- Here are 5 things you'll probably only remember if you were born before the 90s
- 1. The Test Card
- 2. Cassette Tapes
- 3. VHS
- 4. Dial-Up
- 5. Ceefax / Teletext
- 6. The 90s Floppy Disk
- If you want to keep strolling down 90s memory lane, check out these other posts:
Technology moves at an alarming rate since the 90s. It wasn’t that long ago that CDs seemed to be a new fad. A few conversations with my 8-year-old niece have really highlighted some of the things that technology has 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 the 90s
1. The Test Card
As today TV is a 24-hour 7 day week 365 days a year kinda thing. Back when we were kids we either didn’t have TVs 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 are almost iconic! What I didn’t know is that there were actually many test cards used by the BBC! The 90s 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
Before there were CDs there were Cassette Tapes. Remember playing your favourite 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 favourite songs off the radio?! Or the million mixtapes we made for everyone we loved? If you’re anything like me this video of children trying to figure out how to work a Walk Man will make you chuckle!
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, rewind posters? It also meant you could record your favourite 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 favourite cartoons! Do you ever miss those wonky lines that appeared when re-winding and fast-forwarding? Don’t worry I’ve got you covered here.
Not only do I remember when the 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 1970s 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 favourite page! Do you remember your favourite? 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 90s Floppy Disk
It was not, as its 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!
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 90s memory lane, check out these other posts:
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