Technostalgia: Fondly Remembering Old School Technology

Technostalgia

(tek.noh.STAL.juh) n. adj. A sentimental longing or wistful affection for now-obsolete technologies from the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.

“I was overcome with acute technostalgia for my days in the computer lab in college.”

Reminisce with us:
John:

  • The triumphant feeling of a 5 1/4″ floppy disc in your hand (Whoa! 500K of storage?!)
  • Chirpy crackle of a dial up modem
  • Warm cathode glow of a DOS C prompts
  • Walking to the IS department to beg them to run a report for you
  • The sound of a dot matrix printer going to town on that A/R report
  • Green and white lined reports with the perforated sides

Melanie:

  • When “computers” was an actual class, and that was the only time you ever used one

Ed

  • The machine-gun bra-a-a-a-a-a-a-p of the IBM card punch after my Fortran program had compiled
  • Lusting for time on the hot new 16-bit CDC-1700 minicomputer with its awesome 64K of RAM, but knowing that it was reserved for the grad students’ projects
  • Polishing the beads on the abacus

Julie

  • When Pong and Solitaire were the extent of the gaming industry
  • The intense hunting scenes from Oregon Trail
  • How astonishing Prodigy was: “Wait- you are typing into the computer and someone else across the country can see it and respond?!”
  • Stacks of warm, purple-smeared (likely toxic) dittos, fresh from the machine
  • Blowing into the end of Nintendo cartridges to get them working again
  • Half a dozen 8-tracks shifting around in the footwell of my dad’s Datsun

Amy

  • Daydreaming about the endless possibilities while waiting for Aldus PageMaker to load
  • Satisfying “thunk” when you popped a zip disk into a zip drive, and the a alarming force with which it spat it out at you when ejected

Michael

  • The “Turbo” button on a 486 POS that would boost my megahertz. Once you push that button is there any going back?
  • “Tower” computers sitting next to desks that were about 30″ high and contained more cubic inches than storage+memory+speed
  • Palm devices that sucked instantly as I wondered “If it stores my contacts, why can’t I call or email them with it?”
Do you get misty-eyed thinking about the moment you plugged in your first computer?
Share your memories below or contact us and we can reminisce together.

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