"Dial-up internet. I loved being able to do madlibs, chat with people on IRC or Yahoo, get Mortal Kombat fatalities, and print off naked pictures from playboy that took me 20 minutes to download lol. I was so amazed!!"
"T9 texting. I learned an entirely new way of relaying language and will never use it again"
"Cordless phones. When they first dropped it was the newest thing imaginable. Flash forward a few years and no one even has a house phone."
"Custom ringtones. It used to be such a huge industry back in the day and people would actually pay money for [email protected]#tty 8bit versions of songs to play when people called them. Now most people I know just keep their phones on vibrate or silent and use default ringtones."
"Dedicated Mp3 players. Going from a walkman to a discman to an mp3 player was huge. “I can have ALL my albums on this one device!?” These days people look at me funny for not just using my phone. But the ipod classic is still the best music device I’ve ever found."
"My dad was super excited the first time he brought a digital camera home for us to play with. It was a brick that took 8 photos and saved them onto a floppy disc. It even came with a floppy disc carry case so you didn’t have to worry about losing them."
"Zip drives. In college we had to try to save all our massive Photoshop files to max 500MB ZIP disks"
"Infrared to send files from one phone to another"
"TiVo. It was a big deal to be able to automatically record shows, and an even bigger deal to be able to skip commercials. Now, we just watch it on-demand."
"I specifically remember sitting on the living room floor with my brother playing ocarina of time on the N64 and saying to each other ‘man, graphics can’t get better than this’"
"So so much. One that rings a bell is I remember watching a tech show about a new thing that had just been invented and was said to be the indestructible replacement for tapes. Called the CD."
"When I was in second grade, a kid on my bus was showing off a sheet of paper with movies listed on it. His parents had just gotten a VCR, and him and his brother were being allowed to get 1 movie each because they were over $100 per tape. Video stores weren’t even a thing for another year or two."
"At some point in the late ’90s Best Buy had a black Friday sale on writable DVDs. I bought 200. I have about 150 of them left."
"Caller ID boxes. I used to think we were so fancy since we had the little box with the screen that showed name and number before anyone else we knew had one"
"Laserdisc. Gigantic album-sized CDs, really."
"I remember when GPS devices came out, that was huge. No more printing out directions, the little machine will direct you. Pretty much immediately the same exact thing was added to smartphones. I bet my dad still has his GPS in his glovebox dusty as all hell"
"CD Players especially in cars. I thought the best thing ever would be to have a CD changer in my car. Now my car doesn’t even have a CD player."
"Not exactly tech, but interactive encyclopedias on cds. I remember being amazed as a kid, so much information, sound clips, music, images, even videos and easy search. Now you just have all of that and so much more on wiki."
"Flip phones. I remember when the Motorola Razr was cutting edge."
"VCRs – I remember when they cost close to $1000 CDN and were the greatest thing ever."
"Digital photo frames. Everyone seemed to have one for about 3 weeks and now I haven’t seen one in about 10 years"