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wayback machine

9 gadgets that seemed incredibly high-tech in the 1990s

Hit me on my beeper.

REMEMBER WHEN YOU first got your sticky paws on treasured bits of shiny new technology?

Before the digital age we live in now, getting any new piece of slightly baffling gadgetry was exciting. It felt like The Future. Of course, looking back, we can see that the 90s weren’t really a golden era for personal tech items.

Plus, if the 90s was only a few years ago (as we’re sure it must be) then how come all this stuff looks so … old?

1. Beepers

Imagine trying to explain beepers (or pagers, as they were also known) to a young teenager today. They wouldn’t believe people actually paid money for these things.

Hades2k Hades2k

2. Talkboy

Who can forget the ads for Talkboys? They were essentially a crude cassette-based dictaphone, but with the added credibility of once having being held by Macauley Culkin. Which was good enough for us, evidently.

Chris Garrison Chris Garrison

3. WAP

Riddle me this: Did anyone actually ever complete a function on their phone using the WAP connection or was it all just an urban myth?

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barnoid barnoid

4. Discmans

We all remember the Discman. But do we all remember the Discman’s clunky, annoying wingman? Yes, that’s right. The flip-through, not-quite-pocket-size CD album. Unless you wanted to listen to the same CD all day, it was a necessary evil.

Yep, cool accessory. Especially when someone spots your copy of Garth Brooks’ Greatest Hits nestling among the other CDs.

mpolla mpolla

5. The PlayStation

When it was released, the PlayStation seemed to blow its predecessors right out of the water in terms of games and graphics. For those reared on Commodores or Atari – or even the whipper-snappers whose first video game memory is the Sega MegaDrive – the PlayStation seemed like a whole new world.

MeganMorris MeganMorris

6. Teletext

Remember when the only way to tell what would be on telly next was clicking 180 on the Teletext? Simpler times, my friends. Simpler times.

davepattern davepattern

7. Digital cameras

We thought we were the business. In retrospect, our digital cameras were incredibly poor quality photographs laboured with time stamps, and only held about 10 of them to boot. But at the time, whipping out your massive silver digital camera made family gatherings and holidays all the sweeter.

And HandyCams, remember HandyCams? A means for your mortifying dancing at your uncle’s wedding to be captured in video for all of time.

Runs With Scissors Runs With Scissors

8. Dial-up

Some staffers at can still do an incredibly impressive impersonation of the dial-up noise. When you got your CD to activate the internet on your PC with its massive grey monitor and finally got the blinking modem working, this sound was sweet music to the ears. Sure, we were next level stuff, logging out to our e-mail accounts and finally figuring out what a “blog” was.


9. Mini discs

Officially deemed obsolete by Sony. Hear that? That’s your YOUTH they’re calling obsolete.

RaeAllen RaeAllen

What was your favourite bit of kit in the 90s? Do you still have it knocking around at home? Let us know in the comments.

Read: 13 technological feelings you’ll never feel again>

Read: 21 things you’ll remember from secondary school>

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