The floppy disc
Composed of a thin, magnetic disc and a plastic casing, the floppy disc originally came in sizes as large as 8 inches, but soon shrunk to the more widely-known 3 1/2 inch design. Capable of holding 1.44MB of data, the floppy disc soon lost out to formats such as the 650MB compact disc, which could hold around 450 times more data.
Rotary dial telephone
Before touch-screens, there were buttons. And before that, there were rotary dials. Arranged on a circular dial, each number corresponded to a finger hole, which was then turned until a “finger stop” prevented further rotation. Also known as pulse dialing, this technology essentially counted the number of pulses made by each movement of the dial, encoding it into a number. A more hands-on approach, rotary dialing also took longer as users had to wait for the dial to reset between each digit.
The forerunner to the text message, pagers revolutionized communication when they were released in the early 90’s, allowing people to receive notifications well before the iPhone. Popular until the creation of SMS, simple pagers are still used in restaurants today – letting you know when your order is ready.
First invented in the 1860s, typewriters allowed individuals to quickly type documents in a standardized format without electricity, revolutionizing professional writing. Honed and developed for just over 100 years, the humble typewriter was no match for the word processor and later, the personal computer.
The eventual winner of one of the first format wars, JVC’s VHS tape eventually overcame Sony’s smaller, compact Betamax. Most popular in the 70’s and 80’s the VHS used magnetic tape stored in a plastic cassette – storing up to 5 hours of footage. After the rise of optical storage media such as DVDs in the late 90s, the popularity of the VHS reduced.
First released in 1979, the Sony Walkman heralded a revolution in personal audio. Small enough to carry, and fashionable enough to use in public, the Sony Walkman originally played cassette tapes – although Sony still uses the Walkman brand today for audio products.