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April 8, 2021

Look How Far We've Come! A Look Back at Some Favorite Retro Devices

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photo of cassette standing upright on table with stack of cassette cases behind

With all of today's technology expanding at an exponential rate, sometimes it's hard to keep up with its ferocious pace. Unlike Murphy's Law (if anything can go wrong it probably will), there's a lesser-known rule known as Moore's Law. It relates to the number of transistors on a microchip that doubles in size every few years while computers go down in price. Given this rapid rate of advancement, let's take a look back at some often forgotten high-tech devices and one item that was a flop before it had the chance to succeed in this competitive and challenging marketplace. 

Beepers and PDAs

Owning a PDA (or Personal Digital Assistant) or having a beeper was considered all the rage back in the day. However, the popularity of these devices was short-lived at best. While PDAs saw a significant surge in sales at the turn of the 21st century, other omnipresent devices like smartphones and tablets quickly took over this high-tech, handheld marketplace. With PDAs, pointers were necessary often leading to writing mishaps and other problems leading to their ultimate demise. Now we have spell check and autocorrect to rewrite our messages often with hilarious results.

Cassette Tapes and Boom Boxes

Long before people were downloading music from the internet, older generations were grabbing tunes off the radio by snagging these sounds and recording them onto cassette tapes. Does anyone remember making "mix-tapes?" Around this same time, gigantic boom boxes playing music were also all the rage. Nowadays, devices to air these tunes are mostly pocket-sized and most listeners are using earpieces in order to tune into their favorite sounds. It also means that everyone in the immediate area isn't subject to hearing people's playlist.

CDs and Floppy Disk Storage

When computers began making their way into more businesses and households (aka the PC or personal computer), removable storage items followed Moore's Law. In a matter of just a few years, floppy disks went from 8-1/2" down to 5-1/4" and then to the more firm 3-1/2" inch variety. Many wondered how much smaller they would go before CDs were created. All the while these storage devices were holding more and more data as they became smaller. Thanks to today's many cloud storage solutions and other devices like memory sticks, these disks have become a thing of the past. 

Google Glasses

This gadget just never really took off with the masses and was a huge disappointment for the search engine giant. Google Glasses first hit the marketplace in 2013 along with a hefty price tag of $1,500.00 USD. Consumers simply weren't looking at shelling out that kind of cash for this high-tech eyewear. Even though Google eventually dropped the price down to $999.00, users still had privacy concerns with the product, and omnipresent smartphones accomplished most of the same tasks, so these lenses just didn't cut it with customers.

What about your high-tech gear? Do you need help with your gadgets or devices? Our Buckeye Brainiacs have you covered with everything from modern webinars to workshops and more. If you can't find what you're looking for online, feel free to contact us directly at one of our many locations. We're always looking forward to hearing from you with the best advice especially about the hottest technology to get the most from today's modern devices. 

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