Aug 6, 2014

Old Tech

Last Christmas one of the things we gave the kids was our old iPod Nanos. I wiped all the music, loaded heaps of the kids' favourite songs, and bought $10 headsets from Kmart to replace the old Apple earbuds.
It was their favourite gift and they still love them, and use them every day.

Recently they've got into playing 'spy games' so last weekend I handed over all our other old gadgets for their toy boxes.

They now enhance their games with my old Motorola Razr flip-phone, Y's tiny silver Nokia, a hand-held voice recorder and my high school scientific calculator (which is still a good calculator!).

"What is this, a phone for ants?"

Hello, old friend

State of the art!

Circa 1986. Note my restraint not making
it say HELLO or BOOBS

Oh, and Y's first mobile phone, the massive and heavy Philips Fizz.

Ha ha ha ha ha!

The phones are their favourites, and they were mystified by the voice recorder and the portable tape deck. The voice recorder was purchased years ago while I was doing a teaching course, to record interviews and record myself teaching classes.

"How does it work?" asked the kids as I handed it to them.

"Easy," I said. You open it here, see, and load in a blank cassette..."

"What's a cassette?"

"Uh... you know, those plastic things that they used in the old days to play music?"  They looked at me blankly and I realised they've probably never seen one.  "Never mind."

So I went on the hunt for some blank cassettes, so they could record things.

Not too long ago (I think), you could still get them at supermarkets. No longer. JB Hi Fi don't seem to have them. An online search brings up a few online stores that sell them, but nothing else.  Then the other day, I dropped into our local Quickie Mart for milk and found some very dusty TDK 90 minute cassettes on the hardware shelf. Who would have guessed twenty years ago, that you would eventually be able to buy the coveted TDK 90-minute cassette tapes for $2.90 each?

Do you still use any of these old gadgets?


  1. I just remembered the old ad, TDK does amazing things to your system. I still have cassettes and the facility to play them, but I never do. There is some audio on them I want to keep and I should transfer it to digital. As for the music, blah, mostly awful now.

    1. Oh yeah I loved those ads.
      I still have cassettes too with music I still like but never listen to. Yanni (my husband) still has a million cassettes and uses them! Both our cars have tape decks in them as well as CD players (but no MP3 outlet)

  2. My wife still has a cassette re-winder...and uses it!

    Those old phones have so many game uses.

    1. Just remembered the old ads at Blockbusters: Be kind, re-wind.

  3. Oh my goodness!! TDK 90 minute tapes! I had so many of those with compilations I'd made myself. I've actually still got them, they're at my daughter's house. I'd buy the cassette singles of songs I loved, then tape them onto the 90 minute tapes until they were filled on both sides. I should bring them home and listen, I still have a cassette player on the old portable Sony radio.
    I remember those tiny voice recording tapes too, I had one in my first answering machine.
    Love the old phones, my Nokia was a bit bigger than that, but still works well, I gave it to a friend when I got a new phone about 8 years ago.

  4. Recycling at its very best.
    We still have a cassette deck, though it is some years since it has been used. We should - or at least transfer the cassettes to digital. Thanks for the nudge.

  5. Good memories! Remember spending ages on a mix tape as of course it was SO important to get the songs in the right order. That's all gone now with random shuffles on iPods it no longer seems to matter.
    I will be VERY impressed (and surprised) if any of you actually get around to transferring your tape collections to digital :)

    1. Mine were transferred years ago, I have a couple of dozen mix cds now which I also never listen to since all the songs are on the ipod.

  6. No definitely we don't use TDK here is a history. Now all teenagers use smartphones or iPhone and adults too. But I remember the first mobile phone Nokia it was good but now is a history.

  7. We still have a tape player somewhere down in the basement but we had a friend transfer our tapes to CD and gave our tapes away. I may still have a couple of new ones...if I find them I'll get your address and send them to you.

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