JAM | May 11, 2023

Technology that Gen Z won’t know

Shemar-Leslie Louisy

Shemar-Leslie Louisy / Our Today

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Here’s a history lesson for Gen Z and Gen Alpha about some of the earlier days of different technologies that all dominated the space during the 1990s and early 2000s. As newer technology continues to rapidly evolve, innovation has left behind a trail of obsolete devices that now serve as nostalgic relics of a bygone era.

5. The Floppy Disk

Before being known as the “save icon” the floppy disk was a real device that people would use to store important files electronically.

The floppy disk was first released in 1971 as a portable storage medium for their computer Over time, smaller versions of the floppy disk were developed until the more popular 3.5-inch floppy disk in 1982. The 3.5-inch floppy disk became widely used in personal computers until it was eventually phased out and replaced by other storage technologies like CDs, USB drives, and cloud storage.

4. The Nokia 3310

Original Nokia 3310

Before the era of smartphones and flip phones before that, the mobile phone space was dominated by the Nokia 3310. First released in September 2000, it quickly gained immense popularity and became one of the most iconic and best-selling mobile phones of all time.

3. Pagers

Telling people to “beep me” was a real thing.

A pager, also known as a beeper, was a small portable electronic device that was widely used for communication purposes before the advent of widespread cell phone usage. Pagers were popular from the 1980s through the 1990s and gradually declined in popularity by the early 2000s.

Clip from Call Me, Beep Me! The Kim Possible theme song (Video captured: YouTube @Disneyplus)

Pagers were primarily used for sending short text messages, known as “pages” or “beeps,” to the device’s owner. The pager itself was a small rectangular or pocket-sized device with a small screen or display, typically capable of showing a few lines of text. It was lightweight, often made of plastic, and had a clip or holster for easy attachment to a belt or pocket.

2. VHS Tape

Believe it or not, before streaming, and DVDs, people would buy these little black boxes called VHS (Video Home System) Tapes to watch movies and recordings.

They dominated the consumer market from the late 1970s to the early 2000s. Developed by JVC (Victor Company of Japan), VHS revolutionized the way people watched and recorded videos at home.

VHS tapes were rectangular plastic cassettes that housed a length of magnetic tape. The tape was wound between two spools inside the cassette and contained both audio and video signals. The format allowed users to record and playback television shows, movies, and other content on VHS-compatible VCRs (Video Cassette Recorders).

1. Tamagotchis aka Giga Pets

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, before people were spending all their time on smartphones and TikTok, there was a popular electronic toy called the Giga Pet. It was a small handheld device that allowed users to care for and interact with a virtual pet. The Giga Pet was a part of the larger trend of virtual pet toys that gained popularity during that time.

The device had a small screen and buttons for navigation and interaction. When you turned on the Giga Pet, you were greeted with a pixelated image of a virtual pet, which could be an animal or a creature. The goal was to take care of this virtual pet by feeding it, playing with it, and ensuring its overall well-being.

You had to regularly check on your Giga Pet and perform various tasks to keep it happy and healthy. For instance, you would need to feed it by pressing buttons to select food options and watch it virtually consume the food on the screen. Neglecting to care for your virtual pet properly could result in it becoming sick or unhappy.

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