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Old Tech I Missed the Most

Back in the 80’s and 90’s when gadgets and tech stuff are few and far between, having a pager or an analog cellphone can already make you look geeky. But in these days of dual-core smartphones, 4G/LTE, tablets, in-flight WiFi, etc there are still some old technology I kinda missed.

Oftentimes, we forget that things are much easier now than it was before and we tend to get anxious and impatient — like when an SMS is delayed by an hour or when our 3G internet crawls like dial-up.


Here are some of the tech stuff I miss the most back in my childhood days. Feel free to share your own in the comments.

  • The sound of a PC modem dialing-up. There’s some feeling of excitement every time that beep comes around.
  • Operator-assisted calls and calling collect. Now, we do PasaLoad or Share-A-Load instead of calling collect.
  • The electric type-writer — beats the hell out of using messy white-out inks. It’s the first time I literally used the “backspace” key before I even encountered a PC.
  • The Knight Rider VHS Tape re-winder. Anybody had one of these before? They’re pretty cool!

So the next time my iPad 2 would not play an HD movie I downloaded from kat.ph, I’ll just remember the time when we used to watch a B/W television set that’s hooked up to a car battery since our little island doesn’t have any electricity yet.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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62 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    Naaalala ko pa yang nasa pic. na yan. Di ba vhs rewinder yan?

    • supernaut says:

      -The Knight Rider VHS Tape re-winder. Anybody had one of these before? They’re pretty cool!

  2. kwekuclyde says:

    Floppy disks!! I had like a gazillion of those. Try running anti-virus on each of them and bask in the humming and purring of the drive as it reads hehehehe

  3. cy says:

    yeah! the vhs rewinder. uso dati yung narerent ng betamax or vhs. naalala ko tuloy yung dragon ball z na lagi namin rent na by volume tapos 3 episodes lang per volume!

  4. Noir says:

    Yeah I remember the days where I had to rewind our VCDs as well :D

    And the moment when

    “PLS insert Disc 2”

    flashes on your TV

    • gary says:

      I missed my first ever GSM celfone back in 1999 “Bosch” … di ko alam kung tama pa ang spelling ko. super high-tech na yan nun.

  5. kuya dan says:

    hahahaha meron pa kami nyan d2 sa bahay.. alam ko natago ko to.. hehehe VHS rewinder to.. same color and same model woooohoooooo

  6. chinitoguy says:

    What I miss the most is the time I got my first GSM phone back in 1999. I was a loyal Smart subscriber back then. I was happy when I got my Sony Ericsson A1018. Remember that phone? Its like a 2 way radio. Another tech that I miss is when we got our first computer back in 2001 and having a dial-up internet thru PLDT Vibe. Those were the days…

  7. IC DeaDPiPoL says:

    Speak & Spell – my first tablet XD

    Internet TV – my friend used to have one that looks like a small VCR that plugs into the phone line. Cons of this is graphics quality, availability of the prepaid cards, and the browser is quite outdated and doesn’t seem to be upgradeable by the end user.

    Digital Personal Diaries – usually powered by small batteries, these are used for storing contact informations, schedules, important dates, etc.

    Brick Game – tetris clone and variant on a hand-held unit, competed with the early Gameboy releases and the much maligned Gamegear

    Super UFO – made a boom during the latter days of famicom, and Super Famicom/SNES releases, these attach to the cartridge port and lets you copy games into 1.44 FDD floppy disks and play them as a backup with a 1-2 minute loading time

    DOS boot disks – recalls the time when computer rentals usually doesn’t have a HDD, you often have to bring your own customized bootdisk else be using the shop’s virus infested bootdisk. Comes in either 5.25 or 3.5 floppy disks

    Windows 95 installation floppy disk – my god installing this route was painful

    DOS/V – for playing japanese games, you need a custom boot disk to be able to render the japanese fonts

    King Of Games 1,2,3,etc – usual label for those compiled pirated games sold in Virramall.

  8. Benchmark says:

    I miss the DOS disk, specially the 5″1/2 Floppy disk…I still have them! :)

    And I remember someone brought in 3.5HD Disk…they say its HARD DRIVE! :-) But technically it is High Density.

    Imagine…3.5″ disk is 1.44MB while a micro SD range from 1gig to 32 gig! WOW!

  9. Mike says:

    This is off topic..

    the one that really catch my eye is “kat.ph” though I download from kickasstorrent but it’s quite add when they use *.ph it’s like an endorsement from ph.

  10. Franco says:

    How about staying up late just to maximize your isp bonanza(popular masa net card back then) or blast(more of pang mayaman 9hr card for bayantel) free 12am to 7am internet?

    • kize21 says:

      hahaha… i do that all the time… tapos mahilig ako mag basa ng mga fanfiction nun… kasi ang bagal naman ng net kaya yung may mga words lang na site ang binabasa ko.. ;)

    • chat says:

      IRC chat hanggang umaga!

  11. Jay Quing says:

    Missed Tech’s… Hmm…
    I missed playing Family Computer (NES) with my childhood friends, cheating lives in Contra…
    Playing Jeopardy and Home Alone in VGA Monitor, Adlid/Soundblaster sound card and the 5MB hard drive…
    Adapting myself to the GUI environment of Windows 3.11 and then Windows 95…
    Listening dialing tones of a dial-up modem, with annoying disconnections during rainy season…
    Having a monochromatic and monophonic Nokia phone…

  12. Dan says:

    I miss the BBS days. I miss my BBS… things were so much simpler back then.

    • Neil says:

      Same here, I miss the BBS days. Puyatan sa kakaabang ng free node. And of course, L.O.R.D. and the 15-30 min wait just to download a 5 megabyte file.

  13. Ern Ern says:

    analog cellphones na superbigat at bago makatawag eh you have to dial tons of numbers before you can reach the other party, very tedious and if nasa emergency ka siguro patay ka na before you can leave a dying message…….on top of that ang mahal pa ng load/ minimum 300 per card, me pumasok na mas matipid 100 but the consequence eh call barring………….. miss those days!!!!

    • 1001 says:

      the card was smart bill crusher that time, if i can remember. it is similar to prepaid cards today

  14. Naalala ko nun yung mga DOS games sa Windows 3.11 at 95; yung parang 16bit games na point-and-click (I think it was a Indiana Jones game) and Puttmoon (I don’t know if that was the correct spelling of the game:D ). Meron yun sa computer lab sa elementary school namin dati. We would always go there after lunch and ask our teacher if we can play those games. Buti mabait si teacher. :D Back in those days, looking at those colorful, pixelated graphics was like “wow” compared to the old 8-bit NES :D. Good times. :)

    About dun sa ISP Bonanza, Franco, nakakarelate ako dyan! Kaya lng ang kinokonektan ko palang no. nuon ay Manila!(napagastos tuloy kami ng long distance!HAHA):D Natatawa na lang ako ngayon pag naalala ko yun. Oh nostalgia! :D

  15. adam says:

    We still have electric typewriter at home but we no longer use it.

  16. Ry says:

    Oy, si Sir Yuga, pasimple ang promotion sa kat.ph! =)) lolz

    anyways, my list would include Nokia 3310. Grade 4 ata ako nito nung pinangarap kong magkaroon nito :)) I told myself not to eat for one schoolyear para magkaroon lang nito but it never happened. Now that I can buy this thing for at least 500 or so, parang gusto kong bilhin para lang ma-ease out ang frustrations ko at hindi ko nabili to :P

  17. 1001 says:

    ang daming gadgets na nakaligtaan ko na. before vhs meron nang betamax, mga phonograph naman sa music bago naging cassette tapes at cds, ngayon mp3. yung computer e ms dos ang uso at family computer. lumabas na rin ang analogue phones in the 90’s. smart ang naunang network that time. di ko na maalala yung iba a

  18. lulu says:

    lol, an SMS delayed by an hour is totally wrong esp when you’re about to meet someone and should never be forgiven.

    • jun isip says:

      i agree, sms should never-ever be delay by an hour… unforgivable. max na dapat ang 3 min lang. and the 3g internet, to be as slow as the dial up is criminal. we are paying by the minute here, mind you.

  19. Benchmark says:

    Hahahaha I rememeber those betamax/VHS rentals…

    bawat dulo ngg mga movies na hiniram mo, you’ll fastforward it, you’ll be lucky enough na may X rated film in the end! HAHAHAHAHA

  20. goodha67 says:

    lol. unang hawak ko ng pc sa school during college during basic computer 101 with all those dos and flow charts PLUS yung memory storage namin noon ay cassette tapes. circa 1984. floppy disks? ano yun during that time?

    missed mobile brands:
    ericsson r310,r320,r520,r380 and t39.
    alcatel one touch korteng safeguard.
    motorola flare korteng pangkaskas ng yelo
    motorola analogue bagphone with 3 watts output and battery made out of lead.

    original playstation. not ps one. during my time, 250 pesos ang price ng class a na discs. dahil diyan sa playstation, nagkasakit ako dahil sabi nga ni kuya germs…”walang tulugan”.

  21. techguy says:

    I remember my high school days when I was the first student sa school namin to have a GSM celfone. It was an expensive Motorola Startac na dinala ng father ko galing Taiwan. It had a yellow back light with black texts. Hindi po ito yung common black and red edition. It was way back 1999. During that time, mga analog pa lang celfon at kung may gsm man cguro 5110 na nokia or older. As in sa sobrang high tech mo pinag kakaguluhan ka ng mga classmates mo at feeling sikat ka hahaha. Those were the days!!

    • luiboowee says:

      Remember when you see Nokia 3210 parang sobrang bigat yet sobrang tibay na kahit nahulog na sa hagdan gumagana pa rin? Then ang pinakasikat na Nokia 8210 kasi ito daw yung smallest and lightest phone eeeevvvverrrr. :)

      While the ladies have the 8210, then guys should have either the 7110 or 8850. Yan ang status symbol noon.

      How about Nokia’s ultimate game: Snake? Tapos you can play 2-player via infrared? hehe.

  22. Manix says:

    I still remember 1980-81, where company data processing work means having IBM green screen monitor-with fixed commodore like keyboard-dumb terminals, connected to a room of servers with 20inch magnetic tape “discs” for data storage and retrieval.
    But at least in those days, work stays at the office, coz home broadband is never heard of. Today its like working 7days a week.

  23. phets says:

    I remember back then when my mom had a beeper, which I think is an equivalent to SMS nowadays.. But instead of tapping the phone keypad, you dictate to the operator the message you want to send. :))

    I still remember my mom’s beeper number due to my constant “beeping” back then.. 1500-360-300 HAHAHA!

  24. gary says:

    I missed my Nintendo “Game and WAtch”. sobrang nabaliw ako dun. kung naitabi ko lang sya, im sure maglalaro pa din ako nun, my favorite is Octopus and popeye… same with my Nintendo Family Computer… di ko ipagpapalit ang excitement ng “Contra” sa kahit na anong games ngayon.

  25. Dawnripper says:

    i remember pushing my 386dx/40mhz 2mbmemory 120mbhdd using config.sys and autoexec.bat

    dos=high, umb
    devicehigh=any device drivers

    loadhigh = all other drivers


    syempre betamax and vhs w/ 3movies per vhstape na padala from saudiboys hehehe.
    microfdd 1.44″disk was called harddisk;
    dos 3.3 hinahack yung command.com replacing
    dir, cls, & other internal commands w/ something else.

    • pinoytechhub says:

      yeah, i also remember doing this back in college… :D sikat pag ganun… and remember the AMA virus.. PEMPE??? hahahaha

    • Dawnripper says:

      hehehe; yup; nung nasa ama pa kami; may nagleak din na 3pages username/pw ng dialup pacificinternet;

    • curiousdan says:

      I think I know you Dawnripper. I’m also from AMA. I remember that 3 page leakage tol. OMG that’s the same ISP name ahaha.. free dialup internet for the next 3 months.

    • dawnripper says:

      hahaha tayo siguro yung tuwang tuwa at nakakuha ng xerox copy and is unlimited internet! dun yata ako natuto gumising ng 1am para lang maginternet. kung ngayon mangyari to sigurado malaking issue. hehehe napaghahalata mga edad naten bossing…

  26. jm says:

    hahaha!! I have the same VHS tape rewinder same as you Yuga..I always play it like a toy car.wahahaha..

    The on I miss with old tech are our old phone that you need to spin the numbers ^_^

  27. Num Lock says:

    Hi, I remember mostly our dependable Jeep with only R, 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears and…

    1. Family computer (Super Mario, F1 Race, etc.)
    2. PC with 5 1/2 and 3 1/2″ floppies and DOS
    3. Black and white TV with no RC, UHF and Cable TV.
    4. Betamax and the more advanced VHS by that time.
    5. Cassette tapes.
    6. Installing pc apps and games using 50 floppies.

    • Dawnripper says:

      installing win95 using floppy(orig) almost 30 ata.

      also naalala ko copying apps from silicon valley makati cinema square and megamall branch. hindi pa piracy ang tawag hehehe…

  28. Rasec says:

    -Donkey Kong Jr. on Game and Watch
    -First Sound Blaster kit (came with the first Warcraft game)
    -Calculator on digital wristwatch
    -Walkman (cassette)
    -Walkie talkies

    • duhwhatever says:

      I remember me and my brother used to play with our walkie talkie that my parents bought in subic pa. And we have this old computer that me and my siblings used to fight who gets to play first the Aladdin. And when my parents gave me a super user friendly ericsson phone when I was in grade 4 during my school fieldtrip with a super big removable antenna with heavy battery. Gone were those days

  29. Miguel says:

    Learning programming on my XT, that was the biggest breakthrough.

  30. Cherie says:

    Brick game

  31. gudboyARL says:

    who could ever forget the Nokia5110 back in my college day, its one of a kind when you have that unit before, one hell of a big time! hehehe..

  32. eRvN says:

    brick game
    Contra arcade game
    atari console
    sega saturn
    ms dos
    windows 3.11
    floppy and micro-floppy disks
    Doom shareware
    my first phone – mitsubishi trium

  33. JaPongsKi says:

    sir yuga, we still have that old VHS rewinder at nakadisplay na lang sya ngayon, at naging talamak ang bentahan nyan dati dahil sa saying na nakakasira daw ng VHS player kapag dun ka nagrewind ng VHS tape (eh bat nagkaron pa ng REW function yun??) LOLs!!

    and I agree, its 25 floppy disks to complete an installation of a windows 95 into your 486 PC nyahaha!! XD

  34. Faust says:

    and i know some you now still remember playing classic games from the likes of super contra rambo and super mario 1-2-3. and i still miss them until now with a nintendo family computer..

  35. eZ Me says:

    up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right,
    B, A, B, A

    • kwekuclyde says:

      CONTRA!!! ubos 10 pesos allowance ko dito nun high school hahahaha those were the days.

    • dawnripper says:

      ako P5/30min hehehe. P5 for lunch. syempre mga adik tayo sa twinbee, battlecity. tapos lumabas sega yung parang boomerang ang controller at mas malalaki ang tao na highend graphics, naku pow, walang kaininan magbaon na lang hehehe

  36. “I’ll just remember the time when we used to watch a B/W television set that’s hooked up to a car battery since our little island doesn’t have any electricity yet.” — I’ve experienced this! when the power goes extremely low, the images actually shrink hehehe…

  37. Edgar says:

    The PC softwares Wordstar, Lotus-123, and QuattroPro. I even constructed a sort of instruction manuals on them for my office mates. Imagine inserting all those “dot” commands to format your documents in Wordstar.

  38. arlene says:

    i had a blast when i discovered that i can change the c:> (c prompt) to any set of characters i want, such as my name =)

  39. shogoki says:

    hmm.. My mom’s Easy Call beeper, Nintendo NES, Laser Discs, 1st gen Game Boy, floppy disk, Sony casette walkman and my Granpa’s 1970’s era Brother typewriter.

  40. jong says:

    mas nakakaamis yong pag-nagiikot ka ng antenna para lang makakuha ng channel, tapos may sumisigaw pa sa loob kung meron na :D haha

    naalala ko nun sa province, kami lang may rewinder, madalas magparewind samin mga kapitbahay haha

  41. rorymabangis says:

    commodore 64 at yung sobrang bigat na external floppy disk drive nya

  42. luiboowee says:

    I remember my uncle then told us that there were plans to incorporate the beeper into the cellphones. I wondered then “why bother have a beeper when you already have a cellphone.” Yun pala he was referring to SMS.

    Also, a HS friend of mine wished to have a camera built-in in her cellphone. That was like 1999. We laughed at her kasi “besides it was funny it was ridiculous” (thiking of the film) tapos in just 3 years or so, meron na ngang camera ang mga cellphone. :)

  43. 9evian6 says:

    Walkman and cassete tapes.
    Naalala ko pa riding bus from Cubao to Alabang. Ang magagandang kanta, nasa isang side lang (side A or side B). So para hindi agad ma-discharge ang battery ng Walkman, ang pang-rewind, ballpen.

  44. Roni Uselman says:

    Thought-provoking blog post you have here. I hadn’t given due consideration such.

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