Special Report

Obsolete Gadgets We Used to be Obsessed With

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1. Stereo 8

Stereo 8 was the official name, but most people, if they still remember it, know it as the 8-track tape. This is what millions of Americans used in the 1970s to listen to music on the go. Then the cassette tape took over, and by the 1990s the 8-track tape was pretty much an antique.

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2. Dial-Up Modem

Before cable internet and WiFi Americans used their analog telephones to connect to the internet. After dialing a number, the computer would use the modem, short for modulator-demodulator, to send and receive information to another computer. The downside was that the connection was often slow and often breaking/interrupted. Of course, the phone could not be used at the same time to make regular calls.

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3. Wang calculator

The Wang calculator revolutionized electronic calculators. Invented in the early 1960s, it made it possible for people to do complicated math, including square root and raising numbers to powers. They looked like mini-computers.

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4. Walkman

Remember when rewinding and fast forwarding took longer than an instant? Walkman players, which played cassette tapes, were the it thing in portable music, selling 400 million devices, way before the iPod. When kids today tried to use a Walkman, they couldn’t handle them, finding them hard to operate.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

5. Portable TV

Portable televisions were never as big of a hit as, say, the Walkman, because of their limited number of channels. They were used in the 1960s and 1970s. Sony was the first company to mass-produce the device and put it on the market. It was called Sony Watchman.

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