nobody wanted them, not even Charity Shops. I couldn’t even give them away in 2012. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. I had never seen one of those, it looks very smart. I didn’t own a computer until 2004, and that was my first Dell laptop. I still have it, but the charging connector pins broke. It would cost more to repair than to buy a new cheap laptop!
      Best ishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Things did go wrong, from time to time, but perhaps they were easier to repair back then? Everything seems to be made from throwaway modules nowadays, but you can’t always get them, so it just seems easier to junk the unit and start again, which is bad for the environment. It’s the same with cars: they’ve gone beyond the point of easy home maintenance now. Not good, in many ways. Cheers, Jon.

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  14. It’s funny how we just remember the good stuff. But technology has always been an issue. I remember dad hitting the TV to get rid of the static during hockey night in Canada or fiddling with the stupid rabbit ears. And don’t forget the cassette players that ate your favourite tapes. Our parents complained as much about Technolgy as we do and our kids will later. But things did last longer. I had my first fridge for 30 years. Now they barely last until two days after the warranty is over! LOL

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    1. I was lucky, as that never ruined a tape. The in-car players had a tendency to do that though. I remember the battles with horizontal hold on the TV when I was a child. But by the time I bought my own one, it was a Sony Trinitron that was superb.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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