The nostalgia for vintage tech

As a Blackberry user, I have a soft spot for what some people might call “vintage technology” My BBQ10 is almost 10 yrs old, still works & I LOVE it!
However, some people go even further: Old school tech from the 80s, 90s & early 2000s seems to be all the rage right now.
Recently, I’ve seen more & more articles about people’s nostalgia for vintage gadgets. The advancement in technology and the rapid pace of change can make these old technologies feel special and unique.
What is it about vintage or analog tech that you guys find so special?
For me, it often evokes feelings of nostalgia because it represents a simpler time and a different way of life.
I would love to hear your thoughts :slight_smile:

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CONVENIENCE, when it comes to a desk phone with a speakerphone mode!

I often attend teleconferences with my desk phone in speakerphone mode, but I love the convenience of grabbing the handset from its cradle to switch to “handheld” mode – to ensure that others hear me more clearly and to ensure that I hear more nuance in others’ voices.

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What label would you apply to this, @urszula?

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@kirkmahoneyphd Although, the rotary-dial cell phone is a bit “gimicky”, I can see the allure of it.
Analog technology is a reminder of the beauty of imperfection and the romance of the tactile, a refreshing contrast to the sleek and sterile digital world we’ve grown accustomed to.

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Also I think people are yearning for the simpler older days where phones were not a distractive as they are today. Look around everyone on this planet spends more time starting at these screens than their friends and loved ones. To me thats beyond sad

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Also I think people my age (40s) never got to use these simpler phones in high school etc, so for me its kind of like going back and getting to live in that time period. I would have loved to be in my 20s in the 1980s and 90s when phones were simple

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I have always liked to use vintage tech, especially where I’ve tried the replacements and found them not to be a true improvement for my use-cases.

Driving is a much more pleasant experience in an MG B GT or a Ford Capri. The seats are comfier than any modern car I’ve been in, and the engine power delivery is wonderful - not as ‘peaky’ as modern engines, i.e. plenty of low-RPM grunt, so what little power is available, can be accessed throughout the whole RPM range. Having only 4 gears also makes driving a manual/stickshift far less effort. Very easy to service, maintain and diagnose. If it’s due to break-down, it’ll warn you for several miles by running badly. Additionally, the reduction in driver-assistance and entertainment technologies encourages you to actually concentrate on your driving, making you a safer and better driver. Plus, cars prior to the millennium (and especially prior to the 1990s) are actually car-shaped and actually styled to look nice. The roads nowadays are just a sea of homogeneous bland bus-like boredom-boxes in various shades of grey. Anything a bit older always turns heads and gets a smile. There’s also the sensory aspect - the smells and sounds. There’s no need for a radio, but if you must, that leads me on to the next thing:

Records and tapes. Tapes are ideal for the car as they’re simple. Play, fast-forward, rewind. No messy track/album selection dialogues. Just the right size to handle without taking your eyes off the road. LPs are wonderful because of the album artwork, lyric sheets, and the fact that it encourages you to stop and focus on the music. You also get to hear the music arranged in the order the artist intended, not as part of an endless random playlist.

Fountain-pens are crafted items of beauty, as well as useful. Additionally, unless you damage the nib, the writing experience feels much smoother and more pleasant than other writing instruments. Even the worst handwriting looks nicer when done in fountain-pen. If you worry about smudging or waterproofing, I can wholeheartedly recommend an American brand of ink called Noodler’s, but for day-to-day use I favour the UK ink-brands Diamine and Beaufort for their flow and smoothness. For the actual pen, I’ve never come across anything better than a Parker 45, at any price-point.

Finally I’d say that one thing that helps with disturbed sleep patterns is to go a step further than the usual “blue light avoidance” techniques such as switching off your tech - switch to candle or oil-lamp light in the evenings. It creates a wonderful ambiance, prevents overstimulation, and is very red-shifted, encouraging you to get sleepy before it’s too late! I notice I start to actually feel sleepy several hours early when I do this. Of course, with these sorts of lights, there are additional concerns surrounding fire-safety, so you may not be able to do this with young children, pets, or rented accommodation.

Regarding phones, my favourite phones of all time were my Nokia 3310 (2001 version) and my Samsung B2100 and B2100i. The Samsung was waterproof and shockproof, and had the longest battery-life I have ever seen on a phone. The later “i” version looked identical but allowed for widgets on the home screen such as the weather report from AccuWeather. Most importantly, it had physical keys. I’d still be using this phone now if I could find one where its rubberised coating hadn’t perished into a sticky goo.

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Your alliteration is hilariously accurate. Your reference to various shades of grey matches what I have noticed specifically in the last six to twelve months with new cars. It’s as if car makers got together a year ago and decided to create 50 ugly variations of grey paint for their new cars.

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I continue to use an Ultrabook whose rubberised coating has become a sticky goo. Now I know that some phone makers made the same mistake with their coatings!

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I don’t know what happened to those “Don’t text and drive!” public-safety campaigns. Instead, manufacturers are putting MORE and LARGER distractions (e.g., Tesla’s “vertical laptop” display) into their cars. It’s as if car makers are saying to cellular carriers, “Hey, don’t worry about getting sued for creating devices (cellphones) that cause distracted-driving accidents! We’ll build even BIGGER distracted-driving devices into our cars and draw plaintiff attorneys in OUR direction!”

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Car Video Screen1


I’ve seen these things & I’m not sure why it’s even allowed.

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@worldcitizen88 That’s just obscene. Really obscene. A screen this size is horribly distracting. I can see people using this to watch shows while they sit in traffic or FaceTiming with family & friends. Basically doing everything but focusing on the road in front of them.

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