4th December 2017

6 Things you’ll only understand if you were born before 1990

By Kat Quinzel In Episodes, Time Machine

Technology moves at an alarming rate. It wasn’t that long ago that CD’s seemed to be a new fad.

A few conversations with my 8 year old niece have really highlighted some of the things that technology have well and truly buried over the last 20 years.

But like record collectors love the sound of their music on vinyl, you can’t deny that old tech had its charms…

Here are 5 things you’ll probably only remember if you were born before 1990.

1. The Test Card

Today TV is a 24 hour 7 day a week 365 days a year kinda thing. Back when we were kids we either didn’t have TV’s or the programming ended at a certain time.

When all the TV programmes were switched off for the night a test card was shown on air.

I bet you remember the test card? The girl and the clown playing naughts and crosses is almost iconic!

What I didn’t know is that there were actually many test cards used by the BBC!

The girl and the clown was actually called Test Card F, hands up if you knew that one!. You can find out more about Test Card F’s history here.

2. Cassette Tapes

A meme about a casette tape and a pencil.

Ah the good old days! Image Source.

Before there were CD’s there were Cassette Tapes. Remember playing your favorite tape and hearing that terrible wobbly sound as your cassette player devoured the tape inside?

You’d have to gently untangle it all and use a pencil or your little finger to wind the tape back in.

It would never sound the same again after that! You also had to turn them over halfway through playing.

And who doesn’t remember being able to record all your favorite songs off the radio?! or the million mix tapes we made for everyone we loved?

An unwound cassette tape.

Did you ever do this or did you just use your finger? Image Source.

If you’re anything like me this video of children trying to figure out how to work a Walk Man will make you chuckle!

3. VHS

They worked in the same way as cassette tapes but they were for playing films.

Once you’d finished watching you’d have to rewind the tape all the way back to the beginning! Do you remember how every video rental shop had ‘be kind, re-wind’ posters?

It also meant you could record your favorite TV shows and films when they were shown on TV.

But, you could only record the channel you were actually on and you had to manually start and stop the recording.

My sister and I had so many arguments about who taped over who’s favorite cartoons!

A VHS cassette tape.

You can see why we all fell in love with DVD’s!

Do you ever miss those wonky lines that appeared when re-winding and fast-forwarding? Don’t worry I’ve got you covered:

4. Dial Up

Not only do I remember when internet wasn’t a thing, but I also remember when it became a thing.

Google didn’t exist, no one really knew how to use the internet and it took an absolute age to get online through your dial up connection.

While you were on the net you couldn’t use your home phone and if anyone picked it up they’d get a horrible screechy sound coming out of the receiver.

Have you forgotten the chilling screech of a slow dial up connection? Here, allow me to refresh your memory!

5. Ceefax / Teletext

You’d see the Ceefax or Teletext pages if programmes hadn’t yet started or if they had just finished.

Before we had the internet Teletext was a great way to find stuff out. It went live in the early 1970’s and was switched off in the UK in 2012, though, by that time, it was actually difficult to find a channel that showed them.

You’d be able to get through the pages by using the numbers on your remote control. You used to be able to read the news, play very basic games, book cheap holidays and loads of other interesting things.

Almost everyone I ask about this says Bamboozle was their favorite page! Do you remember your favorite? Bonus points if you remember the page number!

For a real blast from the past check out this video – A Blue Peter presenter showing us all how to use Ceefax back in 1975!

6. The Floppy Disk

It was not, as it’s name suggested, floppy, but it was a small square plastic object that was used for saving and transporting files on early computers.

A pre-cursor to the USB. They were fairly cheap to buy and you couldn’t get much data on them but they always looked cool.

Was I the only one that used to get in trouble for pinging the silver bit back and forth?

Unfortunately the floppy disk became obsolete before I found out what the tiny square switch in the top right corner was for. If you know, put me out of my misery!

A collection of floppy disks.

Soo pretty! Image Source.

How did I do? What else would you add to the list? Let me know in the comments!

If you want to keep strolling down memory lane, check out 5 TV adverts that will make you feel like a kid again.

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6 Things you'll only understand if you were born before 1990
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6 Things you'll only understand if you were born before 1990
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Do you know what a floppy disk is? Come and see what else today's children are missing out on!
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Vintage Cash Cow Blog
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