Often times we get nostalgic looking back on the technology items of yesteryear. Those of us old enough to remember the ’80s fondly look back on the Commodore 64, or the Osborne 1 luggable “microcomputer.” Other tech items, well, not so much.
The housing on the bottom would always clog with dust to the point of non-response, before drag-drag-SLAM on the mousepad. Not to be confused with modern trackball mice with the finger-operated ball outside the chassis, which are great for gaming and music production.
Heaven forbid you ever had to move your computer to a different desk. A 21-inch CRT monitor is a herniated disc waiting to happen.
Token Ring LAN
Life before Ethernet meant your switch was made by IBM and one malfunctioning workstation could plague the entire network. There was a time in the mid-’80s when Token Ring was the preferred networking technology in business. Ethernet gained a slight speed advantage, and by the ‘90s, Token Ring was the Betamax of office networking.
A “scuzzy” chain saved space inside a computer by connecting several peripherals—a CD-ROM drive, a disk drive, a scanner, etc.—to one host adapter which took up only one slot in the bus. SCSI had a reputation of being finicky as all get-out. If you looked at it wrong and things stopped working, you had a world of troubleshooting to do. Life before USB was weird.
Belt-like ATA cables were bulky, crimped easily, and slow. What a shame the heyday of custom PC building coincided with the height of ATA cabling. They made for some unsightly builds with their intestine-like aesthetic.
That sound. Why was it called a “handshake”? More like a headache!
Remember when fax machines ruled the office? Well, if you work in healthcare, a legal setting, finance, or an insurance company, they still do. Sorry.
What are some obsolete technology items you don’t miss?