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This old tech: 10 reasons to get all nostalgic about hardware and software

Love them or hate them – these nostalgic examples of hardware and software were the forerunner of many of the apps and devices around today.
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Nostalgia Tech ZDNet
1 of 11 Sifpceuc

Take a trip down memory lane -- if you are old enough -- with my favourite items of nostalgic tech, originally inspired by a post at Mojo Mortgages

Nostalgia Tech ZDNet
2 of 11 Wayback Machine

Compuserve

Compuserve was your portal into its world of channels, mainly aimed at the technical community. Subscribe to an interest site, find people online with similar interests, chat, post stories and find out what was going on across the world. You could even talk to groups of people with its (almost) instant messaging feature.

Nostalgia Tech ZDNet
3 of 11 Wikipedia

Dial-up modem

Dial-up seemed a perfect way for us to access the internet using the phone handset nestled in its rubber cradle. Dial the number on the keypad, connect at 300 baud, listen to the sounds of connection, and communicate across the nascent internet – if you knew where to go. If you have never heard a modem sound – or want a trip down memory lane, have a listen to some nostalgic modem sounds over the past 40 years.

Nostalgia Tech ZDNet
4 of 11 Wikipedia

Bulletin boards

Bulletin board systems (BBS) enabled users to upload and download software, read news, play online games, and talk to other users of the service through message boards which reached their peak in the mid-1990s. When AOL became mainstream, BBS use dramatically declined.

Nostalgia Tech ZDNet
5 of 11 Wayback Machine

AOL

AOL (America Online) provided a dial up service which accessed its portal. Aimed at non-technical users, you placed the floppy disk – which was posted to you, or was included in almost all PC magazines – into the slot, started the program, and dialled into its online games, chat and resources.

Nostalgia Tech ZDNet
6 of 11 Winworld

WordStar

For many, WordStar represented the first foray into word processing software in the 1980s. WordStar for MS-DOS launched in 1982 on floppies, and was fast, functional, and not a memory hog at all.

Nostalgia Tech ZDNet
7 of 11 Douglas Milewski

Floppy disk

The 5.25 inch floppy disk often held the entire operating system for an IBM-compatible computer. With two slots, one for data or applications, and one for the OS, these 1MB disks gave you all the space you thought you would ever need. 

Nostalgia Tech ZDNet
8 of 11 Winworld

Lotus 1-2-3

Displacing VisiCalc in the late 1980s, Lotus 1-2-3 was a spreadsheet application for MS-DOS. If your PC had a graphics card – expensive to buy then – you could even create graphs and pie charts.

Nostalgia Tech ZDNet
9 of 11 Wayback Machine

IRC

IRC – Internet Relay Chat – was created in 1988 and was intended to replace BBS software. It is an open protocol which gave rise to several client interfaces such as Undernet and freenode.

Nostalgia Tech ZDNet
10 of 11 Wikipedia

Windows 3.0

Launched in 1990, the release was the first commercially successful version of Windows. Unlike MS-DOS, Windows 3.0 required a Microsoft-compatible mouse to click and drag windows around.

Sadly games like Reversi, Gorillas.bas, Donkey.bas, and Nibbles.bas are no longer hidden in the hard drive of the latest version of Windows 10, but search online, and you can play these nostalgic games again.

Nostalgia Tech ZDNet
11 of 11 Eileen Brown/ZDNet

Netscape

The Netscape Navigator browser was launched in late 1994 to take advantage of the burgeoning World Wide Web using the Netscape Navigator suite of products. Its ease of use made it successful against competition from Internet Explorer 4.0 which was released in 1997. Netscape was acquired by AOL in 1998.

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