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Throwback Devices To Flood You With Nostalgia

The development of technology in the last century has gifted the world with some incredible devices and inventions. For many of us, these products will be attached to dear memories of youth and times long gone, though the sentimentality surrounding them remains the same. Join Remi from the Iternal Team and prepare for a blast from the past as he looks at some decade-defining devices that will flood you with nostalgia. 

The Pacman Arcade Machine:

The progenitor of modern video gaming and an absolute staple in the world of arcade games, ‘Pacman’ broke onto the scene with a bang in 1980. The simple, yet frustratingly difficult game is often credited as one of the best and most influential games of all time, paving the way for some of the biggest titles in modern video games including ‘Donkey Kong’; ‘Doom’; Street Fighter’ and much, much more.

Exploding in popularity once it was released in the United States, this addictive 8-bit pass time certainly drained the quarters and pennies from those around the world as the series (as of 2016) is said to have generated around $14 billion. Despite its age and straightforward design, ‘Pacman’ is still in high demand and if you want to purchase an original arcade machine you can expect to be paying upwards of £3,000/$4,000. Were you lucky enough to play ‘Pacman’ when it first came out?

(Photo by Davide Guglielmo from FreeImages)

The Sony Walkman:

If there’s anything more quintessentially 80’s than over-hairsprayed, high volume hairdos, Shellsuits and ‘The Breakfast Club’’, it’s the Sony Walkman. First released in 1979, the device was developed from Sony’s compact cassette recording ‘Pressman’ and bloomed into its own phenomenon in the early to mid 80’s. Originally a cassette player, the Walkman was adapted through the years to keep up with the ever-evolving formats for audio exports including digital audio tapes (DAT’s); compact discs (CDs), and minidiscs. 

There was no cooler way to listen to ‘Purple Rain’ than with your big old Walkman in hand (or attached to your bumbag/fannypack) making your way down the road with your roller skates on. Having sold 385 million units worldwide before their discontinuation in 2010, Sony can be credited with setting the bar for modern mobile music enjoyment with its ‘compact’ design and high quality audio output. Put simply, no Walkman, no iPod. What was the first album you played in your Sony Walkman?

The Nintendo 64: 

In 1996, the world changed forever. Pokemon, the biggest selling franchise of all time hit gaming store shelves everywhere; The single greatest sci-fi action film ever, ‘Independence Day’ was released; and in October of that year, I was born. But possibly more defining than any of those factors was the debut of Nintendo’s next-generation, genre-defining, ahead-of-its-time console: The Nintendo 64. 

Boasting some of the biggest titles of its time, the N64 got its namesake from the 64-bit microprocessor that powered it. This put its processing capabilities miles ahead of its main competitors – the Playstation 1 and the Sega Saturn – which relied on 32 bit microprocessors. Because of this, the console was able to run globally renowned games such as ‘007: Goldeneye’ and ‘The Legend of Zelda: Ocrina of Time’, which are still being enjoyed today. Its tendencies to overheat and occasionally shut down was a small price to pay for the greatest digital entertainment system of its generation.

The Nokia 8110: 

Another notable technological feat of ‘96 was the introduction of the Nokia 8110 mobile phone. While mobile phones (or ‘cellular’ for our readers outside of the UK) had already begun to flood the market some years prior, it was the introduction of this model – affectionately called ‘the banana phone’ – that really started to make mobile phones as fashionable and design-conscious as they are today.

Famously featured in The Wachowskis 1999 blockbuster ‘The Matrix’, these devices were significantly smaller than previous models and featured a sliding plate that protected the keypad when not in use and answered the phone when pulled down (looking unbelievably cool when you did). It’s certainly no iPhone, but they were just as much of a statement at the time. Were you trendy enough to have one at the time? If not, why not try get one now? Nokia recently re-released these devices with up-to-date 4G capability!

The Apple iPad:

Wait, how did this modern memory-making device get on to this post? Oh well, since we’re here it’s worth mentioning that Iternal is giving away the 8th generation 2020 Apple iPad (10.2-inch, Wi-Fi, 32GB) to celebrate five thousand users! All you have to do is sign-up and create an Iternal account here: https://iternal.life/cscompetition/ and you’ll be entered.

You also get an extra entry for every memory you record (and you get thirty free ones when you sign-up to). What better place to get your nostalgic memories down and get the conversation going with your friends and family about all the old tech you used to use?!

The Vinyl Record Player 

These 20th-century iconic devices were a mainstay in homes all over the world through to the 1980s. Invented in 1877 by Thomas Edison (yes, the light bulb man), the phonograph (or the gramophone) was the dominant device for listening to recorded sound for the best part of a century.

Though the ‘record player’ saw a sharp decline in popularity as new audio formats emerged such as CD’s, cassette tapes (*coughcoughthankyouWalkmancough*), and eventually digital audio formats, they still retain a cult following and have been experiencing a revival in the western world since the late 2000s. What was the first record you ever played on your record player? Mine was ‘Kaya’ by Bob Marley!

The Typewriter: 

If we really throw it back before the age of Personal Computer, Laptops, and Tablets, we had the typewriter. Though many an inventor had been toying with the idea of a machine capable of printing letters to paper since the 16th century and possibly before, the first mainstream typewriter was introduced in 1874; becoming an office standard by the mid-1880s.

A testament to its ingenuity and everyday usefulness, the typewriter was a mainstay in offices, businesses, and homes around the world for almost one hundred years until its gradual decline in the 1980s, where it began to be replaced by computers. Still, the typewriters legacy can be seen today in the QWERTY keyboard used on most personal devices. Did you or your parents have a typewriter back in the day? Maybe you had to use one for a qualification?

We’ve touched on a few of the most nostalgic devices from the last few decades; did your most nostalgic make the list? If not, what was it? Let us know in the comments and better yet, get those memories down on your Iternal timeline so you can compare again in 20 years’ time when everything’s holographic!